Summary: What in the world are you doing with the Church Jesus built? Are you playing games or taking this very seriously?
MAINTAINING THE CHURCH FOR CHRIST
08-01-2010 New Liberty Christian Church with Rich McQuinn, Minister
INTRODUCTION: A brand new music teacher at the Junior High school had just organized a band. It was going to be perfect in every way. Her heart was in the students and in what she could help them make of themselves. The principal came by the classroom and asked the students if they would mind putting on a mini-concert for the rest of the school folks and of course their parents. The whole band was excited about this first concert. The date drew near and they practiced and practiced. The teacher was not quite sure they were really ready. Right before the concert she gathered all of her students in the band room and went over some rules to follow. You know, the eye contact to the teacher at all times, no hitting, no goofing off, being good mannered and that kind of stuff. But one thing she brought up was this---“If you are unsure of the note you want to play, then don’t play it. Those next to you will play it and it will sound better than a note that is off key. That took the pressure off of every one.
The night was full of excitement. The students marched in and took their seats in a grand form. The teacher addressed those in attendance and got ready to lead the band. She turned around and faced her students. She motioned to them to sit up straight and smile, have a good time. She raised her baton up, captured the attention and the band was ready. As she brought the baton down---you know---where the first notes are to begin playing, there was nothing. No sound came out of any instruments. They were all, 100%, not sure of the first note they were to play.
There are times when the church is like that. We look good, we put on a very nice appearance, but when it comes time to play our tunes for Jesus, we try to fake it or do nothing at all. Does that sound like you?
We know what the Elders do, the Deacons do, the Ministers do, but we lack the confidence in knowing what we should be doing. There are times in many churches that no one knows where they should be heading. Does the church of Jesus Christ have a plan or are we just maintaining what we have?
Let’s you and I turn to the back of the Bible to see where we are heading as a church. We have to understand the story that God has written for the church to follow.
Revelation chapter 7 tells us of things that are to come. It is a book of mystery. John the person whom Jesus gave witness to, to write this great book for all of the churches. He sees a great innumerable multitude of persons, drawn from every tribe and nation. They are standing around the throne and before THE LAMB, which we know to be Christ Jesus our Lord. They are all dressed in white robes, waving palm branches and shouting, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits upon the throne, and to the Lamb!”
One of the elders reveals to John who these multitudes dressed in white are: “These are those who have come from the great tribulation, and they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
The book of Revelation tells us the church, where we are heading. We are in the grand company gathered around the throne of God.
Now that we have seen ahead, let us peek at where we began. The book of ACTS tells us about our beginnings. Here we see a handful of believers, afraid to come out and witness about their faith in the Lord. But, on the day of Pentecost received the blessing of the Holy Spirit and began testifying first to Israel and later to the Gentile world that Jesus Christ is the long awaited Messiah. Even though some were murdered, they no longer stood silent. God had assembled a great sympathy and He raised the baton. Get ready to play, preach, baptize, teach, and witness. They marched all over the Roman Empire .
The response was so great by the end of the second century Tertullian could write that “the outcry is that of the state is filled with Christians—that they are in the fields, in the cities—people of both sexes, every age and status, even those of high rank, are passing over the news that Jesus is The Christ.” They were not ashamed of who they were and what they had to say to help save mankind. How eager are you---to play your first note in this great sympathy and begin the quest to witness to the world about what is burning inside you about the love of God and His love for you?