Summary: It is necessary for the church to be involved in community participation and action in light of Christ’s imminent return. I believe that there are three reasons why we need to establish and support biblical community within the church in these Last Days –
CHURCH AND COMMUNITY MEMBERSHIP AND ACTION IN LIGHT OF CHRIST’S RETURN
Introduction: Hebrews 10:25 encouraged the Hebrew Christians to find strength in participation and involvement in their local church in light of the pending destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. They were called to establish community which would help them to effectively carry out the work Christ gave them to do while maintaining their walk with the Lord. This passage also speaks to us of the necessity for community participation or involvement and action in light of Christ’s imminent return. I believe that there are three reasons why we need to establish and support biblical community within the church in these Last Days – Satan, Service, and Salvation.
I. Satan - The Hour being late, temptations are great as Satan knows his time is running out.
A. Revelation 12:12 (NKJV) Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.”
B. While Revelation 12 has reference to the devil’s onslaught during the Tribulation, the principle applies true today. The devil is a great theologian and knows the Word of God. As he sees the lateness of the hour he realizes that he is on borrowed time. Consider a football team which is down and losing in the last minutes of the big game. The team will pull out all stops and throw everything it has in its arsenal in a last ditch effort to win. Likewise Satan as the hour draws nearer to his inevitable doom will pull out all stops to defeat the work of Christ.
C. 2 Timothy 3:1 - 5 (NKJV) But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!
D. Mark 14:38 (NKJV) Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
E. Matthew 24:12 (NKJV) And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.
F. By maintaining a strong relationship with God, we can overcome temptation. But we need the strength and encouragement that comes from having fellowship with other believers.
G. Ecclesiastes 4:9 - 10 (NKJV) Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.
H. Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NKJV) Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (NLT) A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.