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The Essential Church - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
May 4, 2022 6:00 am

The Essential Church - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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May 4, 2022 6:00 am

Many voices today decry the church, rejecting its message and doubting its relevance. And yet, according to its founder, Jesus, the church is essential. In the message "The Essential Church," Skip considers the nature and purpose of this community.

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You are essential to God individually and you are essential to this culture in this world in general. The church is essential. The message we preach is essential. The gospel is essential. Salvation is essential Christ and his people are essential. God gave the church a divine purpose when he established today on connect with Skip Heitzig helps you understand your role in that. First we want to let you know how you can stay updated on the latest from Skip this ministry, encouragement and important announcements on social media. Just follow Skip on Facebook, twitter and Instagram that's Skip Heitzig Skip HITCIG will in Matthew chapter 16 as we dive into our study with Skip Heitzig were the questions that our society is been asking for 10 months now is what is essential who is essential what businesses what activities do we deem as essential activities and essential businesses and I've noticed that it changes from region to region, state to state and month to month. So when this whole thing started and we were allowed to have drive-in church. Other places were not.

For example in Kentucky the governor there prohibited drive-in church services but allowed drive through liquor sales because after all that is essential in California churches are not deemed as essential. They are deemed as nonessential.

But the entertainment industry making movies, etc. is now deemed as essential. Some states will call liquor stores tobacco manufacturers cannabis dispensaries and even strip clubs as essential. I read an article from the BBC this week that in Paris chocolate shops have been regarded as essential so you go. I get that but he said when the lockdown started. He was on the somebody say that mean Dragon Paris and he said everything was completely shattered except chocolate shops called essential and while the world is being locked down and all the nonessential people are prohibited from going around and moving around. They are suffering mental health is failing. Depression is on the rise. Substance abuse is on the rise, spousal abuse is on the rise. Child abuse is on the rise, and I cannot tell you about how many suicides I've heard about or conducted funerals for here at the church. Studies done since March so that's 10 months now reveal that most adults in the United States. Reports significant and negative impact on mental health, including difficulty in sleeping problems eating an increase in the use of alcohol increase in substance abuse. I heard this week something that I said to king that can't be true.

That has to be a false statement, but I after hearing it decided I would research it and discovered it indeed to be true so wanted to preface it before ice tell to you as it almost sounds unbelievable.

In Japan there are been more suicides in one month than all COBIT deaths in that country. In 2022, the year more suicides in one month.

Even the World Health Organization has admitted that lockdowns are detrimental to the mental health of a society is now been estimated nisi of the article. It had a for a couple weeks now. It is estimated that 130 million people could starve to death worldwide because of the lockdowns. It's killing them.

I know it's a tragedy if when anybody dies, for any reason, and certainly with COBIT that is always a concern. 1.6 million deaths worldwide because of that disease but hundred and 30 million people. They say could starve to death because of THINK of it there since so many cultures that are poverty level. They don't have the ability to just stay home and collect an income they have to go out that day and work, or they will not eat that night, so the lock them down. We are killing them. So back to the question who is essential, short answer, you are you are essential to God individually and you are essential to this culture in this world in general. The church is essential.

The message we preach is essential. The gospel is essential. Salvation is essential Jesus Christ and his people are essential.

A Paul wrote to Timothy first Timothy chapter 3 verse 15 and he talked about the church great description of it. He said the church of the living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth. The pillar in the ground of the truth.

Now I know everybody's excited about the vaccine that is coming and its efficacy rate. It really is unprecedented because most vaccines have an efficiency rate of you know, some 30%. Some 40%, some as high as 70%. But to say been tested in this vaccine for covert will be 90 to 95% effective. You should also know that COBIT as deadly as it is, you have a 99.98% chance of surviving and now vaccine will be 90 to 95% effective in getting rid of it. That's the hope.

There is a virus far worse than COBIT 19 and that's what makes the church essential. It's called sin. That's a virus. It is 100% fatal unless there is a change in a person's life. It kills everyone who does not deal with it at the cross, but there is a vaccine for in the vaccine for the same virus is not 90% effective is not 95% effective. It's 100% effective the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son cleanses us from all sin. Whenever we speak of what is essential. You have to ask. Well, who are you talking about because we deal with what is essential to us when it comes to the church. We have to deal with what is essential to God is the church essential to Christ.

It is can you imagine if we were having a wedding right now and the groom came and the guests came and the preacher came, but the bride didn't come we can really have a wedding. Can we without the bride and select they were about to get started in we've been fidgeting around for 15 minutes and I finally go. Where's the bride and somebody shouts out she's not coming she's nonessential. Well I gotta tell you, to the groom. She's essential. There's no marriage without her. You know were called the bride of Christ, you are essential to Christ. Do you know that Jesus describes you the church as a love gift from the father to him. He said in John 17, and a beautiful prayer.

I have manifested your name to all those you have given me. They were yours. You gave them to me and I have manifested your name to them your love gift from the father to the sun. I think you're pretty essential to Jesus Christ, so we we consider here in Matthew 16, the essential church and I'm beginning here because of the fact that it's the first mention of the very word church in the entire New Testament comes from the lips of the Lord Jesus Christ, but also because today we happen to find ourselves as the church in the society in a very similar position to the early church in the Roman Empire. They were despised in the Roman Empire. They were maligned in the Roman Empire. They were called, intellectually incompetent during that time. Much of that same rhetoric can be heard today. So what I want to do in Matthew 16 is looking in particular at one verse that is verse 18, but, to read a few verses for context, and then show you four reasons why the church is essential.

Let's begin in Matthew 16 verse 13 when Jesus came into the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, who do men say that I the son of man am so they answered some say that they said, some say John the Baptist some Elijah others Jeremiah or one of the prophets, he said to them, who do you say that I am Simon Peter answered and said you are the Christ. That's Messiah year the Messiah, the son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, Blessed are you, Simon bar Jonah that his son of Jonas for flesh and blood is not revealed this to you but my father who is in heaven.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it and I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Then he commanded his disciples that they should tell no one that he was Jesus the Christ. Once again, verse 18 is what I meant to principally be looking at with you and I want to give you those four reasons.

Reason number one. The church is essential because of its designation. Notice the term. The word itself. I will build my church in Salmon to build my club or I'm in a build my base of followers Roman to build my online community or my YouTube channel. I'm in a build my church, a term that is used 110 times in the New Testament. This is the first mention of it church now most people hear the word church and it brings a distinctively religious connotation, they think of a building in a community that's the church that's were we go. It's a place or to others. It's an institution my mind. I think of frowning men in robes with collars. That's how a lot of people think of the church, a building or an institution. Somebody said it's the place you go when you are hatched, matched and dispatched Winterbourne to go to church when you get married you go to church when you die, they have a service at church, and for some people that sums up their relationship to church. Did you know that the original term church has no religious nuance whatsoever. Rather, it was a secular term, even a governmental term. The Greek word is the word clay CI and that word for church at Iglesia simply means an assembly regularly scheduled assembly of citizens. Greek citizens that was a church when the citizens gathered together for a purpose that was called the Nicollet see in the church. Later it came to specifically mean a legislative body of citizens like a jury they would adjudicate a court case. When they would gather together to hear the case. That was also called the church so the main idea of church is a gathering of people who assemble with the common goal now. Did you know that the term shows up in the Old Testament, though not translated as church in English, it does show up and there's a few places it does on give you 1 Noteworthy Pl. that is Deuteronomy chapter 4 verse 10 God is instructing Moses to speak to his people, the children of Israel, and he says this gather the people to me that I may let them hear my words so that they may learn to fear me all the days that they live upon the earth.

The word used.

Gather the people is the word church ecclesia God so gather them together.

So the basic idea.

Then, in the Old Testament and the New Testament is God's people gathered together God's people gathered together now when I speak of church I'm speaking of that church. I'm speaking of people who are really saved people, not people just go to church with people who are the church because they are converted people saved people, but the fact that Jesus chose to use this term actually see a church indicates a couple of things. Number one, it indicates that we are different from the rest of society.

This is Jesus building a brand-new community, a new society as the church.

In fact, the word itself. I told you that word clay. CI comes from two words stuck together the two words are this act, which means out from any other word, Leo. Which means to call so literally the word put together mean to call out from the church is a new society called out from the society at large to be God's people, so it indicates that we are different from our society. This isn't just a group that meets with the common interest. This is a group that meets for God's purpose it's a holy convocation, a holy assembly. Also, it indicates that we gather the very meaning of the word is people gathered together, so the fact that Jesus chose this term anticipates that we would be gathering together.

By the way, that's been happening for 2000 years since the resurrection for 2000 years since the resurrection Christians all over the world have decided to gather together principally on Sunday. The Lord's day to celebrate his resurrection. We gather the people, why, why do we have to gather one man asked his wife that it was a sunny morning. His wife had gotten dressed for church. She had a per-share code on she's about to go out the door and she knows her husband is still in his bathrobe and his PJs and she says that get dressed for going to church because I'm not going to church is not going to church, give me one reason why you're not going to church a ghost I give you three reasons why I'm not going to church so is an unreasonable one. The church is called and uncaring number two.

Nobody there likes me, and number three I just don't feel like there's my three reason she was gonna give you three reasons why you should go number one. The church is warm and friendly. Number two. There's a few people there who like you and number three you are the pastor sweetheart. You better get dressed and come we have four months been able to use technology and I'm glad that we have it will continue to using technology definitely has its benefits you get on your phone and talk to people on the other side of the world he can FaceTime person on the other side of the world, you can assume meetings at a lot of those lately. You can listen to online sermons.

All of that is great yet the New Testament calls us to gather together now I know this is very, very, very controversial. If you don't think it's controversy will just look at some of my social media comments. You're killing people now were actually meeting. According to state regulations, but the idea that the church would even gather together during this season. First of all I want to say we care about your physical health and will take every precaution, including distancing and using all sorts of things to rub in her hands and tell people to wash their hands and watch percentages at the same time, we think that you are adults and you're able to make your own choices about your life and your health and you do want to place your family in jeopardy or anybody else. We leave that decision to do you only tell you why we gather we gather together first of all because it fuels our faith. It fuels our faith in a we were shut down for months. We reopen gaining momentum. Then they asked her which shut down again so we shut down again and then we were allowed to reopen. We reopened again.

I had people on that Wednesday night. Come up to me going. Thank you for opening I've taken church for granted. Once I realize I need the church. I need people.

It fuels our faith when when you hear truth alongside somebody else hearing the same truth or singing the same song. There's a level of encouragement and affirmation you cannot get a loan. There's a psychological impetus when you gather together that affirms and fuels your faith, much more so than if you individually cure what you want to hear when you want to hear it on your Facebook page. This is why Hebrews 1025 is so important, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the day approaching. So number one. It fuels our faith only give you a second reason why we gather we gather not only because it fuels our faith, but it enhances our humanity. Human beings were not meant to be in isolation.

We were built by our Creator to interact with other human beings. And you starve people of that you are going to have detrimental results when the first principles of the Bible Genesis chapter 2 it is not good that man should be alone. You know what happens when they are alone is called failure to thrive. Failure to thrive as a medical term. They talk about babies dying from failure to thrive, but now they're talking about adult failure to thrive and I was reading an NBC article this week about the told that this is taken in the most vulnerable area of our population, which is the very elderly convalescent homes who not only are facing life from a fragile physical condition and afraid of this virus, but having now to be isolated, even from their family.

The article said because of this isolation.

There is a rise in patients who are dying from failure to thrive. Dying from, they become quiet, disengaged and withdrawn. The isolation accelerates the aging process so because they can't have family with them. They die quicker tragic 7070 times. The Bible uses. The New Testament uses the phrase one another one another and one another is a kind of a phrase that requires people have proximity to one another. Hard to do things with one another on a zoom call now. I just want to address is because II got asked this way before. This mass called Cove 19 got asked us for years, can I be a Christian without going to church will the answer is technically yes you are not saved by going to church are saved by faith in Jesus Christ alone, but to ask that question can I be a Christian by going to church. It's like can I be a football player without a team cannot be a be without a hive cannot be a drummer without a band. Yeah, big Illinois everybody so can I be a Christian without getting together with other Christian yeah could you not saved by that, but why would you ever think you'd want to do that so it fee it fuels our faith. It it enhances our humanity. Another reason we gather is that it provides accountability provides accountability when you are with somebody else and say something or hear something, and you can look at body language and discuss or dissent or clarify that's helpful when you're alone, you can do that. Some people say well I don't need the church.

I'm not into organized religion that usually a copout. It's a way of saying I don't want accountability to anyone for anything.

I just want to do my own thing that's dangerous. Proverbs 18 verse one. A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire. He rages against all wise judgment. Some people prefer isolation so they don't have to be accountable Skip the message from the series 2020 right now to share about a resource that will help you cultivate and enduring faith every season of life stands between you and a more fruitful walk with Jesus health for prominent women in the Bible thinks they are struck with any new teaching theories from my new thing called Queens of the Bible on the Queen of Sheba hearing is the first step toward spiritual life right now, hearing that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God hear more from when she exploits the faith in the feelings of four different queens in Scripture. The Queens of the Bible collection of teaching for family of saying thank you $35 or more to support this type of teaching ministry following Christ is to go wherever healing your copy of these unique teachings when you come hundred 98 were given online securely connect the today and tomorrow is Skip Heitzigs of shares how God has preserved his church.

Over time, reminding you what the church is necessary for this is Jesus, talk to my church, Jesus might. I will build my church notice to whom it belongs and belonged to a pastor belonged to a Board of Directors doesn't belong to a group of elders or a board of deacons or bishops belongs to Jesus Christ. Jesus

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