Temple Baptist Church - 7-24-2016
A. In this verse, we find “The Importance of God’s House to God!” In these last days, the religionists are de-emphasizing the importance of God’s house and attendance and, yet, the Bible re-emphasizes the importance of God’s house and attendance in the light of what is coming!!
Hebrews 10:25 says, “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.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
B. The result of this de-emphasizing show the lack of love that most people have for the local church.
1. What you love, you do; what you love, you attend! To many, the church has become a “minor inconvenience” that basically ruins their entire weekend.
2. A place that they feel obligated to attend but look forward to getting out and going home. A place where a preacher preaches a message that they either do not want to hear or do not want to conform to.
3. I fear that our church attendance can be of discipline, habit, drudgery, which will make it sporadic! There are fewer and fewer faithful and more and more unfaithful to church.
C. There has been a change in the purpose of the church.
1. The local church was created by God for the assembly of the saints! The word church means a called out assembly. It was meant for God’s people, not lost people, to gather for worship, teaching, fellowship, and encouragement. The local church was to be a holy place. That is the reason for the Pauline or Church Epistles. It is not a building; it is not a denomination; it is a gathering of believers.
2. The local church of our day has become a place of evangelism! A place to which you invite lost sinners so that they can hear the gospel and be saved. I thank God for sinners that get saved in the local church, but evangelism is not what the church is for. Because of this, churches (if they will admit to it or not) have become seeker sensitive in order to make a place of comfort and acceptance for the sinful. I do not preach heavily on salvation as every one of you profess to be saved and that is as it should be.
D. There has been a change in the attitude of the church.
1. The fear of God is, for the most part, gone. People of the churches no longer hate and separate from sinfulness. Today’s “god” understands and is not critical of sin; today’s “god” is a “god” who turns both the other cheek and the other way.
2. The respect for God, for the most part, is gone. I have often stated that the modern day church has gotten casual with God. Instead of meeting with God on His terms, people expect God to meet with them on their terms.
E. Therefore, there needs to be a right attitude toward the local church, our place of worship.
1. It should be a focal point of our lives and the lives of our families.
2. It should be a place where the people that we love come together to worship the God that we love.
3. A multitude has come and gone but a nucleus has always remained.
F. There is a “smorgasbord” of churches in our day: churches of every kind are popping up on every street corner. There are denominations galore with each teaching a different doctrine, standing for anything while standing for nothing.
G. God loves the local church and wants us to love it also. Have you ever thought of what kind of local church the Lord would look for? If He loves the church, and He does, what kind of a church would He look for? It does matter to the Lord because He is in the midst!
Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
1. He would look for a Biblically Grounded Church! I fear that most churches have gone from Bible based to “denominationally” based. Though I am a fundamental, independent Baptist preacher in a fundamental, independent Baptist Church, I am and will remain a Biblicist first! Churches can carry the right “tag” but not be Bible based and properly grounded. It does not matter what the “tag” says unless it lines up with the Bible! I have heard for years that it does not matter where you go to church as long as you go. That is satanic, not Biblical!
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.
2. He would look for a Christ Glorifying Church! Praise from the lips and lives of those who know what the Lord did for them. Knowing where they are now and understanding where they might have been if He had not intervened.
Psalms 30:10-12 Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. (11) Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; (12) To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.
Psalms 22:3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.
3. He would look for a Grateful Church! I often ask the Lord to help us to keep our hearts and minds stayed upon Him as we leave the world with all of its troubles in the parking lot.
Psalms 100:3-4 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we arehis people, and the sheep of his pasture. (4) Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
4. He would look for a sacrificially Giving Church! One of the greatest proofs of our love for God is how we give. Giving out of a heart of thanksgiving.
2 Corinthians 8:1-2 Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia; (2) How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.
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.
5. He would look for a Glad Church! The Lord loves it when His people are excited, expectant, and encouraged because it is “church day.”
Psalms 122:1 I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
Psalms 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul in me: for I had gone with the multitude, I went with them to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, with a multitude that kept holyday.
6. He would look for a Gathering Church! He loves it because He is in the midst of it! I kn0w that I love being in church so I can only imagine how much the Lord loves it. I believe that churches that gather less and less grieve the Lord because He cannot be in the midst. Our assembling should be “and so much the more!”
Acts 2:46-47 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, (47) Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.