Summary: The church today is not operating in God’s upside down, right side up principles. Most will agree with what Jesus taught but they will not teach it or preach it in their churches. This series will give our churches some good direction in being the kind of
A lot of people in the world have a messed up idea of what the church is.
Some think that the church of today is a place where people can go and meet with their friends, a kind of social club. Some view church as a place they can go so they can feel better about themselves. Some view church as a place that will help them justify their sinful lifestyle and then pacify the guilt of their sins because they were in church.
Then there are the thoughts of a really shallow Christian.
People can have some really messed up thoughts about church.
Today I am beginning a series of sermons that will hopefully show us what Jesus intended the church to be.
As we learn what God intended the church to be then we will get a better idea of the direction that PFC should be going in the future.
Father, open my eyes to see Your Word.
Open my ears to hear.
Open my mind to understand.
And open my heart so I may receive Your Word today.
What is the church?
The church is people. It is not the building we meet in, it is the people who meet in the building.
The church is made up of all the people throughout the world and throughout history who have accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.
Some confusion is associated with this term since we often call the buildings we meet in churches.
Many times their confusion comes to the conclusion that we don’t need to attend weekly services to be a part of the church.
I disagree with that conclusion and I contend that we need to get together as much as we need anything.
If we look at the first church as a model of all churches that followed then we can understand that the church is something that Jesus established and we can understand the importance of the church, us being a part of it, and supporting it.
Getting together with like minded people was a no brainer to Jesus and it was a no brainer to His disciples. They got together often to learn, to pray, to worship, and to change their world.
Jesus didn’t have to tell them to meet together; it was something that they understood as being important. The reason it was important was because when Jesus was alive He was always meeting with them and with others.
They understood that once Jesus was taken back to heaven that meeting together was going to be a part of what and who they were.
And that is just what they did. They got together and they encouraged each other, they helped each other, they exhorted each other, they shared with each other, they did things together, they worshipped together, prayed together and learned together.
The church was so important to the Apostle Paul that he agonized about staying on the earth and going to heaven.
We rarely see that kind of dedication today. David T. Olson, in his book, The American Church in Crisis, cites current church attendance for all churches in the US at about 17%.
Simply put, our society no longer sees church attendance as necessary to live a good life, or be a good citizen. Add to that fact, the increasing pluralism of our nation which is the fact that there are so many different beliefs in our world so you can “choose your own spirituality.”
The secular has replaced the sacred at the center of our lives. It has been noted that Christians are right back where they started, as a minority in a culture hostile to what we believe and the way in which we live.
We have people asking, “Why should I go to church?” When we should be asking, “What can I do to help build the body of Christ?”
One Sunday morning a married couple woke up as usual to get ready for church. She was ready to leave when she noticed that her husband was not dressed. So she asked, “Why aren’t you ready for church?”
He replied, “Because I don’t want to go.”
“Why don’t you want to go?” she asked.
“I have three reasons why I don’t want to go,” he responded. “1. The people are cold hearted. 2. No one likes me. 3. I just don’t want to go.”
She wisely replied, “Well honey, I have three reasons why you should go to church. 1. The people are warm hearted. 2. There are some people there who like you. 3. Because you are the pastor!”
My point is this, if the church was what Jesus intended the church to be then even the pastors would want to go to church.