Faithlife Sermons

The Indifferent Church Makes No Difference

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Introduction:
The shift from dependence on God to self -sufficiency is so subtle that we often do not realize we are going through life out of route and routine.
A rut is “a habit or pattern of behavior that has become dull and unproductive but is hard to change” (apple Dictionary). An example could be a business stuck in a rut . It loses direction and vision for the future and loses marketshare. A business stock in a rut loses its influence in the marketplace.
The problem with getting in a rut is the difficultly of getting out of the rut.
On one of the early Appalachia mission trips, Marc and his team assumed they knew there directions. Upon thinking they needed to take the first left after some landmark. So the church van takes the first left after such and such road. The problem was it was not their road but a railroad track. when the payment ran out the van was on the tracks. When panic set in, the van driver assumed acceleration would free them. But the van was stuck in a rut and speed only sent the van further down the track.
Good good news is that no one was hurt. The bad news is Marc had to call Liza to call the rail company to stop an approaching train. the bad news is when Liza showed with help, I think Marc would have rather dealt with the speeding train.
It has been said that a rut is just a grave with both ends knocked out of it. We can get in a rut and not realize the dangers lying ahead of us. Often we go through the route and routine of life until we are stuck in the rut of Self-sufficiency. We can navigate life, much without thinking about why we are doing something and without much effort.
Likewise church and our Christian life can become a habit with not much effort or dependence on Jesus to give life purpose
Churches need a revival. Christians need a revival. A revival means to bring back or restore to strength. The strength of the church like the strength of the Christian life are measured by dependence on Christ.
We often focus on too many facets for revival. This year we should just focus own making weekly worship service a priority. If we expect the people we invite to church to come, then they must see why we make weekly worship a priority.
This problem of making weekly worship a priority is not a new problem. In Revelation 3:14–22 we find the Church at Laodicea stuck in a rut. They had forgotten that the purpose of the church was to make a difference in the community. They had forgotten what benefits to expect, when you make weekly worship a priority.
Lets look four benefits to expect, when attending weekly worship. See what a Jesus says in Revelation 3:14-22 That the Indifferent church makes no difference.
Read the text and pray.
Church Revival begins with the expectation that Church matters. Jesus gives us 4 expectations of benefit, for when we make attending weekly service a priority. First:

Expect Jesus to send you a Message

Jesus’ message always provides you with a fresh vision of His authority to validate His Message.

Isaiah 65:16 NASB95
“Because he who is blessed in the earth Will be blessed by the God of truth; And he who swears in the earth Will swear by the God of truth; Because the former troubles are forgotten, And because they are hidden from My sight!
The God of truth is the only One who can add Amen to the end of every word He speaks (Strauss, 94).
Jesus Himself guarantees the message is reliable and dependable.
2 Corinthians 1:20 NASB95
For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.
Jesus is our “Let it be so.” Jesus is our truly, truly I say, because He said.
Jesus’ promises can be relied upon. He is the faithful and true witness. Faithful means reliable—one who can be depended on. True means that which corresponds with reality. Jesus is the incarnation of truth. Jesus is our “Amen,” Our truth who came clothed in flesh wrapped in swaddling cloths, and laid in a manger.
Jesus is the witness on whom you can rely and trust to tell the truth. (1) A witness must see with their own eyes and report what they have seen. (2) a witness must be absolutely honest to report, with accuracy, what they have seen and heard. (3) a witness must be able to communicate what they have to say, so that their testimony makes a true impression on those who hear.
Jesus is also the source of all things, who is worthy to reign, rule, and control all things
John 1:3 NASB95
All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.
Hebrews 1:1–2 NASB95
God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world.
Colossians 1:15–20 NASB95
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that He Himself will come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.
Expect Jesus to send you a message. The message will be validated by the presence of a fresh vision of His Deity. The vision of Christ will let us see His glory and allow us to see ourselves as He sees us, as we descend back down to see our image of ourselves.
John Calvin wrote, “man never achieves a clear knowledge of himself unless he has first looked upon God’s face, and then descends from contemplating [Christ] to scrutinize himself” (Institutes, TTT, Duvall, 35). When we a fresh vision of God, we begin to better understand ourselves. Worship opens our eyes to the wonder and majesty of the God we serve. A new vision of God can motivate to tell of his glory.
Selwyn Hughes writes, “We are made for big and are restless in our littleness. we cannot be content this side of God’s purpose” (The Everyday Bible, 501).
Augustine wrote “Our hearts are restless until they rest in the worship of the true God” (Confessions).
Eugene Patterson defines worship as an act of attention to the living God who rules, speaks and reveals, creates and redeems, orders and blesses” (Duvall, Revelation, 36).
Gregory the Great wrote: “The vision of God is our minds true refreshment.”
Jesus’ message to the church at Laodicea was a message of rebuke:

The Indifferent Church Makes No Difference

Indifferent means unconcerned, neither good or bad, neutral, middle-of-the-road. An attitude of “we’ve got this.” Everything is good because we are checking off all the boxes. The bills are paid, the church is clean, and the yard is mowed. The believe who checks boxes and just goes through the motions have this “We’ve Got This” attitude:
The family says we have got this, the kids are behaving.
The husband says, me and the wife are getting along.
The wife says, the husband is minding me.
The worker says my pay check is bigger than the problems you have to put up with at work.
The believe says Lord we have got this, we’ll call if we need anything. Jesus is the first cause of things going your way. Often things going our way is Jesus’ way of giving us a much needed break.
If you believe you can to the good times on your own, you will think you can fix it own your own, when trouble comes.
The next time you think I’ve got this you need to break out singing a course of “I need thee every hour, [Lord] stay nearby; temptations lose their power when you are not near.”

Expect Jesus to Honestly Evaluate Your Spiritual Condition

Laodicea was located about 100 miles east of Ephesus. It was the last mail box on the route of messages Jesus has for the churches. It had become the leading Commercial city, in the Lycus River Valley, because of its location on the trade route between Ephesus and Syrian Antioch to the east. It was the banking center of Asian trade. The city was famous in the Textile and Medical markets.
The only thing they didn’t have was a good water supply. Hierapolis was 8 miles to north and Colosse was located ten miles east.
You make me sick! Here are 4 reasons you make me sick to my stomach:
You think you have everything you need.
You think you made it on your own.
You think you do not need my help.
You do not know how ignorant you are.
The Church slowly takes on the personality of the congregation.
In 60 ad. Laodicea has devastated by an earthquake. Rome offered financial and physical assistance to help with the rebuild. The Laodiceans refused help, because they had the finances and resources to rebuilt on their own.
The Church needed revival. Without acknowledging Christ as the first cause of all things, all the resources in the world will not restore spiritual blindness, remove the shame of failed self-sufficiency, nor impute the righteousness of Christ to a wrecked life.

Expect Jesus to Provide a Corrective Plan

Jesus will always offer you loving discipline to correct your wayward actions and attitude. Jesus will advise you to trust Him to counsel you in correcting any spiritual deficiency. Spiritual deficiency begins with a lack of dependance on Jesus. Self-sufficiency leads to Spiritual Deficiency.
Jesus was dependent on the Father as we should be dependent on Him. Jesus never asks us to do anything He hasn’t tried and done.
John 5:19–20 NASB95
Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. “For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.
John 12:49 NASB95
“For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment as to what to say and what to speak.
Use the resources you have to buy from Me
Gold of refined attitude and actions. Buying Gold is Trusting God Word to refine your life. Purified gold has all dross removed. All the worthless impurities burn out of it. God’s word removes the lies of the culture.
Psalm 19:7–11 NASB95
The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. They are more desirable than gold, yes, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward.
Clothes of righteousness to hide shame of Self-sufficiency
Eye salve of spiritual sight

Expect Jesus to Promise Positive eternal Results

Jesus promises not to leave those whom He loves in a state of spiritual blindness.
Reprove tell what you do wrong. To state that some has done wrong, with the implication that there is adequate proof of wrong doing.
Discipline: to punish for the purpose of correcting behavior.
Zealous deeply committed to something, with the implication of teh accompanying desire to set your heart on it. When we are zealous, we are completely intent on trusting, by depending upon Him, for life and guidance in the life He gives us.
Repentance involves a zealous change of life that only results from a change of thought and attitude with regard to leaving sin behind you and reaching ahead to the righteousness of Christ to be added to your life.
Hebrews 12:6–12 NASB95
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. Therefore, strengthen the hands that are weak and the knees that are feeble,
Jesus Never asks anything of us that He has not experienced.
Hebrews 5:7–8 NASB95
In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.
Jesus was dependent on the Father, while living on the earth.
3 benefits to trusting Jesus’ promises enough that you follow His commands.
Jesus will revive fellowship
Jesus will revive our dependence on Him to sustain of fellowship
Jesus will grant us to rule over our situations with Him.
How do we know we can benefit from trusting in Jesus’ eternal positive promises? Jesus has been there done that. HE has the teeshirt. Jesus compares His dependence on the Father’s fulfilled promises, with His promise to fulfill all His promises to us.
If you are saved and Spirit led, then Jesus issues a mandate to heed the Words of the weekly message, by depending on His spirit to guide you in truth.
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