Summary: The only institution which Christ founded upon this earth is His Church. He established it more than 1900 years ago. The Church began with just a handful of believers, but through the years many have felt the power of the Gospel message as it was brought to them through the churches.
Some people say today that the influence of the Church is diminishing, but we know that it is still a mighty power in the hearts and lives of millions of people. Men may curse the Church today, but few, I know would want to live in a community where there is no Christian influence, no church. They would not be willing to bring their children up in a churchless atmosphere.
We must remember, however, that a church is not made up of bricks and lumber. It is made up of people. Let us think of a few things that we would want our church to be.
I. We Want it to be a Live Church.
1. Surely a dead church must break the heart of the Savior.
b. There are many churches in the world today that are making no progress at all for the Lord.
c. They hold together, they go through the forms of religion, but they have no vital influence in the lives of their people.
2. When a church is alive there is excitement.
a. There is growth.
b. Nothing exciting about death.
c. How can we have a live church?
3. Every member on the job, living consecrated Christians lives.
a. Attending every service.
b. Giving as God prospers.
c. Working every day for the glory of God
d. Salvation of souls
II. We Want it to be a Bold Church
1. The early church was fearfully persecuted, but they stood boldly for the truth. They possessed a holy boldness which came only from God.
a. Acts 4:16-20
b. Acts 5:27-28
2. We are living in a wishy-washy world, from a doctrinal standpoint.
a. We have this Bible and we ought to stand for its truth.
b. Truths that never change.
3. We are to denounce sin.
a. It has come to the place where a church member can do anything and get away with it.
b. We ought to be faithfully rebuking sin. 1 Timothy 5:20-21
4. This does not mean that we are to kick the fellow out who is already down.
a. We should seek to restore them.
b. We must let the world know where we stand as far as sin.
III. We Want it to be a Harmonious and United Church
1. On the day of Pentecost, the people were, “All of one accord.”
a. The church that is divided can never win.
b. The average church can do almost anything if it is united.
2. Illustration: Father with 7 sons, handed a stick to each and asked them to break it. Each did easily. Then tied the seven sticks together and asked them to break them. They couldn’t.
3. He was teaching them the lesson of united strength.
a. If our church today would go forward in a united front against the devil and sin, we will win the battle.
IV. We Want it to be a Friendly Church.
1. Some people who come to our church are lonely.
a. Some of them are strangers
b. Some of them are longing for the friendly touch of a loving hand.
2. We owe it to them to be friendly.
3. It is said that Robert Burns once attended a church which was so cold in every way that he vowed he would never go to church again.
4. Probably if that church had been as friendly as it should have been, a great author would have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior.
V. We Want it to be a Praying Church
1. If we go forward, it must be upon our knees. We make progress when we pray.
2. We know that God answers prayer. We have seen it time and time again, but often we forget.
VI. We Want it to be a Church Filled with the Holy Spirit.
1. A church can meet in a beautiful building.
2. It can be well organized.
3. It can have a great music program.
4. The pastor can preach the strongest of gospel messages
5. But all this will fail if the power of God’s Holy Spirit is not in it. We must pray for that power. Luke 11:13.
6. Even as a train car does not go forward unless it has inward power, neither can the church go forward unless it has within it, the power of the Holy Spirit.
VII. We Want it to be a Soul-Winning Church.
1. A church is to be like a lighthouse.
a. The light of the lighthouse shines out across the water, directing ships into a safe harbor.
2. So should the church keep its light ever shining in order that men in that light might find the way to Christ and heaven.
3. Life insurance agents are busy every day telling you to prepare for the hour of death by insuring your life. Life insurance is a good thing, but Eternal insurance is a better thing.