Summary: We will consider how the Lord’s church started and what’s significant about it. In this text, I see these things: 1- powerful spirit 2- pointed message 3- penitent response
INTRO.- What’s the big deal about the church? What’s so important about the church? Why go to church? What does it do for us?
I’m sure these are some questions that the average American asks. And the answers they get from themselves or others are not very positive so they don’t go to church.
ILL.- In a door-to-door survey conducted by the Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, IL, the question was asked: if you don’t go to church, why? The five biggest reasons: 1) Boring, 2) Irrelevant, 3) Asking for money all the time, 4) I’m too busy already, 5) I feel awkward at church.
Brothers and sisters, I can understand some of these responses from people.
ILL.- Gladys Dunn recently moved to a retirement community in a small town. One beautiful Sunday morning she walked to the church not far from her apartment. She was in awe of the lovely structure, as well as music from the choir. She wasn’t too impressed, however, with the sermon. She thought it was rather uninspiring, and as she looked around the church, she noticed many of the parishioners nodding off. When the reverend finished he encouraged the congregation to greet those sitting next to them.
Gladys turned toward the man on her left, who had fallen asleep and was stretching trying to wake up. He smiled at her, and Gladys returned the smile.
She politely offered her hand and said, "I’m Gladys Dunn." "You and me both!" the man replied.
Some churches are boring. Their services are boring. No one likes boring. I don’t think we’re boring but we may well be predictable and it seems that some people like a certain amount of unpredictability in life, like in a good suspense movie.
Of course, there is also a certain amount comfort and/or assurance in a predictable church service. We who lead must do our best to make the service interesting, edifying or somewhat stimulating (music, meditations, sermons, etc.)
I heard a preacher say one time that if it doesn’t edify (build, encourage, etc.) in the church then don’t do it.
Another reason some people don’t go to church is because they think it is irrelevant, meaning they don’t think it has anything that applies to their lives or daily living.
Well, I beg your pardon, I try to make my messages as relevant as possible. I always apply the Word of God to our lives! I may not touch every issue that a person is dealing with, but just give me time. We must always apply scripture.
Irrelevance can also refer to the type of music or the worship style of a church as well. And I admit that the youth of today want or prefer contemporary Christian music and I’m an old fuddy-duddy who was raised on the old gospel hymns. I do believe that we need to have a blended music program so as to appeal to various age groups.
Another big reason I think some people don’t go to church is they are too busy. We are the going-ist generation I’ve ever seen. Some people don’t know what the quiet means or they don’t know how to sit at home for one night.
ILL.- After the service a young couple talked to a church member about joining the church. He hadn’t met the husband before, and he asked what church he was transferring from. After a short hesitation, he replied, "I am transferring from the Municipal Golf Course." I WISH.
When people transfer from the golf course or fishing hole or some other place to the church, that’s when the church is becoming very relevant.
People have all kinds of excuses for not going to church or getting involved in the church, and this must change! We need to change somewhat in order to change people!
PROP. - Let’s think about how the Lord’s church started and what’s significant about it. In this text, I see these things: 1- powerful spirit 2- pointed message 3- penitent response
I. POWERFUL SPIRIT
Acts 2:14-16 “Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: "Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These men are not drunk, as you suppose. “It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel…”
THESE MEN ARE NOT DRUNK. Have you ever been accused of being drunk? Yes, when I was drunk. But what about when you were completely sober?
These men were completely sober and yet some people thought they were drunk because they heard them speaking in tongues, that is, they were speaking in foreign languages without ever having learned them. HOW INTERESTING! How could that be? It was made possible by a powerful spirit called the Holy Spirit!