Summary: The church is just one generation away from extinction. We must lead our young people to the place where they can experience God for themselves.
March 28, 2010
Text: Matthew 21:12-17
Subject: Jesus in the Temple
Title: The Fountain of Youth
It is good to have our visitors from First Assembly in Hannibal here today. I appreciate the work that they do with the Royal Rangers and the training they have provided for our men in an attempt to get a Ranger program started here.
One thing that I can say about this church – you folks will do whatever it takes to get our children and youth involved in church. Last week we held our first annual chili cook-off to raise money for our kids to go to camp. Last week also saw our National BGMC Day bring in a total of 31 pounds of change, which totaled $183.83. We want our children to know how important mission giving is. And today we recognize Jim and Larry for going through the Royal Ranger training.
I told our youth group Thursday night that they need to understand something, and I think must of you need to be reminded as well. This next generation is not just the future of the church – they are the church now. And it is our responsibility to help them become mature Christians in order to continue the work that many of you began years ago. That is what church is all about isn’t it… making disciples?
Today I want to show you that this is not a church for just your generation or for the younger generation but a church for all generations. But is up to you to make sure that the younger generation grows up in the Lord to make this place a perpetual fountain of youth. For us to do that we must allow Jesus to take control of His house once again and we must teach our young people to do the same.
I want you to turn to Matthew 21. We’ll begin in verse 12 and read through 16.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN JESUS IS IN THE TEMPLE? 12Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13“It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’” You know, I don’t want to sound judgmental, but I believe that there are so-called “Christian” churches around where Jesus isn’t there. I’m not naming names or calling out any denomination. I’m talking about churches in general. The reason I say that is because when Jesus is really present in a church, things begin to happen. 1) When Jesus is in the house sin and anything that distracts from His purpose is purged from the church. 12Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. Ezekiel 20:36-38, 36As I judged your fathers in the desert of the land of Egypt, so I will judge you, declares the Sovereign LORD. 37I will take note of you as you pass under my rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant. 38I will purge you of those who revolt and rebel against me. Although I will bring them out of the land where they are living, yet they will not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD. 2) When Jesus is in the house it will be purified. Isaiah 1:22-25, 22 Your silver has become dross, your choice wine is diluted with water; 23 Your rulers are rebels, companions of thieves; they all love bribes and chase after gifts. They do not defend the cause of the fatherless; the widow’s case does not come before them . 24 Therefore the Lord, the LORD Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: “Ah, I will get relief from my foes and avenge myself on my enemies. 25 I will turn my hand against you; I will thoroughly purge away your dross and remove all your impurities. 3) When Jesus is in the house, His word will be proclaimed. Deuteronomy 11:18-21, 18Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 20Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, 21so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. In God’s house His word will always have priority. 4) When Jesus is in the house there will be prayer. My house will be called a house of prayer… Isaiah 56:7, these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” We must teach our young people that this is God’s house.