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Summary: This message examines the need for a proactive family of God. The church (Christians) is presented as the only solution to society’s ills.

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(Elab) = Elaborate

Matthew 16:18-19

18 "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

Intro - (The Story of Humpty Dumpty illustrates the tragic inability of Government to right the wrongs in this society, i.e. “all the king’s horses and all the king’s men…”)

Yet while government is clearly unable to effect the right kind of change in our communities, the family of God seems unwilling to use the power of God to change lives. (Elab)

I am troubled by the situation, in which we find ourselves, when I read what Jesus says in this text. (Elab - I mean, we have plenty of churches; and yet the enemy is still abusing our community) How?

Perhaps we are not clear on what Jesus is saying to US:

The Church is not based on Peter - Peter - “petros” = small stone

Rock - “petra” = Large Foundational Stone

Hell’s Gates - (Elab – The many social ills of our cities, towns and neighborhoods represent the “gates of Hell)

Binding & Loosing - (Elab - Rabbinical Terms meaning to “forbid & to permit”) To bind or loose, you must have recognized authority.

Acts 19:14-16 – We see an example when there is no recognized authority:

14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

15 And the evil spirit answered and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?"

16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

In spite of all that is happening in our world, in spite of all the confusion and chaos there remains a group of folks who think the church is unnecessary. (Elab)

There are those who believe the church has outlived her usefulness in this society. (Elab - 91% of unsaved or unchurched folk believe that we are insensitive to their needs)

I submit to you today that we must bear some responsibility for this belief. (Elab - How do we market ourselves?)

The Church is necessary and relevant, but let us remember just what the church is - a hospital, with sick folk trying to get well. (Elab)

Three reasons the church is necessary:

I. To Bring Order To Our Lives

We are out of order without God.

A. Rightful Worship (Elab - the diff. between worship and rightful worship)

B. Order in the Home (Elab – Many homes should display an “out of order” sign instead of address)

C. Personal Order - Holiness (Elab)

II. To Be the Voice of Righteousness in the World

19 "And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."

A. The Church must be more than a building that houses our worship; it must be more than a place where we practice our dance and our shout. (Elab - The Church must be the people of God - Salt & Light)*


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