SERIES: Moving Forward (1 of 5)
TITLE: Challenges to Accept
PROPOSITION: God expects the church to accept some challenges.
KEY WORD: Challenges
SCRIPTURE READING: Same
We are either going forward or falling behind.
Standing still – not an option – stand still = falling behind
Text – avoid stagnation, move ahead
Series – Moving Forward – 5 Sunday morning sermons
Today – Challenges to Accept
MOVING FORWARD MEANS WE MUST ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE OF:
Making a Difference in the World
1. Some verses we need to focus on
1 Peter 2:9
2. We need to accept the challenge of making a difference in our world
That difference must come as we live rooted in and founded on the word of God
Christians have been silenced and made to feel unwelcome and unwanted by the world
I've got news for you -- you are unwelcome and unwanted by the world, and it probably won't get any better
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
Prime example -- we need to oppose the abortion of unborn children, not because it is politically unacceptable, but because it is morally wrong
However, those who advocate killing abortionists are just as wrong as the abortionist are.
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
It was not based on the failure of well planned and well financed efforts evangelize the local community
It was not because there was so much opposition or animosity to the church that no one would listen
Nor was it because the people so hated God or his people that they refused to obey His will
Mostly, it was because the local church had not made the effort
Coco-Cola – well known – anywhere in the world
Motto: Think globally, but act locally
We must learn this lesson
I was once with a large church which supported several mission points
Each mission point we supported had a plan.
Each mission point used all available methods to reach people
Yet this church had no plan of work, no budget for local evangelism, and used no media outreach in the community
Something is wrong with this kind of thinking
Have you thought about who will lead the church in 10, 20, 30 years?
2 Timothy 2:2 – faithful men, able to teach others also
Paul trained Timothy – to train others
Elders – Deacons – You have a duty to train your replacement
I am went to Russia last fall for this very reason – To help train preachers to train others
Church – are you willing to learn to be an elder, deacon, preacher?
Following God's Word
Moving Forward does not forget the basis of our existence
In recent years, some seek to change our worship and work
Some of those are:
Entertainment as a replacement for worship
Abandoning the model of male leadership
Use of instrumental music in our worship
De-emphasis on the role of baptism in salvation
Compromise of doctrinal points trying to make Christianity more appealing; to attract crowds
Here's what the Bible says about the importance of God's word
People simply add or subtract their own ideas and desires in place of finding their authority in God's Word.
We must be a people rooted in the book
We must know what God's will is
We must not be tied to our traditions that we fight against God's will
We must not be quick to look for new methods which neglect what God authorizes.
Ultimately, moving the church forward into the future involves every member
Since the church is people, the church moves only as its people move
All these challenges are personal challenges to each one of us
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
Restoration preacher – sermon title – IF EVERY CHURCH MEMBER WERE A MEMBER LIKE ME, WHAT KIND OF CHURCH WOULD THIS CHRUCH BE?
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