Summary: Used as a Homecoming message, this sermon examines the 3 objectives of the church: Doctrine, Fellowship, and Prayer.

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“Fellowship In The Church”

INTRODUCTION: TODAY, we’re going to take a POSITIVE look at the church. Too often, the church gets a “bad rap”. Some people might have a NEGATIVE view of the church. BUT … I don’t see it that way.

Have you ever NOT WANTED to come to church? STORY: One Saturday night, Johnny says to his mother, “I’m not going to church anymore!” His mother asks him “Why?” Johnny says, “I don’t enjoy it anymore … people are mean to me … there are too many hypocrites. I’m just not going to church anymore!” Johnny’s mother tells him, “Now, Johnny, you HAVE to go to church!” Johnny says, “Give me 3 good reasons why!” Johnny’s Mom says, “Number 1, it will do you lots of good. Number 2, God says in the Bible that you should go to church. Number 3, because you’re the Pastor!”

There are lots of good reasons why we should come to church … AMEN? This morning, we’re going to look at 3 OBJECTIVES of the church. TURN with me to Acts 2:37-42.

2:39 – “afar off” – That was me 43 years ago … June 23, 1961. That’s when God called me into His family. That was my Spiritual Birthday. It was on that day that I became a part of the body of Christ … the family of God … a child of God … a member of His Church.

2:42 gives us 3 OBJECTIVES of God’s Church … this church … all churches. What are they? They can be summarized into: Doctrine, Fellowship, and Prayer.

1.- DOCTRINE – This is more than just good preaching. Someone once said that a good sermon is one that has a good beginning and a good ending … AND … the two should be put together as close as possible! AMEN?

What Luke has in mind here is the meat of the Word … where the rubber meets the road. TO SOME, “doctrine” might mean a dull, dry, boring sermon … a real “yawner” … a bell ringer. BUT … it doesn’t have to be. “doctrine” isn’t something reserved for the Bible scholar … the Seminary graduate … those with a high I.Q. We should ALL be students of God’s Word.

If all the Bible you get is on Sunday Morning in Church, you are in bad shape! Do you know what God says to you? “Shame on you!” 2 Tim. 2:15 – “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” Listening to the sermon in Church should be icing on the cake … not your source of Bible study.

God has a message for you in every sermon you hear. The preacher may not be a Billy Graham … or a Charles Stanley … or a Charles Haddon Spurgeon. BUT … that’s OK. If he preaches the Word of God … if he preached DOCTRINE … God has something to say to you. People are never disappointed when I preach … Know why? BECAUSE … they don’t expect much!

Don’t ever GO INTO a preaching service without ASKING the Holy Spirit for a message. Don’t ever SIT in a preaching service without LOOKING for a message from God. Don’t ever LEAVE a preaching service without GETTING a message from God. God has put YOU/PREACHER/WORD together for a purpose … for you to get a message from God.

At the door, at the end of a service … what does a preacher love to hear more than anything else? “I really enjoyed the message!”? “Good sermon!? NO! STORY: A church had just called a new Pastor. After his first sermon, a dear older lady greeted him at the door and said, “That was a mighty warm sermon, preacher.” He had never had this comment about one of his sermons before, but he let it pass. The next Sunday, this dear saint said the same thing at the door, “That was a mighty warm sermon, preacher.” This continued for several Sundays, until finally he just had to ask. “What do mean, every Sunday, when you say it was a warm sermon?” The lady replied, “Not so hot, preacher, not so hot!”

SO … what does a preacher like to hear at the door after every sermon? “That sermon was just for me … I needed that … God spoke to my heart today.”

There’s a DIFFERENCE between “hearing a sermon” … AND … “getting a message”. Preachers preach a SERMON because they have to … 3 times a week … they crank out 150/year. Preachers preach a MESSAGE because God burdens their heart with a MESSAGE … because … God has something to say to His people. Don’t come to church to hear a SERMON. Come to church to get a MESSAGE from God!

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