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Jesus is Lord!

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Sermon today is difficult for me because I want to articulate and communicate what I believe God has been speaking to me for the last 6 months.
Born out of months of praying, thinking, and reading.
It began at a conference in Indiana.
Taking the gospel to the streets.
I want to show you some statistics.
In A.D 100 there were 25,000 Christians in the world.
In A.D. 310 there were 20,000,000 Christians in the world.
The Rise of Christianity , Rodney Stark
An amazing amount of growth in a short period of time.
Currently the church, worldwide, is in decline.
People are less likely to attend a church in the US today than at any other time.
If you were born between 1925 and 1945 there’s a 60% chance you’re in a church today.
If you were born between 1946 and 1964 there’s a 40% chance you’re in a church today.
If you were born between 1965 and 1983 there’s a 20% chance you’re in a church today.
If you were born after 1984 there is less than a 10% chance you’re in a church today.
Joining God - Alan Roxburgh
What does that say about the future of the church?
Unless something changes...
As of 2014...
As of 2014 the estimated number of unchurched adults in the U.S. was 114 million. Additionally, there are 42 million unchurched children and teenagers. That is a total of 156 million Americans that are not engaged with a Christian church.
Population would make the 8th largest country in the world...
That is staggering to think about.
Even more alarming, in the U.S., only 4 in 10 people are even willing to come to a church building.
Churches are competing for the same 40% of the willing people.
60% of the population isn’t even willing to come to the church at all.
Something has to change.

Something has to change.

The paradigm for how we do “church” has to change or the church in America is going to continue the trend that we see in Western churches around the world.
What do we do about it? What needs to change?
It begins with one fundamental truth.
Open your Bible to 1 Cor 8
1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV
yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
For a more complete understanding of this verse, let’s go back to Deut 6...
Deuteronomy 6:4 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Read Verses 4-9 in Bible.
God is the one and only God who has the right to rule over every aspect of life.
He is to be honored in every part of life: home, work, politics, recreation, everything...
Let’s go back to 1 Corinthians 8.
1 Corinthians 8:6 ESV
yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist.
Look at what these verses say:
God - from whom are all things.
God - for whom we exist.
Jesus - through whom are all things.
Jesus - through whom we exist.
We exist for God through Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the focus of our attention...
Jesus is the focus of our attention and the pivotal point in how we relate to God.
We must grasp this fundamental truth and apply it to every activity and portion of our life.
NOTHING CAN BE LEFT OUT OF THIS.

Jesus Christ is Lord!

This is what changed the church from a beginning of 3,000 converts on that first day to over 20,000,000 in 300 years.
All of life must be brought under the lordship of Christ.
We talk about this like it’s a great idea, but we don’t actually live it out. It’s too scary.
Let me say it again… all of life must be brought under the lordship of Christ.

All of life must be brought under the lordship of Christ.

His lordship must touch every aspect of life or He is not lord.
Abraham Kuyper, "Sphere Sovereignty"
“There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, Mine!”
Nothing that we have belongs to us, it is His.
Home, work, money, recreation, entertainment, school, family, church.
If we are going to reverse the trend...

If we are going to reverse the trend of declining Christian churches in the U.S. then we must change.

We can no longer follow the paradigm that says, “Come and see.”
This has been the norm since Constantine made Christianity the official state religion in A.D. 313.
Mandate of Christ is “Go tell.”
It’s missional not attractional.

We cannot be content to invite the 40% and neglect the 60%.

Many of those 60% are outside of Christ and going to hell.
They are not beating down the doors of our church to hear about Christ.

We must pursue goals that take the gospel to the streets and interact with people where they work, live, and play.

Everyone is a missionary.

What is your next step?

Pray!
Where have I withheld Lordship?
What do you want from me?
“Here am I, send me!”
I believe that God wants to do some amazing things in our community. And He wants to use you.
We must move past a mindset that would put limits on God or says, “we can’t do that.”
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