Summary: Paul was imprisoned in Rome and longed to be with the churches. With great distance between him and the churches, Paul did what he could to minister to the churches.
HOMESICK FOR CHRIST’S CHURCH
Greenmount and O’Leary Churches of Christ
November 20, 2016
Audio link to an mp3 recording of this message: http://chirb.it/sg5042
1.) The definition for homesick is: to be sad because you are away from your family and home;
2.) Today we are going to look a man who was very homesick for his church family.
I) ATTITUDE FOR ACTION.
1.) He struggled for those he knew in the church.
A.) Paul always had great love and concern for the church.
B.) Paul was particularly struggling at this time for the churches.
ba.) As Paul was writing to the church it was sometime around A.D. 60-61 during Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome.
bb.) Even though a prisoner, and imprisoned in Rome, Paul had a certain amount of freedom during those two years he was there.
bba.) Acts 28:30-31
.01) While there Paul boldly preached the kingdom of God, and instructed people about the Lord Jesus Christ.
.02) He was still not able to go in person to visit with the churches of Colossae, or Laodicea, or some of the other congregations he had been involved with.
.03) Paul was really homesick for these churches.
C.) Paul’s only option was to struggle for the churches while imprisoned.
ca.) Paul was ministering to these congregations to the best of his ability, but that only through letter and through his time with God in prayer.
cb.) This was a very difficult time for Paul; He had many friends and loved ones whose face he could see in his mind and in his heart
who were very dear to his heart.
cba.) It was not just for those whom Paul knew in those churches.
2.) He struggled for those he had never met in the church.
A.) These churches had grown and continue to prosper.
B.) So as Paul was writing to the churches there were many people whom he had never met.
ba.) Even thought there were many Christians that Paul had not yet personally met, he knew they were brothers and sisters in Christ.
baa.) Even though many of these folks were strangers to the great Apostle, he had developed a love for these people because like him they were children of God redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ.
bab.) Like himself, these strangers were fellow human beings who had been overcome by sin, but had now experienced salvation in
.01) That in itself was enough for Paul to have a great love for these people.
3.) He struggled that they would be encouraged in heart.
A.) This was not an easy time to be a Christian.
aa.) Paul himself was in prison because of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
ab.) Many of these Christians Paul was writing to were even then experiencing the challenge of living for Christ in the Roman Empire.
ac.) With Nero on the throne as Emperor, it took everything within you to be a child of God.
aca.) At such a terrible time to live as a saint, these Christians needed all the encouragement they could get to live the Christian life.
acb.) Paul struggled to do all that he could do to give encouragement to the body of Christ during such a difficult time.
B.) It doesn’t come out in this letter, but another reason this church may have been in great need of encouragement was an earthquake.
ba.) We do not know if the earthquake was before or after Paul had written this letter but the cities of Colossae and Laodicea were severely damaged by a bad earthquake in A.D. 60.
bb.) This was right around the same period of time when Paul was writing this letter to the church.
4.) He struggled that they would be united in heart and love. (Ever have a fight with your brother or sister?).
A.) One of the problems that has always been present in the body of Christ is the tendency for division and strife to happen in the church.
aa.) Jesus prayed against this, that the church would be united as one.
aaa.) John 17:20-23
ab.) Nearly thirty years after Jesus had prayed that prayer, Paul himself was struggling with the same thing in prayer to encourage the church.
B.) Perhaps that should not be a surprise because we all have sin, and that tends to make its way into all human relationships including the church.
II) ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER.
1.) Paul’s absence from them gave them fear that someone would deceive them. (You don’t like it when someone lies to you do you?)
• Colossians 2:4,8
A.) As a spiritual shepherd, and an Apostle of Christ, Paul wanted the best for this church in their spiritual journey.