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God's Forever Family

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers
The Truth Network Radio
February 8, 2024 4:00 am

God's Forever Family

Love Worth Finding / Adrian Rogers

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February 8, 2024 4:00 am

Sermon Overview

Scripture Passage: Philippians 1:1-7; 2:1

A church is a family of people from all kinds of backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas who have found a unity in God.

One of the first examples of this family is the church of Philippi. In Philippians 1, the Apostle Paul conveys that the grace of God has miraculously gathered together people of divergent backgrounds, beliefs, and ideas into the common denominator that is Jesus Christ.

Adrian Rogers says, “Because we have one Lord, we have one life. And because we have one Lord and one life, we have one love: the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are the forever family of God.”

See how the family began: through a supernatural formation. In Philippians, the Holy Spirit gathered together this vast spectrum of people—a Jewish philosopher, a new-ager, a prison guard and a feminist to name a few—through Holy intervention.

Each member of this forever family has a story of how they came to know Jesus Christ as Lord of their lives, and together they became the early church.

The Spirit guided the church of Philippi through discerning restraint, wise release, and powerful results that we still hear about today!

See how the family maintains a sweet fellowship. The word fellowship is the Greek word which means, "to have something in common." We have a common Lord, a common life, and a common love.

Going to church and sitting in the Sunday church service every week is not fellowship, it is observation. Fellowship is bonding with brothers and sisters in Christ and joining together to share the Gospel with others.

See how the family will remain with a sure future. We don't build churches. Jesus said, "I will build my church" (Matthew 16:18). And then in the Book of Philippians, Paul says, "Since He's the one who began it, I know He's the one who's gonna finish it."

The church is not a building. It is a family. And Jesus is the Builder of the church.

 

Apply it to your life

 

Are you an active member of your local church? It is so important to be involved in a church home, for your sake and for the sake of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for direction in where to go and how you can best support the fellowship of the church.

 

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Pastor, teacher, and author Adrian Rogers has introduced people all over the world to the love of Jesus Christ and has impacted untold numbers of lives by presenting profound truth simply stated. Thanks for joining us for this message.

Here's Adrian Rogers. Take God's Word. Open it up to the book of Philippians. Do you get Philippians and Galatians and Ephesians and Colossians all mixed up and don't know which is which? General Electric Power Company. Okay, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians.

Alright, that'll help you. Alright, now find the book of Philippians. The book of Philippians, chapter 1. What would you say that these people have in common? A Jewish philosopher who hates Christ and the very mention of Christ. A New Ager who has been deep into the occult. A prison guard whose heart is filled with malignity and hate against all humankind. And let's see who else we'll mix in. A feminist.

Who is a, perhaps is a widow, perhaps a divorcee, perhaps never married, who has her own business. I'd say that's a pretty broad spectrum of people, wouldn't you? What would you say all of those people had in common? I'll tell you what they all had in common. They were all members of the church at Philippi.

I'm going to show you. The Jewish philosopher who got saved was the Apostle Paul and the little New Ager was a demon possessed girl who was saved by the gospel of Christ. The prison guard was the jailer who was saved in the Philippian revival.

The businesswoman was a woman named Lydia from Thyatira who had a business selling purple dye. An incredible thing is that the grace of God took people from this divergent background and made them one in the Lord Jesus Christ. That's what a church is, dear friend. A church is a family of people who have come from all kinds of backgrounds, all kinds of beliefs, all kinds of ideas and ideals and have found a unity in the family of God.

Because we have one Lord we have one life and because we have one Lord and one life we have one love, the Lord Jesus Christ. And we are the family of God. Now I want you to think about God's forever family because you see a church is but an extended family.

There are so many people who don't have families. The Apostle Paul really didn't have a family. He had had a wife at one time but whatever happened, did she die?

I don't know. But the Apostle Paul scholars tell us that one time had been a married man. I don't know about Lydia, the seller of purple, whether she was divorced, widowed, never married. But I know that she needed a family.

I think about that little demon possessed girl that we're going to read about who was delivered, a little fortune telling girl. She had become the slave, the dirty plaything of dirtier men. She needed a family. That old brutal jailer, he needed a family. You know there are lots of folks who need a family.

Do you know what a church is? It's an extended family. This is our family for many other people who don't have a family. You see I'm bringing a series of messages on the family. And I said to myself, well if I'm bringing a series of messages on the family and then we come to dedicate our facilities, how can I make that work? And the Lord said, Adrian, that's what it's all about.

That's what it's all about. Not only is the church a place to help people to build their family at home, but the church itself is a family for many other people who don't have the joy and the privilege of having a home family like some do. Now I want you to look at this church in Philippi. I want it to be the model.

I want it to be the pattern. First of all I want you to see how this church got started. I want you to see what I'm going to call the formation of God's forever family.

The formation of it. Look if you will in chapter 1 verse 1, Paul and Timothy, the servants of Jesus Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi. All the saints in Christ at Philippi. Now how did these saints get to be saints? May I tell you there are only two categories of people in the world, the saints and the aunts.

Now you're one or the other. The saints are those that are saved. How did they get to be saints? Well just put your bookmark there in Philippians chapter 1 and let's go back to Acts chapter 16 and see the founding of this church.

It's so wonderful and what lessons there are for us here. I want you to see now we're talking about the supernatural formation of the church. The people of the world can build buildings.

The people of the world can have organization. If it's not supernatural it will be superficial. Now I want you to see how this church at Philippi had a supernatural dimension as it got started here in Acts chapter 16 and I begin to read in verse 6. Now this is talking about God's missionary Paul and his sidekick Silas. The Bible says, And when they were gone throughout Pergia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia. And after they were come to Missia, they are saved to go into Bithynia. But the Spirit suffered them not. The Holy Spirit said, You are forbidden to go this way.

Now I have written down in my notebook the restraint of the Spirit. Here are men. They're wanting to serve the Lord. Their motive is right to preach the gospel of Jesus. They're going into Asia.

They're going into Bithynia. So they think, the Holy Spirit says, No, I don't want you to go that way. That, my dear friend, is the restraint of the Spirit. Have you ever taught a child how to drive? How many of you have ever tried to teach somebody to drive a car? What's the first thing you show them, the accelerator or the brake?

You show them the brake, and if they said, I'm not interested in the brake, you said, just give me the keys back. Isn't that right? Of course. You see, dear friend, before God will ever show you the accelerator, He must always show you the brake. If you're not interested in the restraint of the Spirit, you'll never know the release of the Spirit. Do you know the restraint of the Spirit? Can God say no to you and you listen?

Well, dear friend, you can't choose the place of your service. Now watch this. First of all, there was the restraint of the Spirit, and then, my dear friend, there was the release of the Spirit. Look, if you will, in chapter 16, verse 9 now, and a vision appeared to Paul in the night. Then a Macedonian prayed him, saying, come over into Macedonia and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately, oh, be swift, my soul, to answer him.

Be jubilant, my feet. Immediately, we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them. Now, first of all, God said no. And then God said, go.

The restraint of the Spirit and then the release of the Spirit. There used to be a whole preacher down in Florida. He was a great man of God. His name was Ed Solomon. And he had the wisdom of Solomon. Someone wrote a book about him called The Wisdom of Solomon. He was a great preacher and a great man. He always had something funny to say. One day, he was preaching at his college in a convocation there on the college campus.

And his wife was out there. He said, you know, God never did give me anything I ever wanted. Well, right away, that sounded kind of strange because here's a man that served God all of his life and had a fruitful ministry to say such a thing. He said, God never did give me anything I wanted. He said, God didn't let me go to the college I wanted to go to. Well, that was his alma mater that he was speaking at.

People looked around. He said, God never let me pastor the church I wanted to pastor. A lot of his church members were out there. And then the coup de grace. He said, God didn't even let me marry the woman I wanted to marry.

There's his wife sitting right out there. I mean, you talk about a guy who was sinking deeper and deeper. And then he gave a big smile and he said, God never did give me anything I ever wanted, but He always gave me something better than I ever wanted. Paul assayed to go into Bithynia and into Asia, but the Holy Spirit said, I want you to go over to Greece.

I want you to go over to Macedonia. And God opened up all Europe for the preaching of the gospel because God was supernaturally building His church. There was the restraint of the Spirit. There was the release of the Spirit.

And then, my dear friend, there were the results of the Spirit. But you'll find there in that story when they got there, they went down to the riverside and there's Lydia, that traveling sales lady from Thyatira, the cellar of purple. And she'd come down there to a prayer meeting. God touched her heart.

She said, Paul, you all come over to my house. We'll have a prayer meeting there. You can start your Bible studies there. And that was the beginning of that church. And the Bible says that God opened her heart.

Soul winning takes on a new dimension when we know the restraint and the release of the Spirit. God opened her heart. And then there's the little demon-possessed girl. You read it in that 16th chapter of Acts. She's following Paul around there in the city of Philippi.

And she's saying, these men are servants of the most high God. Paul had tried to avoid her. Finally, Paul had had enough and he turned around and he rebuked her in the name of Jesus and ran the devil out of her and the little girl got saved. Paul ended up in jail because she was making a lot of money for those men who were profiteering off of her.

The little girl got saved. Paul and Silas are in jail at midnight. They beat them. They're in the innermost jail.

They're down there. There's moaning and groaning and filth. Paul and Silas are praising God and giving God glory. Boy, those prisoners had heard moaning. They'd never heard praising. They'd heard cursing. They'd never heard praying. Paul and Silas are praying.

God is so pleased. He looks down there and begins to shake that whole jail and there's an earthquake. You remember the story. Jailhouse Rock.

That thing began to shake and the ponds fell off. That jailer, that hardened prison guard is ready to commit suicide. And Paul and Silas say, don't hurt yourself. We're all here.

Don't commit suicide. We want to tell you about Jesus. The jailer got saved and I believe a lot of those jailbirds got saved too because Paul and Silas said we're all here. None of them had run off. They all wanted to stay and see what's going to happen. Listen, when a church gets right with God, no matter how much persecution comes along, the devil can't stop the revival.

All he does is just move the location. I mean it went right into that jail. And there was a revival in that jail. Now listen, Paul was a philosopher.

What is the answer to the intellectual sophistication of our age? Jesus. Lydia was a business woman.

What is the answer to the deepest needs of a woman's heart and militant feminism? Jesus. That demon possessed girl was in the grip of the occult.

What is the answer to the occult? Jesus. That jailer surrounded by all those prisoners and criminals.

What is the answer to the crime problem? Jesus. And Jesus took all of those people together. My dear friend, you see the restraint of the Spirit, the release of the Spirit, and then you see the results of the Spirit. That's the way God put people together in what I call a forever family. Now let's move on quickly. I want you to see not only the supernatural formation of God's forever family.

I mean God did it. But I want you to see secondly the sweet fellowship of God's forever family. The sweet fellowship. Look in Philippians chapter 1.

Now let's continue to read here. Paul and Timothy is the servants of Jesus Christ to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi with the bishops and deacons. Grace be unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Now notice how Paul has these people in his heart. He says I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. This was such a sweet church. Always in every prayer of mine for you all making requests with joy.

Now he couldn't say that for the Corinthian church but he sure could for the Philippian church. Notice what it is for your fellowship in the gospel. Do you see it?

Do you see it? Your fellowship in the gospel. There is my dear friend the supernatural formation and a supernatural formation always leads to a sweet fellowship. Your fellowship in the gospel. What is our fellowship? Our fellowship my friend is not in Kool-Aid and cookies. Our fellowship is in the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. What is the bond that holds us together?

What is it? It's the word fellowship and that word fellowship is the Greek word koinonia and it really means to have something in common. We have a common Lord, a common life, a common love. If you want fellowship let's look at the way this word fellowship is used. For example in verse 5 he speaks of the koinonia of the gospel, the fellowship of the gospel. And what is the gospel? The gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. You want some fellowship? You want to be close to somebody? You look around and find a brother or sister who is interested in getting out the gospel of Jesus Christ and go out and win somebody to Jesus with that person.

Two people who win a third person to Jesus Christ are never ever again the same. I'll tell you there is nothing that will bond your heart to a brother or sister like going out soul winning together. I used to play football and let me tell you what fellowship is. Boy you'll win a big game, you know the high school game as your arch rival they live across the state somewhere and they come maybe homecoming and it's the big game that stands are full and there's a kickoff you know and it's closed back and forth and finally your team wins. Those people up there, your dad and mom sitting up there with their friends as my dad and mom would be when I played football. Boy they hug and they say we won, we won and the coaches down there they embrace and they say we won, we won and the band gets on the bus and as that band bus drives past the band bus of those who lost are the winning teams.

And you know and we won and oh everybody's saying we won, we won. I'll tell you something I've been down there so tired I couldn't even lift my hands to pull my jersey off. It'd be wet and sweaty and my arms would be bruised but finally get that jersey off over my head.

Unlace those shoes and rip that tape off your ankles. An old stinking locker room down there and the floor's always a little bit wet. An old towel stinking. You sit down there and there's another old boy he's bruised and battered and his nose is over this way. He'd been down there in the trenches with you.

Boy you look over at him and you say, Bill we won didn't we? My friend that's fellowship. When you've been in the trenches together. I'm going to tell you something else dear friend. Two people who pray together are never ever the same.

There's something about... I'll just guarantee if you say it's not true you don't have a prayer partner. You just get a prayer partner. You get down on your prayer bones with somebody and really begin to pray with them and you're going to find out there is something called the koinonia of the Spirit.

I'll tell you one other thing. Look if you will in Philippians chapter 3 and verse 10. Paul says that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection.

Now watch this. And the fellowship of His sufferings. Fellowship of soul winning, fellowship of supplication and now fellowship of suffering. Fellowship of soul winning, fellowship of supplication, fellowship of suffering. The fellowship of His suffering. You say I don't have any friends. I'm not a part of the church.

Let me tell you what to do. Find somebody who's hurting and hurt with them. Boy this city and this town and this church are full of them. People who need somebody to love them, somebody to put their arms around them. Paul said I want to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings.

Well how can you know that? Jesus is in heaven. But he said as much as you've done it unto the least of one of these my brethren, you've done it unto me. Two people who win a soul together are never quite the same again. Two people who pray together are never quite the same again and two people who cry together are never quite the same again. The fellowship of suffering is not a club, it's a church. We are one body in Christ.

Quit being a spectator. Get into it. One last thing I want to say. Not only do you see in this story the supernatural formation of the church, the sweet fellowship of the church, but I want you to see thirdly the sure future of the church. Philippians 1 verse 6.

Look at it. Now Paul speaks of the fellowship in verse 5. But then in verse 6 he says, being confident. Boy I like that word.

No stutter, no stammer, no apology. Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Now who began the good work? Jesus.

How did he do it? Through the Holy Spirit. We talk about building churches. You don't build churches. Jesus said I will build my church. He didn't say you will build my church, he didn't say I'll build your church. He said I will build my church. And then the Bible says, Paul says since he's the one who began it, I know he's the one who's going to finish it.

Isn't that right? I'm not talking about these buildings. Dear friend, one of these days these buildings are just going to be rust and dust and rubble, right?

Sure. This is not the church, this is the church home. Jesus is the builder of the church and therefore there is a sure future. You see, listen, how did you get saved? Did you think it was your idea to get saved?

Well, pardon me, but it wasn't. There's none that seeketh after God. No, not one. We love him because he first loved us. He chose us. My dear friend, you were chosen of the Spirit and then you were convicted of the Spirit and then you were converted by the Spirit and I'll tell you something else, you'll be completed by the Spirit. Say amen.

The chooser and the convictor and the converter is the completer. Now anything you start is not going to be finished. I mean, friend, everything is winding down to the grave.

I don't care what it is, it's going into oblivion. But anything He does is forever. Forever. The apostle Paul says, I'm confident of this thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ. I don't know what business you're in, dear friend, but there's no business like the gospel business, if you'll let me use the word business. What God does is forever.

Thank God for His forever family. I want to ask you this question. Do you know Jesus Christ? I didn't say do you know about Him. Do you know Jesus Christ?

Is Christ a bright, living reality to you? Do you know that you know if you died right now you would go to heaven? Are you absolutely certain of it?

You say no one can be certain. Oh, everyone can be certain if they'll do it God's way. The Bible says it's not by works of righteousness that we have done, but according to His mercy that He saved us.

If you quit trying to get to heaven by being a good old boy and just realize that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and just cast yourself on the mercy of God and say, Lord Jesus, I am a sinner. I am lost. I need to be saved, and I trust you to save me. He will save you. The same Jesus that saved the Apostle Paul, the same Jesus that saved Lydia, the same Jesus that saved that fortune-telling girl, the same Jesus that saved that hardened prison guard is the one who will save you today, if you'll ask Him. Father God, I pray that many in this place today will trust Christ. Holy Spirit of God, draw them to Jesus. In the name and the authority of Jesus, I pray. Amen. For more information on this message or additional resources, visit our online store at lwf.org or call 1-800-274-5683. Thank you.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-05-02 01:28:15 / 2024-05-02 01:37:13 / 9

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