Summary: Thank you Pastor jerry Shirley for this outline If I was going to literally set the church on fire I wouldn’t announce it on the sign out front But I’m praying the we will be set ‘on fire for God!’
The town atheist was not a bad man, he just didn’t believe. He was not interested in church. There was only 1 church in the area and it was a cold and dead social club, where no decisions were being made.
**One day the church building caught on fire, and the whole town ran toward it to help extinguish the flames…including the town atheist!
Someone hollered out: “Hey, this is the first time I’ve ever seen you running to church!” He shouted back, “This is the first time I’ve ever seen the church on fire!”
I am asking God for something to happen here at Elim Bible and that something is that our area will not be able to say that they haven’t seen a church on fire. I want EBC be that church!
Most of us have had the sad experience of being in a cold, dead church, with no fire.
Someone stands to sing…and it’s obvious that their heart is not in it. They’re just going thru the motions and just in it for the show. A place where the ushers/greeters/s.s. teacher/nursery workers/even the time to shake hands all just going through the motions.
Then the invitation is given...and no one really expects anything to happen! Have you ever visited a church like that?
Ever been a member of a church like that?
Jesus threatened to remove the candlestick of the church at Ephesus in Rev. 2 if they didn’t repent.
The church that focuses on what they “used to be,” usually “aren’t,” and “never will be!”
I don’t want to hear about what this church used to be…
I want to hear from those who believe in what it CAN be and WILL be again!
You know good or bad, too focusing on the past can ruin the present and destroy the future!
Some would say, what we need is some new converts, that’ll set the church on fire! No, what you need is some fire, and people will be converted!
(“Why don’t we have people saved?” Let me ask you this… Can God entrust us w/ new converts?)
Spurgeon once said: “To put new converts into most churches is like putting live chicks under a dead hen.”
Gen. 22: God told Abraham to take his son, Isaac to the mountains to become a human sacrifice. They arrived at the location, and Isaac still did not realize that HE was going to be the sacrifice.
BUT Isaac knew there had to be 3 things to have a sacrifice: wood, fire, and a lamb
. Isaac makes this observation in v. 7“But Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, "My father!" And he said, "Here I am, my son." Then he said, "Look, the fire and the wood, but where [is] the lamb for a burnt offering?”
4,000 years later, as we look at most churches around us, we can ask the question like this…
“We have the wood, we have the Lamb, but where’s the fire?”
Wood= cross of Calvary…[elaborate]
Lamb= Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God…[elaborate]
But, where is the fire? Are we running out of fuel? It is our responsibility to keep the fire alive
I can’t talk about every denomination so let’s look at Baptists, in general:
According to statistics, it takes 40 Baptists, on average, 1 year, to win 1 person to Christ!
Why does it take so many people to get ONE person to Jesus?
It’s because of a lack of fire both in the pulpit and in the pew!
If we could control the world’s population, so that no one was born, and no one died, and if the Bible based churches kept winning souls at the current rate, it would take 4,000 years to bring the world to Christ!
So, what are the characteristics of a church on fire for God?
We have an example of an on-fire church in Acts 4, so let’s take our points from there:
A church on fire is:
I. Filled with Holy Ghost power
v. 8a The pastor is filled with Power from on High… “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them…”
v. 31 The people are filled with Power from on High… “And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.”
You want to know why most are afraid to witness?
They don’t pray…their foundation ahs yet to be shaken, resulting in a life lacking Power.
We need power to fulfill God’s purpose…BUT we need God’s power, alone… We can accept no substitute.
We cannot depend upon man-made excitement to get the job done / programs, promotions, publicity.
**Repetitive, empty, full of fluff worship choruses will only stir the people into some kind of emotional high.