Temple Baptist Church - 1-12-2014
A. Last week, I preached on how to be planted in the house of the Lord. Most of you are planted. If you are not planted, then you need to get planted. Do not be a Special Occasion Plant, an Artificial Plant, or a Potted plant; be a Planted Plant! This week, I want to look at the importance of God’s house or the local church.
B. There has been a 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 certainly in the middle of it.
C. The “form of godliness” has permeated the ranks of the professing believers with little or no conviction or desire for holiness of life.
D. 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. 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)
E. 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. Our Lord called it “My house!”
Matthew 21:13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
1. The Emphasis of 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.
b) It is a place of relying when you are devastated.
c) It is a place of renewing when you are defiled.
d) It is a place of revival when you are defeated.
2. The Excitement of God’s House - Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
3. The Encouragement of 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.
4. The Enrichment of God’s House - Matthew 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
F. Here are just a few thoughts on why we need to be planted in a local church.
1. The local church is a divine requirement which must not be forsaken: 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.”
2. The local church is the divine institution of truth: 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.
3. The local church is the primary place to fellowship with God’s people: Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”
4. The local church is the place where believers are to meet corporately with the Lord and worship Him in the ordinances: 1 Corinthians 11:20, 26 When ye come together therefore into one place…For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come”
5. The local church is the only institution that God gave the gifts of Evangelists and Pastor-Teachers: Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.
6. The local church is the place where saints can receive divinely authorized feeding and spiritual care: Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
7. The local church is the only means by which one can biblically exercise financial stewardship: Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
1 Corinthians 16:1-2 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.