2 Cor 11:28
INTRO: The church ... the apple of Gods eye ... her walls before Him stand in His grand design. If she is the apple of His eye, is she the apple of ours? Is His grand design of such importance to us? These questions are designed to bring thoughts of the church in our realm of experience. The great hymn says, For her my tears shall fall, for her my prayers ascend, for her my toils and cares be given ... This is personal! If you see the church only as an abstraction, how can she be significant to you?
I. WHY SHOULD OUR TEARS FALL FOR HER?
A. 2 Cor 11:28 Heartfelt concern!
1. we would only weep for that we love
2. and weeping suggests harm, pain, danger
B. Acts 20:29-31 Cause for weeping?
1. the danger and damage of wolves
2. speaking perverse things - distorting, corrupting - having their own agendas (Titus 1:11)
3. why? to draw away disciples to their influence
C. Rom 16:17,18 Cause for weeping
1. the danger and damage of divisions and stumbling blocks
2. by good words and fair speeches deceive ...
3. why? they serve their own interests (Phil 3:18,19)
D. Point: loving the church will bring us into concerns!
1. but how emotionally involved in the Lords church and her affairs are we
2. I love Thy kingdom Lord ... - enough that when she is attacked, damaged we feel the pain?
II. WHAT PRAYERS FOR HER SHOULD ASCEND?
A. 1 Thes 1:2 Prayers of thanksgiving
1. for the community of encouragement
2. for the community of like precious faith
3. for the community of believers in truth
B. Phil 1:3-6 Prayers for evangelist efforts/ emphasis
1. that we do not lose sight of this great purpose
2. Col 4:3 - that doors of opportunity open
3. 2 Thes 3:1 - that the word not be hindered
C. Eph 6:18 Prayers for all the saints (Col 4:12)
1.1 Thes 3:12 for the increase of love
2. 1 Pet 4:7 for a vigilant spirit of watchfulness
3. Phil 1:9,10 for discernment leading to pure and righteous lives
4. Rom 15:30 for preachers of the word
III. AND WHAT ABOUT OUR TOIL FOR HER?
A. Eph 4:16 To build the body (Eph 5:28-30)
1. what are you doing to build the body?
2. is it easier for you to criticize than to devote yourself to real building?
3. are you content to take advantage of what others do rather than become personally involved
B. 1 Cor 5:7 To protect the body
1. protect - defend ...if we love her!
2. 1 Jno 4:1 implication here is of protection
3. protect against immoral influences - protect against false doctrine - even against lukewarmness (Heb 10:24 and 1 Tim 1:6,7)
C. To the work, to the work! We are servants of God
1. it is so important that we not forget this
2. Titus 2:14 a peculiar people, zealous of good works
3. the Lord has no hands on earth but ours!
CLOSE: Tears, prayers, toil ... because we love the church our Redeemer saved with His own precious blood.
Cecil A. Hutson
17 June 2001
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)