Summary: Do we really make a difference in this world? Has the church become insignificant today? Churches have a high calling to honor God in their attitudes and actions.
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.
Introduction – Nathan Hale
“Nathan Hale was a young man who had every prospect for a happy and fulfilling life. He was very well educated for his day—a Yale graduate in an era when very few went to college. Although there are many contemporary accounts regarding his appearance and personality, no negative statements have been recorded; indeed, he was vividly remembered and admired by his acquaintances—longer than 60 years after his death. Accounts from classmates, friends, relatives, fellow soldiers, teachers, and students all carry the same general theme: that he was kind, gentle, religious, athletic, intelligent, good looking and as one contemporary testified, “the idol of all his acquaintances.” In 1775, Hale accepted a commission as 1st lieutenant in the Connecticut Regiment and later served under Washington as the commander of a ranger company whose mission in the cause of Freedom was forward reconnaissance. One evening in September, 1776, Hale was captured as a spy. After making a “sensible and spirited speech” to those few who were there, the former schoolteacher and Yale graduate was executed by hanging—an extremely ignominious and horrible fate to one of his time and class. Upon his hanging, he spoke the words we all remember, “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.” He was “… An insignificant schoolteacher who never wrote anything important, never owned any property, never had a permanent job, never married or had children, never fought in a battle and who failed in his final mission—made history in the last few seconds of this life. And there is a familiar ring in the story of Nathan Hale, an echo of 2,000 years ago. Jesus, who was “the idol” of many…kind gentle, religious, who never personally wrote anything important, had no where to lay his head, never married or had children, who in the world’s eyes failed at his final mission—made history in the last few seconds of his life. As we look today at the seemingly insignificant church, let us remember that the church which Jesus Christ established is His body. The church is only insignificant in the eyes of the world. In the eyes of God, we are the messengers of a living and vibrant hope!
SOURCE: SermonCentral Staff. Citation: Circian. “A Time for Heroes—The Story of Nathan Hale. http://www.earlyamerica.com/review/2002_summer_fall/n_hale.html.
Because the church is NOT insignificant, we have an incredible calling to fulfill. Notice what the writer of Hebrews says, “Let us hold fast” and “let us consider”. Our objective is to stay faithful and true to the Lord Jesus Christ. He is our hope, love and good works as we serve Him.
The writer also encourages us to continue to assemble together in service to Him. God has no plan B or any other ways to heaven. The road to salvation runs through Jesus Christ alone!
The church has been equipped and empowered to confront today’s culture. We are the counter-culture revolutionists. Because we are the bearers of Light and the salt of the earth, the church has several responsibilities to engage. Let’s examine what a church should be involve in a believers life.
First, we find that the church involves COMMUNITY.
We are to engage and confront a community which is hell-bound. Every individual must make a decision where they stand concerning Christ. Man was not made to straddle a fence!
Christ gives us our purpose in the community. Because we have the Great Commandment (to love God and man; Matthew 22:36-39) and the Great Commission (to win the lost; Matthew 28:19-20) with a Great Commitment (to deny, die and devote ourselves to Him; Mark 8:34).
Second, Christ is our passion in the community. We do it (soul winning and discipleship) because He is our delight. We want others to experience what we have experienced. We want them to share in the glories of Christ!
Then, we rearrange our priorities in the community. We are a small part of the great Kingdom of God. Often we spend our time wasting the moments we are given on vain and useless events. We enable our children to participate in things which neither honors nor respects godly living!
As I look back into my past, I see some specific failures in my life where I did not emphasize the things of God to my children as strongly as I should have. It is really no ones fault but my own. I simply missed the forest for the trees.