Summary: The church is still the best hope for the world, but the church is in trouble. I could list the problems, but the list would exceed the time allotted for this teaching time. I’m not sure listing the challenges are necessary because you know the problems
This sermon was preached by Scotty L Killingsworth to the Evergreen Congregation on September 28, 2003.
This sermon is the last installment in the series – Ready
The sermon title is, Ready to be different
Biblical Text 1 Thessalonians 5:1-24
The church is still the best hope for the world, but the church is in trouble. I could list the problems, but the list would exceed the time allotted for this teaching time. I’m not sure listing the challenges are necessary because you know the problems already. A simplistic explanation of why the church is in so much trouble is that we are almost exactly like the rest of the world. Where is the contrast? How are we different? The problem? We are just like the rest of our culture.
When the church works with power and influence in a culture it is because the people who are in the church stand up and stand out in the market place and offer a different way to live. They model a changed lifestyle. In every historical occurrence where the church changed the world it did so through the blood of martyrs, it moved forward on the tears of powerful prayer warriors and in the wake of influence left by people who were not willing to compromise their faith to please man. The power of a changed life is so magnetic that it attracts people who are dying for help and hope. When that power is absent everyone knows it, and everyone suffers and rarely does anyone want to talk about it because it is so controversial.
What is there about us that is worth investing our time and resources? Are we changing the world, or are we simply organized religion that exists to maintain itself? We pray, and sweat blood each week to bring you excellent worship, but Branson has comparable music to ours. (It is not better, but it is entertaining) Each week our Community Group pastor/teachers pray, prepare and present the Word of God, but media preachers and speakers are gifted orators you could listen to at home. What are we doing that is any different from the world? What is there about us that attracts the hopeless and lost? Where are our modern day, NW Greene County Martyrs? Who among us is willing to stand up and stand out and make a difference? Where are our prayer warriors who are willing to pay the price of intercession and mediation with God and man? Who is going to stand up and make a difference?
Is there a man or woman among us who is ready to stand up and put their faith to work? Who among us is willing to die to self and live to God? Anyone here willing to take up the ministry of prayer? Are there volunteers who will pray without ceasing for the power of God to fall on this church and churches everywhere?
The new believers written about in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 were taking great strides in the direction of becoming world changers. Their love was becoming famous and it was attractive. They were doing well, but were in need of a few course corrections to make them into the powerful and magnetic church God wanted them to be.
There are areas in which a church must set the pace. If we are no different than other professional and social organizations it is easy to see why the church is not dominant in society. We must find out wherein lie our differences and make restoring church power our daily bread.