Church, Faith, Prayer, Love
Dr. Fredrick Sampson, Mt Lebanon Baptist Church in Louisville, told this dream in the late 60’s. He dreamed someone had a toothache and then walked into the dentist office and left feeling great. Then, someone had disheveled air and walked into the beauty parlor and left feeling great. Then, someone with a smashed car had it taken to the body shop and left feeling great because the car looked great. At his church there were several groups of people who walked in, (one dejected, one couple in an argument, one couple spanking boy all the way up the stairs). When they came out they were no different. Dr. Sampson cried, “Oh my God, every institution in Louisville is making a difference except my church.” Today we are talking about a church that makes a difference.
I. Made up of blessed people, (Matthew 16:17).
Persons who have been chosen by God. God has revealed to us a great and glorious knowledge of Him. Therefore, we will be held accountable for what we do with what He has given us.
II. Made up of people who are sharing Christ, (Matthew 16:18).
Upon this rock of fallible humans proclaiming that Christ is Lord the church will be built. Why is it, then, that 92% never share their faith in Christ?
III. Church that belongs to Jesus, (Matthew 16:18).
I will build MY Church. [Illustration: a pastor who tried to do it on his own]. When he turned the church back over to Christ, the church began to explode in growth.
IV. Church that is turning the keys, (Matthew 16:19).
I focus primarily on the key of powerful praying. We can make a difference!
- audacious faith: Isaiah 7; Paul Washer with total dependency on God to provide financial needs.
- bodacious prayer: Tonya with kidney stones. I had lost that bodacious prayer.
- efficacious love: How many times do we really care?
Sinclaire Lewis was interviewed by an Italian journalist: Main Street-narrow mindedness of people in small towns. Babbitt- shallowness of those who climb the ladder of success. Arrow Smith-lack of ethics in medical community. Elmer Gantry- hypocrisy in the clergy.
6/28/06 Further reading has caused me to change my understanding of binding and loosing. I now believe that these keys are the Gospel. As we fulfill our God-given mandate to share this Gospel there will be binding and loosing in heaven and on earth. Those who accept the Gospel shall have been loosed in heaven. Those who deny the Gospel shall have been bound in heaven. We see both of these extremes in Acts. Acts 2 we see the loosing in heaven and in earth. Acts 4:11-12, we see the binding in heaven and earth.What is our responsibility, then? We have been given these keys and we must be about the business of binding and loosing.
We must give people this opportunity to either be bound or loosed. There is no other way. See 2 Corinthians 5:9-11.
The outline that I used in Romania for this passage, (6/06), entitled “Who Are We?”
1. Blessed (Matthew 16:17)
2. Flesh (Matthew 16:17), Son of Jonah
a. We can’t take any of the credit.
b. Empowered by God in heaven who has all power.
3. His (Matthew 16:18)
We and the church belong to Him.We cannot have any ownership.
The church does not belong to us, but to Him and Him alone.
4. Victorious (Matthew 16:18)
The Gates of Hades (death) will not prevail against it. It will never be destroyed. Islam might attack it, people will try to undo it, governments will attempt to regulate it to death, but we have a promise, it will be victorious. Therefore, let us live in this victory. Let us be bold in our mission, not fearing this world.
5. Accountable (Matthew 16:19)
Of what we do with the keys.
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