Temple Baptist Church - 6-18-2006
A. Most local churches and denominations have become confused as to their purpose for existence.
1. They have become social clubs (Where the elite of society join in order to be seen and promote their careers. Notice how few doctors, teachers, lawyers, business men, and politicians join true New Testament churches.)
2. They have become entertainment centers. (Their programs and music reflect the mood and priorities of the world.)
3. They have become safe havens for the sinful. (Sinners, both lost and saved, are not confronted with their sin and, therefore, continue in them.)
4. They have become banks where the tithes and offerings of the saints now rest in CDs. (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.)
5. 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.)
B. Though many faceted, the work or purpose of the local church is a simple one. It has been made complex and confusing because of the reliance upon the programs and ideas of men. Man always thinks that God needs help and tries to improve on His plan for the church.
C. There are a lot of reasons for this travesty but I fear that the main reasons are:
1. Money! People think that God is broke and has need of them begging for Him. I do not beg for money! God said that if he were hungry He would not tell us. The offerings are God’s business and so is the upkeep of the church. We teach our people that God will supply all of their need and then beg for Him.
2. Numbers! Men equate numbers in the church to both blessing and spirituality. Not always so! I have seen huge churches that were as worldly as a professional football game. Churches that are full of lost members. Then I have seen some of the largest churches in the area that are twice dead and plucked up by the roots. If God was looking for a church to join He would pass right by.
D. I want to look tonight at 4 Purposes of the Church:
1. Evangelization (soul winning and missions)
2. Edification (teaching)
3. Exhortation (encouragement)
4. Exaltation (worship)
1. Evangelization – Most church members are not personally involved in evangelism.
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.
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 in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
a. Go – Both at home and abroad. God is still looking for Christians who are willing to sell out for God and work in His harvest.
1) God’s Command Demands It - Matthew 28:18-20
2) God’s Compassion Desires It - Matthew 9:35-38
b. Teach And Preach
1) They Deserve To Hear - Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
2) They Must Hear Before They Believe - Romans 10:13-17 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
c. Baptize (Upon their profession of faith. Not infant sprinkling because they cannot yet accept Christ Jesus be faith. Being baptized is not problem for people when the are truly converted)
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.
Acts 8:36-38 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Acts 9:18 And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized.
2. Edification or Education - Most church members are not personally involved in Edification and Education.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is iven 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.
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.
a. Through Bible Preaching – teaching is not a substitute for preaching. Powerfully preaching the Word convicts the heart!
b. Through Bible Teaching – preaching is not a substitute for teaching! Teaching sound doctrine stabilizes the saints!
3. Exhortation or Encouragement - Most church members are not personally involved in Exhortation and Encouragement.
1. The Exhortation of God’s People - Hebrews 10:22-25 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 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 Exhortation of God’s Word - 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
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. Exaltation or Worship - Most church members are not personally involved in Exaltation and Worship.
Psalms 100:1-5 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 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. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
1. The Worship of Praise – “joyful noise”
2. The Worship of Singing – “singing”
3. The Worship of the Understanding of His Person – “know ye”
4. The Worship of Thanksgiving – “thanksgiving”