Acts 20:29 “I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock.
We can feel Paul’s pain, he may indeed have tears in his eyes as he knows that after he leaves those he has spent so much time building in the faith, those he loves, they will be attacked by what he describes as savage wolves.
Jesus had said, “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
So what will this look like when wolves attack? Here are 5 points about a wolf attack and the connection with an attack on the Church:
1. Paul is clear it will be plural. Wolves attack in a pack.
2. It will be an organised and strategic attack. They have their own leaders, the alpha male and female who breed and who decide when to attack and eat. The attack will be talked about in private beforehand, it just doesn’t happen.
3. Paul says they will come in amongst the leadership and then attack the flock. It is an attack on how the church is led. Wolves eat meat and the larger the prey the better. They kill and eat only to survive. They have to do this. The attack on the leadership is for a just cause, it will make sense, it has to happen.
4. Paul says they will come in among them. He was leaving a church that was moving forward, he had put mission at the heart of the church. In the Revelation of John he writes of the Church at Ephesus, “I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false.” (Rev 2:2). The Ephesian Church was a hard-working and enduring Church. Wolves typically only attack a running animal. They outrun them wearing them down, burning them out. Apparently a large animal has a better chance of survival if it stands its ground. A Church that is on mission is an easier target than a Church that isn’t moving (which could be a sign that it is standing firm or dead already!).
5. Paul says the wolves will be savage. Wolves use their sharp teeth to inflict massive blood loss. They can be up to one inch in length. They have very strong jaws, they cling on to their prey and once down they just about eat everything of the animal, there is little waste, nothing is left. It is messy and it is brutal. There are many not in ministry and not in the Church today because of these attacks. These attacks are destructive and final.