Temple Baptist Church - 3-7-2010
Ephesians 5:22-33; Matthew 16:15-18
A. Hebrews 10:25-27 are possibly the most quoted verses concerning church attendance and, like biblical separation, has been preached as a negative. Psalms 84:10 is in direct contrast to the end time professing Christian. Hebrews 10:25 says, “As the manner of some is.” The word manner means a custom or habitual practice.
B. Today, more is said against the church than for the church. Many local churches have brought this problem upon themselves by their wicked and unscriptural behavior.
1. Some say that the church is full of hypocrites.
2. Some say that the church has become a social organization.
3. Some say that the church no longer portrays the love of Christ.
C. There has been a great forsaking of the assembling in the past few decades with the majority of America unchurched at the present.
1. Church attendance is at an all time low with more churches and professing Christians than ever.
2. The faithful few that make up the nucleus of the local church have become fewer in number, especially Sunday and Wednesday night crowds.
D. The majority of the average church’s visitation program is spend visiting people who professed to be saved and either make shallow excuses for missing church or have become disgruntled over some petty problem and now are permanently excused from faithful attendance.
1. Many Of These Have Religion And Not Salvation.
2. Many Of These Are so Worldly And Carnal That They Cannot Know The Will Of God.
3. These have the love of Ephesus.
4. These have the deadness of Sardis.
5. These have the lukewarmness of Laodicea.
E. But I still love the local church! It has been a major part of my life for the past 33 years. What a privilege to be able to come to church! What a blessing to be able to come to church! What a benefit to be able to come to church!
Here are some reasons why I love the church:
1. It Is The Place That God Loves - Ephesians 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it. (Jesus Christ died for the Church! He gave His life for that which He loves. Truly, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” When you get saved, you love what God loves!)
2. It Is The Place Of Worship - Psalms 5:7 But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple. (I can worship anywhere but the church house is a special place. It was a place built to worship in. I can go there and sing as loud as I please; I can say “Amen” or shout “Glory to God;” I can give my tithe and offerings scripturally in God’s house. What a blessing!)
3. It Is The Place Of Preaching And Teach God’s Word - 1 Timothy 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. (You probably know it by now but I love this blessed old King James Bible that I hold in my hand. I can read it at home; I can study it at home; but here in the house of the Lord, men of God preach like they know what they are preaching about! I rejoice with the Apostle Paul when the Bible is heralded and the preacher lifts up his voice like a trumpet!)
4. It Is The Place Where God’s People Gather - Psalms 55:14 We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
(The greatest people on earth are there! When I got saved I fell in love with a lot of things that please God but one of the greatest of all was the people of God. No, they are not perfect but they are my brothers and sisters in Christ! We are all in the Body of Christ which is the Family of God and I love you!)
5 It Is The Place Where Sinners Are Both Sought And Loved - Luke 14:23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.
Matthew 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. (We had a young man get saved a couple of weeks ago in a Sunday Morning Service. What a blessing! I love to see sinners come to the church house and be privileged to sit under the power of the Word of God and have an opportunity to hear the gospel and give their hearts and lives to Christ. The to watch the Lord gloriously change their lives for His glory.)
6. It Is God’s Instrument For World Evangelism - 1 Thessalonians 1:6-8 And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God–ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing. (I love to give an offering to missions! I can help support precious families as they cover the globe preaching the same gospel that I preach. Missionaries are the greatest people in the world! There is no greater calling than that. Carrying the Word of God to a world that needs Jesus Christ and I can help go by giving! I can go on organized visitation where we can personally witness to the Lost and occasionally see one get saved!)
7. It Was There That I Heard The True Gospel Preached And Was Gloriously and Eternally Saved – Luke 18:10, 13-14 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican … And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. (If it weren’t for the local church, this pastor would still be lost in my sin. I got saved on a Sunday night in an independent Baptist Church. Thank God for Bob Lamb! God laid it upon his heart to come to Madisonville, Ky and start a church under an old gospel tent! Barbara and I were saved because of it! Ask me why I love the local church!!)
8. It Is A Place Of Comfort And Spiritual Joy - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD. (The church is a refuge; a stronghold; a place of peace and tranquility; a place where we come and enjoy the things of God. It is a place of comfort to the troubled and a source of joy to those who are hurting.)
9. It Is An Encouragement Filling Station - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
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. (I get filled up at church. I go to put something into the service and also to get something out of it. If you do not get a blessing, then it was because you were not blessable! I know blessable is not a word but I can make one up if I wanna! If you want a blessing, you will get one. If you do not want a blessing, don’t blame it on anyone or anything but yourself. You get out of a church service what you put into it.)
10. It Is Just A Little Bit Of Heaven On Earth - Psalms 84:1-12 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O LORD of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God. Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O LORD of hosts, my King, and my God. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them. Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools. They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God. O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah. Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee. (If you don’t like church, don’t go to heaven! You won’t like it there because church is a little bit of heaven on earth!)