Summary: 3 reasons why it is good to be a part of a local church
Sermon for 6/13/2010
You Need a Family
I like the preacher who always started each service with "The Lord be with you." The people would respond, "and also with you.” But, one Sunday the PA system wasn’t working so the first thing he said was "There’s something wrong with this microphone." The people responded, "and also with you."
A. Many people in our day are without a church. “I have no problem with Christ; I just have a problem with the church.”
C. Attendees are spectators from the sidelines; members get involved in the ministry. Attendees are consumers; members are contributors. Attendees want the benefits of a church without sharing the responsibility.
D. One of the biggest hurdles we face is convincing attendees they need to commit themselves to a church family and become members. Today’s culture of independent individualism has created many spiritual orphans- “bunny believers,” who hop around from one church to another without any accountability or commitment.
E. Many believe one can be a “good Christian” without being part of a local church.
Thesis: 3 reasons why it is important to have a church family
1. To be challenged in our walk with Christ.
A. The world is not going to encourage our walk with Christ. The world wants us to abandon our walk with Christ. Only a gathering of Christ’s followers will encourage us to keep going on. Only a gathering of Christ’s followers will challenge us to have a more alive and growing relationship with Christ. Only a gathering of Christ’s followers, a church, will seek to confront us with our sins and challenge us to change.
B. Some people don’t like that. They like where they are spiritually. They don’t want to change. They don’t want to go to new heights in their relationship with Christ.
C. Where are we challenged to take our walk with Christ seriously? The church.
E. A preacher went to visit a man who no longer attended church. Sitting by the fire and took out one hot coal and set it off on the side.
C. The church is where we learn how to act in a family. This is where we put the one another passages into practice like being devoted to one another, honoring one another, living in harmony with one another, accepting one another, serving one another, being kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, encouraging one another, spurring one another on toward love and good deeds.. This is where the good manners are learned! Where rough edges are polished off!
D. Most importantly, (John 13:34 NIV) “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:35 NIV) By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." This is where we should experience pure love! There are many things in this world called “love” that are not: sex, lust, self gratification, pride, manipulation, covetousness, idolatry, cruelty, etc. But here love should be pure and genuine. (Rom 12:9 NIV) Love must be sincere.