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September 4, 2021 2:00 am
Church was God's idea. It's His plan. Jesus Christ is the founder, architect, builder, owner, and director of the church. Today we look at the first mention of the church in the Bible and consider our spiritual origins. As we listen into a conversation between Jesus and His followers, let's also rediscover our spiritual roots as the people of God. You'll discover that in New Testament terms, both Christian and church are synonymous--one implies the other.
This teaching is from the series Church? Who Needs It.Links:
This week's DevoMail: https://connnectwithskip.com/devomail
The truth, while pastors in America do ask their congregations to invite people and almost seem to have big people become not in Africa not in China not in India affected you know that some African pastors are asking their congregation not to come every Sunday, but every second or third Sunday to make room for other people who may want to hear the message because so many of them. Most people usually only hear about the church when there's a scandal split or controversy for others. The only time they may see the inside of the churches during Christmas or Easter. However, there is much more would church than the scandals and the holidays and on today's broadcast of Québec will Skip weekend division Skip talks about why we started but before we get to that we have a great new offer for you this month to connect with Skip resource Center. The beating heart of Bible prophecy is the land of Israel and the Middle East. Joel Rosenberg has his finger on the pulse of the world shaking changes happening right now and he unveils them in his new nonfiction book enemies and allies. The first is he cheap inside walked inside the houses of chains and is in is think about making the threat US nation's enemies and allies from multiple New York Times best-selling author Joel Rosenberg takes you on an unforgettable journey inside the turbulent Middle East go behind closed doors to hear from the very kings and crown princes, presidents and prime ministers who are leading the charge. Enemies and allies includes exclusive never before published quotes insights and analysis from the authors conversations with some of the world's most controversial leaders your hardcover copy enemies and allies is our thanks for your generous gift of $35 or more today to give call 800-962-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com or current series is church who needs for Matthew 16 again today. So open your Bibles.
Let's join Skip Heitzig Dino Peter means rock not be the kind of rock you're thinking of not some massive boulder but some nugget so if you're thinking of it in entertainment terms. We said you are Peter rock man, don't think of Rocky Balboa. I want you to think of pebbles from the Flintstones and you will have a better idea of what the language originally means the let me explain that to you. Repeat the picture Jesus with his disciples, travels 25 miles to the north from the hot plains of the Sea of Galilee to Caesarea Philippi. It was a landmark where they went. It was the base of a huge 10,000 foot mountain in the Middle East mount Herman or Hermann out of a huge rock massive rock slowed water.
That was the mouth of the Jordan River. The Jews called the living water. It gushed forth and it said and refreshed the nation in that place also were 14 other religious temples built once it was the worship of bail in that area at another time was the worship of Panet S. The Greek god Pan. They said was born in a nearby cave. Even Herod the great built the temple to Caesar Augustus because they deified Caesar and worshiped him as a God. So it's as if, in contrast to those faulty foundational belief systems. Jesus takes into this rock where the water is coming out. This is blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah flesh and blood did reveal is my father in heaven, you are Peter upon this rock I will build my church, and allow me to give it to you in the Greek language listen to the translation you are to cross a pebble, and upon this pet this massive rock I will build my church. You see, it's a play on words in the original language. The church is not built on pebble Peter it's built on Mount Messiah. It was the confession that Peter made. You are the Christ, the son of the living got that's what I'm to build my church on that confession that I am the Messiah, not on Peter what Peter said that some massive rock of truth. That's why Paul says in first Corinthians 3, for no one can lay any other foundation than the one we already have, which is Jesus Christ is a great truth here, but emerges you want to be able to survive church not ask it in that way because I meet people all the time go. I been so burned by churches. I been so disappointed by churches might be able to survive. Get your eyes off people.
Get your eyes off Peter get her eyes off of Paula's or Cephas get your eyes on Jesus. He is the rock not the people now take a step further. More than just surviving. Are you striving. Are you thriving because what the church is built on is this great confession of truth and Jesus builds his church by giving them truth on a consistent basis, especially truth about him that builds them up so you can go to church and you can sing at church and you can get married in church get Barry the church, but if you can't say with deep conviction like Peter you are the son of the living God, and are not part of the church. That's what it's built on that solid rock foundation. No wonder Paul said the young Timothy was just starting in the ministry eat talked about people who have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof or is the new living translation puts it, they will act as if they are religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly people go and say and do things in our social they never abide by the solid truths that transform that's what he builds upon those great stones of truth for transformation.
So once again the church is a group of people that is called out separately from the rest of the community who assemble regularly, who confessed with deep conviction that Jesus Christ is their Lord that's what it is that's what it is. So he names that he builds it because of that he owns it, should notice one single pronoun.
That's what we want to camp on you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church. I just want to zero in on that ownership for just a moment.
My church notice to whom it belongs. It is not the property of a pastor is not the property of a Board of Directors or of a committee, or of a group of bishops or of a pope or of a denomination Jesus that it is my church. Jesus doesn't have to clear his decisions with Rome or London or Springfield or Minneapolis or Costa Mesa. He's Jesus he can do what he wants because he thought of it. This is his idea and he has the playbook for the church.
Not only that, not only did he think of it. He paid for it. He brought us with his blood. That's with the churches blood bought believers. Paul says to the Ephesian elders in the 20th chapter of acts.
Be sure that you feed and shepherd God's church purchased with his blood over whom the Holy Spirit has made you elders. We have become so use to an anthropocentric church, a man centered church. What kind of church do I want will come to church and I looking for what kind of activities today from my family. That's how we have done church in this country were anthropocentric were so used to evaluating songs and worship leaders and sermons that we have forgotten who's evaluating us is D. James Kennedy is now in heaven once said most people think of the church is a drama with the minister is the chief actor God is the prompter in the congregation is the critic what is actually the case is the congregation is the chief actor. The minister is the prompter and God is the critic. He's the one that's evaluating each one of our lives. That's the opinion that matters most. Every pastor in every church board member should remember this, who's church it is. It would sure take a load off people feel sober produce. I got to do this I got a bill the church.
I member coming here when we were building this addition and knowing what it was costing. I'd get all nervous as I stand there getting nervous.
The Lord would remind me.
It's my church and I go. Good thing Lord is now you gotta pay the bills. When I see people come every week, almost in. Sometimes crowds of them and wonder where we can put more of them in how we can do this and disciple them and reminded it's his church acts chapter 2, the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved and I and I certainly wish more Christians more church members could remember this truth as well that the other people that are around you in this church, and in this community who are Christians belong to him. The belong to him. That means something special. If you belong to Christ. Hear me first Thessalonians opens up by saying from Paul, Silas and Timothy to the church in Thessalonica, you who belong to God the father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Titus chapter 2 verse 14 he has come to purify for himself a people that are his very own just for a moment, look around, don't look at me, look around the people in this room. Whoever your eye falls upon if you're reasonably certain there a believer you are looking at blood lot believers that belong. Sorry for all the bees to Jesus Christ. They belong to him that it didn't. Safe to say that you could get some of us together. Apart from Christ with all of our differences in all of our backgrounds is no other way and and so just remember, if you're ever inclined to speak against a fellow brother or sisters please I pray the Holy Spirit to remind you of this truth tonight. You're speaking against some of the belongs to him last time I checked, he takes it really personally like Saul of Tarsus who was beaten up on Christians in Jesus that Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me.
He took it very very person think twice hesitate long before you speak out against another church or another. Believers are God's kids. There's room for us all.
There's a little quick and Moody monthly try to show that the church is varied and there's room for all different kinds and it said there's a lot of different kinds of nuts in the Lord's fruitcake. Aren't you glad for that. He names it. He builds it, he owns it. Perhaps part of the best news he keeps it he keeps it.
Jesus said I will build my church and the gates of hell or hear the word Hades shall not prevail against it. I'm so glad to hear that because so many voices out there are predicting the death and the demise of the church from Bultmann to Barna last going away from Dennett to Dawkins.alas, they say, Sam Harris, who wrote a book called the end of faith said, quote all churches are equally demented in their leaf and he predicts the demise of Brent Staples, who wrote for the New York Times in the New York Times wrote visit the church at random.
Next Sunday, and you'll probably encounter a few dozen people sprinkled over a sanctuary that was built to accommodate hundreds or even thousands. I read that all I could think about is Staples you are in the wrong neighborhood. You need to get out more and visit a lot of other churches not only in America but especially around the world is yours the truth.
While pastors in America do ask their congregations to invite people and almost seem to have to beg people to come or not in Africa.
Like we mentioned last week, not in China not in India. In fact, did you know that some African pastors are asking their congregations not to come every Sunday, but every second or third Sunday to make room for other people who may want to hear the message because there's so many of them in the last few years in one province in China alone, 37,000 new churches have been planted.
I know those are just statistics, but just imagine 37,000 new congregations, people of faith in one province alone in the last few years. Love it. The gates of hell.
Gates speak of authority, entrance the gates of hell speaks of the authority of Satan, the organized power of Satan. In other words, open up all the windows in all the doors of hell and unleash every foul attack on the church. You can persecuted you can kill its members or its leaders. You can torture them. You can burn their buildings like their doing still in India and the church is not going away, not going away. If tried that already last 2000 years. From the very beginning, but it wasn't going away back in 1776, David Hume, the skeptic made a prediction. He said I see the twilight of Christianity.
1776. I see the twilight of Christianity. The old boy couldn't tell the difference between a sunset and a sunrise. It was just underway and it spread.
If you are of asked people who were there at the cross of Jesus Christ 2000 years ago and watched Jesus die if you were to interview them in asked him about the future of this movement. People who follow him. What he think they tell you the day on the cross he died.
I bet that say it's over there founder is dead or dying. It's over it's not going to happen. It's dissolved just the beginning. I'm encouraged by this verse of Scripture. I'm encouraged by all the nuances and all the promises and especially encouraged by this one.
He'll keep the gates of hell will not prevail against. I remember a I still get it. People who were around in the 60s and 70s talk about the Jesus movement are here in the 80s. I remember the Jesus movement now and that great you know last time I checked, Jesus is still moving.
He hasn't stopped us out like moved a little bit now exist or to hang out the way I see it from my perspective I see him moving in hearts and lives all over the place in our own community. I see it week by week. I'm encouraged month by month. I can think of anything better to be a part of than the enterprise that Jesus came to start, build and maintain called the church. I can't think of any other endeavor worthy of my time, talent and treasure than this seems to me that every other project that we engage ourselves and will one day end up in a pile of rubble is one cause that we should get involved in its this one I think back to that 43-year-old or 41-year-old pastor still in bed.
He was apathetic toward the church. I wanted answered aloud, as we have a variety of answers, but I want you to consider honestly what your attitude is toward church strip away whose church or what it's called or or where they meet or how they sing more. All of that.
Think of his church, his church. What is your attitude toward his church is your contemplating that you may want to throw this in this part of if everyone in my church was just like me.
What kind of a church would be. It's a good place to start is with our own inward meditation because while were complaining or wishing just start with ourselves of everyone in my church were just like me will come to church would be wonderful, joyful, grumpy, sporadic variety of ways to answer. Finally, as we close tonight. I am thrilled.
Honestly, week by week to do what I do to prepare messages in an speak I did.
I still do.
I still pinch myself. I can't think of anything better. Of those that get burned out.
Yeah, I've had low times, but I'm certainly far from that. I don't want to think all you must assure that up front because he's like really burned and no doubt get an email. You look kind of cross side of me tonight so I think you must be really weirded out or something. None of that is true. I love what I do. God does refresh me you refresh me, but if you come to church but you haven't come to Christ. Yet and I am deeply concerned for you. I want you to just come to church. I went to the come to him. I want you to come into his room. Be a part of his family.
Some people think they need only go to church at Christmas and Easter.
If you really want to experience what it's all about. It doesn't matter where were you go. But who you go to would you like to talk with someone about what it means to come to Christ. If so, we'd love to talk with you. Just call 1-800-922-1888 and were almost out of time for today, but first here's Skip millennium where the closing thought when you today is finished teaching about who started the church and why that's curious going all the way back to the beginning but so often we mistakenly make the churchman centered.
How can we develop a Christ centered view of change yeah you hit on a very important point that is true becomes a man centered experience. Going to church so I'll answer that by first of all, saying to church leaders. If any are listening that you treat God's glory like a hot potato. You can hold onto it. You have to help or praise or adulation. It was a good sermon has great music you throw it upwards here in the business of pointing people upward to God and giving people. God's resources and the number two all answer to congregants to people who come to church, not about you not about while all grade the sermon on a scale of 1 to 10. I give it a seven.
You know where it met my needs because were to be about God. First of all, but also God's people in the if you walk into a church building and you look for somebody who is needy or semi needs to be prayed for. Instead of just thinking about was my seat were what am I going to do it.
It would change the way you go to church. What you get from absolutely then you are the church that you collectively at the church that when you get there you know you become, you know this one thing, and that so we need to teach treat each other at that kind of respect when you get there and I think that your satisfaction in fellowship. That's the old buzzword you know it is now community, but the old word biblical word is fellowship plane any coin, any that you share something in common or doesn't just mean we donuts together and drink coffee means we share holy things in common together and when we do it it would if I do it in such a way that I want to help you. I want to I want reach into your life and that's where were so big on on on or connect groups home groups is that is that your own personal satisfaction goes up when you give yourself away to somebody it's beautiful this week, I ran into a friend to join what we called kinship groups there now connect groups and she was sitting with a friend who had been in the kinship group for 22 years.
They remember their kids growing up together and they are so connected with this community. And so really you are coming to church to be with others and to make their lives better and to be the hands and feet and mouth and eyes of Christ. Well thanks a lot, Lenny and Skip. And it's so important that we have the right perspective when it comes to the church and before we go today if you want a copy of today's teaching hey look who's starting a church is available for just six dollars for shipping when you call us at 1-800-922-1888 or email@example.com so we can have a church with Jesus. Go to see if we can answer that question. Our next study.
So be sure to join us here in connect was skipped weekend edition a presentation connection so you guys ever changing true and ever-changing time