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Together In the Christian Life - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
December 10, 2021 12:00 am

Together In the Christian Life - Part 2

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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December 10, 2021 12:00 am

Remember that no Christian has ever been called to go it alone in his or her walk with God.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Friday, December tenth. Differences have evolved between denominations, but the biblical role of the true church remains unchanged. Learn how church is more than just a building.

It's the body of Jesus Christ. Many professing Christians say that they don't really and truly need to be a part of a church because they can live their Christian life fine without a church. In fact, they will even tell you that there are churches that have conflict with each other, which we understand. They'll say that there are many people in the churches who have conflict with one another. And they'll even tell you that they know some people who are professing Christians and what they say is not the way they live. Now, we would not deny any of that, that all of those things are true. And I do understand why people sometimes on the outside look in and say, Well, you know what?

I think I can do just as well without you all. Well, I can understand why you would say that, but what you have to ask is this. What is the opinion of Almighty God about His church?

So, the question is this. What is God's purpose for saying, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together? That is, we are to assemble ourselves together. We are to worship as a body.

Well, look at what the church does. For example, the first thing we are to do and that is we meet together and we worship. We sing and we praise the Lord and give Him thanks for the good things that He's done for us. We pray and recall His blessings in our life, make our request. We give of our finances in obedience to Him. And so, and what do we do? We fellowship with each other.

A second thing is this. He wanted us to assemble together because He wants us to have instruction in the Word of God. Go back to Second Timothy chapter two for a moment and look at this passage. Second Timothy two and Paul's writing to young Timothy and giving him some instruction. He says in this fifteenth verse of Second Timothy two, listen. He says, be diligent to present yourselves approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of truth.

Let me ask you a question. Without any biblical instruction in your life, how much truth would you know? If it was just left up to you to read the Bible and figure it out, then you say, well, does that mean that we can't study the Word of God without having a past?

No, I'm not saying that. I'm simply saying this, that the Word of God says that we're responsible for reading and studying and praying of the Scripture and interpreting it properly. Now, here's what gets people in trouble.

What gets people in trouble is they find them a passage they like and so they go after that one. They say, here's what I believe. Well, see, that's the way denominations start and that's the way groups start and cults start and people they pick and choose. Now, listen, this is the only way to properly, honestly, genuinely interpret the Word of God.

Are you listening? Say, amen. And that is you compare Scripture with Scripture. Not Scripture with my opinion, not Scripture with what I want, not Scripture with what I don't like, but what, in other words, there are no contradictions in the Word of God. And so God has given us His Word and He's called men and women to honestly and genuinely, rightly interpret the Word of God. Does that mean that we will always agree? One of the wonderful things about the Scripture is this, you'll never exhaust it. You get studied for a thousand years and God still be talking. When the body of Christ meets together, we meet together to be instructed in the truth of God's Word.

That's one of our reasons for getting together. That's one of the reasons that He said, don't forsake the assembling of yourselves together as is the habit of some and will turn away their ears from the truth. Because listen, Satan has his message drawing people away from God and away from God's purpose and plan and will for their life. And so, one of the primary purposes we meet together is for instruction in the truth. What does the Word of God say? When it comes to the purpose of the church, it's not only worship and instruction, it's doing something you cannot do alone. Think about this.

The great commission involves all of us, going to all the world, preach the gospel to every creature. Well, let me ask you this. How many of you are willing to leave home and go to China, Germany, Russia, Brazil, or Asia somewhere? How many of you could do that?

I don't have any takers. You know why? Because He never intended we do it alone, but together. So, He doesn't send us all to different parts of the world. He's given us the commission to evangelize the world. We cannot do that singularly.

We do it together. And so, did Jesus make a mistake when He said, I'm establishing the church? No, He did not. Now, one of the primary reasons He established the church is this passage of Scripture that I want us to think about here for a moment. And I want you to think about it for a moment. Think in second Timothy chapter four again, if you will. And look at this third verse.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting to have their ears tickle, they will accumulate for themselves, teaches in accordance to their own desires. Now watch this. I want you to think about it for a moment. I want you to think about it for a moment. I want you to think about it for a moment. I want you to think about it to protect us, to protect us from being what? From being swayed and pulled away from Almighty God Himself.

Because here's what I watched. And any pastor will tell you this. When people who are Christians and church members, for example, they drift away from God. And I remember what a young lady said to me. She said, I just want to thank you that every Sunday I come, she was single at that time, every Sunday I come to church, you hold me accountable. Well, I never even thought about holding her accountable.

But what she was saying is this. When you present the Word of God, I'm confronted with the truth. See, I go back into the business world to live out my life and to do what God has called me to do. And every Sunday when I come to church, I hear the truth that holds me accountable to a high standard morally, ethically, and every way. When you depart from the body of Christ, when you depart from your fellowship, the church that you belong to, you're going to depart from God. You say, well, if I'm saved, I can't depart from Him, but in your fellowship with Him. When you stray away from the instruction of the Word of God, you're going to be held accountable, worshiping Him, being a part of the work around the world. When you leave all of that, naturally, you're going to do what?

You're just going to drift right out into sin. And that's how many people who at one time in their life were effective for the Lord, no longer effective, they thought, well, they didn't need the church anymore. They could do it on their own.

You can't do it on your own. And that's why He said, I will establish My church. And He said, I will establish My church. I will establish My church. I will establish My church.

I will establish My church. So, you know, the Lord said, forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as is the habit of some. And you see, all through the New Testament we see Paul admonishing and Peter and James and John, all admonishing truth, because it's the truth that keeps us straight. It's all that one affect me a bit try no don't try it Because listen Think about all the sounds you hear all the ideas you hear all the temptations all the things that are just bombarding you continually day after day after day Sitting and watching television listening ready or the kind of music and the kind of programs Wham wham wham into your mind every single day.

What is it? It keeps you straight. It's this relationship It's it numbers God Created the church not only for instruction and worship and evangelizing the world but also for our protection We need one another and I can say to you my friend if you do not go to church If you have no relationship to a church, you need to be in a body of believers with whom you agree That you believe that are consistent with the Word of God for your own protection And you need to be in a body of believers with whom you agree with the Word of God When I think about parents Who never take their children to Sunday school or Bible school and they don't open the Word of God They don't teach their children They just expect that let me ask you a question parent if you don't teach your children the Word of God Who's going to teach him? By that time it's all over if you don't teach them who's going to teach them We have Sunday school and people sort of sort of say well that Sunday school stuff's for adults. I don't think so It is for adults, but it's for children That's where they first begin to learn who God is They come into a church building that's pleasant for them and there are people there who love them as children Who are kind to them as children? They get their glimpse of what God is like and oftentimes they come from homes in which there is nothing godly in that home I would just ask you as a parent How do you think your children are going to learn to love God? And to love His Word and to find His will for their life and to walk in it if you don't tell them You say well, I don't know what to tell them then you get yourself in a church somewhere where somebody for your children's sake your children Are out in society They're in danger just being there They need faith in their life very early You have a responsibility and the church God placed the church here in order to meet specific needs and to accomplish specific work Throughout the kingdom of God and throughout the world There are millions and millions and millions of Christians in churches around the world And no matter what somebody tells you the church is growing today It is growing you may live in a community and say well a couple of these churches have died out There may be but i'm telling you this there are many churches that are growing up in Storefronts and old theaters and you name it because God is at work God is at work in this nation. He's in work in other nations. Somebody's doing something and they're meeting together It isn't single individuals you and I can only do so much and that's why he said I will establish My church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.

Then. What about this whole idea of your spiritual gifts? He's given some the gift of organization. He's given some the gift of exhortation some mercy And some giving and some prophecy. He doesn't give us those gifts just to exercise on ourselves For example, my gift is a subtle mixture of prophecy and exhortation So what am I going to do stand in front of the mirror and talk to myself? Well, George, you ought to shape up No For example, you have the gift of organization after you organize your house.

What are you going to do? Now i've been in some homes. I don't think anybody had the gift of organization, but that's okay What I want you to see is this God has given every single one of his children a spiritual gift and it is to be Exercised among the body of Christ He's gifted you for that Not for yourself, but to give it away To express your gift for example people who've lost their loved ones people with a gift of mercy gravitate Why because they're merciful when you're hurting and you need comforting you want somebody like that? When you're your things your finances, for example in disarray, you want somebody help you organize that get that straight In other words, God has given every single believer a spiritual gift to be exercised in the body You say well, how do you know that because he makes it crystal clear in first coranians chapter 12 And here's what he says. He makes it very very unmistakably clear He says but to each one is given the manifestation of the spirit for the common good not for yourself, but for the common good That's why we should never have to ask for people to serve the Lord in the church house Because he's gifted us all and enough people here to do it then of course One of his primary reasons for the church is watch this We all need one another now over 25 times in the new testament Paul talks about Our relationship to one another so i'm just going to read you a few of them.

Listen what he says he says We are to first of all love one another first of all love one another build up each other forgive one another Accept one another encourage each other serve one another be patient with one another kind to each other Devoted to each other admonishing each other comforting one another stimulating one another confessing to one another fellowshipping with one another the church is all about relationship Our relationship to him and our relationship to each other. Let me ask you a question Who in your life do you know is a better christian because of some influence some impact? That you've had in their life You see selfishness is totally unchristlike He was continually giving himself away And listen when you and I are walking in the spirit of God as a believer what's going to happen? We are going to impact the people around us for good I have people have said to me, you know what first time I ever start watching you.

I didn't like you at all well, that just tickles me because I know you're going to get it sooner or later, but Sometimes the people you may impact the most May not like you to begin with But there's something about you now watch this No preacher. No prophet. No anybody can reach everybody. But listen, it's what we do together We meet here on sunday say let's the time it's all over about six thousand of us meet together They're about and you spread out all over atlanta And what's my goal and my prayer for you every week my prayer for you is god wherever you send them this week Let them be like salt. Let them be like light Let them be such in their business in their home wherever they're living and wherever they're working Let them be such that somebody else gets impacted by their life Now if we don't meet together We don't have that camaraderie something's missing It's the fellowship It's that one another loving each other and forgiving each other and motivating each other and challenging each other That's what it's all about Then I would just mention one last thing think about this How much can any one of us do by ourselves? Not very much I could stand down on the street corner and preach and a few folks may stop passing by I have done that years ago But think about this Our church started way back yonder, but when I became the pastor We had four walls and auditorium and that's it Then I got to thinking about lord How far could you how do we get out the four walls of the church? so we had a fellowship of people like we have and so we decided to Try to get on television for 30 minutes on the sunday morning. So we started up the chapel hour 30 minutes Well, that did pretty well.

And so then we said well, let's try an hour So then we had 30 minutes and an hour And then by the grace of god opened up for us on one of the big networks to get all over the country in a small way, but all over the country and then It just kept growing and growing and growing and growing and growing and now People all over the world can watch in touch they can hear it on the radio And you know what? One person can't do that It's what we as a body have done I remember the first time we bought a camera you thought we were buying the empire state building What I want you to see is this the impact of this fellowship It's what we do together Don't ever think it's what one person does i'm only a part of this I'm i'm on this is not a part of this I'm i'm on this is not my church. This is jesus church I am a pastor. I am not the pastor It's not what I do or what one person it's what we do as a body And so when he says forsake not the assembling of yourselves together What he was doing He was admonishing us to be wise And he was asking us to be a part of this and he was asking us to be a part of this And he was asking us to be a part of this about how we live our life in relationship to him And our relationship to each other and the impact all of us together can have on the world Whenever you have the lone ranger idea you have a non-biblical idea So when somebody says well I can do just as good without the church. I'm going to tell you no you can't And my desire for you is that you be wise enough to realize You have a responsibility before almighty god to assemble with other believers to worship him And encourage each other and be instructed in the truth of the word of god And carry out the work that god has called you to do as a member of his fellowship And I pray that every single person who's listening to this message Would recognize and be honest enough to recognize and admit And confess and be willing to change and find a local fellowship somewhere They can enjoy Being a part of the church of jesus christ We love you and we praise you father And we pray that you will be a part of this We love you and we praise you father And we thank you for the awesome opportunity of being a church Being a missionary outpost not only for here, but for the whole world in jesus name amen Thank you for listening to part two of together in the christian life If you'd like to know more about charles stanley or in touch ministries stop by in touch dot o-r-g This podcast is a presentation of in touch ministries, atlanta, georgia You
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-10 19:39:11 / 2023-07-10 19:47:41 / 9

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