I understand that sermon illustrations are the windows that let in light into the sermon.
Okay, let’s try one – mostly because I need the practice, but what have you. It’s an oldie but goodie.
A painter is hired to paint a church. As he’s finishing the last wall, he realizes he didn’t buy enough paint. “I’ll thin the paint with water, and it’ll last.” he thinks.
He adds water, and starts painting. But it’s still not enough, and now the paint isn’t covering well. He adds more water, but now it’s running, it’s not covering, and he still doesn’t have enough paint.
Finally the pastor walks by, and apprises the situation. “Repaint.” He orders. “and thin no more.”
Okay, I was just going through my voluminous research stuff. When I entered second year of Seminary (a traumatic year, because you finish the first year thinking, “now I have all the answers!” By the end of the second year, you’re convinced you don’t know ANYTHING!) I began researching church planting, in case that was the way the Lord wanted me to go. I hope not, because that seems like an awful lot of hard work, and years before you get the returns – but I didn’t want to find myself unprepared if that’s what the Lord orders.
I’ve written several blog posts on the material I’ve dug up, and a few days ago I wrote one up on steps for your church…
…but today I’d like to revisit that with some extra points.
I was going through a powerpoint on church planting, and it was talking about “21 church planting models”.
Me, I thought there was just one. But okay…
It of course starts by recommending the Purpose Driven Church model. right away, I was thinking, we got a problem.
Whatever happened to – start a church?
“Well, what program model are you using?”
“I was thinking, I don’t know, the Biblical model, like Paul talks about a lot.”
“Oh, no, that’s not going to work…”
“Well, it worked for 2,000 years…”
The issue is – we’re fighting so hard to make a church that the unSaved will feel comfortable in. I know, the loud rock music is enjoyable. Hey, so is alcohol! We could put a bar with bartenders in the church, too!
And a bakery! Why, everyone likes cake!
Wow, I hate to say it, but the last idea actually sounded good to me! Because inside my slightly overweight body is a fat man just screaming for cake, with inch thick frosting.
Everyone likes frosting.
You could have a football church, a baseball church, a rodeo church, and a GI Joe church!
Except these things have nothing to do with God.
I’m going to lay it out, very simple. Everyone out there who’s thinking of how to get the unsaved comfortable in their church. The issue is really this – I don’t want them comfortable!
I want them SAVED.
If they’re comfortable, they’re not going to get SAVED. They’re too busy being entertained, enjoying the loud music and dance numbers, the rappers, the DJ’s, the acrobats and juggling walruses…
So, here’s some more action plan stuff.
Point Number One: GET STRONG ON BIBLE DOCTRINE. THe Pastor has to be strong on Bible doctrine. So, your first step should be… to get strong on Bible doctrine.
If anyone’s confused on the first step, let me know. I’ll put it up there again.
Point Number Two: PREACH THE GOSPEL. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. The Wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ out Lord. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. All who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Christ was crucified, buried, and rose again. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the light – no man cometh not the Father but by Him.
That’s the Gospel. If you’ve been whitewashing it – repaint, and thin no more.
Point Number Three – start a church. Tell people its a church. Evangelize the community.
What kind of church? Probably a nice church, painted. Or not painted. You could stain the wood. Try New England Architecture. I don’t care. Stained glass, no glass, broken glass. I don’t care. Whatever. Make it a church. Christ is preached, and Him crucified. You know, Bible stuff.
When your unSaved person comes in, explain the Gospel and put forward the invitation. If they don’t accept it… here’s the hard part – oh well.
That’s hard for me. If I could give cake away to get people saved, I’d do it. If all it took was giving people money, I’d do it.
it’s not about rock bands, pop tarts, GI Joes or cake… or money. It’s about a person realizing their need to be saved. If they don’t understand that, they’re not saved. They’re just saying whatever it takes to get cake.
People talk about, “Hey, that’s the kind of church I want to attend – loud music and a light show!” Great. You know, if it was in the Bible, hey, I’m all for it. But it’s not.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God. 5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy? 6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. 9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. 10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James 4:4-10 (KJV)
Really think about those verses. What kind of abomination has the churches become in this day? Hasn’t anyone ever read Revelation 3?
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 3:19-22 (KJV)
Think about that! The Lord is showing that in the Laodecian age, He is SHUT OUT of our churches!!!
Look at your watch. uh-oh, it’s half past Laodecian.
Rapture’s coming, people. If you want to do something for the LORD, Get busy. But first… repent. And sin no more. Seek the LORD while He may be found.
We don’t have time for you to be backsliding. There’s too much for each and every one of you to do, and time’s ticking. It’s only an hour to closing time, and we want to be able to say to the Lord, “Lord, I made a terrible mess of things… but at least I tried,”
Every one of you reading this – get busy.
for those of you who aren’t saved that are reading the blog – time’s running out. The seven years after the Rapture are going to be horrific. I cannot emphasize the fact that you stand less than a 25% chance of surviving it. Get saved. Do not get left behind.