“The church is to be and do what?” I was asked this one day by a visitor to our church. I gave a quick answer and encouraged the individual to come back to church another time for a more complete answer.
So I set off that week to answer this person’s question. I must admit that I had to sit back pray, meditate, study, and search the Bible to arrive at a complete answer. This sermon is the answer to that question.
My sermon was also sparked from an interesting visit I had with a person who walked away from church a few years back. I stopped in to visit them and encourage them to “Come Home.” This was the response I received during my visit.
“God is everywhere! I don’t need to go to church! Church is people helping others!” She blurted these thoughts out to me. “Wow” I thought very defensive. I did agree with all this person had said. But I reminded this person that Jesus established the universal church and the local church. Just go read the New Testament and you will see that God’s desire is for people to be involved in the local church because the local churches make up the universal church. Just read the book of Revelation the first few chapters stress the roles of the local churches. Churches are God’s design not mans creation.
Hebrews 10:25 tells us: “25Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”
This individual then replied, “I was in church last week helping my neighbor work on her bathroom!” I responded, “That’s great to help others out and it is an important part of church life but the first four commandments talk about our relationship with God.” So I asked, “How did you worship God on Sunday – just helping someone is not serving and praising God. Did you have prayer time with God? Did you worship God? Have you had communion with God lately? Yes, serving together as a family is what God wants but so is worshipping and honoring Him.
I challenged her on some of her comments and things got real quiet. Then I asked her how the kid’s where. This was her response, “They are into their drugs and party life. They have dropped out of school. But they will be fine learning things the hard way.” She then adds. “They are in trouble with the law and owe over $500 dollars in fines but so what.” She uses a few choice words to tell me how she can’t wait to get rid of both of them.
Then I asked her how she was doing. This person looks at me with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth with a tinge of anger seeping out at my questions and says, “I am right where God wants me!” I thought to myself, “I don’t think so!” Then I challenged her once again on the importance of having a relationship with God. We did a little small talk and I left shaking my head. I drove down the road and as I was driving I prayed that God would reveal to her how deceived she is in her thinking.
Then I prayed for her and her family. I talked to God in the car and thought here is a person telling everyone she is “Born Again” and “Serving God”. She is telling everyone she is where God wants her and she says she does not need the church – it’s not God’s way- it’s man’s way – it’s man’s traditions. Yet her family is in trouble she is drifting further and further from the truth and she is blind to the truth.
She is like many so-called Christians today she has a distorted view of the church a distorted view of God and His word and it is affecting her life, her kid’s lives and it’s affecting the divine mission of the Body of Christ. Because she tells everyone she is a “Born Again Christian”. But in reality her testimony-her life-her actions do not align with God’s Word.
But sadly she is making an impact everyday with her daily contacts with others. Just like you and I make a daily impact in the Kingdom of God by the way we act or don’t act. She is making a negative impact for the Kingdom.
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