Summary: This is the first in a short, end of the year series on being a Biblical Church. We look at five areas that all churches need to be faithful in, so that they might be in accordance with biblical standards Christ sets for His Church.
Biblical Church 2019 (Biblical Christians)
Well, this morning we’re going to hit the pause button on our lessons from John’s Gospel for a little while. There’s a few things on my heart that I want to share with you all, plus we’ll be doing a Thanksgiving focused sermon in November, and our Advent Sermons throughout the month of December. So I felt like having gone through John, up to chapter 10, it was a good place to stop and look at some other things that I believe that God has put on my heart.
So what I want us to do this morning, is look at the Church… not necessarily the universal Church, but First Baptist Sharon. Every single one of us, wants this to be a Biblical Church.
Now there’s a book out there called 9 Marks of a Healthy Church, and it’s a good book, a very short, easy read, and it’s full of good insight and Scriptural principles. But it’s a book… and I want to share with you out of THE BOOK… Directly from God’s Word. So let’s go ahead and open our Bibles to Luke 8:4-15. And as you’re turning there. I’m going to throw out a challenge to you all. I want to challenge you – every one of you… If you’re here this morning. I challenge you to stay with me through this study. What I’m saying is – if you can. Don’t miss a Sunday during the month of November. Pay attention to what’s being said, and engage yourself in listening and understanding.
Ok… Let’s go to Luke 8 (READ TEXT).
So… what I want to do over the next few Sundays is talk to you about us being a Biblical church. You see; when we look at Scripture and break it down, there’s a lot of things we could point at and say, “that’s what it means to be a church.” And, “that’s what it means to be a follower of Christ.” But ultimately, when we get to the root of things, we find five things basically… and those five things branch out in a lot of ways, and filter off into every aspect of the Church, but really it’s five things that come from the root that create this system of branches. And I’ll just go ahead and say them, so you know where we’re going in this…
A Biblical church is: #1. A Church made up of Biblical Christians… so we’re talking about true conversion. You can’t have Biblical Christians without Biblical Conversion. #2. A Biblical Church is a church that is learning the Bible. #3. A Biblical Church is a church that is sharing the Bible. #4. A Biblical Church is a church that is worshiping as the Bible says we should. And #5. A Biblical Church is a church that is growing in a Biblical way.
So what we’re saying is that a Biblical Church is one that is made up of Christians that are learning, sharing, worshiping, and growing. And today we’re going to focus on the first one.
A Biblical Church, is made up of Biblical Christians.
In one of his sermons, Mark Dever quotes Langston Hughes’s story from his youth… let me just read that to you really quick…
“I was saved from sin when I was going on 13, but not really saved. It happened like this. There was a big revival at my auntie Reed’s church. Every night,, for weeks there had been much preaching and singing, praying, and shouting. Finally; all the young people had gone to the altar and were saved, but one boy and me. He was named Wesley. Wesley and I were surrounded by sisters and deacons who were praying. It was very hot in the church and it was getting late now. Finally, Wesley said to me in a whisper, ‘I’m tired of sitting here, let’s get up and be saved!’ So, he got up and was saved. Then I was left all alone on the mourners bench. My aunt came and knelt at my knees and cried while prayer and songs swirled all around me in the little church. The whole congregation prayed for me alone, a mighty wail of moans. God had not struck Wesley dead for taking His Name in vain, or for lying, so I decided that, maybe to save further trouble, I’d better lie too – to say that Jesus had come and get up and be saved. So; I got up. Suddenly the whole room broke into a sea of shouting as they saw me rise. I couldn’t bear to tell my aunt that I had lied, that I had deceived everybody in the church, that I hadn’t seen Jesus and then, now, I didn’t believe there was a Jesus.’”
By all accounts, Langston Hughes was an atheist until the day he died.
But by golly he went forward and made a profession once.
A.W. Tozer, a pastor and theologian from ages past once said, “It is my opinion that tens of thousands, if not millions, have been brought into some kind of religious experience, and yet have not been saved.” And of course Jesus Himself said, in Matthew 7:21, that many will come to Him on the last day and say, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your Name, and cast out demons and do many wonderful works in your Name?” And He’ll say, “Depart from Me, you workers of iniquity, I never knew you!”