Temple Baptist Church - 9-21-2008
A. I cannot over emphasis the importance of faithfulness to the Church in these last days.
Hebrews 10:22-25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
B. In spite of this clear biblical admonition, we find a growing “falling away” from both the house of God and the things of God. God always had a place sanctified for the purpose of both worship and sacrifice. It is not up to us to pick the place of our testimony and tithe. It is the place of God’s choosing!
C. Why the emphasis upon faithfulness to God’s House? Because it is an anchor that holds fast our ship in the angry seas of this life. With “change and decay in all around I see,” we need a benchmark! We need a reference point that is unchanging from which to measure the change of the world. He will “hide” us in times of trouble.
D. God placed His blessing upon the Church! It is His blessing, not mine. Let’s look at some things that God said about the benefit and blessing of faithfulness to God’s House. “AND SO MUCH THE MORE, AS YE SEE THE DAY APPROACHING!”
1. To many, Church has been a Disappointment – “Preacher, it wasn’t very exciting today!” That is because of you! You will only get out of it what you put into it!
2. To many, Church has been a Discipline – Discipline is good but the wrong motive for coming to church.
3. To many, Church has been a Drudgery – Many long for services to be over. They are the “clock watchers.”
4. To some, Church is a Delight – This is what God intended!
1. The House Of The Lord Is A Place Of Contemplation - Psalms 27:4 One [thing] have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple. (While walking in this world, we sometimes lose sight of Him. In Church we behold Jesus Christ and His glory. “A wonderful Saviour is Jesus my Lord; A wonderful Saviour to me!” How beautiful and glorious Jesus Christ is to us who love Him! Here, we are taught about Him; here, we preach about Him; here, we exalt Him; here, we praise Him!)
2. The House Of The Lord Is A Place Of Satisfaction - Psalms 36:8 They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house; and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. (As when I leave Ryan’s Steakhouse I am satisfied, thus it is with God’s House. I leave the church fulfilled and satisfied!)
3. The House Of The Lord Is A Place Of Worship - Psalms 135:1-3 Praise ye the LORD. Praise ye the name of the LORD; praise [him], O ye servants of the LORD. 2 Ye that stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God, 3 Praise the LORD; for the LORD [is] good: sing praises unto his name; for [it is] pleasant. (I know that we are to worship at home, in school, on the job, in a deer stand J, etc., but worship in church is different and concentrated. It is all about Him. We have come aside from the world just for this purpose. “Come Worship With Us!” is our slogan.)
4. The House Of The Lord Is A Place Of Fellowship - Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, [and] walked unto the house of God in company. (The church is a place of singing, praising, testifying, encouraging, exhorting, and breaking bread together. The most wonderful people in the world are your brothers and sisters in the Lord.)
5. The House Of The Lord Is A Place Of Offering - Psalms 66:13 I will go into thy house with burnt offerings: I will pay thee my vows. (We bring our tithes and offerings to the church. What a blessing to give back to the Lord a portion of what He has given to us. I love giving to the church!)
6. The House Of The Lord Is A Place Of Holiness - Psalms 93:5 Thy testimonies are very sure: holiness becometh thine house, O LORD, for ever. (The liberal pastors allow God’s House to become a casual, worldly place in our day. I believe that the place of worship is still the Sanctuary!! It is set apart from this world. God’s people should dress right, act right, speak right, sing right, behave right in church. Now they dress like they are going to the park. Many eat in donuts and drink coffee during the teaching and preaching of God’s Word. It is a special place where we go to worship the Lord in the “beauty of holiness.” It is now called an “auditorium instead of a “sanctuary.”)
7. The House Of The Lord Is A Place Of Joy - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (I love the church and being in church! What is the matter with folks who do not? Do you hear the excitement of the Psalmist? “I was glad!”)