"How to Kill a Church without Trying"
by Pastor Bill Roberts,
Wittmann Baptist Church, Wittmann, AZ
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Text: Ephesians 3:20-21 Revelation 3:1-3
Paul is telling us that through the church God is to get glory. Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages. The church was instituted by Christ to further the Gospel story and to give all glory to God the Father.
But many churches find themselves in the predicament of not growing as the Lord would have them to do. When this happens many reasons are given and blame is placed on this person and on that person, usually without foundations.
Today I would like to preach on the Subject:
HOW TO KILL A CHURCH WITHOUT TRYING.
By doing nothing at all a church can commit suicide and kill itself. How can this be?
I. BY BEING DELINQUENT IN ATTENDANCE TO ITS SERVICES
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.
A. Thomas missed 1st service after Jesus' resurrection John 20:24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
3. Power v.22 the Holy Spirit
B. Many go but not whole-heartedly We ought to be like David in Psa. 122:1 I was glad when they said let us go into the house of the Lord.
Psa. 84:10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
C. Excuse makers kill the church. Excuse is skin of reason stuffed with a lie.
1. Johnny had a runny nose. Did it take whole house to
wipe it for him?
2. I'm tired. Jesus got tired too, but did He fail to go to cross because He was too tired? People can go to work and feel fine but when time for church a sudden head ache develops.
3. Any reason or excuse is good if you don't want to go. Everyone knows on Sunday there is Sunday School and Worship and evening worship. On Wednesday there is Bible Study and Prayer Meeting. The times are well-known there is no secret.
D. Jesus' example says go.
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and as his custom was he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
II. YOU CAN KILL A CHURCH BY INDIFFERENCE TO ITS PROGRAM
The Program of the church is to win souls and start missions. EVANGELISM & MISSIONS
Win them and then train them to win others and to grow in the Lord. Sunday School, Children's church, Choir, Visitation are all part of the program of the church.
It takes everyone's cooperation. God did not save anyone to sit, we are saved to serve no matter what our age or how long we may have served in the past.
The Christian Life is the only one I know where you don't get a vacation. Why? Because the enemy never takes a vacation.
He walking around as a roaring lion seeking whom He may devour.
III. BY BEING INSENSITIVE TO ITS NEEDS
A. Ask yourself the question? What if every person here were just like me? What kind of a church would this be?
B. People seem to think God wants their castoffs. I believe God wants His house to have as good as we have in our homes.
If it is good enough for us it is good enough for God. If it is not good enough for us what makes us think God wants our junk or something that we no longer want ourselves.
I Cor. 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
This reveals 3 things.
1. It is personal "Let everyone of you."
2. It is periodical "Upon the first day of the week"
3. It is proportionate "As God hath prospered him
IV. BY BEING INDIGNANT TOWARD CHURCH MEMBERS
A. Our attitude toward one another. Eph. 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.
1. Be kind to one another - nothing beats old fashioned kindness
2. Forgiving one another. - for Christ's sake. Matt. 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Mark 11-25-26 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father which is in Heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.
Matt. 18:21-22 Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and [ forgive him? Til 7 times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until 7 times: but, Until 70 times 7.
Our aim ought to be the upbuilding of the body of Christ.
V. BY NOT BEING IDENTIFIED WITH ITS FELLOWSHIP
A. There are a lot of church drifters, changers, etc.
B. There are 3 things that must happen before a person can become a church member.
1. Be saved. Rom. 10:9-10
2. Be scripturally baptized.
3. Be added to the church.
Spiritually we are added to the Body of Christ at salvation, but to become a member of a local assembly of baptized believers requires that you request membership.
Most churches that I know of when they baptize an individual the have counseled with that person and told them that not only does baptism fulfill the command of Christ but also places us in the local body.
If you go to church and are not a member of it what is wrong ? Are you ashamed of it? If you are you ought to go somewhere else where you can be proud of the church you attend.
If your home church is out of state but you are living here, I believe that you ought to serve and belong where you live.
Yes by simply doing nothing and expecting someone else to do all the work, allowing attitudes to stagnate, relationships to dwindle, not supporting her, the church will surely die.
Thank God she won't lay down and die she will have to be killed.
But by passively going our own way we are actively killing the church.
The Church the body of Christ will never die but the local parts of that body can die, I have seen it happen, the people give up or are too stubborn to change, or whatever.
What is going to happen to us at Grace? Are we going to let her die for lack of support and uplifting?
Jesus expects us to each do our part for Him.
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