Sunday, March 22, 2020

Jesus in the Midst

Temple Baptist Church - 3-22-2020
Matthew 18:20


A.  This morning marked 33 years that my family has been at Temple Baptist.  We have enjoyed being here and still thank God for calling us to this church.

B.  Temple Baptist is an unusual church.  One that loves the Lord, loves each other, and loves those who choose to join us.  Temple is “inclusive” instead of “exclusive!”  If you want to be a part of this church, you can; if you want to serve in this church, you can; if you want to sing in this church, you can.  You are limited by your desire to serve or not to serve.  We have no “big I’s or little U’s.”  Everyone here is treated the same and loved equally.

C.  Temple Baptist is a missions hearted church.  Since we came in 1987, Temple has put over $3,000,000.00 on the mission field.  Missionaries are both loved and wanted; they are a blessing and not a burden!

D.  Temple Baptist has loved and taken care of this pastor and family.  We have more than we expected and more than we deserved.

E.  Temple Baptist has been blessed of God for these things!  Never take for granted the great church that you are a part of.  Ever be vigilant as Satan, as a roaring lion, seeks to devour and destroy us.

F.  I want to look at our verse for this morning because it shows that the Lord attends the local church also, if it is God’s church.

Matthew 18:20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. 

1.  He is in the midst of 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 is in the midst of 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 is in the midst of 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 are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.  (4)  Enter into his gates with thanksgivingand into his courts with praise: be thankful unto himand bless his name.

4.  He is in the midst of 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 is in the midst of 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 is in the midst of 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.

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