Summary: Sure we want to win people to Christ, but are we ready to recieve them? Five marks of a healthy church.
Are We Ready To GO?
A. I couldn’t help but think about this message all day yesterday.
1. Car Care Clinic.
a. Tire pressures were checked,
b. Anti-freeze levels checked.
c. Oil levels checked.
d. Transmission fluid levels checked.
e. Windshield washer levels checked.
f. Hoses inspected.
g. Air filters inspected.
h. Belts inspected.
i. Tread wear and tread depth inspected.
j. Windshield wiper blades inspected for wear.
2. All of this was done for one reason…
a. So that when the time came to perform…no matter what the weather, the owners could expect their vehicles to perform as expected.
b. When we run out and jump into our vehicles in the middle of winter…
c. We expect them to start…
d. We expect the heater to work…
e. We expect them to take us safely to our destination and back agin.
f. But we can only expect them to perform in such a manner if we have taken care of them.
g. There is an old axiom in management that says “Inspect what you Expect”.
h. In other words, if we expect performance, we need to inspect the machinery required to perform.
3. It’s like if you decided to go to California tomorrow, what’s the first thing you would do?
a. Ask directions?
b. Pack too many clothes.
c. Map quest the address?
d. Sooner or later, your attention would turn to the vehicle you were going to take.
e. You would probably check everything we did on the vehicles we looked at yesterday.
f. Why??? Because you want to make sure you get there safely…with no trouble.
g. Because it make’s GOOD SENSE!
4. That’s what we are going to do this morning…something that makes good sense…something that’s the right thing to do.
a. A couple of moths ago we as a church decided to go somewhere.
b. We decided to go outside of our walls into the community of Holland and win people to the Lord.
c. And we have done some of the obvious things we nneded to do.
d. We have started some new Sunday School Classes.
e. We have burdened our hearts for our neighbors.
f. We have started working on an outreach program…
g. We are working on the Bus Ministry…
h. Now we need to make sure we are ready to go!
i. Is our church ready to grow?
j. God’s Word provides us with the self-test that we need to ensure that we are ready.
5. If we are going to make an effort to reach others, we first need to make sure we are ready to receive them.
a. In the 15th chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul gives us five marks of a spiritually healthy church.
b. As we look into these attributes this morning, let’s ask ourselves two questions on each and every point…
c. Number one…Is my church like that?
d. Number two…what can I do to get it that way?
(Rom 15:1 KJV) We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. 5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: 6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.
A. Mark #1. We then that are strong out to bear the infirmities of the weak…
1. In a strong church…the strong bear the weaknesses of the weak…
a. Who are the weak???
b. Chapter 14 tells us they are those who..
> judge, grumble, complain, murmur, and criticize…
> those who still trust in a legalistic behavior…
> those who know better yet still live a life displeasing to God…
> those who are living in direct disobedience to God’s word.
c. There are a word that is interesting in this passage.
2. The word is “ought” or opheilo…meaning this is our obligation or duty!!
a. This does not mean we are to merely put up with them…
b. It means we are to “pick them up” and carry them lovingly as a parent does a child!!!
c. But note this…the more a child grows, the less the parent should have to carry them!!
d. In other words we are to be strong for them while God’s Holy Spirit deals with the issues in their lives.