Sunday Morning Service, 10/17/10
- Great In Power
- That's Why We Praise Him
- What A Friend We Have In Jesus
- Love Has Come
- King Of Kings
- All To You
- One Day
Message: Get Excited
> Pastor Thomas
I was telling Larry, I hope the message has the same effect on everybody else that it had on me. It really kicked my butt as I was studying it. I haven’t preached on this in a long time, and I think it’s way past due. I want start by telling tell a story:
A pastor was visiting a small country church, and for a few services, he watched and listened. Then he said, “We’re going to have a special service.” He talked it up and got everybody excited about it. When they came in, there was a drape over the altar, so you couldn’t see it. Then when the pastor came in, they took the drape off and it was a huge casket there in front of the church. The pastor preached a eulogy, and it was about somebody who didn’t minister, didn’t share, didn’t witness, didn’t do anything. People started to think he was a real jerk. Then after the eulogy, they put up a screen and people walked by the casket, one by one. People still in line heard the gasps and groans ahead and wondered what was going on. Then as each person looked in the casket, they saw their own face in a mirror.
I saw a commercial yesterday that just blew my mind. They brought a huge snack-tray out of the car, and it’s built like a football field. They probably spent all day Sunday just getting that tray ready. There’s always something. People don’t have time for church, and it’s a shame. Church isn’t about what we do on Sundays; it’s about what we do every single day.
In the Bible, they were called “Christians” because they were “Christ-like”. Now we call ourselves “Christians” because we joined ourselves to a church – on Sunday mornings. But what do we do with the rest of our time? We can even use our kids as an excuse not to come to church, because we want to spend time with them. We can say that Sunday is the only day we get to sleep in. What if Jesus had decided to sleep in rather than hanging around that garden?
- Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
- Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
Church, that might have been to the eleven, but the eleven were supposed to go out and make disciples. This message was for the church. At that time, the church consisted of eleven people; that’s all. This passage is based on a historically significant event.
When Hezekiah found the book of God’s word, he wept. And when he took it to the king, the king wept also, because they realized how far from the law they had gone. So they not only read it in front of the people, they made sure that priests were ready to explain anything that the people didn’t understand.
Philip wasn’t one of the twelve, or the eleven, was he? But he was out there delivering the commission. The Bible says that all men must be apt to teach.
- And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,
- In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;
- Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
You must be able to rightly divine the word of truth. What does Mark 16:15 say? Go ye out into all the neighborhood?
- And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
We had eleven baptisms this week. Nine of them were military. Some people ask why I’m always talking about the military. Because they’re the only ones doing something! I’m taking care of the cow that gives the milk. Church, I want you to know that if you don’t share the gospel of Christ, you won’t survive.
If you refuse to share the gospel with people where God has put you to be a testimony, and they go to hell, then God will count their blood on your hands. Because God put you there for a reason.
What God has told us to do is for our benefit. It’s what saves other people, and in turn, preserves us. My grandmother used to preserve things. She had three basements in her house. It was an old house; it had a coal basement, a regular basement, and a smaller one where the walls were lined with preserves. What does it mean to preserve? It means you keep something in a state where it’s usable. That’s my definition. Church, what are you doing to preserve your soul?
Jesus, when he started his ministry, we hear that he gathered disciples by word of mouth. We see the very first example in the gospel of John:
- Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples;
- And looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
- And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.
The disciples heard John testify of Jesus, and these two men followed Jesus.
- Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou?
- He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day: for it was about the tenth hour.
- One of the two which heard John speak, and followed him, was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.
Andrew heard “Follow Jesus, and the next verse said:
- He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.
The very first thing he did was to tell his brother, “We have found Messiah!” He was excited about what he heard. And we know that Peter was the greatest of the disciples; he was the one who brought the Gentiles into the fold. But somebody had to get excited before there was Peter.
Jesus ministered to thousands, yet there were only a hundred and twenty in the upper room. He healed ten lepers, and only one returned to thank him. Church, you say that people don’t want to listen to you. Well, how is your attitude? I can take any conversation and turn it around to talk about Jesus. But if you don’t have that love, that excitement, that drive to see people saved, you’re going to talk about everything else but Jesus.
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well,
- There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
- The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men,
- Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?
- And many of the Samaritans of that city believed on him for the saying of the woman, which testified, He told me all that ever I did.
Their conviction came from what the woman had to say.
- So when the Samaritans were come unto him, they besought him that he would tarry with them: and he abode there two days.
- And many more believed because of his own word;
- And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.
She had to get people out to hear him. She was enthusiastically getting out and telling people about what Jesus had done. Many of them heard her and that caused them to believe. Others were skeptical, but checked it out for themselves, and then they believed. But all this started because of one Samaritan woman.
When the man was healed who was possessed of demons, he wanted to follow Jesus, but he told him, “No, stay here and be a witness.” If everybody stays in the church, where is the witness? Does not the Bible tell us to go out and do the work of an evangelist?
Church, what moves you? Where is this excitement that comes from inside us, that compels us to tell people about Jesus? If they have rejected the message, they have rejected not you, but Christ. They might not be ready, but the Bible says that in their day of visitation, they will remember you, and they will cry out to God, and God will be there to minister to them.
When blind Barnabas was outside the city begging, he heard the news. They didn’t have the Times, the Wall Street Journal, or USA Today. They had conversations. People talked about Jesus; they knew about Jesus; they had heard about Jesus. Barnabas sat there and heard people talk about Jesus. But one day, he heard something different and cried out, “Jesus, thou sound of David, have mercy on me!” What would cause him to do something different? There is a difference between when people talk about Jesus, and when Jesus is in their midst. And Barnabas cried out.
How can people cry out if you’re only talking about Jesus, and there’s no Jesus in your midst? When you talk about church services and activities, you’re talking about Jesus. But when you share about what Jesus has done for you personally, then Jesus is in the midst. I like church cards; they’re handy. You can write something on the back and hand it to someone and use it to invite people out to church. But that’s not evangelism. Evangelism is telling people what Jesus has done for you.
- A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
- And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.
- And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up with it, and choked it.
- And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare fruit an hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
When farmers spread out the seed, not every kernel developed. But that doesn’t stop them from throwing it out on the ground. You cast the seed on the ground, and it’s some of it will take and some of it won’t. It’s not up to us to decide who is worthy and who isn’t. None of us were worthy.
Are you praying about who you can share with, and make a difference in their life? How many years (not weeks or months) has it been since you sat down and shared the salvation message with somebody? Then ask yourself why.
> Well, nobody has come up and wanted to talk about it.
If a man has a business and he doesn’t get out and talk about it to anybody, whose fault is it that his business doesn’t grow? If you start a restaurant and never turn on the lights or open the door, would you wonder why nobody comes to your restaurant?
It’s not fair to keep the word of God to yourself. It’s not fair to the lost. It’s like seeing somebody in an accident and going on your way. “Why should I help that guy?” Because his life is at stake!
- So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
They’re not going to get anything unless you talk to them. They’re not even going to listen to some preacher on TV. But God has sent us to carry the message.
- I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
If your job is to sow, then sow it. If somebody comes along and encourages them, that waters their spirit. And God adds the increase. But if God can’t get through to them, they’ll wither and die, just like a plant that never gets watered.
When people heard the first message, the spirit of God tugged at their hearts. But God wouldn’t have been able to do that if Peter hadn’t done his part. Three thousand souls died when Moses brought the law down from the mountain.
- Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD.
- Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.
Don’t try to think ahead-of-time what to say. Because whatever you work out in your mind, it isn’t going to happen that way. If you study the word of God, then God will give you the words to say. But if you don’t study and you don’t pray and you don’t talk, then you don’t go to heaven.
Let me repeat that in case you didn’t get it the first time:
If you don’t study and you don’t pray and you don’t talk, then you don’t go to heaven.
Larry, what was that email you sent me?
That was a very powerful reminder that your best friend, your buddy, needs the word of God more than he needs anything else. Paul wrote it this way:
- Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men:
Have you ever heard the phrase, “I can read you like a book?” You’re so upset that everybody around you knows about it. How many of you have seen somebody like that? Their attitude, their posture, everything about them says, “Stay away!” But if you’re lifting up Jesus, people will be drawn to you. And if they’re not, what kind of aura are you putting out?
- God made us a watchman.
- He tells us to give sinners a warning.
If we warn them and they don’t listen, then their blood is on their own hands. But if we warn them and they repent, they’ve delivered their soul. Either way, if you warn them, your job is accomplished.
Church, you don’t have to walk by a casket and see a mirror to know that souls are dying because you’re not doing your job in Christ. And if the church doesn’t do it, then the church dies. People say, “How come we’re not seeing the church grow?” Well, how many of you are talking about it? I can only do so much from up here.
- Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at my mouth, and give them warning from me.
- When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
- Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.
- Again, When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumbling-block before him, he shall die: because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.
- Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man, that the righteous sin not, and he doth not sin, he shall surely live, because he is warned; also thou hast delivered thy soul.