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!’
Last week we started looking at setting the church on fire. We saw that the first characteristic of a church on fire is “Being Spirit Filled” Today I want to look at the last two characteristics.
II. We are all Equal in position
v. 24 all in one accord
v. 32 all of one heart and one soul
What’s happening in the church of Acts?
Everyone is pulling in same direction. They are bonded or woven together in a common goal.
There was no preferential treatment for any social status, or church position they held.
The first thing we notice, when we come to Calvary, is that the ground is level for everyone.
No one is looking around, trying to see what others ARE or ARE NOT doing because they are too busy looking at Christ.
The church is on fire for God, WHEN we have a common goal, when we’re looking for God to be glorified and when we all joined in equality and unity.
I want to show you three dangers members can fall into:
1. Magnifying our importance This happens when we feel so necessary that we deserve special treatment / privilege / consideration / recognition…and when “my opinion is the only one that matters!”
People leave churches every week, believing the church will go under once they were gone.
I’m sure that people have left this church, over the last few years thinking the same thing. BUT
When God decides to build a church, even the gates of Hell cannot stand in the way!
This problem of magnifying your own importance can happen to anyone, any church member…but it usually develops in the heart of a leader! Pride has taken down many great preachers.
2. Minimizing our importance
This is an attitude of unfaithfulness which says, it doesn’t matter if I’m there or not / in choir or not / in nursery or not / tithe or not / attend business meeting or not…
Let me tell you…the greatest ability is dependability.
Poem of faithfulness:
“A Sunday School teacher, I don’t know his name
A wonderful preacher, who never found fame
So faithful, so earnest, when I was a boy
He stuck to his task…though I tried to annoy
He never was missing in cold or in heat
A smile his face lighted the moment we’d meet
He taught by example as well as by word
This splendid old teacher who honored his Lord
He helped my young life more than ever he knew
Later years I remembered, and tried to be true
I suppose he is gone now to join heaven’s ranks
May it be my good fortune some day to say thanks”
Don’t ever minimize your importance to this body of Christ. There is something for all of us to do.
And you know what they say… “little is much when God is in it!” so Just be faithful!
3. Misplacing our importance
This is trying to be something God never intended you to be. This person wants to sing a special even if God hasn’t given them that ability. Or one who wants to teach or lead, even though God has not gifted them in those areas.
How do I know if I have the ability to sing or the gift of teaching?
Simple: other people will have the gift of listening to you!
If you are present, raise your hand… If you are in this place, or you can hear my voice, and Jesus is in your heart and if you’re still breathing you have at least 1Spiritual gift to use for God.
A church that’s on fire for God is not only filled w/ power, and equal in position
A church on fire is always, without exception…
III. Evangelistic in priority
Some of you are on board with this one and it’s very evident, as you bring people to church, you witness on the job, etc.
The very best outreach a church can have, is one that is lived by it’s people as they go about their daily lives.
An on-fire church is all about…evangelism!
Vance Havner: “Evangelism is to Christianity what veins are to our bodies.
You can cut a true Christian anywhere and they will bleed evangelism”
One church slogan…“We major on evangelism”
Now that’s like a doctor saying he majors on healing…that’s our business!!
R.G. Lee, “God never intended for the church to be a refrigerator in which to preserve perishable piety…He intended it to be an incubator in which to hatch our converts.”
EBC is to be a hospital for sinners, not a rest home for saints.
We are to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium!
That’s why He left us here! And when we forget that, we lose our fire!