All in the Family
All in the Family
How many know it is good to be in God’s family? How many know it is good to say amen? That is what we do when we agree or confirm something. Say Amen!
-How many of you men are sitting next to a good looking woman? Amen. That means you agree.
-This is the culture of our church Family
2 Pet 3:8-13 – But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare. 11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives 12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat. 13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. (NIV)
A – He desires to have a close relationship with us
God has lots of kids because He has lots of glory to share.
Heb 2:10a – God is the One who made all things, and all things are for his glory. He wanted to have many children share his glory. (NCV)
Our earthly families are a picture of our eternal spiritual family.
Gal 4:7b – Since you are his child, everything he has belongs to you. (NLT)
-WE have been given the family name, the family likeness, family privileges, family intimate access, and the family inheritance. Our spiritual family is even more important than your physical family because it will last forever.
-The blessings we possess on this earth are wonderful in our families and in life; Riches, of his grace, kindness, patience, glory, wisdom, power and mercy. But our eternal rewards will give to us an even greater inheritance.
1 Pt 1:4 – God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” (NLT)
B – God’s purpose was rejected by mankind
1 – The first result suffered was separation from God
2 – The second result suffered was death
Rom 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
-The centerpiece of the curses is death. The biggest repercussion from sin.
Why do you need a church family
1 – To put you in a group that shares your love for Jesus and to love each other “Your love to one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” You can never be the body of Christ on your own. We all different parts make up one body.
-The church is God’s idea!
Pollster George Barna says that there are 195 million unchurched people in America. That makes America the third largest mission field after China and India.
Ten years ago Seattle was the most unchurched large city in America.
Now it is fourth behind the top three; San Francisco, Portland Oregon and Portland Maine. We are followed by Sacramento and New York in sixth place. Pierce county is still the most unchurched county in Washington State and seventh in the nation.
And we are the most prosperous nation in the world; More than 50% of the people in the world have never made or received telephone call.
Does it surprise you? That we are among the most unchurched in America? Third in the world?
2 – A church family keeps you from being isolated - (ways to get people to attend church)
To make it possible for everyone to attend church next Sunday, we are going to have a special "No Excuse Sunday."
Cots will be placed in the foyer for those who say, "Sunday is my only day to sleep in."
Eye drops will be available for those with tired eyes from watching TV late Saturday night.
Blankets will be furnished for those who think the church is too cold, and fans for those who say it is too hot.
Scorecards will be available for those who wish to list all the hypocrites present. A prominent space will be allotted at the top of the card for the cardholder to write his own name down first on that list.
Relatives and friends will be in attendance for those who can't go to church and cook dinner, too.
One section will be devoted to trees and grass for those who like to seek God in nature.
Doctors and nurses will be in attendance for those who plan to be sick on Sunday.
The sanctuary will be decorated with both Christmas poinsettias and Easter lilies for those who never have seen the church without them.
We will provide hearing aids for those who can't hear the preacher and cotton for those who can!
Hope to see you there! --------Author Unknown.
1 Cor 12:26 – If one part of the body suffers, all the other parts suffer with it. Or if one part of our body is honored, all the other parts share its honor.”
St Francis said after years of service in a monastery before he became the spark for a might revival. “The only thing missing in a monastery is ministry.”-The church body is a classroom to learn how to get along in God’s family.
1 Jn 3:16 – Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.
3 – A church family helps you grow in the Holy Spirit and in Godly character
Eph 4:16 – As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.
-Over 50 times NT scripture uses the phrase “one another” We are commanded to …
-love, pray, encourage, admonish, greet, serve, teach, accept, honor, bear each other’s burdens, forgive, submit, be devoted to…
-It’s just like a regular family with parents and siblings. God is our Father and we are all His children.
I will never forget the Sunday several years ago when one of our greeters met a visitor at the front door and explained to them, that we were going through a church split. I was shocked, mostly because it was the first time I had ever heard anyone say something like that. Come to find out the man’s wife had several complaints about the church and ministry that she had him present to me on a neatly-typed list, put in order of importance. Needless to say, they left.
People leave churches for several reasons; it’s not what they expected, they don’t like the preacher or the music, they have trouble with another person that is attending. All of which are superficial. However, it is difficult when people leave because they are not connecting as family. Relationships are important to people and the need to feel friendship at church. Now sometimes there is just no satisfying this. Maybe there is a sincere attempt to reach out to them, but they don’t reciprocate. It could be that we as a church just miss some opportunities. That is going to happen. I used to spend nights laying awake because I was concerned whether or not we connected with someone. Fortunately, people who are committed do not leave very often because we know it is not a good excuse. The reason is simple, this is about Jesus and He builds the church.
When you become a Christian you are born into the family of God. In a family you don’t get to choose your family members, you don’t get everything you want, but you get a family.
-There is that brother in law that you just don’t get, there is that sister you may not like, but you are a family.
X – Being an outlaw or an in-law; X – Fam in MI at Burger King
--Now in a healthy family, people tolerate differences and work hard to become friendly and even care for one another. They make time to be together and work and play together.
-In a family there are private matters, there are members that struggle, and more than anything there are members that challenge you. That’s how God’s family is supposed to be.
X – Jacob and Esau – In the end God received the glory and both brothers were prosperous.
4 – Your church family needs you
-It is a selfish position to not serve the body of Christ. It is a selfish position if you are a Christian at Abundant Life to not serve the church in a ministry that sustains its purpose and mission.
1 Cor 12:7 – A spiritual gift is given to each of us as a means of helping the entire church. (NLT)
Don’t misunderstand this point. You may have a wider ministry, but that is in addition to your service in this local body. Jesus has not promised to build your ministry, he has promised to build His church.
As a smaller church, what are some things that make us unique?
Until Pam and I moved to Lakewood/Tacoma, we never knew that there was an army of Christian people that jumped from church to church depending on what they were offering or who was preaching. We also didn’t realize that there were a large number of them that actually attended more than one church. This was a culture shock to us. We have always been faithful and in love with our church and gratefully supportive of the reputation of the others in our community. But attending more than one? That really seemed, (and still does) creepy to me. However, does this keep unchurched people out? Perhaps? Because Christians only connect with Christians so…???
We are also surrounded in our community by some very large churches that carry a lot of reputation. With these high-quality ministries, huge buildings and “power-house” famous preachers how do we “compete”? Don’t get me wrong, I realize we are not competing for the churched people that live in the area. But in one very real sense we are competing for souls! We all want people to know Jesus. However, there are more than 100,000 people within thirty driving minutes from ALC! In other words there are plenty of people that don’t know Jesus. Only two out of a hundred will even get out of bed Sunday morning to attend a church in our area. Feeling slighted because there are large ministries that surround us is not a good excuse.
X – A church deacon was also a local barber. He felt bad because he had not tried to witness to anyone. One day he was alone when a customer came in for a shave. The deacon thought this was a good chance to witness. After he had the customer lathered up and laid back in the chair, he nervously asked, "Sir, are you ready to die?"
The man opened his eyes and saw the barber nervously holding the razor. He jumped out of the chair, snatched off his cape, and ran down the street with the lather blowing in the wind.
Matt 28:18-20 – Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."NIV
Talk about the Great Commission, not suggestion
What does Jesus tell us we need to be doing?
Do you think most Christians understand it?
In what ways is the church supposed to carry out this commission? We are light
God’s idea is multiplication – X – Rats multiply so quickly that in 18 months,
two rats could have over million descendants.
Talk about our church family and the good things you appreciate about it.
-Appreciate our friendship, shared mission, concern for one another’s health & wealth
The front door of a church can be ominous to an unbeliever, but the door of a loving family is inviting.
Pray together for our church family and our effectiveness in reaching our world.