Summary: This is the first of 14 sermons on building God’s church God’s way. I will use Bob Russell’s book, "When God Builds A Church" for inspiration
• Talk about revival. It is refreshing to see a young man with the convictions Stan has, he will be successful in God’s kingdom no matter where he is.
• I believe the Auburn Christian Church is at a crossroads. I believe this church is on the verge of making an impact on this community for Jesus like never before.
• I believe that God is going to bless this church like never before. I am so excited about the possibilities.
• This church does not belong to me; it does not belong to anyone else sitting here today. We are all a port of it, but this church belongs to Jesus. We have an obligation as stewards of this church to do everything we can to make sure it is the type of Church God wants it to be. We have an obligation to do our part to make sure this church has the impact on this community is supposed to have. I believe this church can easily be 2 to 5 times the size it is today. Why is that important? Because it means we are impacting more people!
• During revival Stan asked us what a church was supposed to look like.
• Throughout the rest of the year I want to try to answer that question by building on the series that Stan started with us during revival. I want to take us through ten principles for growing a dynamic church.
• The series is entitled, “When God Builds a Church.” The inspiration for this series came to me from Bob Russell’s book (which is one of the best I have read in a while), “When God Builds A Church”. Bob is the minister of South East Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. Bob started at the church in 1966 when the church was four years old and had an attendance of 125. Today the church runs over 13,500.
• I hope after this series we will all understand what the church should look like and what it is called to do and that we will all do our part to make it happen!
• If we are going to glorify God with this church, we need to make sure it is built the way He wants it to be built. When God builds a church, one of the principles it will be built upon is truth.
• Today, I want us to start this series with the first of two messages on truth.
• If we are going to build the church on the principle of truth, we first need to unapologetically believe the truth the world does not believe.
I. BELIEVE THE TRUTH. THE WORLD DOES NOT
• In a 2002 study conducted by Barna research group, by a 3-to-1 margin (64% vs. 22%) adults said truth is always relative to the person and their situation. (meaning there are no absolute truths, that truth relative to ones situation. EXAMPLE- STEALING IS NOT ALWAYS WRONG, IT DEPENDS ON THE SITUATION AND THE NEED AT THE TIME) The perspective was even more lopsided among teenagers, 83% of whom said moral truth depends on the circumstances, and only 6% of whom said moral truth is absolute. (2002) www.barna.org
• The gap between teen and adult views was not surprising, however, when the adult views are considered by generation. While six out of ten people 36 and older embraced moral relativism, 75% of the adults 18 to 35 did so. Thus, it appears that relativism is gaining ground, largely because relativism appears to have taken root with the generation that preceded today’s teens. www.barna.org
• Not surprisingly, born again Christians were more likely than non-born again individuals to accept moral absolutes. Among adults, 32% of those who were born again said they believe in moral absolutes, compared to just half as many (15%) among the non-born again contingent. 32% is still not good for those who say they believe in God’s word. www.barna.org
• There is a real truth vacuum in the world today. Truth is one of the pillars on which a society is built upon. When there are no absolute truths, we are reduced to everyone’s opinion as to what is right and wrong.
• We are hit in so many directions with opinions as to what truth is and if truth really exists. This problem is not something new.
• In John 18:36-37 we have an exchange between Jesus and Pilate. Therefore Pilate said to Him, "So You are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice." Pilate said to Him, "What is truth?" And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, "I find no guilt in Him.