Summary: A member of the church will share the responsibilities of the church
Sermon for 8/20/2000
Share Responsibility of the Church of Christ, Vinton
A. If a church succeeds, who is responsible? Talk about God.
B. If a church fails and closes its doors, who is responsible? The people.
C. Isn’t that interesting! How do people fit into the successful church, how does God fit into the picture of the dead church?
D. The task of the church has been put into the hands of man. The Great Commission and God is with us as we fulfill it, he leaves us if we do not take it seriously.
E. The blessing of God rests upon people that take their responsibilities seriously, the blessing of God leaves people who do not take their responsibilities seriously. God will not honor those who do not honor Him. Come and take away lampstand.
F. Each of us personally are part of the problems in a church or part of the solution.
G. We are growing or we are part of the stagnation.
H. Once a minister moved to a church and found that the church was dead….Blaming other people. Finally frustrated, the minister decided to have a funeral for the church. He got a casket and brought it up front and talked about how badly the church was doing. “Now come on up and see who is dead?” In the casket was a full length mirror, each person got a picture of themselves.
I. John Denny- Long ago, two boys plotted to outdo an old man who was noted for his great wisdom. They caught a small bird that could be concealed in the hand and approached the old man with a question, “What do I have in my hand?” “Why, you have a bird, for I see one of his feathers!” “Yes, but is he dead or alive?” (They had conspired to make certain he was wrong, for if he said “dead,” they would release the bird to fly away. If he said “alive,” they would crush him and present him dead.) The old man answered, “As you will it, boys.”
J. “As you will it.” How true this is of so many things in life. Will the church grow or die? As you will it. Will your neighbors hear the gospel or go before God unprepared? As you will it. Will the works budgeted for the year be done or go undone for the lack of finances? As you will it. Will the church be friendly or cold? As you will it. Will our Bible school grow or die? As you will it. Will our visitation increase or be in want? As you will it. Will your marriage succeed or fail? As you will it. On and on we could go.
K. This is not to leave God out of the picture. It simply illustrates our role of responsibility for what takes place in our lives. We need to quit blaming others and rationalizing our failures. It’s God will that we live faithful to Him to the best of our ability. But what you choose to do is up to you!
A. Last week we talked about unity…
B. Membership Covenant pass it out. All of us as members, as Christians, should be doing these things.
C. On #2.
D. I don’t have any responsibilities but to show up. That wrong!
E. A great commitment to Christ will grow a great church! Not that the people are great, but that they have a great faith, a great commitment, take responsibilities seriously.
F. John Rosemond- America is having, we are told, one crisis after another with its children: a drug crisis, a teen pregnancy crisis, a dropout crisis, an underachievement crisis, crises of violence and depression and children rearing children and… the list goes on and on. There’s one crisis, however, that everyone seems to be ignoring. Oprah hasn’t even held one of her intellectual forums concerning it. I’m referring to the biggest crisis of all: that of just plain old irresponsibility. After all, doesn’t it all come down to that? Whether delinquency or drugs, pregnancy, dropping out, or just coasting through school, we’re talking irresponsibility. A crisis or citizenship, values, proper moral instruction. Nobody’s talking about this disease. Come to think of it, maybe nobody wants to address the real problem because deep down inside, in our secret heart, we all know the problem is us.
G. This sermon is for somebody else. No, it’s for you this morning. As a member in God’s church you have responsibilities to God. As you will it.
Thesis: I will share the responsibility of my church by:
** Go over just three this morning.
H. By praying for its growth.
A. Look up and read Luke 18:1-8.
B. Charles Spurgeon and the power source, the two men who came early.