Summary: This sermon discuss what it means to be a member of the Lord's church both locally and globally.
The Way of A Church Member
Introduction: Jerry is always quoting Scripture and preaching at work. He talks about the end times and return of Christ. He leads a small prayer group on Thursday AM and he is basically the Chaplin for the company. When people have questions about the bible people ask Jerry, when they need prayer they go to Jerry. One day as everyone sitting at the table at lunch time someone asked Jerry if his church had an programs for kids and what time do they start. Jerry began to stutter and hem haw around until everyone finally realized that Jerry did not go to church. He explained that one did not really need to be part of a church family in order to saved or serve God. This pleased most of the people at the lunch table since they had other plans for Sunday besides going to Worship God.
16 This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
We have stood the crossroads and examined the role of a child..
We have stood at the crossroads and looked at the role of a mother.
And now we must stand at the crossroads and look at the role or way of a father.
The first three focused on our commitment to the family, this final one will focus on a crossroad we should think about in our commitment to the Lord’s Church.
THE FOUR ROADS TO CHOOSE!
1. Ignore the church –I have no time or use for a organized religion. Some the same people that say they are against organized religion will allow themselves to be humiliated in order to get into a fraternity.
2. Attend Church – Just go for a number of reason.
3. Join the global church (Make a decision to follow Christ) and attend one or more groups of believers.
4. Join the global church and a local group of believers.
THE CHURCH BOTH GLOBAL AND LOCAL
Yes –Believers in the Early Church belonged to both the global church which is the mystical body of Christ, but they were also members of individual local congregations.
GLOBAL BODY---An example in Ephesians 4:25 -put away lying because we are members of one another.
LOCAL BODY---An example of local membership is found in 1 Corinthians 12
12 For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. 13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
27 Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.
Other examples---To the Church at Ephesus, at Galatian, in Rome, at Smyrna, at Ladoica, God’s Holy people at such and such plan.
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS FOUND IN THE BIBLE?
The Top Ten Reasons People Pick a Specific Church to Join- Barna Research. (Neil notes: I found similar survey results in almost the same order done by Gallup, and other church organizations.)
1. The theological beliefs and doctrine of church.
2. The people seem to care about each other.
3. The quality of the sermons that are preached.
4. How friendly the people are to visitors.
5. How involved the church is in helping poor and disadvantaged people.
6. The quality of the programs and classes for children.
7. How much you like the pastor.
8. The denomination the church is affiliated with.
9. The quality of the adult Sunday School classes.
10. The convenience of the times of their weekend.
JOINING THE CHURCH IS ABOUT MAKING A COMMITMENT!
A COMMITMENT TO JESUS AND TO OTHER BELIEVERS!
Consistently in the gospels, Jesus Christ calls you to a commitment to Himself and to His will for your life. Followers of Christ are marked by their commitment to Christ.
Luke 9:23: If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. A willingness to identify yourself as a believer and follower of Jesus.
The idea of commitment swims against the Cultural Current! The culture in which you live opposes the idea of commitment. The tension that we face is that our culture calls for convenience (only do what you happen to “feel” like at the moment). Consumerism (which leads to a selfish focus—“what’s in it for me?” instead of a serving focus—“what can I do?”).
THE WAY OF A CHURCH MEMBER IS TO COMMIT TO A FAMILY OF BELIVERS TO TRUE SPIRITUAL GROWTH COMES WHEN WE LEARN TO FORGIVE EACH OTHER