The Church Jesus Is Building – Part Five

A number of thoughts about the Church I see today in the nations where I work…

1> One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the Church

We are keeping the Christians so busy with all the good things going on in and around the church building that they don’t have time to breath. They are so active that “being still and know that I am God” is simply a verse in the Bible and not a living reality. Believers are so engaged in church activities and relating to each other that they are not building relationships with non-believers in their neighbourhood, where they work, and where they play. 

As a result, they live insulted, secure, and safe lives. As a result, they fail to reach out and share the Gospel of the Kingdom. As a result, people are not coming to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ – disciples are not making disciples. As a result, we are out-of-touch with the world we are suppose to impact. As a result, people misunderstand who we are and what we stand for in the world today. 

We need to release believers to engage in their world and become light and salt as the Bible states we are to be.

2> The Gospel that saves us from work saves us to work

We are saved by grace through faith and not by any ‘works’ that we might do and accomplish (Ephesians 2:8-9). But, once saved, there is work that we are called to do for Jesus. These tasks are unique to each one of us and have been set out for us since before the foundation of the world itself.  

Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

A believer without a ministry to the unsaved is not a true believer. There is too much that passes as ministry in the Church. Really what we do for one another in the church is not ministry , it is maintenance. Ministry, true ministry, happens outside the church enclave. And every person that is saved needs to pick up a ministry to the lost. 

3> The Word does the work

When I was saved 42 years ago there was a cute but true saying. It was, “The Word works if you work it.” I believed that back then and still do today.

We are saved by the Word of God. 1 Peter 1:23 states, “since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God…”

The Bible also states that the Word of God is living and active working to change each believer. Change them from the inside out. Hebrews 4:12 states, “For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”

So, my point, the Word does the work. 

4> Building the right church depends on using the wrong people

God chooses some very odd people to build His Church. Paul reminds us of this when he wrote to the Church in the city of Corinth. 

1 Corinthians 1:27-28 “But God chose the foolish things of this world to put the wise to shame. He chose the weak things of this world to put the powerful to shame. What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all (of no value) is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important.”

God uses ordinary people to do extra-ordinary things. God uses people who are very down to earth (natural) to do the supernatural. God uses those who are not super intelligent to confound the wise in their earthly wisdom. 

God rescues those who are losers and makes them winners for His Kingdom.

5> We are living – and longing – for the end of the world

We are living for the ‘end.’ So, we are longing for and praying that Jesus will come back soon…

1 Corinthians 16:22 “If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Come Lord, come!”

ASV – “If any man loveth not the Lord, let him be anathema. Maranatha.”

Our lifestyle should indicate that we are living as those who believe the end could be near.

We are not ‘in love with the things of this world’ but live in such a way that our lifestyle shows others our love for the Master and each other – including the lost.

And, we are telling others about the wonderful news of the Gospel of the Kingdom because we know that every person on the planet must hear the good news before the end can come and Jesus returns…

Matthew 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

6> We are selfless followers of a self-centred God

We need to decide what life is all about. As believers we should live selfless lives as we worship and serve our loving heavenly Father – our God.

Are we willing to lose our lives or are we busy sipping our lattes?

Will be serve our God – the God who exalts God?

You know, God does not need us 

The reality is: Our God is a self-existent, self-sustaining, self-sufficient God

He does not need me

He does not need this church

He does not need you

He does not need our plans, programs, prayers, love

The truth is that without all that we have created and do – God can still make a great name for Himself upon the nations

God does not involve its in His grand, global purpose because He needs us

He involves us in His grand, global purpose because He loves us. 

So, we are selfless followers of a self-centred God because He created everything for His glory.

1> One of the worst enemies of Christians can be good things in the Church

2> The Gospel that saves us from work saves us to work

3> The Word does the work

4> Building the right church depends on using the wrong people

5> We are living – and longing – for the end of the world

6> We are selfless followers of a self-centred God

I feel a sermon coming on….