Summary: Are we participants or spectators? That is a question that each believer needs to ask themselves. The church is on mission. Believers need to make a choice.
When I was preparing this sermon I felt God ask me two questions.
The first question that I felt God ask me: "What is your passion?"
Music, Enviroment, Work, Politics, Technology, Cooking, Sports (Basketball, Baseball, Football, Soccer Etc.),
Sports in particular provided me with a great illustration of passion.
At my job there are a number of people who are sports fans. This past super bowl it amazed me as I heard the various parties being planned for the big day. The host of one super bowl party was even selling tickets to the event that was being held in his home. What was even more amazing tp me was the number of people buying tickets. The passion that many sport fans exhibit is incredible.
The Bible provides us with a sound basis for the concept of spiritual passion, enthusiasm or zeal. The Apostle Paul states it as:
"Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, " (Col_3:23);
"Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. " (1Co_15:58);
"who gave himself for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds." (Tit_2:14);
"for I know your readiness, of which I boast about you to the people of Macedo’nia, saying that Acha’ia has been ready since last year; and your zeal has stirred up most of them." (2Co_9:2).
In Revelation the Apostle John commanded the Laodiceans. "Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent." (Rev_3:19).
It is interesting that "zeal" and "zealous" come from a Greek word which means "to boil; seethe." An enthusiastic person boils inside; it spills over to cause peak performance.
The wise man stated it in these words, "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might;" (Ecc_9:10).
Some people verbalize their inability to be enthusiastic. However, I don’t believe there is a person who hasn’t been excited or enthusiastic about something. A raise in salary, an award, vacation, promotion, birth of a child, opportunity, or some other event in life creates zeal by its very nature.
What we need in our church is enthusiasm for the mission God has given His people.
The second question God placed in my thoughts: "Are you a spectator or a player?"
This second question is why my family and I have become involved in establishing networks of house churches. We believe God is calling each of us to be more than spectators. That each of us needs to be passionate about our faith and become a participant in God’s plan.
We have been discovering the difference between the church of Acts and the church of today. It simply comes down to the fact that the early church was passionate about their faith. They showed it by their words and by their deeds. They were a people who dedicated their entire lives to God and to the expansion of His Kingdom.
Passionate about Community
Act 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Dedicated to Growing in the Word
They received it, retained it, and acted on its principles.
Act 11:23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad; and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose; (Barnabas/the Church at Antioch)
Eph 2:20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone,
Fred W. Cropp, president of American Bible Society, received a letter asking a question: "What do you recommend for keeping the leather on the back of Bibles from getting stiff, cracking and peeling?
The reply was, "There is one oil that is especially good for treatment of leather on Bibles. In fact it will insure your Bible will stay in good condition. It is not sold, but may be found in the palm of the human hand."
Dedicated to the Fellowship
Koinonia ?, community; meaning association for religious and spiritual purposes,
Gal 6:10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all men, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - Movie
Legolas: Hurry! Frodo and Sam have reached the eastern shore.
(We see their boat pulled up on the other side of the lake and them climbing the hill)
You mean not to follow them.
Aragorn: Frodo’s fate is no longer in our hands.
Gimli: Then it has all been in vain. The Fellowship has failed.
Aragorn: Not if we hold true to each other. We will not abandon Merry and Pippin to torment and death. Not while we have strength left. . . . . . . . .