Summary: The church has left the building. And it's still the church! It's about personal responsibility - time to step up. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint

Be the Church

Matthew 16:18

[streaming video PowerPoint sermon]

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The Bible says to greet one another with a holy kiss. But I think the Lord will understand if we get creative during handshake time today.

Are the greeters in place?

Many of you are gathered together in small groups. Thanks for opening your home to others not online.

We are the children of God. We have much to be thankful for. We are on the winning side! We aren’t of the darkness, but of the light!

Read Psalm 91

Our world is down, people are down, the stock market is down. I heard even Charmin hit a new bottom!

Our world may be down, but Christians have every reason to hope!

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.

There's a play on words here, because Peter's name [Petros] means little stone. He wasn't the founder of the church, and he certainly wasn't the first pope. He was a Christian...a little Christ...a follower of Jesus...a little stone cut from the Rock [Petra]. A chip off the old block!

1 Peter 2:5-6

5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.

Jesus is the Cornerstone…we are built upon Him…little stones. We are the church. Be the church! The bride! His body on earth. We say church isn’t a building, and that is evident this week. But actually WE are His building. “Your body is the temple of God! [built up]

We are the church. The time is now. The fields are white unto harvest. We need to be checking on everyone and reminding them that far worse will happen after the rapture…they need to get in on that rapture!

This is not the time to hide away like a hermit. There’s a frightened world and they need a fearless church! We may have to keep some distance but we can talk to them. We can call them. You can ‘Share’ this video!

Be the church. Jesus said ye are the light of the world. Ye are the salt of the earth. It’s time we get the salt out of the shaker!

Now is the time for the church to shine. We may not be in the building, but we can be the church in our community.

But, who owns the church? [I will build MY church...]

Ephesians 5:25

...Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it [love Jesus…love what HE loves!]

Jesus bought the church, built it, and owns it. He purchased the church at a very high price and He is the foundation and cornerstone...the absolute owner!

Revelation 2:1

Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

Jesus went on to say that He can remove a candlestick if it doesn't do its job. He is the owner, He brought us into the world, and He can take us out. He holds the stars 'messengers/pastors' in His hand as well, so who are any of us to think we hold ownership of anything ourselves?

It's a joke when at times someone calls the church I pastor 'Shirley Temple.' My kids know this isn't 'daddy's church,' as they used to call it. Pastors have fellowship meetings together and ask one another, 'How's your church doing?' We know what we mean, but technically, it's not accurate!

1 Corinthians 6:19-20

19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

And the church is a body, and Christ owns it! He owns you and me in the sense of a master owning a slave/servant. But we are bondslaves in that we WANT to follow our Master who bought us and is so good to us!

But who owns the church? This is actually debated in some circles - especially in churches that are a part of associations or denominations. As far as the building is concerned, some churches are owned by an organization on a national or at least regional level. Not so in an independent church such as ours. Technically, our church used to be owned by the bank, but once that was paid off, the church became owned by, well, the church! Again, as far as a building is concerned, it's not for sale! But the church is not a building. We are the church! Even if our buildings burned to the ground, we could still have church!

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