Summary: A question based on the old Wendy's commercial, Where's the Beef? It's what the world is asking about the church.
Where’s The Power?
A. In 1984-85 Wendy’s had a commercial running featuring a four foot eleven inch tall, gray haired old feisty Grandma named Clara Peller.
1. If you remember the commercial Ms. Peller would walk up to the counter of the fast food restaurant with about a four inch hamburger patty on a 12 inch bun, slap the counter and loudly asked, Where’s the Beef?
2. It became a national catch phrase that was used even in the presidential elections in 1984.
3. The premise behind the ad was that there was no place except Wendy’s that you could get a hamburger with enough beef to satisfy your appetite.
4. The expectation was that if you went to Wendy’s for your hamburger, you would not have to ask…Where’s the Beef!
B. I ask you this morning…how do our churches measure up to this expectation today?
1. For years the church has been selling a bill of goods to unbelievers about the Power of God that changes people’s lives.
2. People from all walks of life are now coming into our churches today looking for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit at work in our houses of worship.
3. Unfortunately, too many times, they’re leaving when the services are over and never seeing any manifestation of this Power.
4. Like Clara Peller, they are asking…Where’s The Power?
C. How do we answer that question today?
1. First of all, is it a legitimate question?
2. Secondly, if it is a legitimate question, why…what is the difference, where has it gone?
3. When we read the Biblical accounts of the early church we see overwhelming evidence of a Holy Spirit at work changing the lives of pagan people and as the book of Acts puts it “turning this world upside down for Jesus Christ.”
4. We hear stories that our parents told and we remember in our earlier years, when old so and so, the town drunk got saved!
5. I’m not saying we never see God’s power manifested in our church today…but we do see far too little of it!
D. So what’s changed?
1. Has the God we serve changed?
(Heb 13:8 KJV) Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
2. Do we still have sinners in our midst? Duh!
3. I think Pogo, the famous cartoon character said it best when he said “I have seen the enemy, and it is us.”
And his fame went throughout all Syria: and they brought unto Him all sick people that were taken with divers diseases and torments, and those which were possessed with devils, and those which were lunatic, and those that had the palsy; and He healed them.
4. This morning I would like to share with you five questions from our text today that I think will shed some light on the question, Where’s the Power.
I. Who is THEY?
1. …and they…
(Acts 1:7 KJV) And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
(Eph 1:13 KJV) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
2. The THEY in Matthew 4:24 are the followers of Jesus Christ!
3. It is anyone who has received the Holy Spirit of promise.
4. We receive Him when we accept Jesus’ offer of Salvation.
5. We are not saved to sit…we are saved to serve!
(Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
6. So many times we want to sit in God’s house, soaking up all of His spiritual blessings, and not do anything else.
(Titus 3:8 KJV) This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
7. We are content to just let everyone else do all the work.
This is a story about four Christians named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.
There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it. Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody's job. Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn't do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have.