Summary: Some things need to be revved up.
INTRO.- ILL.- One lady said, “I always do my exercises regularly every morning. Immediately after waking I always say sternly to myself, “Ready now. Up. Down. Up. Down!” And after two strenuous minutes I tell myself, “OKAY, NOW TRY THE OTHER EYELID.”
ILL.- Mark Twain once said, “The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like and do what you’d rather not.”
No doubt about it, the human body needs to be revved up, hopped up, toned up, and tuned up. And people do this or try to do this in all kinds of ways: lifting weights, walking, jogging, biking, aerobics, swimming, etc.
All these are great exercises for the human body and they do produce some good results if done with some regularity and intensity.
Use it or lose it. Work it and it will work better. Generally true. Hard work and exercise never hurt anyone, except for maybe the first few days!
We do need to be revved up and toned up in certain ways.
ILL.- In 1962-63 I drove a 1955 Chevrolet. It had a six-cylinder engine, automatic (Powerglide) transmission and was slower than molasses in wintertime, that is, compared to cars today with fuel injection, lighter bodies, etc.
My older brother Larry was interested in Hot Rods and drag racing and this rubbed off on me. Both Larry and I did things to our cars to make them run faster: change the spark plugs, ignition points, ignition timing, etc.
I even changed the carburetor jet in that single barrel carb to try to make it go faster. DIDN’T HELP MUCH AT ALL! There wasn’t much you could do to those old Chevy’s six cylinder engines to make them run faster.
However, the guys who drove those V-8 engines could do something with them! If they had the money, they could add another carburetor or two, as in three/two-barrel carbs and that would really hop them up!
Brothers and sisters, it matters not whether we tune up our bodies and our cars. It’s good, however, to keep things in good working condition so we can be used for the Lord. BUT THERE IS ONE THING THAT DEFINITELY NEEDS TO BE REVVED UP, HOPPED UP, TONED UP, AND TUNED UP! What’s that? The church.
ILL.- Some churches are growing and going to town.
- Southeast Christian Church, Louisville, KY, with 20,000 members.
- Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, IL, with 20,000 worshippers each weekend.
- Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA, with 17,000 members.
- Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN, with 27,000 members. And there are others, I’m sure.
Why do people attend these mega churches instead of smaller churches? Let me put it this way. Why do people go to a Super Walmart over small grocery stores and other smaller stores? BECAUSE SUPER WALMARTS HAVE NEARLY EVERYTHING TO OFFER!
This does not mean, however, that smaller churches don’t have anything to offer and can’t have an effective ministry.
But the sad truth is most churches in America are not growing! Why are many churches in America not growing? BECAUSE PEOPLE DON’T SEE THEIR NEED FOR GOD! As long as things are going well for people they don’t need God, Christ or the church. When people have a decent job, decent income, decent home, etc. they don’t need the Lord.
Only as people experience tragedy in their lives will they turn to God. Things such as: death of a loved one, divorce, prodigal children, financial collapse, health problems, war, etc.
These are some of the things that bring people to their knees, to God and to church. In many foreign countries, such as South America, people are turning to the Lord by the hundreds of thousands and this is because they have nothing. They see the Lord God as their hope for a better life.
Here in America most people already have the so-called “good life.” A house, several cars, TV’s, jobs, plenty of fine food, etc. Why do they need God?
How many churches do we have in Jonesboro? I think I counted 45 in Saturday’s newspaper. But how many people in Jonesboro go to church? I don’t know, but I would venture to say that 80% do not go to church. We’re talking 44,000 people. Even at best, there are probably not more than 15,000 people in Jonesboro who attend church on any given Sunday. That still leaves 40,000 people, not counting the student body of ASU!
THERE ARE MANY UNCHURCHED PEOPLE IN JONESBORO AND THE SURROUNDING COMMUNITIES!
ILL.- A copier service man was here recently and he said to me, “I bet you draw people from this residential area, don’t you?” I had to say, “No, we don’t.” And we don’t.
SOMETHING IS WRONG. Why isn’t the Lord’s church growing? True, the apathy and indifference of the American people is one reason. But surely, there are other reasons.