I wish to use the following scripture to springboard the second of two messages about the church. The first was on What’s Wrong with the Church. And the second is on What’s Right with the Church.
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it. (Matthew 16:18 NASB)
The first message used the acronym of H-U-M-A-N-S. For this message I will use the acronym F-A-R-M-S
You can easily see how the church is to be like a farm and us as farmers. Seeds are planted, nurtured, cultivated and growth takes place. It’s a long process but it works whenever God places His hand on it. To that end I pray to God for His hand to be on His true Church and on me His willing disciple.
So ‘What’s Right with the Church?’
I. Foundation –
We are to build the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ.
According to the grace of God which was given to me, like a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building on it. But each man must be careful how he builds on it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 3:10-11 NASB)
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Matthew 28:18 NASB)
II. Authority –
By who’s authority are the matters of the church executed? No one other than the Lord Jesus Christ has the authority to lead a church fellowship.
Such authority should not be left to one man to dictate.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 1:24-25 NASB)
When the local church operates under the authority of Jesus Christ, it is right! A prevailing spirit of unity results because the local congregation is a part of allowing the right Person to be the Authority.
III. Remembrance –
We need to remember.
But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings, (Hebrews 10:32 NASB) I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained. (Philippians 3:14-16 NASB)
In 1996 a statistical survey surfaced which stated 96% of the people believe in God. 58% of the people believed in Hell. 6% believed they were going to Hell. (Source unconfirmed due to lost notes)
Question is, do you really believe only 6% are headed to Hell? Some evangelical today would argue just the opposite and that is only 6% are going to Heaven.
IV. Message/Material –
“Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know- this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. (Acts 2:22-24 NASB)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. John testified about Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.'” For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. For the Law was given through Moses; grace and truth were realized through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He on behalf of whom I said, ‘After me comes a Man who has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’ (John 1:1, 11-18, 29-30 NASB)
by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.
For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Corinthians 15:2-6, 12-20, 22 NASB)
V. Salvation –
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NASB)
but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8 NASB)
So long as Jesus Christ is the foundation of our church, so long as Jesus Christ is the Authority within our church, so long as Jesus Christ is Remembered for His life, Death, Crucifixion, Burial, Resurrection, and Ascension in our church, so long as Jesus Christ and Him crucified is the Message Preached in our church, resulting in the Salvation of lost souls in the church; then is the church RIGHT!
Until Next Time,
Source: Notes from years ago. Approximately early 1996