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Summary: I want to begin a new series, not very long, but long enough. Several months ago, I noticed that I was reading quite frequently about churches closing the doors. This bothered me then, but apparently not enough to preach about it. But God has brought it t

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I want to begin a new series, not very long, but long enough. Several months ago, I noticed that I was reading quite frequently about churches closing the doors. This bothered me then, but apparently not enough to preach about it. But God has brought it to my attention again. I kind of feel like Jonah, "I'll go any where but there!" and He has given me other things to preach on. But in the back of my mind the Holy Spirit has been preparing me for these sermons. Let me start by saying, I am not a supporter of the whole Church growth movement. I do not believe that drawing people in at all cost is the right thing to do, but a church that does not grow will eventually die! That is just a fact, hard, unforgiving, but true. There are a lot of thoughts about church growth, many believe that the church should just grow to thousands of members in giant auditoriums, with live bands and dancers and entertainment, sprinkled with the Gospel. Many believe that churches should remain small and intimate. The original churches began in peoples homes, and there are still home churches today. There are books written by Pastors of mega churches on how to grow your church. There are books written by Pastors who say that Satan is running rampant in the mega church and that the Gospel is being lost. I hear all these things, I read or see on television about churches locking the doors because of lack of attendance and financial giving and I try to figure out what is right. We are a small church, so I want to justify and say we got it right. Those big churches are just filling the pews but the sheep are still hungry. But, is that the case, because man, God appears to be blessing them! So, I decided to go out and spend hundreds of dollars on books and cd's that will tell me how to grow the church. I decided to spend money on books that would describe for me the healthy church. Before I spent all that money I realized by God's Holy Spirit that I already possesed the best book ever written about what a healthy church should look like. In fact I had several copies. Do you want to know the title of this book? I highly reccomend it to all of you. It doesn't merely show what a healthy church looks like, but what a healthy christian looks like too. Here it is; The Bible! I want for us to see over the next few weeks what a healthy church looks like, what it takes to be a healthy church and what the results of a healthy church are. It isn't going to be easy or fun, because we are going to have to examine Calvary Baptist Temple against this healthy church. And seeing how the church is not a building, the church is not the steeple, the church is the people, we will have to examine ourselves...

The Book of Acts is a transitional book. It is the beginning of the Christian church. There are a lot of things going on in Acts that are unique and are difficult to comprehend. This is not one of them. Please turn in your Bibles to Acts chapter two. In Acts chapter two we read about the day of Pentecost. We read also about Peter's first sermon and how after hearing it they were pricked in the heart and asked "what must we do to be saved?" Since the believed what Peter had said, he told them to repent and be baptized, and three thousand were added to the church that day. That is not our lesson. I can only pray that as a Pastor I would preach a message from God so powerful that three thousand would be saved! It is in the verses following that we read about the early church, a healthy church... let's read...


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