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TITLE:  4 Stages of Life
TEXT:  2 Peter 3:17-18
PROPOSITION:  We must be cautious that our life does not get in a rut.
KEY WORD:  Lessons



  1. 4 Stages of Life (see attached at bottom)
  2. The challenge for us is to remain in the first stage
  3. Here are some of the lessons to learn


Keep a passion for souls

  1. Do you love the lost?
  2. What are you doing to reach, invite, teach, encourage, the lost?

Keep the church in the main stream

  1. Not to the left or right
  2. Conservative
    1. Make rules stricter than God did
    2. Bind rules that God did not make
  3. Liberal
    1. Make rules looser than God did
    2. Ignore the commands of God as not essential

Have a positive attitude toward growth

  1. Some do not want the church to grow
  2. Many are content with – AS IS
  3. When new members are added – we are stretched

Make visitors WANT to return

  1. Tell them you are glad they came
  3. Get their name, where from, why in Athens

Be sure that worship is a pleasure

  1. Singing, prayers, announcements, sermon
  2. All services – Sunday PM, Wednesday night, Sunday School

Have a sense of pride in this congregation

  1. Pick up paper in the restroom, hallway. Keep things neat.
  2. Desire to be present.
  3. Have a “school spirit” – pride in who we are
  4. Speak of what this church is doing with pride (not arrogance)


1.     Many congregations and individuals have grown weary, in a rut and want to get out of it. Others, where things seem to be going great will one-day face the problem of being bogged down.

2.     Robert Coleman, “What we may fail to comprehend is that the fruits of revival can endure only as long as the conditions for revival are maintained.”


4 stages of life

1.        Believe in Santa Claus

2.        Don’t believe in Santa Claus

3.        ARE Santa Claus

4.        Look like Santa Claus


4 Generations

1.        Founders – zeal for a cause, pay a high cost

2.        Definers – children of founders, less cost

3.        Establishment – crystallize, no cost

4.        Degeneration – It was not worth all that it cost


Human body

1.        Youth – zeal, vitality, energy

2.        Adult – content with present status

3.        Mature – decline in vigor and health

4.        Death



1.        Discovery and growth

2.        Expansion and cultivation

3.        Leisure and luxury

4.        Deterioration and destruction


Early Church

1.        Aggressive in outreach – Acts 2:47

2.        Settled in – Hebrews 6:1-3

3.        Dying – Revelation 2:2-5 (left 1st love)

4.        Dead – Revelation 3:1


Restoration Movement

1.        Aggressive proclamation of the gospel

2.        Institutionalism – become a means to an end

3.        Pre-occupied with holding what we have

4.        Deterioration – congregations fade away


Spiritual Growth

1.        Responsive to evangelism

2.        Faithful in attendance and morality

3.        Content with a few points of obedience

4.        Fallen away – not concerned about souls



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