Summary: When the church is functioning properly, it is UNSTOPPABLE.
UNSTOPPABLE #2 - “Unstoppable Alliances”
Quick review of last week: “Unstoppable Vision”.
Here’s our vision, our Big Idea - its based on Ephesians 5:2 in The Message: Keep company with God, and learn a life of love. We talked about our Big Idea, and how we go about carrying that out... (review)
This week: We’re called to an Unstoppable Alliance; one where we partner together to live this vision out. Keeping company with God, and together, learning a life of love. We’re all faced with a choice; to do life alone or do it in a strategic alliance, in connection with one another.
Let’s unpack this a little bit. If you have a Bible, open up to Acts 2 but it’ll be on the screen.
V44: All the believers were... Whats the word? Together. All the believers were together and they had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet... How? Together. ...they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate...” how’d they eat? Together. ...they ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Incredible impact. Why? The early church, in my opinion, were tremendously blessed because they were unified. They were together. They believed that scripture was very, very important, so they studied it together. They believed that relationships were incredibly important, so they did life together. They believed that generosity was incredibly important, and so they were, and they did this together. And because they were so unified, an incredible dynamic was present:
You could criticize them, but that wouldn’t stop them. You could threaten to hurt them, but that would only make them more passionate. You could persecute them, and they’d become more united. You could even kill some of them, and that would just make the rest of them more focused and intent on doing what Jesus called them to do. They were so united, no matter what you did to them, you couldn’t stop them. Unity. Together. Unstoppable Alliance.
A couple of things, if you’re taking notes. What does God want? God wants us united, to be in agreement, to be together. What does our spiritual enemy want? He doesn’t want us united. He wants us divided.
If I were to ask you, “Do you think Christians around the world today are united or divided? I’d say sadly, Christians are pretty divided. Worse than divided, we’re splintered, and in some cases can barely get along.
Craig Groeschel took those verses in Acts 2, and kinda translated them into how this actually looks in our day. Remember, the way they were lived in the early NT days, they were together. They were in agreement. They were generous. But, here’s how it is lived out today:
All the believers were divided. They didn’t have much of anything in common. Hoarding their possessions and goods, they kept as much as they could for themselves. Every now and then, if it wasn’t football season and they weren’t too tired, they’d come to church for an hour and leave before connecting with others. They loved Jesus when it was convenient; yet, they were despised by people for their hypocrisy, and very few people got saved.’
Why is that the unfortunate truth? One reason is that in our country today, Christianity has become more of a “me” Christianity instead of what it was meant to be; and that’s a “we” Christianity. Today, it’s about me. “What can I get? I’m looking for a church that meets my needs. I’m church shopping. If this one doesn’t wow me, if it doesn’t make my socks go up & down, I’ll look somewhere else.”
Then, a lot of people today say, “I can’t find a church I like anywhere. None of them meet my needs, and so I’m just not going to go anywhere.” My needs; my wants; my opinion.
But when I read the New Testament, it seems to be more about we. It’s about us doing our part in the family of Christ. You hear this me-centered philosophy, even in our language, and we’ve said this phrase a gazillion times: “You need to have a personal relationship with Jesus”. Thats true; you do, because no one else can do that for you. But what’s more Biblical, rather than saying that I need or you need to have a personal relationship, it’s even more Biblical to say we need to have a shared relationship with Jesus, where we know Him in community, where we experience Him wherever two or three are gathered together in His name.
If you’re a believer, you need to partner somewhere in a local church. If it’s not here and you don’t like us, thats ok. No hard feelings. Go find a church that teaches the Bible and plug in, and invest your life in the greatest cause on planet earth. But do it somewhere. If it’s here, today I want to give you 3 ways that we’re going to partner, and if you agree, then you might say, “Yes, I want to partner with other believers at 360. We’re going to help ppl Keep company with God and learn a life of love. What are these 3 things? Glad you asked.