Pops and I are in a truckstop near Buffalo, NY and was having trouble locating a church to attend today. We contacted Dan Hughes who used to be a Gap preacher for a church in Buffalo, but found out that they have since closed their doors. Another victory for Satan, a "killed church".
So we remembered that Raymond Bennett does a radio broadcast and also has many sermons available through his Delmarva website so we decided to go that route this morning. His website is: http://www.restorationplea.com/
Check it out, it is very good and you will surely find a great sermon there.
We chose to listen to Four Ways to Kill a Church. We chose that one randomly. But it was a good choice for sure.
He used many scriptures from the first 3 chapters of Revelation.
There are four ways listed here to kill a church, but you don't really need all four. Any one of them could prove fatal for a church.
1. Church members leaving their first love- losing the desire that you feel upon becoming a Christian, losing the zeal for Christ.
2. Christians getting tired of the doctrine- wanting ears tickled or "feel good" sermons.
3. Having weak leadership or leadership that gives in to false doctrine- letting the church members or outsiders gain leadership roles.
4. People being lukewarm in the faith-never really committing to anything, never growing in their knowledge and service for the Lord.
Gee, I can so much of those things happening. It scares me.
Rev. 2:16 says that: So because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold- I am going to spit you out of my mouth.
Lukewarm people make God sick to His stomach!!! Ouch! Do I make God sick to His stomach?
Ray used a story of a dog that he saw that had just vomitted up a Big Mac sandwich, He said, "Now you know what that dog did, don't you?" Yuck, Yuck, Yuck, I know what that dog did. He ate it again. Are you sick to your stomach now?
2 Peter 2:20-22 says paraphrasing: That people who once knew the love and mercy of the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and then turn their backs and go back out into the world and enjoy the worldly things is like a dog who returns to eat it's vomit.
How many people do that very thing? Turn their back on God and backslide into the world. We would never, ever think of eating our own vomit, yet we do, when we do not remain faithful to God.
Oh my, this sermon really made me think. I do not want to be even a small part of killing the church. I do not want to be unfaithful and make God sick to His stomach.
But there are also 4 ways to strenghen ourselves and our church.
1.We need to hold fast to our first love-remember the freshness and steadfastness we clung to in the beginning.
2.We need to be loyal to the doctrine.
3. We need strong leaders and we need to allow them to lead us.
4. We need to be on fire, don't let your fire burn out.
Great sermon, Ray. We love you. We are so glad that your messages are available to us in this way. Praise God for you.
I woke up with a song in my heart this morning:
Praise Him in the morning
Praise Him in the noon time.
Praise Him til the sun goes down.
Let's all Praise God for the many blessings He gives us each day.
Please pray for the family of Drenna Izzett. She went home to be with the Lord yesterday. She was a very faithful member of Wills Mt. and a long time friend to the Ryan family. She will be greatly missed.