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Summary: What is going on with the church today? This sermon highlights the age-old issues that cause problems in our churches

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Text: Rev 2:1 – 3:22

Theme: The problem with the church

Introduction:

- Have you ever looked the church and asked yourself the question: “What is wrong with the church today?” [e]

- I have asked myself this question on numerous occasions [e]

- Why this question?

- Firstly, let’s define who the church is:

- The church (in a nutshell) is the Body of Christ…you and I, and not the physical building [e]

- We make up the church of God [e]

- Secondly, why must the church exist?

- The church exists because it was ordained by Christ to be a body that met regularly together [e]

- Hebrews 10: 24 – 25 says, “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” [explain Scripture]

- Thirdly, for what purposes does the church exist?

- The church exists for basically 2 reasons:

- For outside this building, the church (every single one of us) is called to declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ [e]

- This responsibility falls upon every single one of us [e]

- Matthew 28: 19 20 says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen.”

- Inside the church building, we are to preach and teach the Word of God [e]

- We are to pray for one another and we are to help each other out [e]

- I am not going to go deep into this, but rather in the light of this, we find that the church seems to have gone off on a completely different direction than from what God requires [e]

- And it’s not a recent problem that has arisen in the church, but ones that are age old as the enemy of our souls has been instigating these issues from the day the New Testament church was born [e]

- So to answer the question, “What is wrong with the church?”, lets look at 7 churches in the Bible and see how the same plagues affect us today

- Turn with me to the book of Revelation 2

1. The church has lost it’s first love

- [read 2: 1 – 4]

- When we talk about love, we refer to the heart [e]

- The heart always has to do with love [e]

- Why the heart?

- The heart is an organ that keeps the body alive [e]

- When the church loses it’s first love, it means that Jesus, Who used to be our first love, has been replaced [e]

- He is there [e]

- He has a degree of importance to us [e]

- We still mention His Name every now and then [e]

- But something else has replaced Him as our first love [e]

- Christ is the One that keeps this body called the Body of Christ alive [e]

- When a church replaces Christ with other loves, the church then become in danger of dying spiritually, because the Heart of the church (Jesus) is gone [e]

- How do you recognise a church that has lost its first love?


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