Sermons

Summary: Holy Spirit do an Extreme Makeover in each of us removing the stuff that keeps Jesus from shining clearly through us!

Cornerstone Church April 15, 2007

EXTREME MAKEOVER: CHURCH EDITION

Acts 2:42-47

“One day a man was on his way to spend the day with a good friend who lived on a farm.

When the man reached the farm, he turned onto the long, winding road that led to the farmhouse. On the way, he had to pass by the barn. But as he drove by the barn, he stopped and got out because he saw something that both amazed and stupefied him.

Drawn on the side of the barn were twenty targets. Each target had a hole right through the middle of it’s bull’s-eye. There were no other holes anywhere on the barn. Whoever had been using the barn for target practice was definitely a crack shot.

The visitor couldn’t believe it. He got back in his car, drove up to his friend’s farmhouse, and said, ‘John, before we do anything else, I’ve just got to ask you. Who in the world did the shooting on the side of your barn?’

John said, ‘Oh, that was me.’

His friend replied, ‘I can’t believe anybody can shoot that well! We’re talking about twenty targets with twenty dead-center bull’s-eye shots. You mean to tell me you did that?’

John said, ‘Made every shot.’

‘Where in the world did you learn to shoot like that?’ John’s friend asked.

‘It was easy. I shot first, then I drew a target around the bullet hole.’”

THE KINGDOM AGENDA: WHAT A WAY TO LIVE – Tony Evans, pgs. xv-xvi

This effectively illustrates where much of the church is at in America.

We have exhausted a great amount of money, time and effort with little results. The thought overwhelms us to the point that we try to make what we are doing look like bull’s-eyes!

Tony Evans inquired:

“How can we have all of these good churches on almost every corner.

All of these preachers

All of these programs

All of these boards

And still have the mess that we have throughout the land?”

DO YOU EVER ASK THOSE TYPE OF QUESTIONS?

I know I like “Far Side” comics and “The Office” but I do not think I’m that unusual!

The mighty Church of God which is:

Armed with the Word of God

Empowered with the Holy Spirit of God

Given the Authority of God

Frequently looks like a retreating bewildered army instead of an advancing unit that will not give up, shut up, or stop until the Lord Jesus Christ either calls them home or returns.

WHAT HAS BROUGHT ALL OF THIS TO PASS?

Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship, now over 30 years old, wrote in one of his books (The Upside Down Church) about the risky philosophies that the American Church has bought into to achieve growth.

These risky philosophies have weakened the church.

This reminds me of the contrast seen between the wise man and the foolish man who built their homes in Matthew 7:24-27. The wise man took the time to build his house upon a solid rock. The foolish man took the quicker route and built his home on the sand. When the trials and storms came the one that had been built with the right principles stood firm.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE RISKY PRINCIPLES:

Risky Rule #1 “If it brings people in; it pleases God.”

Risky Rule #2 “The less confrontational or overt the gospel message, the better.”

Risky Rule #3 “Feed the church what it seems hungry for.”

Risky Rule #4 “Target the church to a particular demographic group.”

How were twelve common and timid men, who had spent time with the Lord Jesus Christ, able to achieve what all of the Bible believing churches in Yuba City / Marysville Area do not seem to be able to accomplish?

Acts 17:6 NIV But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some other brothers before the city officials, shouting: “These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come here,

THE EARLY CHRISTIANS TURNED THE WORLD UPSIDE DOWN!

No computers

No mass media (radio, TV, printing, internet)

No sound systems

No fancy buildings

No printing presses

No programs

No bookstores, schools or colleges

Look at their resume! They were not most people’s top choices!

“Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you’re considering for management positions in your new organization. All of them have taken our battery of tests, the results of which we’ve run through sophisticated computer analyses. We’ve also arranged personal interviews for each candidate with our psychologist and vocational-aptitude consultant.

It is our staff’s unanimous opinion that most of the nominees are lacking in qualifications for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. We recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience and managerial ability and proven capability.

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