Okay, then. How do we put all of this together. If we are going to impact our culture in such a way that we see this nation return to its Christian heritage, we need a spiritual awakening that will exceed the Great Awakenings of the past centuries. That means that the Church must experience revival, a bringing back to life, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Only when we recognize how far we as Christians have strayed from what God intends us to be will we then cry out to Him in repentance. Only when we cry out to Him in repentance will He forgive us and bring healing to His church. Only when His church is healed and restored will this nation have any chance of surviving the wrath that is coming. How will that be accomplished? By following God’s Word in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people which are called by my name will HUMBLE themselves and PRAY and SEEK my face and TURN from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin, and heal their land.” That is God’s prescription for our sin-sickness. In the meantime, how do we respond? Seeking God through worship, Sharing Grace through evangelism and missions, Shaping Lives through discipleship, and Serving Together through fellowship and ministry.
The following is an excerpt from my sermon from last Sunday — the last of this message that I will share in this format. Please note that it is not verbatim. Please go to http://www.southsidebaptist.net and click on Sermons at the top of the page to listen.
Look with me at Matthew 20:25-28 (NKJV). “But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave– just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Like never before, every one of us is going to have to be willing to serve God in the body of Christ. According to Acts 2:42-47, we are connected through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence that gives us a desire to spend time with our fellow Christians for the purpose of celebrating life and meeting needs. You have heard the old saying, I’m sure, that says Christians are not saved to sit, soak, and sour like an old sponge. You know that’s what happens to a sponge when it is left in water for a long time doing nothing. You pull it out, and man, you don’t want to have to smell that for long, do you? No, you see a sponge wasn’t designed for that purpose, and neither are we. God never intended for His people to come to worship service after worship service to soak up all of His grace and glory or to attend training session after training session to take it all in and then never use it. If we do, like the sponge we just sit and soak and sour, and nobody wants to be around us. Instead, we are called to serve together with our brothers and sisters in Christ to impact our culture and change the world.
What does that mean? It means that we need to join in the ministry of the church, to find our place of service and give 100% of ourselves to the work God has called us to do. Every member must understand that he is a minister, called of God to do the work of the ministry. No, you may not be called to preach, but perhaps you were called to teach a Sunday School class. No, you may not be able to sing solos, but you can sing with your brothers and sisters in Christ to the glory of God. No, you may not have the gift of evangelism, but you and I are called to go into the world and make disciples, to tell everyone we meet about the love of Jesus and how He longs to make them part of His family. We all have a place to serve because God put you in Southside Baptist Church for you to utilize your gifts and abilities to make this church complete. That is how we must respond — we must be the church, the body of Christ, His hands and feet touching the world. Will you join us?
For the remainder of this message, join us this Sunday in person or online at 10:30 a.m. God bless you!