Summary: A sermon on some things that need to be found in God’s house, the church. (Title and Outline taken from Maze Jackson)
Sermon for 9/30/2007
Some Things Found In the House of God
A preacher went back to his old church building when he was a child. The church had closed and he wanted the pulpit and the big Bible. I remember when Coburn Corners built their new building and I can remember some things in that old building. The church sold the old bricks!
A. (Luke 24:53 NIV) And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.
B. Between the ascension of Jesus Christ into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, this is what the believers were doing. Even after the beginning of the church in Acts 2 this is what they were doing. (Acts 2:46 NIV) Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts.
C. The early church met in the temple. Not until a while later they were forced to meet in homes because of persecution. They literally were worshipping in God’s house.
D. In our day This building has no holy significance except that God’s house meets here. What or who is God’s house? Not this building! (Heb 3:6 NIV) But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.
E. If we met in a home, that would be where God’s house was. The people make it holy not the structure! In the OT, the temple was holy but now the Christians are holy.
Thesis: What do we find in the house of God?
I. The Fear of God
A. (Acts 9:31 NIV) Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
B. To fear in this way is to have a healthy respect for the Lord.
C. When Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead for lying to the Holy Spirit, it says (Acts 5:11 ) Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
E. When we first came to the Lord, probably some of us came out of fear. We did not want to be cast into hell. We must go beyond this and learn the words of (1 John 4:18 NIV) There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
F. (2 Cor 5:11 NIV) Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men.
G. If we knew that all of our secret thoughts, words, and actions would be displayed publicly so that everyone could watch them and evaluate them, it would make a profound difference in the way we live. We are usually very concerned over what man thinks. How much more should we be concerned about God’s evaluation of our thoughts, words, actions, attitudes and motives?
H. Since we fear the Lord, a lost person gets afraid of his condition in the house of God. (1 Cor 14:24 NIV) But if an unbeliever or someone who does not understand comes in while everybody is prophesying, he will be convinced by all that he is a sinner and will be judged by all,(1 Cor 14:25 NIV) and the secrets of his heart will be laid bare. So he will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"
II. The Friends of God.
A. (1 John 1:3 NIV) We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.
C. Being a friend of God makes us better friends to each other. We need friends. If we find ourselves longing for someone to talk to, a true friend to whom we can bare our souls, we are not alone. Recently, a Duke University researcher concluded that 25% of Americans have no one with whom they can have a meaningful conversation. And 50% have two or less people of this sort in their lives. The statistics also indicate that the confidante network of the average American is shrinking.
D. "The church is just a place to worship God and nothing more. Who needs friends anyway when we are friends with God?" Mindy Caliguire in Spiritual friendship says, “What do you do when you can’t stand the thought of praying, when the words of the Bible seem plastic and false… when you have been doing everything ‘right’ and the bottom falls out? It’s at these times when it is the spiritual friends who throw us a life preserver. They are, as one prayer says, “God’s ‘hands and fingers taking hold of me.’”