08 Jul 7/8/18 “The Cure for Church Hopping”
THEOLOGY ON FIRE PART 17
Ecclesiology is the study of the Christian Church, the origins of Christianity, its relationship to Jesus, its role in salvation, its polity, its destiny, its leadership….
THE ORIGINS: Matthew 16:18 Jesus said He will build His church [CALLED OUT ONES] and the gates of Hell will not prevail against.
• The strength of a city was in its Walls and Gates, as was its vulnerability.
THE POWER OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL – Jesus will always get His word out. As long as we stay under his protection and his covering we will prevail as well.
THE RELATIONSHIP AND THE ROLE: Often referred to as the bride of Christ.
• We fulfill the Great Commission while waiting for the wedding celebration.
• The church is the visual reflection of Christ – love the sinner hate the sin.
HEB. 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembly, but exhorting each other.”
• Stirring and provoking holiness in one another – discipling men and women.
EXAMPLE – “I continue to move from church to church. I can’t seem to find a place where I fit. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m the problem!”
5 Points to Consider Before Leaving Your Church:
1 Do the leaders, and the pastors, view the Scriptures as inerrant—the final authority?
• All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, NKJV)
BUT what if the pastor is no longer studying and his teaching reflects it?
2 Is God’s Spirit truly leading you? The conviction of the Holy Spirit is a true gift from God. Sadly, many people ignore it, yet they say that God is leading them to do this or that. But all too often, they find that they made a very poor decision.
What happened? Most say, “We’re seeking God’s will,” but have made up their mind.
• I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. (Psalm 32:8, NKJV). THE HUMBLE HE TEACHES HIS WAY!
3 How will leaving affect the local body of believers? When this happens, new believers and others are frequently baffled and confused. As a result, they start asking questions. Depending on whom they ask, the churches reputation may be damaged by gossip. We should consider how leaving will affect others, and, when possible, leave on good terms without gossiping or criticizing. This can be difficult in challenging situations because we want people to know why we left. Our sinful tendency is to pull others down. We may think that somehow this makes us look better. If we are truly concerned about the body of Christ, we will hold our tongue.
• For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. (Romans 12:4-5, NKJV)
4 How will leaving affect your family? If the family isn’t growing at church, or if it doesn’t seem to be the best environment, then fathers (or single parents) need to ask some hard questions: What can I do to nurture their growth? Is this partly my fault? What am I modeling at home? However, if the church is not contributing to the spiritual health of our family, we may have biblical grounds to leave.
• Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. (Proverbs 22:6, NKJV). THE CHURCH IS NOT THE PRIMARY TEACHER.
WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE USA: Our kids really enjoy such and such – pizza, fuse ball, and minecraft. Parents drop them off and fail to reinforce truth and character at home.
5 is #1 – Most people have a consumer mentality: “I’m just not being fed at church!” If someone isn’t growing from food, but others are, it may not be the food.
I’ve noticed that many leave because they are not promoted, or allowed to start a ministry, or because they are offended and hurt.
• I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3, NKJV)
⇨ When you stick with it you grow. When you forgive and move forward you mature.
THE CURE: We need to replace our “consumer” mentality with a “servant” mentality. We need to allow iron to sharpen iron. We need to work through being offended and allow forgiveness to heal our wounds. We need to be continually filled with the Spirit – more active and more involved.
THE SACRAMENTS: The word Sacrament can USED as a military term for an oath of obedience. We only find two that stand out: baptism and communion.
Identification and Remembrance –
The greatest hindrance to baptism is the fully surrendered life.
• JESUS SAYS – “IDENTIFY WITH ME”
• “I DON’T WANT TO GET THAT SERIOUS . . .!” Tell that to the Cross.
Have you taken this step of obedience?
• JESUS DID and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him and He was filled.
• DISOBEDIENCE prevents the filling of the Spirit.