Summary: Summer takes it toll on church attendance. The truth is that we still need one another even when the world is calling you to a season of recreation.
June 6, 2010
Text: Hebrews 10:19-25
Title: Beating the Summertime Church Blahs! – A Sermon for Your Pastor
Summer is officially here - not according to the calendar but according to the annual exodus from church to the Lake, vacation, pool, golf course etc… When I first began pastoring it was something that really troubled me. You see, I can only speak from my experience, but I’m pretty sure that the Holy Spirit desires to move just as much in the summer as any other time of the calendar year. After years of experiencing the same summertime conditions, it doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. And since it has become an annual ritual I thought that this morning we might just have a good time with it and see if we can get a laugh.
Here are my top ten reasons to skip church in the summer.
10. I know I need to be baptized so I’ll practice at the pool until I get good at it.
9. There isn’t enough room in the parking lot for our bass boat.
8. I prayed that I would catch fish today. That oughta count for something.
7. If I paid a tithe there wouldn’t be enough money for gas for the boat.
6. Hey, I’m sending the kids to VBS.
5. If God had wanted us to be in church during the summer He would have given us pork steaks for communion.
4. Saturday nights in summer are party nights and I need my beauty rest on Sunday.
3. What the preacher says on Sunday makes me feel bad about what I did on Saturday.
2. My kids get all the moral values they need from cable TV.
And the number one reason for skipping church in summer…
You mean they have church in the summer?
I’m going to preach this sermon this morning for myself and you can listen in if you want.
I am going to show you how you can persevere even through the summer months.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. PERSEVERE BY DRAWING NEAR TO GOD. 19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God… The writer of the book of Hebrews has spent much of the first nine chapters comparing the work of Christ and the new covenant with the old covenant and its commandments, and explaining why the new is so much better than the old. One of the reasons is that we don’t have to have someone else enter into God’s presence for us (the high priest) but now a new and living way has been opened for us through the sacrifice of Jesus. Did you ever stop to think what God intended with the old covenant? If you look at what it had become for the Jews on the surface it seems as though it is a very impersonal form of religion. There is a God who created and set forth laws, which His people should abide by. And that’s it. But I want you to look at a comparison made by the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 3. 7Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, fading though it was, 8will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? 9If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts! 12Therefore, since we have such a hope, we are very bold. 13We are not like Moses, who would put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from gazing at it while the radiance was fading away. 14But their minds were made dull, for to this day the same veil remains when the old covenant is read. It has not been removed, because only in Christ is it taken away. 15Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. 16But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. Go back to Hebrews 10. Look at the ways we are to draw near to God. 1) sincere heart in full assurance of faith… The word “sincere” in the Greek means to be true as in not concealing anything. “Heart” refers to the innermost part of a man or his spirit. If your heart is pure before the Lord you can come to Him in full assurance of faith… 2) having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water … This is not a reference to water baptism since it is just an outward sign of an inner change. It refers to the inner change itself. If you belong to Christ you can draw near to God.