I. THE FOCUS OF THE CHURCH:
A) Wrong Views of the Church- Many people seem to think of the Church with “Tunnel Vision”- that is, they see only one purpose for it. They see it as either a:
1. DIET– A necessary evil. They want to do something else but they feel they must go to Church. They would rather be eating the “Onions of Egypt” but they feel they must endure the Manna of God.
2. DEBT– Payment on an “eternal life insurance” policy. They want to go to Heaven when they die so they are willing to make a “Payment” now and then. “Father” makes them go to the “Family Reunion” but they don’t have a lot in common with the “In-laws”.
3. DEATH– Place to bring someone when they die so the preacher can say good things about them. You want the Preacher to say Good and Gentle things so you can leave with a “warm feeling” inside. And you definitely don’t want him to mention those things that make you feel bad; such as sin and hell and the cross.
If either of these is your idea of the Church then I hope God will help you to see today that the church is not “a necessary evil” but Necessary to combat Evil and Promote Eternal values.
B) The Correct View of the Ministry of the Church: THE CHURCH IS:
1. The House of God– The meeting place of the “Family of God”. (You must be “Born” into this family). The Church is the Place where the family meets for:
1> Raising- Development, growth, becoming what you are supposed to be (Part of the Body)
2> Refreshment- Eat and Drink (Milk and Meat of the Word)
3> Rest- Encouragement, Meditation
4> Rules- Discipline, guidelines
2) Church of the Living God– I Pet 2:9 Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praise of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1> Peculiar (Chosen)- called out assembly. In the world but not of it. We are supposed to be different.
2> Priesthood- To worship and work
3> Pure (Holy)- Set Apart For God. We Avoid Defilement and “Flirting” with the World
4> Praises- Songs, Testimonies. The Light of our lives show those in darkness that we know the way.
3) Pillar and ground of the Truth– Foundation for life
1> From Bed room to the Board room God has the way for us to go. And we find it at His house (Song of Sol- Ep 6:).
2> From Joys of Life to the Jobs of Life; the Church gives us guidance
3> From Troubles of Life to the Triumphs of Life- We find the strength, comfort, and help we need as we meet with God’s People.
II. THE PROPER FOUNDATION
A) The Necessity of Having a proper foundation –
1. For Stability- Ps 17:3 If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? I once chased a wild goose into some quicksand and found it a place of no Stability- the more I struggled the worst I sank. That’s what’s happening to many people today. They’ve chased Life’s “Wild Geese” and have ended up struggling all the time; and sinking deeper and deeper. They need something stable to build on. This is where the ministry of the Church is so important. Without Moral Guidelines from the Church we go into an “anything goes”, lawless society that quickly become anarchy. In the midst of the “Swamp of Quicksand” that Society flounders in today we proclaim Christ as the foundation People need in their Personal life, in their Professional life, and in their Public life. (The back of the Parsonage was built on land that once was a pit. In order to keep the wall from sinking after the work was completed the men had to dig a very deep foundation. Sadly today, in many lives, people do not build their lives on the proper foundation and soon their “house” begins to tilt and crack).
2. For Security- Luke 6:47‑49 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built a house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built a house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great. You can’t see the foundation of a house but it’s soon apparent when the storms and rains come. I once put up an antenna with a faulty foundation; thankfully it didn’t fall while I was on it, but it did fall during the first big wind. Many people are “religious” on the outside but don’t have the right foundation and one day everything they’ve built will come crashing down on top of them.
All of these things are ours because of the MESSAGE WE PROCLAIM- The Gospel of Christ. The good news that Christ has set us free from Sin’s Penalty, Sin’s Power, and will one day deliver us from Sin’s Presence. The greatest news the world has ever heard- and it needs desperately to keep hearing it. That is why your attendance and participation in Church are so vital.
Church is not a Rotary Club you join for prestige or popularity. It is God’s plan for the publishing of Salvation and the development of His people. So you need to be in your place each and every week.
And when you get here you need to listen attentively to the Message. If the Preacher steps on your toes then you need to repent and change that part of your life. And if you have never trusted Christ as your personal Savior then you need to do so TODAY.