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!