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The Message from the Church to the World

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The Message: from the Church to the World

Aug 3, 2008

Churches all around have a variety of messages they transmit to world around them.  Just look a few of their signs tell us a lot about the church

Church signs

Let the church help – Makes you want to rush to that church!

Perhaps the message should target a particular group -
Like our ball players across the street who freely use our parking lot: (Trespassers will be Baptized)

Maybe we ought to use a scare tactic (die at 10:30)

Or maybe should speak on biblical issue that affect each one of us (Why didn’t Moses swat)

Or perhaps relate a biblical message of encouragement
(Moses was a basket case)

However we are in the season of political campaigns so maybe our message should be more political (He approved this message)

The real message this morning is the message God has given the church and this sign tells how it is to work
:
WE DON’T CHANGE THE MESSAGE
THE MESSAGE CHANGES US

How can we expect the message to change the world if it doesn’t first change us?

If the message of the church fails to change a dying world –
It must first change us. 

Read 1 Tim 4:1:5

4:1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:

2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.

3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Background:

Paul’s last words of instruction – given to Timothy.
perhaps this was written 6 months prior to his execution in Rome around 68AD.

These words of Paul were solemn – Timothy, as pastor of the church in Ephesus was there in part to lead and guide the church there but also stop any heresy.

a lot of the NT writings dealt with false teachings – so Paul’s word to Timothy was not just for him but for the whole church.

Look at the verses preceding our text today – well know text concerning scripture


2 Tim 3:14-17

14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

NIV

Paul then follows this passage with a charge to solemn to Timothy:

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:


Solemn
As God as our witness
Jesus will one day judge us in light of this charge


Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage-with great patience and careful instruction.

Look at these5 imperatives – commands Paul gives Timothy. 

PREACH THE WORD

BE PREPARED

CORRECT

REBUKE

ENCOURAGE

All done with great patience and careful instruction.
patience – some people needs to hear it more than once
Illustration: story of the new pastor who preached the same sermon over and over.

The Word of God

        Heb 4:12 NIV
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Illustration: How To Handle A Knife
My leatherrman  - good tool when its open
Closed, it’s no good

But in the wrong hands, it could be dangerous

Likewise, the Word of God - living and powerful sword, must be handled with even greater care, caution, and respect.

Teachers learn more than their students

Teachers are given a special warning

James 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.

NIV


PREACH THE WORD

      Does not mean to stand behind a pulpit
To Public heralding like a town crier
      whether in mass or person to person

      What is the WORD?  Not just Scripture

John 1:1 NIV
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

      We’re talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ –

And the world doesn’t know the Gospel

It has been watered down in America

Recent news article:  Americans including a large percentage of American Christians believe in many different ways to heaven

Why?? Because they do not know the Word – they do not know the Gospel

The article said that Christianity in America is 3000 miles wide and 1 inch thick – and they are right. 

      We are to PREACH – PROCLAIM – DECLARE the Gospel to a lost and dying world.

How arrogant for me to say that????
Not I but Jesus said “I am THE WAY
                                          THE TRUTH
                                          THE LIFE
No one come to the Father but by me.”

Well…. What is the Gospel???
Jesus died for our sins  OH HUM!!!!  We have heard those words over and over – do we really understand then meaning?

We have completely missed it  -

Why – because we have missed the high and Holiness of almighty God

We don’t understand who God is –

we don’t understand Holiness

we don’t understand sin

only after we begin to understand Holiness can we understand sin

Isaiah is Isa 6 fell on his face

Isa 6:5 Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."

Now listen carefully
compared to the holiness of God
there is little difference between us and Hitler

The “smallest sin offends and infinitely holy God

we don’t understand repentance
      the message of the OT
      the message of John the Baptist
      the message of Jesus in the gospels

Tto truly repent means to live a transformed life. 

Only then can we begin to understand the price Jesus paid for us on the cross – and that is the essence of the Gospel

Jesus is not the one thing that will make our lives complete
HE IS THE ONLY THING

Without Jesus we have nothing

Jesus is not our last choice – not our first choice
HE IS OUR ONLY CHOICE

Jesus said he is the way truth and life

Without Jesus we have no life.

But the world does not want to hear that

That’s why we must

BE PREPARED

In season and out of season

when the time is right and when the time is not right

when conditions are favorable and when the conditions are not favorable

When people want to hear the Gospel and when they don’t want to hear the Gospel.

Paul always found an opportunity to share the Word – temple courts, market place, the stormy seas, and even in prison.

We are to use the Word to

CORRECT

REBUKE

ENCOURAGE

1 Peter 2:9 NIV
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

You may say that you’re not good with words
You’re in good company – with the Apostle Paul


1 Cor 2:1-5 NIV
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.   2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. 3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit's power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

That’s where I am – Ever been in an argument you lost just because you could think of a snappy come-back – then two days later you wake up in the middle of the night with just the right words you should have said?

that’s how Paul was – he was a smart guy but not the most charismatic person you have ever meet.

But Paul let the Word speak for itself

The Word has power.  The God behind the Word has power

      REVIEW Heb 4:12 NIV
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

But the church today believe it must be entertaining
we have to dress up the Word

God’s Word stands on it own
We are called to be obedient  - Preach the Word

The rest is up to God

but we are warned

Scripture tell us that some won’t listen


3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Today what the world wants to hear is not the Word of God

How many of you remember what you thought of your parent’s advice and instruction when you were young? I know when I was in my late teens and early twenties;

I have to admit I was stupid, I thought I knew it all. There was nothing my parents could teach me about life, or so I thought.

Then one day I had an epiphany, I heard the words of my dad coming out of my mouth.

Anybody else experienced that?

For many people, this is how they view Biblical teachings.
Many people tend to view it from immature eye.
Some people begin by looking at the Bible as either a book of do’s and don’ts or a book that is not relevant to their current situation in life.

But as we study and learn for God’s word and live the life He prescribes – we begin to see how very right it is.

But the world and our country have rejected God’s word

Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie

Look at the words of this verses 3-4 

TURN AWAY – from sound doctrine or teaching
School work – this is too hard – I’ll neven learn this

Surround themselves with yes men – tell me what I want to hear

Turn their ears way – in the Greek (Act 7:57 stoning of Stephen) they cover their ears and yell

We should not be surprised about the world. 
BUT PAUL WAS TALKING – NOT ABOUT THE WORLD BUT ABOUT THE CHURCH!

The church WANT to hear…like
• how GOOD we are…
• how God is blessing our efforts in the Kingdom…
• how great heaven and eternity with God will be…
• God’s love
• God’s mercy
• God’s unending forgiveness

BUT the church does not want to hear…
• how sinful we are…
• how prideful our thoughts and actions are…
• how our sinful behavior carries severe consequences…
• how our sin affects other people…
• how there REALLY is a hell and torment and people ARE going to go there…
• about God wrath and judgment…
• Or about the possibility of God allowing someone to go to hell…

1. Make me happy.
2. Meet my needs.

3. Don’t talk about sin.
4. Tell me how to be successful.

5. Don’t be so negative.

6. Bible doctrine is boring.
7. Theology doesn’t matter.
8. Sermons are too long.
9. Make the gospel relevant.
10. Tell more stories.
11. Make me laugh.

12. Tell some jokes.

13. Help me feel good about myself. SELF ESTEEM
God doesn’t care about your self esteem
He cares about your holiness

14. Build up my self-esteem.

15. Don’t be divisive.

16. Don’t talk about hell.
17. Be positive.
18. I want a happy religion.

But what happens – We are no different from the rest of the world

You know the statistics – there is precious little difference between the world and the people in the church

What does God expect from HIS people?

      BE HOLY FOR I AM HOLY

That is the theme of the book of Leviticus (Lev 11:44, 45)

Peter repeats that in 1 Peter 1:16

That take effort!  It hard work. And we’re a lazy people.

True Christians/believers, followers of Christ will never blend in with the world
They will stick out like a sore thumb

Jesus explains in John 17 – that we (TRUE BELIEVERS) are not of this world – but yet we are in it.

Romans 12 tells us:   Rom 12:2
 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Recap v5 But you….

5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.

Be clear minded / be sober

Know what is happening around you – know what will happen – how people will slander you – say all kind of false things about you –

People rushing off to this good thing or that

we are to keep our eyes on Jesus

Endure hardship

Most of the hardship we encountered was not so much from the world but within the walls of the church

Jesus never promised prosperity – he did promise hardship

John 16:3 In this world you will have trouble .

Matt 24:9  "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.

Do our work


Invitation

Has the Word change you?

The world is full of people who believes about Jesus – “even the demon believe and shudder.”

However the evidence of true belief and faith is not a decision on your part, but a changed life.

2 Cor 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation ; the old has gone, the new has come!

Has God done a work in your life, has be spoken to you?

Isa 55:6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;

call on him while he is near.

What is God saying to your heart today

Prayer

Hymn

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