Summary: As a church our purpose has to be to make a difference by Changing Live for Time and Eternity. Why must we do this? (This is the second in a 5 part series)
(For the accompanying powerpoint - http://www.hueytownbaptist.com/pastorspage/sermondownloads.html)
* In September, 1991, the ruling government of the Soviet Union admitted something it had denied for nearly sixty years. During the Stalin era, officials once forgot to set the national clocks back one hour when they came off winter daylight-saving time. They were so embarrassed by the gaffe that the Soviet government stayed on the wrong time and denied the whole thing for nearly six decades.
* When I read this story, my mind was drawn to the parallel between the Soviet Union and the modern day church. Somehow we have come to believe that if we say something “loud enough”, “long enough”, “vote on it” and the majority says it, “it had to be true.” This attitude has almost crippled the American church and has resulted in a society which is drowning in a sea of immorality, moral relativity, and universalism. While all of this is “going on” before our eyes, the church (members) sit silently by.
* Consider this, when the Holy Spirit fell on those believers at Pentecost, the immediate result was a change in the lives of ALL the believers, which impacted a city, country, and ultimately the world.
* Paul writes in 2 Timothy 4:5 “…fulfill your ministry”, John writes in chapter 9:5 “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Then Matthew teaches in 5:14 “You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden.” Light is a change agent. Darkness is defined as the absence of light. In the beginning, God didn’t have to create the darkness, but He said, “let there be light” and the darkness was change.
* The very reason we need to be in the business of Changing lives for time and eternity is because of the darkness. Let’s put some Biblical reasons to our case.
1) The Design and Desire of the Sovereign –
> God created man in HIS image then blew divine breath into him and man became a “living soul”. By design we are to have a special relationship to the Father.
> You and I were designed to have a special, personal, ongoing relationship to God.
> We can only find complete peace and fulfillment when we do what we’re designed to do. Rick Warren calls this our “purpose”. Simply stated our purpose is to return to our creator and establish a relationship with Him which parallels the one Adam and Eve had in those early days.
> Had Adam and Eve not sinned there would be no need to “change lives for either time or eternity” because we would be perfect. When sin entered the world we became flawed and imperfect creatures who were and are unworthy of a relationship with God. In fact, there is no way to get to God on our own.
> We’ll try, but it won’t work. In the Old Testament we discover the people after the flood saying, “we can build our way to God.” In the New Testament we discover people saying, “We can work our way to God”. Today, we’ll either hear that OR people will say, “We can think our way to God”. For there is an in-bred part of each one of us which KNOWS we need the Father. The problem is that we cannot get there by ourselves. We need help.