Summary: Why is it that people in Canada today are interested in God and spiritual things, but they aren’t going to church? It’s time to take a new look at the church, and go back to the Bible and make sure we’re doing church the way God intended!
WHAT IS THE CHURCH?
INTRO TO TOPIC: This morning I want to talk to you about something I dearly love and cherish. THE CHURCH.
Do you remember the rhyme we learned as children?
“Here’s the church, here’s the steeple, open the doors and see all the people." If we were to write that song today, we might have to change the last line to: "Open the doors... and where are the people?" Why is it that people in Canada today are interested in God and spiritual things, but they aren’t going to church? It’s time to take a new look at the church, and go back to the Bible and make sure we’re doing church the way God intended!
This is what I live for! I love the church, and so does Jesus!
OPENING TEXT: “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25-27).
WHAT IS THE CHURCH?
Church is not a place or a building. You can’t “go” to church – you ARE the church.
Church is a family. Christianity is not a religion, its about an adoption relationship with a loving Heavenly Father.
ILLUSTRATION: Some of you maybe you’ve never had a good church experience. My wife Liza makes this great dessert – called the blueberry. Once you’ve tasted it, you’ll keep coming back for more. Don’t just be content to go to church to sing the songs and hear the stories about what God did in the past, but rather come and "Taste and see that the Lord is good!" Give church another chance!
I like Jerry Cook’s vision: “To see the church become what Jesus was in the world – a center of love, designed for the healing of broken people, and a force for God.” (Love, Acceptance and Forgiveness).
KEY TEXT: It’s time to change our concept of the church - let’s go back to the Bible!
“42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:42-47).
10 ESSENTIAL KEYS TO A BIBLICAL CHURCH:
1. The Apostle’s Doctrine - teaching - a church that teaches & preaches the Word of God.
2. Fellowship - loving each other in deep and meaningful relationships.
3. Prayers - believing that God still answers prayer today.
4. Wonders and signs - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever, and He’s still saving, delivering, and healing lives today.
5. Together - a sharing of lives, and generously sharing our resources with one another
6. House to house - small groups is to be a vital and important part of the life of the church.
7. Gladness - it’s fun being saved! There is fullness of joy in the presence of the Lord!
8. Simplicity of heart - the Gospel message is so simple - loving God and loving people
9. Praising God - praise and worship - loving God by living lives that glorify Him
10. Those who were being saved - people coming to know Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
Our Church sign outside the building of Beausejour Community Church taht says that we exist for "providing hope, healing and restoration through God’s Word."
Our Vision = Liberating lives through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to prosper is that enough good men do nothing.” It’s time for us to become a force for good in the world! We are living in a dark world that needs to see the light of the Gospel!
WORLDLY PHILOSOPHY: (I came across this on a website this past week). To me, it’s a good idea to always carry two sacks of something when you walk around. That way, if anybody says, ’Hey, can you give me a hand?’ You can say, ’Sorry, got these sacks.’ Let’s not be like that!
“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, "How can I help?" That’s exactly what Jesus did. He didn’t make it easy for himself by avoiding people’s troubles, but waded right in and helped out. "I took on the troubles of the troubled," is the way Scripture puts it.” (Romans 15:1-3, The Message Paraphrase).