What Kind of church does the Lord Want?

WHAT KIND OF CHURCH DOES THE LORD WANT?

INTRODUCTION: Politicians constantly send out questionnaires and make telephone polls to check the "pulse" of their opponents. They want to stay on top of what they want. Let's turn the concept around, and see what the Bible says concerning what kind of church the Lord wants.

 

I. GOD WANTS A SPIRITUALLY MINDED CHURCH.

A. The church in Jerusalem.

1. Acts 2:41-47 "Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. 42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."

 
B. The Lord desires a church dedicated to Him.

1. 2 Corinthians 6:17-18 "Therefore, come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you. 18 I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, Says the LORD Almighty."

 
C. Our emphasis must be on the spiritual.

1. Colossians 3:16- "Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord."

 
II. GOD WANTS AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH.
 
A. God wants the church to carry the truth to the world.

1. Ephesians 3:9-11  "And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:  10 To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God, 11 According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2. Matthew 28:19-20  "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

B. The church in the first century was an evangelistic church.

1. Acts 5:42- "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ."

2. Acts 8:4- "Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word."

3. Acts 14:1- "Now it happened in Iconium that they went together to the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of the Jews and of the Greeks believed."

III. GOD WANTS A DOCTRINALLY PURE CHURCH.

A. The New Testament commands it.

1. Romans 16:17- "Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them."

2. Galatians 1:6-9 "I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, 7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed."

3. Ephesians 4:14-15 "that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15 but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head; Christ;"

4. Ephesians 5:11- "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."

5. 2 John 9-11 "Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; 11 for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds."

B. How do we maintain a doctrinally sound church?

1. Acts 17:11- "The Bereans were more fair-minded (noble) than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so."

2. John 17:17  "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

3. 1 Peter 4:11- "If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God. If anyone minister, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things, God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen."

IV. GOD WANTS A CHURCH AT PEACE WITH ITSELF.

A. The Bible teaches us to follow peace.

1.     1 Corinthians 14:33- "For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints."
 

2.      2 Corinthians 13:11- "Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you."

3. Ephesians 4:3- "endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."

4. 1 Thessalonians 5:13- "and to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. Be at peace among yourselves."

5. James 3:18- "Now the fruit of righteousness is    sown in peace by those who make peace."
 
CONCLUSION: In an age when churches are preoccupied by wanting to know about the "needs" of the person in the pew, the Lord's church should never fall into such a trap. Recreation, entertainment, and the social gospel will never take the place of what the Lord wants. Let's never worry so much at what others want as to what God wants.
 
Jimmy
Antioch church of Christ
10/24/10   AM