Good Morning Church,
What I great day to be alive! I truly feel like proclaiming that over used Latin phrase this morning because it really means something in my life today – Carpe Diem – It simply means “seize the day!” Will you seize the day? This morning I am continuing a sermon series on the Gospel Church as we examine what it takes to build a New Testament church today! A closer look at the Acts Church gives us some very clear pillars upon which to build a New Testament church and it should be our priority to move our churches back to the example God gave us through his infallible word!
Over the last two weeks we have unpacked Acts chapter two and saw that this NT church was first clearly devoted, and secondly – constantly active. This morning we are going to see how they were Completely United within this new born, Holy Spirit empowered church. Yes completely united! How do I know this? Well the scripture is pretty emphatic when it says “and they had all things in common!” Ask yourself this question—Can I have all things in common and not be united? I do think so. This is what made the NT church so powerful and able to change the entire world. They were united!
Can you imagine what it would mean for our church today if we were united? That we would have all things in common? It would blow our minds. Why? Because we don’t understand unity in our culture today! We are divided over everything! It is our way of life! We must be against something and live our lives on the extreme edges. Extremism automatically promotes division because an extremist is unwilling to compromise. Now you may think that I am talking about compromise? I am not—I am talking about unity! This is what brought this NT church together where they had all things in common! They were not divided in their extreme point of views but united in their common focus.
Think about the division in our lives today. Think about our country. We just celebrated Memorial Day where we honored our fallen veterans who died to protect our freedom. Now as a country we can usually come together in unity when our freedom is threatened! However, in any other circumstance we are divided in everything! This division has infiltrated and infected our churches and our churches are suffering and the advancement of the Gospel has been greatly affected!
Come on Church—Think about it! We will argue about anything! In my sermon this morning I mention Thom Rainer’s top 25 craziest things Churches have argued over. I could probably mention 25 crazy things Joy Baptist Church has argued over just in my 11 years. I can remember when I first got to JBC. The very first Sunday I was in charge of moderating my first business meeting. Now I wasn’t for sure how this was going go because I had no idea what this church was into and where it was going. It didn’t take long to see that they were caught in division and arguing over whether or not to paint the church. Let me just say there was no argument on whether or not the church needed to be painted! Everyone was in agreement there! We didn’t settle this argument that night because I was just now learning what the problem was. Later that week I began to investigate and learned that this church had been arguing about painting the church for over 6 months! Business meetings lasting for hours fighting and bickering back and forth about painting the church. It was the craziest thing I had ever seen.
Looking back on that situation I realized that it had nothing to do with the three basic principles I present this morning on what a united church looks like. A united church is – United in Message; United in Ministry; and United in Mission. We must get back to this NT model if we are ever going to be the Gospel centered Church that Jesus died for!
You want to hear this sermon. Please join us this morning at Joy Baptist Church.