Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This sermon helps us understand why people drop out of church. The story of a man and his foxhounds is the illustration tool.

Why Do Some People Quit on the Church?

Matthew 13:45-46

45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.

46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he

had and bought it.

Have you ever wondered why some people quit coming to church?

We’ve seen it happen here at Gospel Chapel.

It happens in all churches.

It’s wonderful when someone begins to attend regularly!

We welcome them into the congregation.

We look forward to seeing them each Sunday.

Then after a period of time, they quit coming!


I suppose there are a number of reasons.

When we contact these people and ask why they quit coming…

We usually hear all kinds of excuses.

However, I believe today’s Bible text tells us why they quit.

Jesus gives us the main reason why people quit on Him.

Today’s story is about a man named Homer McCoy. Homer lived alone in a

shack in the hills of Tennessee. His favorite thing to do was going fox

hunting and his most prized possession was his 10 foxhounds. Homer’s

favorite hound was named "Zeke". Early one evening, Homer’s neighbor

came over for a visit. The two men sat down on Homer’s porch. Both men

grabbed a small piece of firewood, took out their pocketknives and began to

whittle. As they whittled, these two men talked and watched the evening

turn to darkness.

We’ll get back to that story a little later!

Point #1

The Church Is A Treasure of Great Value

Matthew 13: 45"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking

for fine pearls.

It does you no good to find a treasure

if you don’t know its value.

The Church is a Treasure.

But it does you no good if you don’t see its Value.

I was talking to a lady recently

who was lamenting the fact that her grandchildren

have no interest in the Church.

They were raised in Christian homes.

They went to church as children and teenagers.

But now they don’t see the Value of Church

in their busy adult lives.


When someone grows up in church,

they often see the bad things that can happen in the church.

They see fights between members.

They see power plays among church leaders.

They see cliques and other kinds of exclusion.

They see church folks living in sin.

They see hypocrites!

Some even witness major traumas like church splits.

When people see those kinds of things happening in a church

many decide that if that is what church is all about

they want no part of it.

Jesus taught the Parable of the Wheat & Tares.

The enemy sows weeds in with the wheat.

It is those counterfeit Christians who have no conscience

when it comes to causing trouble in the flock.

In fact, they seem to enjoy the tension and turmoil they cause

because they aren’t connected in any real way to Christ.

To them…Church is just another organization to belong to.

In the light of the moon, Homer and his neighbor saw a coyote sneaking

up to Homer’s chicken pen. Zeke had been lying on the porch next to

Homer’s chair. When that old hound saw the coyote, he jumped to his feet

and barked. The big coyote turned and ran off in the direction of the woods.

Zeke dashed off the porch to chase the coyote, barking loudly. Soon

Homer’s other foxhounds heard Zeke barking and joined in the chase. Soon

the hills were echoing the sounds of their pursuit.

More of that story a little later!

Point #2. The Church Is A Treasure that

requires Great Sacrifice

46When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he

had and bought it.

What value does Jesus place upon the church?

Ephes. 5:25

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave

Himself for her,

Jesus was willing to suffer and die on the cross for the church!

He loves the church!

Notice that the man who found the pearl

sacrificed everything he had to obtain the Treasure.

The man had already sacrificed just in his search for the Pearl.

Pearl hunting involved great danger.

You don’t just walk along a beach to find them.

Oysters generally thrive at a depth of about 40 feet.

Back in Jesus’ day, a pearl diver would tie a large rock to his body

and jump over the side of a little boat,

allowing the weight of the rock

to pull him down to the oyster beds.

He risked danger from sharks and other sea creatures

to scour the mud for oysters.

An average of only 1 in 1,000 oysters contains a pearl.

All the while, he had to hold his breath

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