There are certainly more than just three ways that Satan will try to destroy the church, but here are three of the main ways he attempts to do so.
I have heard a lot of sad commentaries on how churches are brought down, and I remember hearing about a huge church in Texas that divided over the color of the carpet in the sanctuary. Really!? A church divides over the color of the carpet!? That is tragic. If Satan or his demons can get church members to divide over something as nonessential as the color of the carpet, imagine how vulnerable that church is with other things. How can a church split up over something on which the Bible is silent? It is obviously because they are not yielding to the Holy Spirit or allowing Christ to be the central focus. When we take our eyes off of glorifying Christ, we get into all sorts of trouble and have useless arguments over things that in eternity will not matter one bit!
I combined these two as one because often the rumors start by means of gossip, and God lists gossip as one of the seven things He hates. The last thing mentioned of the seven things that God hates is “a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers” (Prov. 6:19). When we gossip about others, we may be spreading lies or false rumors, which is also breaking the ninth commandment, which says, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Ex. 20:16). Gossip is nothing less than slandering someone’s name, and in the courts today, that makes them liable for persecution in a civil lawsuit. This can easily rip a church apart and bring it down because it most certainly is sowing “discord among brothers.”
I believe that many churches have brought shame to the name of Christ by the scandals that happen there. Some churches had pastors who were committing adultery while still preaching behind the pulpit. Our church had a pastor that ran off with a lot of the church’s money, and he has never been found. Still others misuse church property or church buildings for their own personal needs. The church where I am pastor now was in such a sorry state when I arrived that every Sunday morning I came in early to wash a sink full of dirty dishes, pick up trash off the floor, wipe down food and dirty plates that were left on the tables, and clean up the bathrooms, which were customarily trashed. Someone had been using the fellowship hall as a second home, cooking and eating there, and then leaving the mess behind for someone else to clean up. Remember that Judas was once the church treasurer, and that did not end well for him. People are watching, and when the church loses her testimony, then that church may have been dealt a fatal blow.
We must all “be sober-minded; be watchful [because our] adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet. 5:8), and that includes churches that he’d love to have for lunch. Satan isn’t busy trying to attack the world because they’re like passengers only rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic, but the devil is hardest at work in trying to bring down Christians and their places of worship in order to destroy the testimony of the church.