Summary: In the old west they had a saying, wanted dead or alive, Jesus says the same thing in the book of Revelation!
Wanted: Dead or Alive!
As we look in the Book of Revelation we find that God would rather a church be dead or alive, than lukewarm. I believe that gives you and I a choice! Do we want to strive to be alive, or do we want to wither away and die, given that choice I think we should chose being alive every time!
The best picture of a church on fire is found in Acts 2:42, There are 7 or 8 things found here that will keep a church alive, I want to share these with you today and tonight.
I. To be alive and not dead we must FOLLOW
There is a unique word used in this passage of scripture today that is seldom seen in the Church anymore, Continue. To be durable, to remain in a place for an indefinite amount of time. Many churches are encountering revolving door syndrome!
a. Follow the Savior - Ephesians 5:1
b. Follow the Scripture - Acts 2:42
c. Follow where ere’ it Satisfies him - Psalms 23:2,3
II. To be alive and not dead we must FELLOWSHIP
Did you know today that many people are content to go to church, never get to know anyone, never speak to anyone, do the religious duty and go back to a separate life on Monday Morning! Some folks get to church at 9:59, and leave at 12:01.
I believe God wants us to fellowship!
Turn to 1 John 1
* Have you ever been to a church where as soon as the sermon was over it was like someone rang the fire alarm?
* A sign of a healthy church is actually having to wait around to close the doors!
a. Fellowship because of Same Desires -
b. Fellowship because of the Same Doctrine -
c. Fellowship because of the same Devil!
III. To be alive and not dead we must FAITHFULLY give
Now I know that it is difficult to hear about giving during Christmas, However I believe that we see this principle here.
Giving is threefold, to set this church on fire and to cause her to be alive we must focus threefold giving:
a. Of our treasure
b. Of our Talent - whatever God has gifted you to do, do it!
c. Of our Time - Donate your time to the Church.
Finally let me say, being a church on fire will not be easy, to be on fire, we will go through the fire, and we will have to fan the flames. Let’s strive to alive in 2005!