Summary: A sermon examining 3 things that WILL be present when Jesus comes to church.
When Jesus Comes To Church
Last year I was privileged to worship at Olive Baptist Church in Pensacola Florida. On that Sunday morning they had a sanctuary filled with thousands of people. The building had stained glass windows, padded pews and a cross above the baptistery. They have a top notch sound system and large projector screens. There was a piano, organ, drums, guitars and even a small orchestra. They had a choir, a praise team, and a very talented worship leader. Pastor Ted Traylor got up, stood behind a large pulpit and preached from the Bible. God is doing great things through that ministry.
Some time ago I was privileged to preach for the Alabama Raceway ministry at the Talladega Superspeedway. We met that morning in a small tent. Our music was provided by a young man with a guitar. We sat on metal folding chairs. The sound system was basically a karaoke machine. There were approximately 30 people in attendance. That day one man was saved. And each year there are several who come to know Christ through that ministry.
If you tune in to RFD TV you can sometimes catch the worship service from several cowboy churches throughout the country. These folks may meet in a rodeo arena or a barn . They may be sitting in chairs and or on square bales of hay. They may do things a little different than we do, but they are reaching people for Jesus that we never will... And God is using them in a mighty way.
Our church would be considered a medium sized, traditional Southern Baptist church. We have padded pews, hymnals, stained glass windows and a choir. Some would call us "old fashioned" or "behind the times" but God is still doing a great work through this church.
We are blessed with great facilities and all of the tools that we need to function. But there are other churches who are thriving with much less. There is a local church plant that is just getting started and they are reaching people for Jesus while meeting in the banquet hall of a hotel. There is another new plant meeting in a strip mall that is having a great impact for the Lord. Some of the missionaries that we support are meeting in 3rd world countries in sheds that are not as nice as the places where we park our lawn mowers. A church can have multi-million dollar facilities with all of the amenities, state of the art equipment and thousands of people and be a complete failure in Gods eyes. While another small group of believers can meet in an abandoned warehouse and do great things for the Kingdom. The key is whether or not JESUS IS IN THE CHURCH!!
Have you ever noticed that sometimes we come to church and the presence of the Holy Spirit is so real that you can barely stand it. Then there are times where we leave and say "boy... something was missing today." This proves that a crowd of people meeting together does not guarantee that Jesus is in the midst. If that was the case revival would break out at baseball and football games. Likewise... songs and sermons do not guarantee the presence of Jesus!
But when we meet together with the right mindset... when we gather with prepared hearts... when we forget about ourselves and focus on the Savior, Jesus will show up and meet with us! I think we would all agree that there is nothing sweeter than those times when Jesus shows up at church!
In our text, Jesus entered a Synagogue and taught with power and authority. He cast a demon out of a man who was possessed. We are told that when this took place - v27 Amazement gripped the audience, and they began to discuss what had happened. “What sort of new teaching is this?” they asked excitedly. “It has such authority! Even evil spirits obey his orders!”
I would like to take a closer look at these verses and see what happens "When Jesus Is In The Church”. Notice first of all:
I. When Jesus Comes To Church, People Will Be Amazed -v21And they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. 22And they were astonished at his doctrine: for he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes.
The crowd in the Synagogue was “astonished” at His doctrine and teaching. They were amazed by the substance of His teaching. They were also amazed by the power and authority of His delivery. Verse 22 says “he taught them as one that had authority, and not as the scribes"
How could Jesus teach in such a way? Because of His knowledge and experience. Jesus taught with authority because He was there from the beginning - John 8:58 Jesus said …Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.