Summary: The early church was a "super" church.
INTRO.- ILL.- The new preacher was getting concerned. He told one of his deacons that he’d noticed many of the church members had colds and were coughing during the services.
The deacon replied, "As time goes on, preacher, you’ll begin to realize all those coughs aren’t colds. THEY’RE TIME SIGNALS."
ILL.- Sammy said to Danny, “Do you know what it means when a preacher steps into the pulpit, removes his watch and places it on the pulpit?” Danny replied, “Yeah, it means nothing!”
Many times people are not happy with their church for one reason or another. It’s the preacher, the board, the music, the services, the programs, etc. Consequently, they complain a lot.
ILL.- Someone said, "He who knocks all the time has something wrong within, just like the automobile engine that knocks all the time."
If you are knocking others all the time there is something wrong with you. You have a valve problem. A heart-valve problem.
ILL.- Someone else said, "Criticizing others is a dangerous thing, not so much because you may make mistakes about them, but because you may be revealing the truth about yourself."
Brother and sisters, we may well show our own colors when we color others with criticism!
Phil. 2:14-15 "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation..."
Chronic complainers do not spread the gospel. They spread the gossip. Generally, they do nothing but spread hurt. They hurt themselves. They hurt those within the church and those outside the church.
They hurt themselves because whatever you sow, you also reap. If a person is going to be mean, grouchy and gripey, it will come back to bite them.
Chronic complainers also hurt the people within the church. Gripers are not encouragers. They are not builders. They are destroyers.
Rom. 14:19 "Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification."
We all need to be "lovers and not fighters." We need to do the best we can to promote peace and encourage one another in the faith.
ILL.- Someone in a certain preacher’s congregation pointed out several faults in him and his preaching. Instead of retaliating, or trying to defend himself, he looked at the woman and said, "If what you say is true, would you mind praying for me?"
Instead of picking and poking, we all need to be praying.
Chronic complainers also hurt the people outside the church. They hold up a banner, which reads: DON’T COME TO MY CHURCH. I DON’T LIKE IT AND YOU WOULDN’T LIKE IT EITHER! Consequently, they keep the good Word of God and the gospel from these people who need it badly!
Instead of being complainers, we need to be crusaders for Christ! We need to be commenders of the good! We need to be confirmers of the gospel!
I know this is "Super Sunday." It’s Super Bowl Sunday. It’s the New England Patriots against the Carolina Panthers! WHO IS GOING TO WIN? I don’t know and I’m not betting either. But I do know, however, that Jesus is going to win! He already has! And we are going to win too!
ILL.- A church billboard recently read: "Let’s meet at my house Sunday before the game. Signed, God." Good idea.
Go to church and then watch the Super Bowl. According to I Timothy 6:7 God has given us everything good for our enjoyment. It’s all right to enjoy football, but let us not forget the God who gives us all these good things.
The early church assembled every Lord’s Day to remember and honor the Lord. EVERY SUNDAY WAS SUPER SUNDAY TO THEM!
Did they have something that we don’t have? Could be. Let’s compare notes. Let’s compare churches. Some people say it’s not good to compare ourselves to others, but in this case, it might be very good! WE CAN LEARN FROM THE EARLY CHURCH!
PROP.- From the book of Acts let’s examine the early church to see what was so super about it. And perhaps we can learn some things.
1- A super surrender
2- A super fellowship
3- A super service
I. A SUPER SURRENDER
ILL.- A mother spanked her daughter and made her go to bed for her ill temper which she had demonstrated throughout the day. After she got in bed she said to her mother, "It’s a bad temper when it’s me, but when it’s you, it’s your nerves."
ILL.- Owen Wister, an old college friend of Theodore Roosevelt, was visiting him at the White House. Roosevelt’s daughter Alice kept running in and out of the room until Wister finally asked if there wasn’t something Roosevelt could do to control her. "Well," said the President, "I can do one of two things. I can be President of the United States or I can control Alice. I cannot possibly do both."