Summary: The greatest need of the church is revival. Are we willing to press through the crowd and place our selves at the feet of Jesus to receive it.
¡§The Condition, the Cure, the Crowd¡¨
Pastor Billy T. Short - October 2, 2005
Exciting day for us. Prayers have been answered. We needed a Spanish ministry. God has answered that prayer by bringing New Dawning Baptist Church to merge with us. This has truly been an awesome year for our church. New staff members, new ministries began, and a new sense of purpose and direction. Yet there is something missing. I have asked several this week what the church needs. I asked our ministerial staff in our meeting, "what is the one thing that our church needs more than anything else at this time. From individuals and members of our staff the answers have varied. From remodeling the worship center, building a family life center, start small group studies, spiritual growth, etc. While all of those are good. And while some of them are in the works. We are still missing the greatest need. What is its greatest need? In this story, I believe we can find the answer to that question.
I. Consider the condition of the woman.
A. She has a terrible DISEASE. v25
We don¡¦t know for sure the cause of the disease, only that it had lasted 12 years. Some of the possibilities were internal, nose bleeds, tumor, probably a uterine or menstrual problem.
B. She is totally DESPISED.
¡§If a woman has a discharge, and the discharge from her body is blood, she shall be set apart seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening.¡¨
Leviticus 15:19 NKJV
Read passage in Lev. 15 Because of the nature of her disease, she was totally despised. She could not touch or be touched by her husband, could not bear children, socially unclean, an outcast, spiritually unclean, not allowed to enter into the temple to worship.
C. She is understandably DESPERATE. v26
She had been to every doctor in the area, no specialist could help. The Jewish Talmud gives eleven different remedies for this problem, some bordering on witchcraft or magic. There were conflicting opinions.
D. She is eventually DESTITUTE. v26
She was worn out and broke. The insurance company says she was out of network. Medicare had run out. She had reached her limit. She had suffered physically, mentally, emotionally and finacially. There was nothing left and it still wasn¡¦t fixed. Sometimes I think I need to go to medical school and become a doctor just so I can afford to pay our medical bills.
1. The woman is a picture of US. YOU AND ME, THE CHURCH
2. The disease is a picture of our SINFULNESS.
3. Our disease is evidenced by our:
a. LUKEWARMNESS toward God and the things of God.
¡§So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.¡¨
Rev. 3:16 NKJV
Our lukewarmness to God and the things of God have left the church weak anemic and repulsive to God. Please understand that the reason for the church being luke warm is the individual Christians being luke warm
b. BACKSLIDDEN condition - Isaiah 1:2-4
¡§The backslider in heart will be filled with his own ways,¡¨
Proverbs 14:14a NKJV
Backsliding is defined by being filled with your own ways. When we think we know best we are backslidden, when our agenda takes precedence over God. When our desires take precedence over God. When we think we don¡¦t need Him. We would never say that, but we live that way.
We are left in a desperate situation. There has never been a time that our world needed the church. Unfortualnely the church is to busy going to church and doing church that we don’t have time to actually be the church. We are too weak to stand up to the decline in our culture. We are to anemic with our infightings and divisions to carry out our mission.
II. Consider the cure for which she sought.
A. She had HEARD about Jesus. v27
¡§So then faith comes by hearing,¡¨
Romans 10:17a NKJV
B. She believed He had the ANSWER. v28
C. She acted in FAITH. V27
¡§But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.¡¨
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV
Application: It is not enough to stand outside and hear that Jesus is the answer. It is not enough to believe intellectually that He is the answer. True faith acts upon what it hears and believes. If you hear that revival is needed, and believe that it is needed, unless you place yourself in a position to receive the healing power of Christ, you will not receive it. We look for cures everywhere but in Christ. If I could just go to this conference, this church, hear this preacher, read this book. By the way, if your spiritual life is in a mess here, don¡¦t go to another church and mess it up. Stay here get your life right and then Brookhill will be a better church. As a church we need a new preacher, program, plan, purpose. What we need is an old time, heaven sent revival. We can get all the things that we think we need but if we don¡¦t get in touch with Jesus we will wind up worse not better. I heard two ladies ladies in conversation this week talking about going to hear a preacher. The way they talked about this man, images of teenage girls reactions to Elvis and the Beatles came to my mind. It was almost as if they were infatuated with this preacher. The rub in it is this. I know that both of these women are not following Jesus. They seldom attend any church. They are living in an immoral lifestyle at this point.Don’t get me wrong, I love good preaching, there are preachers that I love to listen to. There are preachers that impact my ministry greatly. My point is this, we could bring the apostle Paul in on a bus tour, and let him preach to a full house in the Alamodome. But unless the people applied the word to their lives, so what. More preaching, and who is preaching isn’t the point. We must be doers and not hearers only.