Is the Church a Rest Home?
Outline by Dr. Lee Roberson
INTRODUCTION: “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers . . .” ( Acts 13:1)
What is a church? The answers are numerous.
1. Some think it is an organization like a lodge or PTA.
2. Some think it is a recreation center.
3. Some think it simply helps people to live better.
4. Some think of it as a place of comfort in sorrow and death.
One church has a sign over its door: “God’s hospital and dining hall.” This church is in Chattanooga.
Here are answers that may have come to you:
I. What is a Church?
It is a body of baptized believers uniting themselves together to carry out Christ’s Commission.
There are three distinctives of a Bible-believing church:
A. Regeneration. “Ye must be born again” for all members.
B. Separation—from the world, the state, and from a state church, independent of all influences and powers around it.
C. Participation. Every believer is a priest unto God.
II. The main enemy of the Church: Satan (I Peter 5:8)
A. He works to deceive. He gets us to major on the minors.
B. He works through the selfishness of the people. “For all seek their own, and not the things of Christ.” Ananias and Sapphira are good illustrations of this. Many join but refuse to help with foreign missions. Having socials, parties, entertainments, and paid suppers are not a part of the church’s work. Its work is spiritual.
C. He develops heresies to destroy the souls of men or to tear down the fellowship of God’s saints.
III. The main work of the Church: The Great Commission
A. The church needs a vision. “Without a vision the people perish. Jesus had tears over Jerusalem.
B. The church needs power. This comes only through the Holy Spirit. Read Acts 4:3.
C. The church needs determination to go on in spite of the odds. Consider Peter, John, Paul, and Stephen.
Grace Davidson took her four-year-old granddaughter to “big church” for the first time. She sat quietly, taking in every aspect of the service, and her attentive curiosity stayed in check until the pastoral prayer. The pastor said, “We thank You, Lord, for Your presence.” The little girl’s eyes flew open and she whispered to her grandmother, “Granny, we’re gonna get presents!”
QUOTES OF NOTE:
“I do not think the devil cares how many churches you build, if only you have lukewarm preachers and people in them.” – Charles Spurgeon
“The church is the one institution that exists for those outside it.” – William Tyndall
“How much of these destructive elements, esteemed by men, does the devil bring into the church, until all the high, unworldly and holy aims, and heavenly objects of the church are tried and forgotten?”
“Church attendance is as vital to a disciple as a transfusion of rich, healthy blood is to a sick man.” – D.L. Moody
A MERRY HEART:
A preacher was very fond of pure, hot horseradish and always kept a bottle of it on hand. A guest took a big spoonful of it. When the guest finally got his breath and was able to speak, he said, “I’ve heard many preachers preach hell fire, but you’re the first one I’ve met who actually passed out samples of it!”
Did you know that J. Frank Norris’ first pastorate was in a mule barn? That’s right! Norris began his pastoring at the McKinney Avenue Baptist church with 13 members meeting in a barn. After two years, the church grew to 1,000 people.
Sunday is quickly approaching. As the biggest day of our week draws near, let us prepare accordingly. A famous coach once said that good teams learn to “win every day.” He meant that they practiced each day with the focus and intensity that they had during their games. We need to approach each day in our Christian life with Sunday in view. Stay prayed up, studied up, and fired up!