Summary: The Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life for the church knowing completely that it would have the good, the bad and the ugly connected to it.
The Church: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Thesis: The Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life for the church knowing completely that it would have the good, the bad and the ugly connected to it.
Video Illustration: The end of the movie The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. It’s were the three have a show down in the cemetery court yard.
This scene paints a picture for us today on how we are to deal with the Bad and the Ugly of the church. The truth is we are in a duel with both. But the Good is to shoot the Bad and do away with it. The Good needs to put the bad in the grave so that it does not go around the church killing, stealing and destroying the Kingdom of God. On the other hand the ugly side needs to be treated with grace, mercy and forgiveness.
Yes, it’s truth the church of America today has the good, the bad and the ugly all battling over its control. It happens on national levels and even on the local level. There is a big showdown going on in the church today. Who will win out depends on the individuals involved in the duel. It will depend on the choices they make and their commitment level to seeing the Good win out. This duel is happening all across America and the winner gets control of the church and our lives.
The church, wow, what a concept! To create a place were people are placed together to help each other grow through life. A place made up of imperfect people who are at times irritating, frustrating and manipulative. Why would God design a place like this, better yet why would God die for a place like this? One reason LOVE. God set up the church to teach us how to love. Remember God is love, Heaven is governed by love. So therefore, the church must be controlled by The Good which is Love.
Rick Warren states, “God wants you to be in regular, close fellowship with other believers so you can develop the skill of loving. Love cannot be learned in isolation. You have to be around people-irritating, imperfect, frustrating people”(124).
What is the good, the bad and the ugly parts of church? Let’s take time this morning to explore these three influences on the church and see how they influence the members in the church and the mission of the church.
1) The good side of the church is revealed in the Bible from Acts 2:42-47
a) The church in Acts reveals the good side of the church.
i) Acts 2:42-47:
42They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
(1) The church in Acts reveals a place were The Good wins the duel between the “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”.
b) The Acts church focused on the teaching of the Word of God. This is the Good in control.
i) You see when the Good wins the focus for the church is to hear from God, learn of God and do what God wants. All of this is found in the Bible. You can not discover “How to live” outside the Bible. It is only found as you focus on it and internalize it.
c) The Acts church’s Good side practiced fellowship with one another. Fellowship is the building of relationships with one another.
i) It’s the side of the church that breaks bread together so as to remember the Lord’s sacrifice for each of us.
(1) A church with the good in control recognizes that we as apart of the Body of Christ have a covenant relationship with the Lord God Almighty.
(2) A church with The Good winning is one that knows the value of relationships with one another.
d) The Good: It’s the side of the church that prays for each other and with one another.
i) Prayer is one of the greatest weapons of the church to defeat The Bad.
e) The Good: It’s the side of the church that has a good attitude Acts 2:43.
i) Everyone is filled with awe toward God. This is a great attitude to have!