Rock Hill Crusade Ezekiel 37 part 2
At Neely’s Creek every week we confess what we believe using the words of the Apostle Creed. The last section begins like this I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Christian church, the communion of Saints. The Apostles Creed first said I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic church. This form of the creed has little to do with the Roman Catholic church, rather it professes that we that we believe that there is only one church, which is the whole family of Christ, and all Christian churches are apart of the one church.
Most of us still believe that this is true today. However, as ARP Christians we have a bad habit of not wanting to associate ourselves with people who are not in the ARP.
We are not the only ones, many denominations and churches simply do not seem to want to work together, especially when it comes down to doing things together to reach out to non-Christians in a spiritual way.
Often these churches will worship together with another church or work together for a political purpose, but when it comes down to reaching out to the lost or reaching out to people who are different, we put up our guards up.
However, Ezekiel 37 reminds that simply should not be. We are one nation under one King. One church, one family of Jesus Christ. Lets read Ezekiel 37:15-28.
When we look into this passage, I remind you that this prophecy comes at a time when Israel is divided between the North and the South. Their has been continual fighting between the two kingdoms, but these Kingdoms were once brothers. They were once one family. God’s chosen people, Israel. This prophecy says that these two feuding brothers will become one again.
They will once again have one King who is from the line of David, and they will have one shepherd. This King and Shepherd we know today is Jesus Christ. The two divided brothers have become one in this family of God that we now call the church. He says, when that happens they will be my people, and I will be their God. This statement is reminder that we find all the way through the Old Testament that God will always be faithful to keep his promises, and here God is promising that He will bring Israel together once again as the church.
A story about an American Missionary tells us about two men who understood well, how all Christians are one family.
The American missionary was traveling across Korea by train. At a busy station an old man boarded and sat across from Him. The man was Korean and he addressed the American in his native tongue. The Missionary responded in the only Korean phrase that he knew which was "I DON’T UNDERSTAND". A few minutes later the Korean tried again, but the missionary could only say " I DON’T UNDERSTAND" The Korean then tried a third question, only this time the American recognized a familiar word YESU which means JESUS. The American pointed to himself and said YESU the Old man did the same thing with a smile of delight on His face. The Korean then unwrapped the bundle he was carrying . It was a large Korean a Bible He turned to a page and pointed to a place that he wanted the American to read. Remembering that oriental Bible are written from back to front . The clergy men took his own Bible and counted the number of books and chapters from the back to the place that the old man had pointed to . The old man had pointed to Mark 3:35 "Whoever does the will of God is my brother" The American searched for a suitable reply. He counted out and pointed to it in the Korean Bible. It was Psalm 133:1 "Behold how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity" The Korean man read it and smiled in agreement and for the rest of the journey, these two men, ages apart in culture were brought together in a remarkable friendship as they pointed first to one verse and then to another.
If these two men could do it, without even being able to understand each other, I ask you then, Why do we have such a difficult time working together as churches, when we do speak the same language.
Sure our cultures are different, but we all brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all one family, under one King and one Shepherd, our Savior Jesus Christ.
Simply think about how many more people we can reach for Jesus Christ, if all of us 15 churches who are a part of this Crusade simply work together to reach the lost of Rock Hill. If all 15 churches pray for the Spirit to work in all of our communities in Rock Hill, and then we are open to working together so that Christ may save some.
Allow me to give you one example of a way we can work together. Some of us at Neely’s Creek have had a burning desire to reach out to the area around Confederate Park. We have come down here occasionally to hang out, but the reality is that most of the guys who hang out at Confederate Park would never feel comfortable in our church. I believe that one way we can be a part of ministering to Confederate Park is by working together with this Church, and there is no reason that our churches could not work together in order to take the gospel to some people there who don’t want to come to church.
We should be able to work together because we are one church, one family, and their should not be any divisions among us.
As the poem “No East or West” says,
No East or West
In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North,
But one great Fellowship of Love
Throughout the whole wide earth.
In Him shall true hearts everywhere
Their high communion find.
His service is the golden cord
Close-Binding all mankind.
Join Hands then, Brothers of the Faith,
Whate-er your race may be!-
Who serves my Father as a son
Is surely kin to me.
In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet South and North,
All Christly souls are in Him,
Throughout the whole wide earth.
I ask that you will now join hands brothers and sisters in the faith, as we go to the Lord in prayer!