Summary: The church is a hospital for the broken, the hurting and the lost.
The church is very precious to the Lord today.I talk with pastors & lay people today & they are having more & more problems in the church. One day folks will stand before the Lord & they will be held accountable for the way they have treated the church. It’s harder & harder today on ministers.
I’ve thought a lot this week about the church. I can remember when we lived in Florida traveling to Arkansas. Traveling on I-75, then to I-10, then to 49 from Mobile up to Jackson, then taking I-20 all the way to Shreveport & get on Hwy 71. We used to travel all hours of the night. Very few places were open 24 hours except maybe a truck stop or two.
As we would travel every now & then we would see a blue sign with a white "H" on it. This let us know that there was a hospital near. If we were in trouble, sick or whatever, this sign let us know that a hospital was near & we could get help.
Today when I see a church with a cross on it or a church sign on the side of the road I am quickly reminded that this is a place I can get help also.
But you know, not every church you see is a place where we can get help. Sometimes churches are no more than a Country-Club, unable to help folks. The only way a church can help today? Is for God to work thru the church.
II Corinthians 5: verses 17-21
RECONCILE: The restore.
RESTORE: To bring back to a former condition.
God has called THE CHURCH into The Ministry of Reconciliation. This is not a ministry for certain denominations, but a ministry that God is calling THE CHURCH into
Man because of SIN is in a fallen condition. Unless things change, man will eventually die & then go to a burning hell.RE-READ VERSE 17
Jesus Christ died on the cross so that man could be reconciled back to God. Man was created to LOVE GOD, to have a RELATIONSHIP with God.Without this RELATIONSHIP, man is LOST.
So God calls the CHURCH to be in the RECONCILIATION BUSINESS!! Folks may say today Well, that just isn’t my calling It is the calling of THE CHURCH!!
The church is a Hospital for the SICK THE WOUNDED.THE BROKEN, THE
(A good friend of mine was Preaching years ago: talking about receiving a gift from a friend or family from the store: it usually doesn’t fit, it is the wrong color or it doesn’t work. Today it is so easy to just head to the store & take it to the SERVICE desk. Pitch it up on the desk & say here it does not work, it is broke, or I don¡¦t like it, you need to fix it.)
What about with people? He said wouldn’t it be easy if there was a great big SERVICE desk that you could take people today & say here they don’t work, they are broke, they don’t fit in, here take them back, FIX THEM!!
There is a place like this, it is called the church!! God is going to use the church to reconcile those that are broke, those that don’t work.The church has got to be OPEN FOR BUSINESS Are we open for business?
We pastored a small church a few years ago the I could see that there was a great opportunity to be a HOSPITAL FOR GOD. I started praying for God to send us broken people, hurting people, lost people, people that others just threw away. I believe that God did just that.
RE-READ verse 20
We are Ambassadors for Christ.
AMBASSADOR: An official representative of another country. You & I as the church are Official Representatives for Christ.
People out there in this world are going to CRY OUT TO GOD for help, to cry out in need. The church is going to have to BE OPEN FOR BUSINESS
(I was thinking this week about the lady that stopped in our church as she was traveling thru our community She came into our service, came to the altar crying, hurting. Afterwards she explained to us that she was miserable & hurting & cried out to God & He told her to stop at our church, which was on her way home. She was reluctant because she did not know anyone in our community. She kind of wrestled with God but finally she stooped in. God told her to stop at our church & there she received help. )
God doesn’t look at the size of the church He looks at the AVAILABILITY of the church, the WILLINGNESS of the church. Sometimes we in the smaller church think we are not significant (being important) in this world. I was thinking about a church we pastored back in the 90’s there were so many opportunities for God to work thru the church. How much easier it would be if & when we cry out to God that He just sends thousands & thousands of angels down to take care of the situation. In stead, He uses something so very precious to Him. HIS CHURCH!! HIS PEOPLE!!