Summary: There is an inherent need for church attendance for those who are born again that is often ignored.
November 9, 2003
Text: Hebrews 10:19-25
Title: I Am Not the Same
How many of you can clearly remember when you first gave your life to Christ? If I asked you what you felt at that moment, there would probably be as many responses as there are people here this morning. For me personally, it was an end to the struggle to earn my salvation. Peace flooded my soul as I came to the understanding that I have been saved from wrath. One other thing that happened, and it holds fast even to this day, I could not wait to get to church. I just knew God was going to show up in some glorious way and I didn’t want to miss it.
Fred Craddock, in an address to ministers, caught the practical implications of consecration. "To give my life for Christ appears glorious," he said. "To pour myself out for others . . . to pay the ultimate price of martyrdom -- I’ll do it. I’m ready, Lord, to go out in a blaze of glory. "We think giving our all to the Lord is like taking $l,000 bill and laying it on the table-- ’Here’s my life, Lord. I’m giving it all.’ But the reality for most of us is that he sends us to the bank and has us cash in the $l,000 for quarters. We go through life putting out 25 cents here and 50 cents there. Listen to the neighbor kid’s troubles instead of saying, ’Get lost.’ Go to a committee meeting. Give a cup of water to a shaky old man in a nursing home. Usually giving our life to Christ isn’t glorious. It’s done in all those little acts of love, 25 cents at a time. It would be easy to go out in a flash of glory; it’s harder to live the Christian life little by little over the long haul." Darryl Bell.
“If You Want to Kill the Church”
Never go to your church or meetings held there,
If you do go, be late, it’s no one’s affair.
If the weather is bad, either too hot or snowing,
Just stay home and rest, for there’ll be others going.
But should you attend, be sure and remember
To find fault with the work, each official and member.
Be sure to hold back on your offerings and tithes,
The bills will be paid by the rest of the guys.
And never take office if offered the post,
But eagerly criticize work of the host.
If not on a committee you’re placed, be sore!
If you find that you are, don’t attend any more.
When asked your opinion on this thing or that,
Have nothing to say, just turn ’em down flat.
Then after the meeting, shine out like the sun
By telling the folks how it should have been done.
Don’t do any more than you possibly can,
Leave the work for some other woman or man.
And when you see faithful ones work themselves sick,
Then stand up and holler, "It’s run by a clique!"
The writer of Hebrews tells us that if we are born again, then there is something different about us. And if we are different, we need to act like we are different. This message today is most likely for those who aren’t here. But I hope it strikes a chord in your hearts today.
I give this message today in the spirit of a prophet, with the heart of a pastor, and the love of Jesus Christ.
I pray that today you receive it the way it is intended and that you learn from it. Because of the work that Jesus Christ did for you, you are not the same.
I. A New Way. (19-21)
A. Going where we couldn’t go before. The therefore in verse 19 prefaces this passage with what has been previously said. Verses 11-18 tells us that the death of Christ perfects those who are sanctified. Therefore, we can have boldness to go where only the high priest could go before. When the high priest entered the Holy of Holies he did so with fear and trembling, not know if his own sins were covered or if he might end up like Aaron’s sons, who offered profane fire in the tabernacle. But because we have been made righteous in God’s eyes, by the blood of the sinless Lamb, we don’t have to worry anymore. Ephesians 2:18 says that, “through Him we…have access … to the Father”. It is not by our works. It is not because of our righteousness. But it is because of God’s grace and His desire for us to be in fellowship with Him. If Jesus Christ made a way for us to enter into the Holy of Holies, then what do you expect that He would desire us to do? Before Christ’s atoning work we could not enter in. Now we can go boldly.