Ezek 7_10-22 A Church without God
A Church without God
The treasured place desecrated
Lord’s Day 13-08-06 9.00am
Call to worship
Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For He spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. (Psalm 33:8-9)
Grace to your from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord through the mighty work of the Holy Spirit
Prayer of Confession of sin
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2)
The Lord’s Prayer
Doxology Psalm 84: “How delightful are Your dwellings”
Tune: Rejoice 141 – 4 verses)
Prayer of Adoration, Thanksgiving and Invocation
Hymn No 321: “Bring to the Lord”
Prayer for others
Tithes, offering and dedication
While the deacons wait upon the tithes, remaining seated, all sing
Hymn No 390: “Come let us sing”
Scripture Reading Matthew 16:13-20
Sermon A Church without God
\\ ; The church under Christ
1. ; Christ’s declaration: I will build my church
2. ; Christ’s assurance: The gates of hell will nor prevail against the church
3. ; Christ’s authority: I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.
Proclaim the message of the Christ, the Son of the living God.
This is the glorious picture of a church which follows her Saviour. He promised: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
He also said: “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
He promised: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Paul said: When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (1 Corinthians 2:1-5)
For as long as the church was faithful to this message about Jesus Christ and his salvation, God blessed her and added to her number those who saved. Christ honoured his promises.
; The Church without God
God’s declaration: Yet in her wickedness she has rebelled against my laws and decrees more than the nations and countries around her. She has rejected my laws and has not followed my decrees.
“Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: You have been more unruly than the nations around you and have not followed my decrees or kept my laws. You have not even conformed to the standards of the nations around you. (Ezekiel 5:6-7)
; There is not such a thing as an irreligious man: if he does not worship God, he will worship a god.
An idol had been erected in the inner court.
By the wall of the court, elders of the city were paying homage to the idols that surrounded the court.
Closer to the temple, women were weeping for the god Tammuz, the Babylonian God of fertility.
Men were worshiping the sun.
There was still a temple; there were still priests, prophets and kings. There were still offerings, and prayers. There was still worship! There was a fire engine, but not water; there was a ship, but not sails and wind; there were tyres, but not air. Why? God was not in it!
; What happens then? “I will turn my face away from them.” An expression referring to the presence of God.
; God abandons the empty shell of a church without Him: The enemy will desecrate my treasured place.
Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings.
“Do you see all these things?” he asked. “I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Matthew 24:1-2)
The result of a church without God
1. ; No peace in times of terror
2. ; Disaster upon disaster; bad news following bad news
3. ; No believable explanation from the prophets, the priests or elders
4. ; No hope in political leaders
Story of the Life Savers Club.
Hymn: “Lord of the Church” (MP 442)
(Londonderry Air – 3 verses)
The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)