Summary: The world says you don’t need church. The WORD says you do.
September 27, 2009
Text: Hebrews 10:23-25
Subject: The Church
Title: Why We Need One Another
Today’s sermon stems from a question that was asked at youth group on Thursday. Clint was encouraging the young people to be in church on Sunday and one of the girls who does not come to church (Thursday night is her church) asked this question, a question you have all heard before. “If we are saved, do we have to go to church and do all the “churchy” stuffy and do we have to be all about God all the time?” That isn’t that bad a question to be coming from an eighth grader. I’m pretty sure that the question didn’t originate with her but from parents who don’t attend church anywhere. But it made me start thinking about the real reason that people don’t come to church and the reasons that they should come to church.
Before I go any further I want to say this – your relationship with Jesus Christ is more than attending church. Having said that, now I’ll ask the question, “What kind of relationship do you really have with God if you repeatedly refuse His invitation to come spend time in His house?
There are as many excuses for not being in church as there are people.
I read this story on the Internet.
A pastor wrote, Football in the fall. Basketball in the winter. Baseball in the spring and summer. This pastor has been an avid sports fan all his life. But I’ve had it! I quit this sports business once and for all. You can’t get me near one of those places again. Want to know why...
Every time I went, they asked me for money.
The people with whom I had to sit didn’t seem very friendly.
The seats were too hard and not at all comfortable.
I went to many games, but the coach never came to call on me.
The referee made a decision with which I could not agree.
I suspected that I was sitting with some hypocrites -- they came
to see their friends and what others were wearing rather than to see the game.
Some games went into overtime, and I was late getting home.
The band played some numbers that I had never heard before.
It seems that the games are scheduled when I want to do other things.
I was taken to too many games by my parents when I was growing up.
I don’t want to take my children to any games, because I want
them to choose for themselves what sport they like best.
As we turn to Hebrews chapter 10 today, I want to help you understand how important it is for you to be in church regularly, and how important it is for you to encourage others to do the same.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the spirit is saying to the church.
I. WE NEED CHURCH TO HELP US PERSEVERE. (23) . Let’s back up a few verses to help us understand what your individual role in perseverance is intended to be. 19Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. As a follower of Jesus Christ you have these things to hold on to. 1)You can have confidence to enter into the presence of God whenever you need to. Matthew 27:50-51, 50And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The death of Jesus Christ for your sin did away with the need for OT temple sacrifices. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice offered once and for all. Because you are saved from judgment through your relationship with Him you can now enter into the Holy Place – where God’s presence is - any time you desire. Since the OT sacrifices are no longer valid, this has become the “new way” for people to come to God. a new and living way opened for us… 2) Jesus has become your great High Priest. He is the one who now offers intercession for you in the presence of God, and He is doing it all the time. The OT Priest could only stand in for the people once a year. That sacrifice only covered sin. Jesus takes sin away. 3) Since that is the case we can draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith… “full assurance” is also translated “entire confidence”. “Faith” means “being fully persuaded”. Do you se the extent of work of the cross? Because sin has been removed (having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water) you can draw near to God without fear – with confidence, assurance and faith. That is your responsibility as an individual. Now let’s move on to verse 23 to see how the local church plays a role in persevering. 23Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful… I want you to notice the plural pronouns – us and we. The hope that I have for the return of Jesus for His church is not a hope that I created in my own mind. It is a hope that was given for the entire church. We’ve moved from the personal responsibility of your salvation to the collective hope of the church. We can hold onto that hope because, he who promised is faithful… Although your salvation is God’s grace put into motion by your prayer of repentance and confession of faith, it is the whole church that He will come for. Your involvement in a local church is your confession of that truth. You need one another. Romans 12:15, Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Galatians 6:2, Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. The church is the institution that God has established in order for His people to be able to hold on till the end. Proverbs 4:13 says, “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life. Where do you get that kind of instruction? In the church! Help one another hold on to the promises that have been given them.