Temple Baptist Church - 7-15-2018
A. Most local churches and denominations have become confused as to their purpose for existence.
1. A preacher from the 1800’s was quoted: “A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.”
2. To show the ignorance of church going people, they commonly say that it does not matter where you go to church if you go somewhere.
B. The modern-day churches are doing this very thing.
a. They have become social clubs. Where the elite of society join to be seen and promote their careers. Notice how few doctors, teachers, lawyers, business men, and politicians join true New Testament churches.
b. They have become entertainment centers. Their programs and music reflect the mood and priorities of the world.
c. They have become safe havens for the sinful. Sinners, both lost and saved, are not being confronted with their sin and, therefore, continue in them.
d. They have become banks where the tithes and offerings of the saints now rest in bank (or personal) accounts. God never intended for money to remain in the bank while a world is dying without Christ and missionaries are struggling to get to the field.
e. The have become more worldly and less godly. There was a time when the church was a place for the rich to show off their elegance in clothing fashions but now it is the reverse. Today, the church has become a place where people wear their casual clothing along with sandals and flip-flops.
C. I find no Martyr’s Roll containing the names of church entertainers. Men of God were put to death for not bowing or bending to the whims of society. They were not politically correct! They died for the Word of God!
2 Timothy 3:10-13 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, (11) Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. (12) Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. (13) But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
D. What is the purpose of the local church? This morning, we read the First Mention of the local church in operation. The Lord had previously mentioned church discipline the Book of Matthew but it is in Acts, chapter 2, that we find the assembly and its work.
1. Evangelization – Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Peter had preached Christ publicly in this chapter and thousands turned to Christ.)
Acts 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both inJerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (In our Lord’s command of evangelization, He mentioned both home and foreign missions.)
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Go ye, teach, baptize. We must go, they must hear and believe, then they are baptized.)
2. Education – Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (The importance of sound doctrine is found in “all things.”)
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. Exhortation – Acts 2:42, 46 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers … and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart.
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. (The exhortation of God’s people.)
2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. (The exhortation of God’s Word.)
Hebrews 13:22 And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.
4. Unification – Acts 2:46 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.
Ephesians 4:13-14 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (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;(The Scriptural education that only the Bible brings.)
5. Supplication - Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Isaiah 56:7 Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
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.
Acts 1:14 These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren.
6. Adoration – Acts 2:47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved. (Giving praise to He, who alone is worthy: our Lord Jesus Christ.)
Psalms 103:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.