Summary: What do we find in the house of the Lord? 1- In the house there is great joy 2- In the house there is much praise 3- In the house there is peace and security
INTRO.- 1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” The people of God were going to worship the Lord at His house.
ILL.- A man was answering questions for a national poll one time. When asked for his church preference, he responded, "Red brick." What’s your preference?
Occasionally, some people will call and ask me about our church. I will tell them that we’re a Christian Church. They will most often say, “Well, kind of Christian Church?” In other words, they want to know if we’re a Baptist Church or Methodist Church or whatever. I say, “No, we’re a non-denominational Christian Church. We’re not a part of any denominational organization.”
People often think of all churches as being Christian Churches. That could be good and that could be very misleading as well, because I’ve known of some churches that were not so Christian once you found out what they believed and practiced. Just because a church has the word “church” in its name there is no guarantee that they follow Christ, such as the church of Scientology. There is nothing about Christ in the church of Scientology.
ILL.- It’s like what I heard former Spiritualist medium Ben Alexander said one time about the Christian Science church. He said, “It’s kind of Grape Nuts cereal. No grapes and no nuts. No Christian and no science.” So advertising doesn’t always live up to what they’re selling. Some people are quick to visit a church and others are not. Why is it that some people just don’t want to go to church?
ILL.- In a door-to-door survey conducted by Willow Creek Community Church in the Chicago suburb of South Barrington, IL, the question was asked: If you don't go to church, why?
The five biggest reasons: 1) Boring, 2) Irrelevant, 3) Asking for money all the time, 4) I'm too busy already, 5) I feel awkward at church. And frankly, I understand these reasons. If the church is boring and irrelevant to my life, and asking for money all the time then why would I want to go there?
And I understand that people are very busy in America today. Many feel like Sunday is the only day they have to relax or play. Of course, from my perspective that’s no excuse for missing worship of the God who created us and wants to save us in Christ. I’m sure God doesn’t think it’s a good excuse either.
Now if a person feels awkward in church that’s probably because they’ve never been there or else they haven’t been there in a very long time. But if a person is ever going to come to the Lord and come to faith in Him there is a point where they must become associated with the Lord’s church. That’s where most people hear about the gospel and God’s plan for their lives.
ILL.- Chuck Colson wrote: Membership in a confessing body is fundamental to the faithful Christian life. Failure to do so defies the explicit warning not to forsake "our assembling together." And Martin Luther said, "Apart from the church, salvation is impossible." Colson said: “Not that the church provides salvation; God does. But because the "saved" one can't fulfill what it means to be a Christian apart from the church, membership becomes the indispensable mark of salvation.”
John Calvin wrote, "So highly does the Lord esteem the communion of His church that He considers everyone a traitor and apostate from religion who perversely withdraws himself from any Christian society which preserves the true ministry of the word." Wow! Why should we go to church?
PROP.- What do we find in the house of the Lord?
1- In the house there is great joy
2- In the house there is much praise
3- In the house there is peace and security
I. IN THE HOUSE THERE IS GREAT JOY
1 I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” 2 Our feet are standing in your gates, Jerusalem.
Don’t Grouch But Smile!
What good did it do to be grouchy today?
Did your surliness drive any trouble away?
Did you cover more ground than you usually do,
Because of the grouch you carried within you?
If not, what’s the use of a grouch or a frown,
If it won’t smooth a path, or a grim trouble drown?
If it doesn’t assist you, it isn’t worthwhile.
Your work may be hard, but just do it—and smile!
Don’t be a grouch, smile! And even more, REJOICE! Show your joy! Where’s the joy? If we don’t have it we need to get it and show it!
ILL.- “One Sunday morning in London,” reported D. L. Moody, “Spurgeon said to me, just before he commenced his sermon: ‘Moody, I want you to notice that family there in one of the front seats and when we go home I want to tell you their story.’