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?
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!
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?
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