Summary: One purpose for the church is to reveal the character of God to men and angels
This has been an interesting election season. We each had to vote for our next leaders, often based on insufficient or conflicting information.
But we try our best to evaluate:
* What is the candidate’s platform?
* What are they promising?
* What is their character?
* What sources do you believe about their character?
* Can you believe what their opponents say?
* What have they done in the past?
* If they have been in office, what is their track record?
* If they have not been in office, should you give them a chance to show what they can do?
For me, the most compelling evidence is what they accomplished in office. Did they keep their promises? Did their principles result in good or evil? Did they demonstrate a righteous character?
But you have to pick a candidate.
The angels also had to pick a side in a political war. They had to choose between God, the ruler from all eternity, and Satan, who had never held office.
Revelation 12:7 And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
The angels on both sides were committed to their choice, but I’m sure some still had a question in their minds, “did I make the right choice?”
To answer that question takes time. It takes a track record.
Adam yielded dominion to Satan, so Satan is now the ruler of this world. This is his time and place to develop a track record, to keep his promises, develop his principles, and demonstrate his character.
The war continues, and we each have to pick a side.
But God is not idle, not willing that any should choose Satan’s side and perish. God is also continuing his track record, keeping His promises, developing His principles, and demonstrating His character. And we are a key part of that.
This morning we will examine God’s purpose for His church.
Purpose #1 Make disciples and teach
The most obvious purpose of the church is to make disciples and teach.
Matthew 28:19,20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.
T6 (Testimonies for the Church, volume 6), p.11 A great work is be accomplished in setting before men the saving truths of the gospel. This is the means ordained by God to stem the tide of moral corruption. This is His means of restoring His moral image in man. It is His remedy for universal disorganization. It is the power that draws men together in unity. To present these truths is the third angel’s message. The Lord designs that the presentation of this message shall be the highest, greatest work carried on in the world at this time.
And yet God’s purpose for the church is deeper than preaching and teaching
Purpose #2 Represent the character of God to the world
Act 1: By the nation of Israel
Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is mine. And you shall be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.
Deuteronomy 4:5-8 Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the Lord my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, “surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” For what great nation is there that has God so near it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?”
* God’s plan was for Israel to be a great nation, a wise and understanding people.
* As they were obedient to the statutes and righteous judgements that God gave them, they would reveal the character of God to the nations around them.
Deuteronomy 7:6 “Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself, above all people that are on the face of the earth.”