Summary: Living off accomplishments of the past will cause spiritual death.
Let’s Be Powerful
Matt 16:15-19… Then he asked them, "Who do you say I am?"
16 Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God."
17 Jesus replied, "You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. 18 Now I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.
19 And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you lock on earth will be locked in heaven, and whatever you open on earth will be opened in heaven.". NLT
A church was having a workday of spring-cleaning.
Several women showed up with vacuum cleaners to clean the sanctuary. After
an hour of hard work one woman noticed that her machine was not working. She
flicked the switch and nothing happened.
She turned to notice that the whole time she had been working so hard her
vacuum cleaner was not plugged in but she hadn’t noticed because all the
noise of the other machines!
The pastor had a very good sermon illustration that Sunday!
Even though there is a lot of noise around and hard work, it does not mean a
thing if YOU are not plugged in to the power source!
The Threat of Decline:
Church in Ephesus… Rev 2:2-4 …I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked men, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles but are not, and have found them false. You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary. Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love.
Church of Sardis…Rev 3:1-3…Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.
Living off accomplishments of the past will cause spiritual death.
Church Laodicea…Rev 3:15-16…I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!
Big banks account with lots of money but were spiritually bankrupt with out the Holy Spirit moving in their midst
Under the directions of spirit filled men, all of these churches had established their roots in Pentecost. They had experienced the power of the Holy Spirit in their church. After a short time they lost the power edge of the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
We have the same threat presented to us as we continue to function as a church. Each life that is part of Open Door Church must choose to functions in the fullness of the Holy Spirit. The choice made by each member to hear and to follow the Holy Spirit will stop the threat of decline.
How to Lose the Spirit…
1. When the presence of God is no longer of great value, the spirit is lost.
Thoughts on keeping God’s presence:
Tradition: Jesus said to the Pharisees in Matt 15:6… you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition. niv
Continue to believe: John 11:39-41… "Roll the stone aside," Jesus told them.
But Martha, the dead man’s sister, said, "Lord, by now the smell will be terrible because he has been dead for four days."
40 Jesus responded, "Didn’t I tell you that you will see God’s glory if you believe?"
Acting on God’s promise: Rom 5:1-2…Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. NLT
Increasing God’s Grace: 2 Cor 4:15…as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. NLT
2. We also loose the Spirit when the human limitations of fear and doubt cause us to be afraid so the Holy Spirit cannot minister through us.
Prov 29:25…Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.
Two examples of fear and doubt in the military:
Deut 20:7-8…Then the officers shall add, "Is any man afraid or fainthearted? Let him go home so that his brothers will not become disheartened too
Judg 7:3… ’Anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead.’" So twenty-two thousand men left, while ten thousand remained.