Summary: This is the last sermon in my series on Glorifying God. In this sermon I explore how we glorify God by evangelism. There are five elements to help us glorify God by telling others about him. These five elements are availability, worship, submission, obedi
In his book Early Christians of the Twenty-First Century Chad Wallace makes a powerful statement:
"Millions of Christians live in a sentimental haze of vague piety, with soft organ music trembling in the lovely light from stain-glass windows. Their religion is a pleasant thing of emotional quiver divorced from the intellect, divorced from the will, and demanding little except lip service to a few harmless platitudes. I suspect that Satan has called off his attempt to convert people to agnosticism. After all, if a man travels far away enough from Christianity he is always in danger of seeing it in perspective and deciding that it is true. It is much safer from Satan’s point of view to vaccinate a man with a mild case of Christianity so as to protect him from the real disease."
Are you and I vaccinated with a mild case of Christianity or do we have the real disease? Are you and I excited or embalmed by the truth?
Our contemporary church is suffering from an identity crisis. It is like the severe amnesia victim crying, “Who am I?”
Professor Howard Hendricks says:
"If you read the New Testament about the character of the New Testament church, one is compelled to conclude that the relationship between the New Testament church and the contemporary church is one of contrast rather than one of comparison."
But why? Why the tremendous difference between the church of the 1st century and the church of the 21st century?
I’ll tell you why. The 1st century church never lost sight of its mission. They never forgot Jesus’ last speech to them. They knew why they were still on earth and not with Jesus in heaven.
Do we know why we are still here on earth and not in heaven with Jesus?
Matthew closes his Gospel with Jesus’ final message to his disciples. The final words of any person are often very important words. And so I want to read Jesus’ final words to his disciples. Let us read Matthew 28:16-20:
"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ’All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’" (Matthew 28:16-20).
Our ultimate goal in life is to glorify God.
The first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism asks, “What is the chief end [or goal] of man?” The answer given is, “Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
The reason we exist is to bring glory to God. God created us and all things for his own glory.
The mission of our church is “to bring people to Jesus Christ and membership in his church family, develop them to Christlike maturity, equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in the world, in order to magnify God.”
Our mission as a church is to glorify God in each of five key areas: membership, maturity, ministry, mission, and magnification.
Interestingly, each of these five key areas corresponds to how we glorify God in our personal lives too.
First, we bring glory to God by worshiping him. This key area corresponds to magnification.
Second, we bring glory to God by loving other believers. This key area corresponds to membership, which brings us into fellowship with one another.
Third, we bring glory to God by becoming like Christ. This key area corresponds to maturity.
Fourth, we bring glory to God by serving others with our gifts. This key area corresponds to ministry.
And fifth, we bring glory to God by telling others about him. This key area corresponds to mission.
Recent studies have shown how far off target the church has become.
It is reported that three out of ten Christians agree that nothing in life is more important than having fun and being happy.
More than half the Christian public believes that they never have enough money to buy what they need, much less what they want.
One out of four believers thinks that the more you have the more successful you are.
Perhaps the most stunning fact to come out of this study shows that the proportion of Christians who hold these values is equivalent to the number of non-Christians who affirm these very same values!
Frankly, I was shocked when I read that report. What does being a Christian mean, I ask you?
Some time ago I came across an interesting definition of a fanatic: “A fanatic is a man who redoubles his efforts after he has lost sight of the goal.”