Summary: Last in a series on what is expected of members in God’s Church.
Sermon for 8/27/2000
I Will Support the Testimony of My Church
A. Testimony= A Public declaration. A solemn affirmation to establish some fact.
B. A witness= One who testifies as to a certain event. One who was at a certain event.
C. These are legal terms. Jury duty. A witness to a certain event comes in and testifies as to what he/she saw and heard, experienced.
D. We are all on the witness stand. Our friends and neighbors are looking to see if what we testify to is real and true. Our whole lives we are on trial for the gospel of Jesus Christ.
E. The gospel. Death, burial, resurrection. How has this made a difference? Does Jesus really live in you?
F. Sometimes the world just observes, other times the world asks us questions as a lawyer would.
G. The purpose of this trial is to have the jurors become Christians.
H. In the church, all of us either support the claims of the church, we practice what is being preached or we do not.
I. A good witness will testify of God, Jesus Christ with his life and with his mouth.
J. A bad witness will not testify of Jesus Christ in his life nor with his mouth.
K. Does the church make a difference?
A. An actor or actress will soak up a subject until at the performance the audience no longer sees the performer, but rather the person or thing she represents.
B. In our life it needs to be that way.
C. Brick streets in Elizabeth City, in Holland. Some brick streets date back to the 15th and 16th centuries. A brick is just a small and unimpressive thing. But when the bricks are put side by side they made a street or a great structure that can last for a long time. A Christian is like a brick, in that a Christian by one’s self is not very impressive. Bricks, however, that are put together in a good and proper way can and will last for generations.
D. In the church are we building a road that will last for generations. A road that will lead them to heaven. Each of us with our testimony is building a good or a poor structure. Helping the traveler along or putting stumbling blocks in their way. Put us together and we are the church.
E. (1 Pet 2:4 NIV) As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him--(1 Pet 2:5 NIV) you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Thesis: I will support the testimony of my church by…
I. By attending faithfully
A. Your attendance is a testimony that you believe and are striving to live a Christian life.
B. In New England, even going to church on Sunday morning is a testimony.
C. Now here at the church we have four services… Try to attend as many as possible.
D. Now many of us have other areas of responsibility that require our attention. Work, helping a friend, family time.
E. Not going to be a legalist and say that we all must come to all the services to go to heaven. Ridiculous!
F. Some people work all week Monday through Saturday and then Sunday is only day off. Where is the family time? May need to come on Sunday mornings and Wednesday nights or Sunday school and Sunday morning worship.
G. 1 too little, 3 might be too much. My suggestion is 2.
H. Must come at least once a week whether here or elsewhere. How difficult is it to come?
I. Get into a routine. We are creatures of habit.
J. Our priorities must be God first, family second, everything else after. If it is alright between you and God, and you are growing in your faith, don’t let somebody else judge you. If not then make some changes.
K. (Heb 10:25 NIV) Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
L. They even had this problem in the New Testament.
M. In directory of the ministry, we have 200 on the roll and 75 in attendance. Even if 150 still in community, less than half.
N. In marital counseling, the first thing that a marriage counselor will look into is church attendance.
O. Can I be a Christian without going to Church?
P. Yes! It is just as possible as being: A soldier who will not join the army. A student who refuses to go to school. A Citizen who refuses to vote or pay taxes. A salesperson with no customers. An explorer with no base camp. A captain of a ship with no crew. A businessperson on a desert island. An author with no readers. A tuba player with no orchestra. A politician who is a hermit.