Temple Baptist Church - 2-28-2010
A. Every few years, I spend some time preaching on the importance, mission, operation, leadership, membership, etc. concerning the local church. It is important to do so because of the serious decline in church attendance in the past few decades and this decline is simply a fulfillment of Scripture. It has been prophesied that in the last days, there would be a falling away and we are in the middle of it.
B. Laodicea is not only here, it is thriving! Churches are gaining, losing, and trading members at a record pace. The “old paths” are no longer popular and people are looking for a place to go to church where they can be both acceptable in their heretical upbringing and comfortable in their sin. The “form of godliness” has permeated the ranks of the professing believers with little or no conviction or holiness of life.
C. Most churches are fairly full on Sunday morning, but the Sunday night and Wednesday night crowds have dwindled to the point of calling off services. “As the manner of some is” has become the rule instead of the exception with more and more of the once faithful now either slack in their faithfulness or completely out of church. For those who cancel services citing lack of interest, My Bible still says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. “ (Matthew 18:20)The services are canceled because the 2 or three (including the pastor) have no interest either!
D. The Importance of God’s House. The phrase “The house of the Lord” is used 213 X in the Bible. The phrase “house of God” is used 87X in the Bible. That is a total of 300 references. This does not include other references such as “temple” and “tabernacle.” God’s house is a place of great importance.
1. There needs to be a right Emphasis placed on God’s House - Hebrews 10:25 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. Why the emphasis?
a) It Is A Place Of Rallying. (When you are down and almost out, you find those of like precious faith to encourage you to go one more mile.)
b) It Is A Place Of Relying. (When you are devastated by the circumstances of life, you find both a wonderful comfort and strength in God’s people.)
c) It Is A Place Of Renewing. (When you are defiled by your walk in this world [sometimes we get our feet dirty], you find the holiness of God’s House and the preaching of God’s Word cleansing agents.)
d) It Is A Place Of Revival. (When you are defeated, you can find a renewed outlook on life and go back out of the church ready to fight the devil and the world.)
2. There needs be an Excitement about going to God’s House - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
3. There needs to be an Encouragement found in God’s House - 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.
Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
1. The House of the Lord Should Be A Place of Importance - As Old Testament Israel’s camp found the Tabernacle in the Wilderness as the centerpiece, so should our home revolve about the church! If the House of the Lord is not important to us, it will not be important to our children. God’s house is to be the “centerpiece” of the home, not the “mantelpiece!”
a. The House of the Lord is more important than the children’s schooling!
b. The House of the Lord is more important than the children’s ball games or homework!
c. The House of the Lord is more important than family reunions!
d. Do I need to go on? I believe that all of us get the point.
2. The House of the Lord Should Be A Place of Affection – Today, the church is just a
place of begrudging presence to many. They come to God’s House looking forward to
getting home and spend their time on the pews making plans for afterward. We should
love the House of the Lord and love going there! If we do not love it, our children will
not love it! David said, “My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the
LORD” And, again, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house
of the LORD.”
a. The House of the Lord is a place of Encouragement
b. The House of the Lord is a place of Understanding
c. The House of the Lord is a place of Strength
d. The House of the Lord is a place of Joy
e. The House of the Lord is a place of Comfort
f. The House of the Lord is a place of Safety
3. The House of the Lord Should Be A Place of Worship – Worship: ascribing to God that praise that only He is worthy of! Worship from the heart. Worship from the lips. Worship upon the instruments. Worship with singing. Worship with giving. Worship in the beauty of holiness!
a. The House of the Lord is a place of Singing
b. The House of the Lord is a place of Praying
c. The House of the Lord is a place of Praising
d. The House of the Lord is a place of Sacrifice
e. The House of the Lord is a place of Sharing
f. The House of the Lord is a place of Blessing
4. The House of the Lord Should Be A Place of Growth – One of the greatest shames of the modern church age is that of biblical ignorance. I have never seen so many people who cannot grasp the simplest of truths. They neither know what they believe nor why they believe what they believe.
a. The House of the Lord is a place of Bible Teaching.
b. The House of the Lord is a place of Bible Preaching
c. The House of the Lord is a place of Spiritual Maturity
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;