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SERIES: Moving Forward (1 of 5)

TITLE: Challenges to Accept

TEXT: Philippians 3:13-14
PROPOSITION: God expects the church to accept some challenges.
KEY WORD: Challenges


  1. We are either going forward or falling behind.

  2. Standing still not an option stand still = falling behind

  3. Text avoid stagnation, move ahead

  4. Series Moving Forward 5 Sunday morning sermons

  5. Today Challenges to Accept



Making a Difference in the World

1. Some verses we need to focus on

  1. Matthew 5:13-16

  2. 1 Peter 2:9

2. We need to accept the challenge of making a difference in our world

  1. That difference must come as we live rooted in and founded on the word of God

  2. Christians have been silenced and made to feel unwelcome and unwanted by the world

  3. I've got news for you -- you are unwelcome and unwanted by the world, and it probably won't get any better

  4. But we cannot let them shut us up, shut us own, shut us out or shut us in

3. We must not resort to ungodly actions, but we must continue to show the world that we have answers to the problems plaguing mankind

  1. Prime example -- we need to oppose the abortion of unborn children, not because it is politically unacceptable, but because it is morally wrong

  2. However, those who advocate killing abortionists are just as wrong as the abortionist are.

  3. How can someone miss this point so drastically?

3. We can change the world the same way God's people have always changed the world -- by teaching and preaching the gospel of Jesus and changing the hearts and minds of those who live around us.


Evangelizing this Community

1. Everywhere I have ever been, most people thought their community was not open to the gospel of Jesus

  1. It was not based on the failure of well planned and well financed efforts evangelize the local community

  2. It was not because there was so much opposition or animosity to the church that no one would listen

  3. Nor was it because the people so hated God or his people that they refused to obey His will

  4. Mostly, it was because the local church had not made the effort

  1. Mark 16:15-16

  2. Coco-Cola well known anywhere in the world

  3. Motto: Think globally, but act locally

  4. We must learn this lesson

  5. I was once with a large church which supported several mission points

    1. Each mission point we supported had a plan.

    2. Each mission point used all available methods to reach people

    3. Yet this church had no plan of work, no budget for local evangelism, and used no media outreach in the community

    4. Something is wrong with this kind of thinking


Leadership Development

  1. Have you thought about who will lead the church in 10, 20, 30 years?

  2. 2 Timothy 2:2 faithful men, able to teach others also

    1. Paul trained Timothy to train others

    2. Elders Deacons You have a duty to train your replacement

    3. I am went to Russia last fall for this very reason To help train preachers to train others

  3. Church are you willing to learn to be an elder, deacon, preacher?


Following God's Word

  1. Moving Forward does not forget the basis of our existence

  2. In recent years, some seek to change our worship and work

  3. Some of those are:

    1. Entertainment as a replacement for worship

    2. Abandoning the model of male leadership

    3. Use of instrumental music in our worship

    4. De-emphasis on the role of baptism in salvation

    5. Compromise of doctrinal points trying to make Christianity more appealing; to attract crowds

  4. Here's what the Bible says about the importance of God's word

    1. Deuteronomy 12:32

    2. Revelation 22:18-19


  5. People simply add or subtract their own ideas and desires in place of finding their authority in God's Word.

  6. We must be a people rooted in the book

    1. We must know what God's will is

    2. We must not be tied to our traditions that we fight against God's will

    3. We must not be quick to look for new methods which neglect what God authorizes.


  1. Ultimately, moving the church forward into the future involves every member

  2. Since the church is people, the church moves only as its people move

  3. All these challenges are personal challenges to each one of us

  4. Someone wrote a short piece titled, "This is my church"
    It is composed of people just like me. It will be friendly if I am. It will do a great work if I work. It will make generous gifts to many causes if I am generous. It will bring others into its fellowship if I bring them. Its seats will be filled if I fill them. It will be a church of loyalty and love, of faith and service; If I who make it what it is, am filled with these. Therefore, with God's help, I dedicate myself to the task of being all these things I want my church to be. -- Ohio Union Reminder



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