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Don't Just Go To Church "Be The Church"

By Pastor Don Dowda
(video audio page)

Don't Just Go To Church Be the Church

Scriptures: Hebrews 10:24-25, Titus 3:4-5, Romans 10:9-10, 1 Peter 2: 1-3, Matthew 7:24–27, Colossians 4:2-4, Malachi 3:8-12

Hebrews 10:24-25 NIV.  24And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

The Bible makes it clear in this scripture that we are supposed to go to Church.  The 1st part of the title of my message today is "Don't Just Go To Church".  I want to make it clear that I am not saying "don't go to church".  What I am saying is, don't "Just" go to church.  When we think about going to church, we usually think about getting ready on Sunday morning and going to the church building.  That's what happens in the natural.  Let's think about what happens in the spirit when we, the church, come together on Sunday morning and worship God in spirit and truth from our heart.  You see, we are not just a little band of people over here on main street, all by ourselves, we are a part of the world wide church as our praise comes up to God in heaven on Sunday mornings.  In the spirit our praise and worship is heard by God and the angels in heaven, mixed with the millions of people on earth that are praising and worshiping God at the same time.  Can you imagine that scene in Heaven, with the angels that are gathered around the throne, that are there continually worshiping God?  The next time we think about going to church, I hope we will think about what is going to happen in the spiritual world when we get to the church meeting, not just the natural side of it. 

Someone told me this week that he and his wife want to make a difference in the world.  How many people here today want to make a difference in the world?  To do some things that are positive to change the world around you?  There is a way to do that, and it's so simple to do.  If we will just "Be The Church" our world, and the world around us, will change.  I think that sometimes we want to do something big, and know that we probably can't, and just give up on making a change. 

Let me tell you about my Aunt Pansy.  Aunt Pansy went to church one night, when she was about 16 years old.  I think it may have been an old brush arbor meeting, and she accepted Jesus as her Savior.  Well, the rest of her family were not saved.  My mother, her sisters, and brothers, her father, none of them were Christians.  Aunt Pansy was the only one.  She began to read her Bible and pray for her family.  Well, they saw her reading her Bible, and they saw her praying, and I'm sure they heard her praying for them, and over a period of time, they began to get saved, one at a time.  Her sister Jessie got saved and married a man that was not a Christian, but because of Aunt Jessie praying for him,  he eventually became a Christian, and became a preacher that preached the gospel for 60 years or more.  Aunt Pansy got married and her husband got saved and became a preacher.  He preached for many years.  Aunt Pansy's brother, My Uncle Bob, became a Preacher and preached his whole life.  There is no telling how many people that were saved under my  uncles preaching that became preachers themselves and preached the gospel for their whole lives.   I'm sure there were thousands, maybe tens of thousands of people that came to the Lord through my Aunt Pansy just being a faithful Christian, and reading her Bible and praying.  Thousands of people having their lives changed, not just eternal salvation, but being able to live a good life here on this earth with the blessings of God on their lives.  So this brings us to the 2nd part of my title, "Be The Church".  You may be asking,  how can I "Be the church".  

"Be the Church" Be born again.

The 1st step in being the church of course is to be born into the Kingdom of God.  So if you want to make a difference do what my Aunt Pansy did.  "Be the Church".

Sin is a terrible thing.  If we practice it, it will take us down.  It's like a whirlpool that just spirals down, and down, until our lives are ruined.  We won't be able to make a positive difference in our world.  Because of what Jesus did, we don't have to allow sin to ruin our lives anymore.  He gives us the opportunity to be born again, and become a new person that can make a big difference in our lives and those around us and the whole world.

Titus 3:4-5 NIV,  But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

To "Be the Church" is a spiritual thing.  The church is not brick and mortar, it's born again spirits that join together for the common cause of promoting the Kingdom of God.  If you haven't been born and renewed in the Spirit, you are not a part of the church.  If you want to be born again, It's very easy to do; the Bible tells us how.

Sin is a terrible thing.  If we practice it, it will take us down.  It's like a whirlpool that just spirals down, and down, until our lives are ruined.  We won't be able to make a positive difference in our world.  If your living in sin, going against what you know the Bible teaches, you know what I am talking about, but because of what Jesus did, we don't have to have sin in our lives anymore.  He gives us the opportunity to be born again, and become a new person that can make a big difference in our lives and those around us, and the world.

Romans 10:9-10 NIV. 9If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

If you want to be saved, born again, born of the Spirit, that's all you have to do.  Just say that Jesus is Lord, believe that God raised Jesus from the dead.  It's not just saying some magical words, or shaking a preachers hand.  It included believing, having faith in the Word of God.   So if you want to accept Christ into your heart right now, go ahead and do it.  Like I said, it's not hard to do.  That may sound like it's a cheap thing, but it's not at all.  Jesus paid the price on the cross for our salvation and made it easy for us to come to God and have our lives, and our families lives changed.

"Be the Church"  Grow up.

1 Peter 2: 1-3 NIV.1Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.

We see here in the Word that once we become born again, and we are a part of the church, we are to grow up in our salvation. That's how we are able to "Be the Church".  So let's talk about how to grow up spiritually.  Get rid of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.  Just make up your mind that you are not going to do these thing, and then pray and ask God to help you.

There are some other ways we can grow up, and that is by making prior preparations to do the things that we need to do in the Kingdom.  For example, if you have a hard time getting to the Church building on Sunday morning, make preparations the night before.  Don't stay up late doing the things that you enjoy doing, put first the Kingdom.  Sacrifice a little time to get your clothes ready. Spend some time praying for the upcoming Church service.  That's how you can "Be the Church"  Pray for those that will be ministering. Get a good nights rest so you will be ready to join all the other born again people in the world to send praise and worship up to the throne room of God on the Lords day.  Just a little effort will make a big difference in your life and your families lives. 

"Be the Church" Read the Bible.

Matthew 7:24–27 NIV.  24"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

Did you notice there in the Scripture what the rock is?  Let's go back and look at that again. To paraphrase verse 24, it says everyone who hears the words of Jesus and puts them into practice is like a wise man that built his house on the rock. Did it say that the rock that we are to build on is Jesus?  No, it said it was Jesus' teachings.  So we see here that one of the way to grow and build a good life, is to obey the teachings of the bible.   How can we obey the teachings of Jesus if we don't know what he said.  If we never, or seldom, read the bible we can't very well know what Jesus taught. 

"Be the Church" Pray:

Another way that we can "Be the church" is to devote ourselves to prayer.  Pray for your family, your friends, people you meet, that their lives will be changed by the Spirit of God.

Colossians 4:2-4 NIV. 2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 

Notice that he says to be thankful.  Any time we pray, we should be thankful.  It's a big part of prayer.  Also he says to pray for the leadership of the church.  You can make a big difference in your world if you will pray for the leadership of the church, and support your local church body.  If you think you leaders are not doing a good job, don't talk about them, pray for them.  It will make a big difference.

"Be the Church" Support your local Church:

My wife and I have paid our tithes for our whole married lives, and God has blessed us so much.  We have had all our needs met and more.  All the people I know, that pays tithes to their local church, are a blessed people.  It's a promise from God.

Malachi 3:8-12 NIV. 8"Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me. "But you ask, 'How are we robbing you?' "In tithes and offerings. 9You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe," says the LORD Almighty. 12"Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land," says the LORD Almighty.

You may not be able to preach, but if you support this local church you are helping the word of God to go out to our community, to the surrounding community, and to the world. We have a tremendous outreach through the internet.  Our website www.lifegatechurch.com is viewed by thousands of people every week. I don't know for sure, but I believe our Church is preaching the gospel to more people than any other Church in Lafayette. The Gospel is being spread to the world, and your support is a big part of that.  God will bless you when you tithe, and give offerings.  Yes, you are making a big difference in the world when you support this church.

Let me encourage you to go to Church, but not just go to Church, "Be the Church", It will change your life, and you will make a big difference in the world.  This week, when you are about your daily life and things come up, ask yourself, will I "Be the Church" in this situation, or am I going to be a person that just goes to Church?




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