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Summary: A mass exodus is occuring in the established church across America today. Something has to be done before it’s too late. This something will need to be radical. It will have to radically change our outlook as well as our perspective on our reason for bein

Radically Challenged

Introduction: A mass exodus is occuring in the established church across America today. Something has to be done before it’s too late. This something will need to be radical. It will have to radically change our outlook as well as our perspective on our reason for being. Church leaders and statisticians have come to recognize that: (1) Churches are failing in their evangelism efforts; (2) Worldwide mission efforts are failing because support from home is slipping; (3) Christians are failing in their personal evangelism efforts; and (4) The number of people being saved is slipping. To change this current situation will indeed require a radical change in our line of thinking.

A radical change will require a radical challenge. This radical challenge was voiced by our Lord 2000 years ago. This final word to the Church before His ascension as recorded in Acts 1:8 is the most radical challenge ever committed to mankind. It is a challenge to break out of these four walls of confinement and become involved in winning the world to Jesus Christ. This radical challenge says:

Text: Acts 1:8

Jerry Falwell recently said: "We are called to proclaim the gospel to a culture that rejects it and to a world that is in desperate need of it." To fulfill this challenge, we must determine that we are going to become radicals for the cause of Christ. Falwell went on to say: "You’ve got to decide who you are. Between now and the time the Lord calls you home, be a dreamer. Be a revolutionary."

Without a drastic change in our churches, we will not survive for the next generation. Jesus started a revolution when He walked on this earth. It is time for the church to enter that revolution. We must determine to become revolutionaries. We must dream big dreams. We must determine to accomplish great things for God’s Kingdom. Ahead of us lies unprecedented opportunity to win the lost if we will but take up the challenge.

Now don’t let this word revolutionary frighten you. A revolution is simply a total or radical change. And radical simply means departing from the usual or customary. A radical is one who advocates fundamental or revolutionary changes in current practices, conditions, or institutions. Jesus was a radical revolutionary and for the church to survive, we must determine to be as such.

Things are happening in today’s church. People are coming to grips with the fact that tradition and the church establishment isn’t working anymore. People are looking for more. People have an intense hunger for more than the traditional church is willing to feed them. They are sick and tired of watered-down truths - sick and tired of pansy preachers prancing around preaching their little sermonettes that have no personal practicality whatsoever. The time has come, church, for a change - a radical revolution!

Jesus was a revolutionary! Jesus was a radical! He went about doing good. He went about preaching a message of grace. He went about seeking to release people from bondage. His message was radical. His actions were radical. His lifestyle was radical. And it is time for you and I to become radical! It is time for the church to rise up and start a revolution! God has a specific plan and purpose for your church. Are you willing to step up to the plate and fulfill His plan and purpose by accepting this radical challenge?

Consider with me what this challenge requires.

This challenge requires that this church must learn to:

1. Embrace the Heart of God

A. To embrace the heart of God means to grab ahold of, seize eagerly. The chief aim of man is to worship God.

B. Too many churches have a wrong understanding concerning worship. Worship involves the whole service.

1. Too many people go to church, sit in a cold pew, and stare at the back of someone’s head.

2. They barely whisper as they pretend to sing along.

3. They listen to a 15 minute feel good sermonette from some guy who steps into the pulpit without having already been into the throne room.

4. They fight to stay awake and still call it worship.

5. These people are spectators not worshippers.

C. Real worship demands participation.

1. Real worship lifts the participants up into the throne room of God.

2. Real worship invigorates, encourages and strengthens.

3. Real worship connects you with God.

D. If you walk away from church as empty as you entered, the church and the preacher have failed you miserably.

- The psalmist said: "Taste and see that the LORD is good." - (Ps 34:8).

- Jesus said: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God. They will be satisfied." - (Mt 5:6).

Application: Do you feel personally refreshed when you leave this place? Do you feel that you have truly experienced God in a new way? In this world we are living in, we need a refreshing from above as often as we can get it. We must embrace the heart of God!

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