The Church In Five Years

Series: You In Five Years. James Dewhurst February 9, 2020

You in Five Years

The Church In Five Years!

Today, we close out a six-week series we have been in since the start of the year called “You In Five Years”! We have talked about making changes personally and making changes in our families that will lead us to a great place down the road. Little By Little!

Galatians 6:7
7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (ESV)

Luke 6:38
38 give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” (ESV)

What will Real Church look like in 5 years?

Proverbs 29:18
18 Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law. (ESV)

Habakkuk 2:2-3
2 And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3 For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. (ESV)

When people drive down the road and see a Real Church sticker on a car window or a yard sign in front of someone’s house what do we as a church want to be known for?

Matthew 7:16-17
16 You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. (ESV)

> I want us to be known as a church whose arms are wide open to anyone who enters!

> I want us to be known as a church that preaches every page of the Bible God wrote!

> I want us to be known as a church that leads people to Christ and then disciple them!

> I want us to be known as a church that serves in the community and helps the needy!

> I want us to be known as a church where people with real problems find real answers.

> I want us to be known as a church that works to build strong families and marriages!

> I want us to be known as a church that is the most fun place for kids to be on Sunday!

> I want us to be known as a church that doesn’t just sing to God, but worships God!

> I want us to be known as a church that gives so much, people scratch their heads!

> I want us to be known as a church that loves each other deeply, and fights for unity!

John 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (ESV)

People will forget what we say, but they will never how we make them feel!

When people see our logo, I want them to feel the love of Christ because we leak it!

How will we get there?

Ephesians 4:16
16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)

Paul tells us here that the growth of the church is dependent upon its participation.

The church culture today is more comfortable watching others work than doing work!

The Bible teaches that the church builds and grows itself as each person does work.

The ability of any church to reach its goals depends on how many people will work!

The Bible tells us in the book of Acts that in the midst of terrible first-century persecution and resistance, the church exploded from 120 members in an upper room, after Jesus left, to thousands of hungry believers who were rapidly leading more people to Christ every single day. How did this happen?

Acts 2:42-47
42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (ESV)

Acts reveal 4 behaviors in the first-century church that lead to explosive growth:

(1) They Embraced the Mission!

Early Christians sold out for the mission of the church, and the church exploded!

Paul said in: Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”

The great D.L. Moody once said: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man.”

(2) They Remained Unified!

Matthew 12:25 (NIV) “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.

(3) They Gave Generously!

Jesus said in: Matthew 6:21“ For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Christians gave sacrificially because their hearts treasured heaven more than the earth!

(4) They Stayed Planted!

Psalm 92:12-14 (NIV) “The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; 13 planted in the house of the Lord, they will flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.”

When people plant themselves in God’s church, they become the conduit for its growth!

This church will go as far as our unity, generosity, and commitment will take it!

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