Summary: This sermon introduces the series and illustrates the faith that is necessary to build a prevailing church.
Ten Marks of a Prevailing Church
Mark #1: Uncommon Faith
June 24, 2001
A. [What the Church Really Needs, Citation: Father John McKenzie. Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 2.]
If the church were to lose its hierarchy, its clergy, its vast collection of buildings, its stores of learning amassed over the centuries, even the text of its sacred books, and had to face the world with nothing but the living presence of the Risen Jesus and its mission to proclaim the Good News to all nations and people, it would be no less a church than the church of Peter and Paul was.
Perhaps it might be more of a church than it is now.
1. It seems that by and large, many local churches have lost sight of what God has called them to be.
2. Many have added the teachings of men to what the Bible says.
3. Many are nothing more than social clubs.
4. Many have tried to mix the teachings of other religions with the teachings of the Bible.
5. Many have turned to doing every sort of good thing that a person could do except for sharing the gospel—they are do-good organizations.
6. Many have turned into Pharisaic, legalistic bodies that do nothing but weigh people down with more and more rules and regulations.
7. Many have quit preaching the true gospel; they have watered it down to supposedly make it more acceptable to people of the 21st century.
B. But Jesus talked about building a church upon the foundation of the belief that He is the Christ, the Son of the Living God.
1. Jesus said that church would be a prevailing church.
2. And I want Somerset to be a prevailing church.
3. So first, today I want to talk about what a prevailing church is…
I. What is a prevailing church?
Matthew 16:18, And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (NIV)
Matthew 16:18, And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (KJV)
A. The prevailing church shall overcome.
1. A prevailing church is a church that the gates of hell will not overcome!
2. A prevailing church is a church that is built upon Christ and His teachings.
3. A prevailing church is a church that is run by the Bible and not by the opinions of men!
4. A prevailing church is a church that is overseen by men, but the head of the church is Jesus Christ.
5. A prevailing church is a church in which Satan and all his demons will work very hard in order to try to destroy it, but will not be able to overcome it because Christ is its foundation, it cornerstone, and its head.
6. A prevailing church is a church that stands throughout the years and expands God’s Kingdom.
7. A prevailing church is a church that makes a difference in peoples lives.
8. A prevailing church is a church that wins people to Christ!
9. A prevailing church is a church that influences its culture by changing people from the inside out.
10. A prevailing church offends Satan deeply and causes him to rise up strongly against it!
B. A prevailing church is not a church that simply tries to keep people happy.
1. A prevailing church doesn’t just try to keep its members happy and comfortable.
2. A prevailing church doesn’t do a lot of whining and complaining when things don’t go the way of certain people.
3. A prevailing church doesn’t water down the gospel to make it more palatable to some people.
4. A prevailing church doesn’t forget its purpose and get side-tracked into doing other good things that prevent it from expanding the Kingdom of God.
5. A prevailing church’s leadership doesn’t decide where to lead the church based on how many people agree with their decisions.
6. A prevailing church is not a church that simply tries to keep people happy, but instead only seeks to keep GOD happy!
C. If the church does anything else, it will not be blessed by God, it may cease to exist, and it certainly won’t be a prevailing church.
1. I wrote in this month’s newsletter that a GREAT commitment to the GREAT commission and to the GREAT commandment will produce a GREAT church!
2. I want Somerset to be a GREAT church and I’m willing to make a GREAT commitment in order for that to happen!
3. I don’t want Somerset to be just another church; I don’t want Somerset to be a little, country church; I don’t want Somerset to just stay the way its always been.