Summary: In this introduction to the series "Welcome Home" Pastor Terry encourages the Church to stand ready to receive "all who will come in" to the Body of Christ.

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When the Father ordered things ready for a welcome home party, one thing was left out…. Preparing emotionally.

• Not told how the servants responded

• No question of the brother’s response.

• He began to pout

• He wouldn’t come into the house

• Satan wants to get us away from the rest of the flock.

• Thank God he listened to the plea of the Father!

• The older son had no regard of his attitude on the celebration.

• You and I must consider our attitude toward those who come to our celebration.

• How we respond to the family

• How we respond to our guests

There is a huge difference from saying

“I’m glad you’re here” and thinking “My, you need to be here”

“How can I serve you” and acting like “we need to fix you”

Text 2: Ezekiel 36:8-9

8 "But you, O mountains of Israel, you shall shoot forth your branches and yield your fruit to My people Israel, for they are about to come. 9 For indeed I am for you, and I will turn to you, and you shall be tilled and sown.

When God begins fulfillment of Ezekiel’s Prophecy what will your response to the emergence be?

The Father’s response is that we are to “Feed” them.

(not fee on them)

1. What do we feed them? The fruit of the Spirit.

Gal. 5:22-23

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.

2. How many are coming for dinner? A multitude

Ezekiel 36:10-11

10 I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. 11 I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bear young; I will make you inhabited as in former times, and do better for you than at your beginnings. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.

Before the invitations went out, the house had to be ready.

What are the preparations that need to be made before we start seeing great numbers come into the house?

1. We must prepare ourselves

Our motivation for the Father

Our motivation for those who come

• Do we see them as guests are prospective family?

• Believers who need a family to serve with

• Lost who will perish eternally without Christ

2. We must get the house ready

• I know this goes with the last point, but if people who walk through these doors have a life changing encounter with Jesus, they will put up with a few deficiencies in facility and program.

• We’ll never offer every service known to the Christian community, but what we do offer; we need to offer with excellence.

• Preparation requires your commitment.

o Commitment to your witness

o Commitment to your service

• Preparation requires your participation

Ephesians 4:16

[Christ] from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

• Preparation and anticipation go hand in hand

o You must have faith that your labor is not for vain.

Mark 11:24

Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

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