Summary: Part two of two -- this sermon addresses the issue of what kind of church should we be coming to
DEALING WITH TODAY’S CHURCH
The Kind Of Church We Should Be Coming To ….
INTRODUCTION: This morning, I would like to take a look at the thought of the kind of church we should be coming too. Paul, at the end of the book of acts defines the church in some very sobering words. He says this, Acts 20:28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.”
Paul referred to the church as that institution bought with the very blood of Christ. And for this institution to stand, it will require a watch of our personal lives (one of the reasons we are to be in church), watch over the lives of each other (another reason we are to be in church), and the empowerment of the Spirit of God (in other words – the God ordained choice.
So, as we consider what the church we are coming to should be like, we are actually evaluating ourselves, looking for weak areas so to speak. Now, we will also look at areas we have no control over, but we will also look at some areas we do have control over, and should exercise that control in a godly fashion.
I Areas Outside Our Control
A The Sovereignty of God
Romans 9:21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
1 The analogy is that of God and his sovereignty and a potters right to make out of clay anything he wants
2 Control is beyond the ability of the clay
3 Control is beyond our ability in relation to God
a God can exercise absolute control.
b God does exercise absolute control.
So, when applied to the church ………….
Matthew 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
c Notice the force of God’s statement
1) I – I alone
2) Will – a direction of action
3) Build – responsibility for construction
4) My Church – The church is God’s by God’s own declaration!
B It is important for us to understand that God is going to do what God is going to do.
1 What God does is outside our control
2 What God does is beyond our control
C God can make our church ANYTHING He wants to
1 God can close this church
2 God can keep this church the same
3 God can cause this church to grow
REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING WE DO, GOD ULTIMATELY CONTROLS EVERY FACET OF THE CHURCH
THE DANGER OF SOVEREIGNTY IS THAT WE USE GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY AS AN EXCUSE TO AVOID DOING WHAT WE SHOULD BE DOING TO MAKE OUR CHURCH THE KIND OF CHURCH WE SHOULD BE COMING TO!
II AREAS WITHIN OUR CONTROL
Now before we go any further, I want to dispel a belief. It revolves around the size of a church. God wants people to be saved and come to know him. As people come to know Christ as Savior and Lord, they are to come into churches. Yet, Size is not an indication fo spiritual health. It is a whole lot easier to draw a crowd than to disciple people to maturity in Christ. Let me give you a fore instance, -- if I were to tell you that next Sunday, I was going to preach in boxer shorts, so invite your friends. I am sure that just about anybody you told, “Hey come to church with me next Sunday, our pastor is going to be wearing boxer shorts when he preaches”, I am sure lots of people would come. Hey, we drew a crowd, but for what purpose? Just to see me in boxer shorts! What a site! IN fact, I’d even come to see me in boxer shorts!
Obedience is relevant to God. Outside of His sovereign work here, God is most concerned with our obedience to the principles He has laid down for the church. We certainly know that God is sovereign in all things, yet, we should also be aware that God will certainly not bless a church that is not striving to be a church obedient to Him!
Now on to the areas we can control ……….
A Goal Recognition
1 The Bible declares the primary goal of the church
a The Great commission
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."