Give Me the Bible

Why The Church?

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Pr. Kenneth Cox


Series Code: GMTB

Program Code: GMTB000051

00:19 Good evening and welcome to Give Me The Bible.
00:22 This series by Pastor Kenneth Cox has been
00:25 one of the most popular series
00:27 that we've had in recent years
00:29 on 3ABN.
00:30 And we're just privileged to bring Pastor Cox
00:33 back again this weekend for the series entitled
00:37 The Apple of God's Eye.
00:40 And I'm looking forward to every one of these five subjects
00:44 that he'll be presenting on this very important subject,
00:48 but tonight he is going to be speaking on Why The Church.
00:54 You know, a lot of people wonder about that.
00:56 We have all kinds of different denominations and so forth,
00:59 but why does God really want a church?
01:03 What's the effectiveness of a church?
01:05 I talked with a man just this week, and he said to me:
01:10 "I'm really not into denominations;
01:12 I'm really not into churches. "
01:14 And, but he says, "I love the Lord. "
01:16 What about that?
01:17 Is it right for people just to simply love the Lord?
01:22 Yes, of course. But is there a place for God's church?
01:26 We're going to look at that subject in a very detailed way
01:29 this weekend, and I'm looking forward to Pastor Kenneth Cox's
01:33 presentations... and I know that you are too.
01:37 We have had so many people calling and saying
01:39 "When are we going to have more of these great subjects? "
01:42 And tonight is one of those that we're going to enjoy.
01:46 But before Pastor Cox comes,
01:48 Dona Klein is going to play for us a song that I love:
01:52 Just Inside the Eastern Gate.
04:08 Thank you! Thank you, Dona Klein.
04:11 Well good evening.
04:13 Very happy to welcome all of you back again tonight
04:18 to a series entitled
04:20 The Apple of God's Eye.
04:22 Those of you that are joining us
04:24 by television or you're listening by radio
04:28 or maybe even tuning in on the Internet,
04:31 we're glad to welcome you.
04:33 Glad that each of you are tuning in.
04:36 We hope that as we go through this series
04:38 it will bless you in a very special way.
04:41 The Apple of God's Eye.
04:43 Going to deal with the church.
04:45 And our subject tonight is entitled
04:52 Why does God have a church?
04:53 What does the scripture have to say about that?
04:55 And then we're going to take a look at
04:58 two subjects that I find very misunderstood
05:03 concerning the church.
05:05 And our next presentation after this one tonight is entitled
05:08 The Front Door of the Church.
05:13 Very, very important...
05:16 the front door.
05:17 And the front door is not what most people think it is.
05:22 And so we'll take a look at that in our next presentation.
05:26 And then out next presentation after that one is entitled
05:30 The Back Door of the Church.
05:32 So we're going to take a look at the front door of the church.
05:34 We're going to take a look at the back door of the church.
05:37 And it, again, is not what most people think it is.
05:41 So we'll take a look at that.
05:43 And then our next presentation will be
05:46 The Church, God's Storehouse.
05:49 What the scripture has to say about supporting the church.
05:52 And then our final presentation in this series
05:55 entitled The Church Victorious.
05:58 So we want you to look at that.
06:00 What says the Bible, the blessed Bible?
06:03 This my only question be.
06:05 Will the church of God be victorious?
06:09 What says the Word of God to me?
06:12 That's what we're going to be looking at
06:14 as we go through this series.
06:16 And so we're glad that you're here
06:18 as we take a look at Why a Church?
06:22 And I hope it will help your understanding
06:25 of what God has to say about the church
06:27 and what it means to each one of us.
06:30 So we're glad that you're here.
06:32 Glad to welcome you back
06:33 as we go through each evening in these presentations.
06:37 You know, there's nothing quite as comforting
06:44 as to know that you're in the hands of the Lord.
06:49 I can remember when David
06:52 said: "Let's fall on the mercy of God. "
06:55 To know that Christ has us in His hands.
07:00 He says: "there's nothing that can pluck you
07:01 out of His hands. "
07:03 And so just to be in the hands of God...
07:05 how wonderful that is!
07:07 And Dona's going to sing for us tonight a beautiful song
07:10 entitled In His Hands.
07:28 There are times I'm overwhelmed
07:33 by the onset of trials.
07:41 And this burden that I carry...
07:45 it seems I've carried it for miles.
07:54 That's when I realize that in my own strength
07:59 I cannot stand.
08:06 Then I know the time has come
08:10 when I must put it in God's hands.
08:17 In His hands
08:21 the mountain looks
08:24 much smaller.
08:29 In His hands
08:33 the valley's not
08:36 so low.
08:43 When I've carried
08:45 my burden
08:49 as far as I can.
08:56 Help me remember, Lord,
09:02 to put it in Your hands.
09:10 I read where God's mighty hand
09:15 had parted the sea.
09:22 And when His children were safe across
09:27 He turned and drowned their enemies.
09:35 So when the waters are rising
09:39 and the river seems too wide to span,
09:47 then I fall down on my knees...
09:51 that's when I put it in His hands.
09:59 In His hands
10:03 the mountain looks
10:06 much smaller.
10:11 In His hands
10:15 the valley's not
10:18 so low.
10:25 When I've carried
10:27 my burden
10:32 as far as I can,
10:38 help me remember, Lord,
10:44 to put it in Your hands.
10:51 So when I've carried
10:55 this burden
10:59 as far as I can,
11:06 help me remember, Lord,
11:12 to put it in
11:14 Your hands.
11:40 Heavenly Father,
11:42 we would ask tonight that You would help us
11:46 that we would be sure to remember
11:49 to put it in Your hands.
11:52 To not to try to control
11:55 the circumstances, but to commit our lives to You.
12:00 We ask, Lord, that tonight You will bless.
12:04 Give us understanding.
12:07 May our hearts be open.
12:10 May we get a sense
12:15 of what You're doing in Your leading and guiding.
12:19 May we decide to walk with You by faith
12:24 in all that we do.
12:26 For this we ask in Christ's name, Amen.
12:36 Many times
12:39 when we're holding evangelistic meetings
12:42 and we come down to the end
12:45 and there's people that...
12:47 planning on being baptized,
12:50 and it seems that you run onto some people who say:
12:56 "Oh, Brother Cox, I've accepted Christ as my Savior.
13:00 I want to be baptized,
13:03 but I don't want to belong to a church.
13:06 I... I just do not want to put my name
13:10 on a church book.
13:13 I don't want to belong to a church. "
13:16 Well, the question we need to ask ourselves tonight
13:21 is: Does God have a church?
13:25 We need to settle that question.
13:28 Does God have a church?
13:30 And then once we settle that question
13:32 then I think we can take a look
13:34 at what the scripture has to say.
13:36 So we read here in God's Word, and it says:
13:47 Now He didn't say build A church.
13:50 He said: "on this rock I will build My church. "
13:58 So God's very clear.
14:01 He says: "Yes, I have a church.
14:03 On this I will build My church. "
14:07 Now when Christ said this to the disciples
14:12 they were over in an area called, uh...
14:16 Caesarea.
14:18 And Christ did ask them a question.
14:21 And He had said this, and just a couple verses before this
14:25 when He said to them:
14:26 "Who do you say that I am? "
14:29 And they said: "Well some say that You are Elijah.
14:33 Some say that You're a prophet. "
14:36 He said: "But who do you say that I am? "
14:38 And Peter answered with these words:
14:46 Now he made that just as clear as could be.
14:50 He said: "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God. "
14:52 And Jesus said to him:
14:55 "Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you
14:57 but My Father which is in heaven. "
15:00 Now there was no doubt, folks,
15:03 in Peter's mind - none whatsoever -
15:08 as to who the rock was.
15:12 When Christ said: "Upon this rock I will build My church, "
15:17 no doubt in Peter's mind who the rock was.
15:21 I want you to listen to Peter's words.
15:23 I Peter the second chapter verse 6:
15:40 Now that cornerstone he understood clearly
15:44 to be Jesus Christ.
15:47 He understood that... Peter did.
15:49 Listen as he goes on:
15:55 He said: "Those of you who believe,
15:57 speaking of Christ, HE is precious. "
16:15 So he said: "To you who believe, then Christ is precious.
16:20 But to those who do not believe
16:22 He's a rock of stumbling, a rock of offense. "
16:27 And Paul went on and made it crystal clear
16:32 as to who the rock was because Paul said:
16:45 So no question in their minds
16:48 as to who the Rock was.
16:50 So when... we read here where it says:
17:04 what was Jesus saying?
17:08 Well He was saying to Peter
17:09 "On the confession that you have made
17:14 that 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God, '
17:16 on that confession I am building My church. "
17:21 That's what's being said there, folks.
17:23 Not being said that "Peter, you're the church. "
17:27 He's saying: "Upon this confession, Peter,
17:29 that you have made that I am the Christ...
17:33 on that confession I will build My church. "
17:37 And dear friends, let me tell you something:
17:39 that confession has held the church
17:41 down through the centuries because it has been built
17:45 on Jesus Christ.
17:47 And that's what it must always be built on
17:50 is on Jesus Christ... no one else.
17:53 So, when Jesus said: "I will build My church, "
17:57 He said, "I'm going to build the church on the confession
18:01 that I am the Christ, the Son of the Living God. "
18:05 Now, He has a church.
18:08 He does not say... He does not say
18:13 that He has many churches.
18:17 Now folks, this idea that I hear some people
18:21 put out when they say: "Well, the churches are like roads...
18:25 all leading to the same place. "
18:27 That is not true.
18:29 If all of them were roads leading to the same place,
18:32 then you and I could believe anything we wanted to.
18:36 Well you listen to what it says here in John 10:14.
18:41 Jesus is speaking... He said:
18:49 So Christ said: "I am the Good Shepherd.
18:51 I know My" what? "Sheep. "
18:56 You see, some people need to take a good look at that
19:01 because Jesus has sheep, folks, of all shades.
19:09 You see, not all of God's sheep are white.
19:15 He has sheep of all shades.
19:18 Brown, black... How does the song go?
19:24 Red or yellow, black or white...
19:26 all are precious in His sight.
19:29 He has sheep of all shades. And by the way,
19:32 He even has some that are old butting rams
19:36 and some ornery ewes.
19:38 See? But they're all God's sheep.
19:42 We need to make that... need to be very clear on that:
19:45 that that makes up His sheep.
19:48 Now watch as He continues
19:49 because it becomes very, very clear:
20:04 I'm sorry, but sometimes people get it in mind
20:07 that the only ones that are saved are those
20:11 that are in their fold.
20:14 Uh, no.
20:17 God has sheep in all churches.
20:21 Has sheep in all churches.
20:25 What you and I must get clear in our mind
20:28 is there are not many folds.
20:32 There's only one fold.
20:34 That we need to understand.
20:37 Not many folds, one fold.
20:40 He said: "Other sheep I have which are not of this fold: "
20:54 So God is making it clear that there's not many folds
20:57 or there's not many flocks.
20:59 There is one fold, one flock, one Shepherd.
21:03 But, He said: "I've got sheep in all these other places. "
21:08 But He makes a statement about them.
21:11 He says: "Them I must also bring. "
21:16 OK? My sheep what?
21:27 You see, I don't care where the person is.
21:31 I don't care what church they're attending.
21:34 If that person's heart is right
21:38 and if they are surrendered to Jesus Christ,
21:42 when they pick up God's Word and they read it
21:46 and they understand what God's Word says,
21:51 then dear friend, if that persons' heart was right...
21:54 is right with the Lord Jesus Christ,
21:55 they're going to follow him.
21:57 That has to be.
22:00 If I am His disciple,
22:03 if I am His child,
22:05 then I must follow Him
22:07 as He leads me.
22:11 Can't go the other way.
22:13 And that's why He's saying here
22:14 "These - my sheep - they will hear My voice
22:17 and they will follow Me. " That He promises.
22:21 Now, we need to understand certain things about church.
22:27 First thing about church, folks,
22:31 is you do not... put it down...
22:35 you do not find truth by a church.
22:42 Let me say that again.
22:45 You do not find truth by a church...
22:50 I don't care what church it is.
22:53 You don't find truth by the Baptists.
22:57 You don't find truth by the Methodists.
23:00 You don't find it by the Episcopalians.
23:02 You don't find it by the Pentecostals.
23:04 You don't find it by the Roman Catholics.
23:07 You don't find it by the Seventh-day Adventists.
23:09 You do not find truth by a church.
23:14 You find truth by the Word of God.
23:18 That's where you find truth is by the Word of God.
23:26 But the reverse of what I have just said is true.
23:32 You do not find truth by a church,
23:37 but you find the church by the truth.
23:41 See? I've got to get into the Word.
23:45 I have to study it. I have to see what it's talking about.
23:49 I have to understand it. And as I understand
23:52 what the scripture says, then I must follow.
23:56 I must walk with Him as He leads.
23:59 That's what has to take place in my life.
24:02 And if I'm willing to do that, He'll lead me step by step.
24:06 Listen to this verse:
24:29 In other words, I find the church by the truth.
24:33 So I pick up the Word of God and I begin to study it.
24:37 And as I learn what the Word of God says
24:41 I accept that.
24:43 Then I begin to find... look for a church
24:48 that is in harmony with what the scripture says.
24:51 That's how I find a church.
24:54 I was holding a meeting,
24:57 and this young man showed up for the meeting
25:01 named Max Murphy.
25:03 Max had felt a real desire
25:08 to follow the Lord, and he had talked to a Methodist minister.
25:15 And this Methodist minister had explained to Max
25:21 how to accept Christ as your Savior.
25:25 And Max had given his heart to the Lord...
25:28 accepted Him as his Savior.
25:30 And about a week after that had happened
25:35 Max received in the mail a brochure about our meetings.
25:40 Having just given his heart to the Lord
25:43 and wanting to know more about what the scripture taught,
25:47 he thought this would be a good chance for him to learn
25:50 and so he came to our meetings.
25:52 And came every night.
25:55 And after we had gone about a week or ten days,
25:58 I... I spoke on baptism.
26:01 And a few nights later he came back...
26:06 Max came back to the meeting
26:08 and he came up to me and he said: "Guess what? "
26:10 And I said: "What's that? "
26:12 He said: "I'm going to be baptized this next weekend. "
26:16 Well I guess I didn't turn cartwheels over that.
26:20 Anyhow... and he said: "That bothers you, doesn't it? "
26:23 I said: "Yeah, it does. "
26:24 He said: "You think I'm going to be sprinkled, don't you? "
26:28 And I said: "That's what's going through my mind. "
26:30 And he said: "No, no. "
26:32 He said: "I explained to my minister that I'm going to be
26:35 immersed like the Bible teaches. "
26:37 And I said: "Well that's good, Max.
26:39 I'm glad you're going to be baptized. "
26:41 I said: "Have you learned anything on these nights
26:46 you've been coming? "Oh, " he said,
26:47 "more than I've ever learned in my life. "
26:49 I said: "Well that's great. "
26:51 I said: "If you've learned that much in the few nights
26:54 you've come, you know you might learn some more
26:59 and you might ought to have your baptism at the end
27:02 rather than now. "
27:03 He said: "Yeah, I think you're right. "
27:06 He said: "I'll tell my pastor we'll have it at the end. "
27:09 I said: "That's fine. "
27:10 And Max kept coming each night
27:13 and, oh, I guess another week passed.
27:16 He came up to me and he said: "You know, "
27:18 he said, "I think I'm going to be baptized
27:21 in the baptism here when everybody else is baptized. "
27:25 And I said: "That's fine, Max.
27:27 We'll be happy to have you baptized here. "
27:29 And he said: "Am I going to have to be a
27:31 Seventh-day Adventist? "
27:35 And I said: "Max, all you've got to do
27:38 is follow the scripture. "
27:40 He said: "Fair enough. "
27:42 I... I'm sure it was every other night
27:46 he'd come up to me when the meeting was over
27:48 and said: "I'm really looking forward to being baptized.
27:52 Am I going to have to be a Seventh-day Adventist? "
27:55 And I'd say: "Max, all you've got to do is follow
27:57 the scripture. " "OK. "
27:59 I mean, it went like that all the way through the meetings.
28:02 We got down to the end of the meetings -
28:04 in fact, Friday night before the baptism was to take place
28:07 the next day. And he came up to me that Friday night
28:10 and he said: "I'm really looking forward to being
28:13 baptized tomorrow. "
28:14 I said: "That's great, Max. "
28:16 He said: "Am I going to have to be a Seventh-day Adventist? "
28:19 And I said: "Max, let me ask you something. "
28:22 I said: "Have you given your heart to the Lord? "
28:25 "Oh, " he said, "yes. "
28:26 Said: "I've given my heart to Christ. "
28:29 I said: "Well that's good. "
28:31 I said: "You want to be baptized by immersion? "
28:35 He said: "Yeah, that's what I believe. "
28:38 I said: "Max, how do you feel about the Sabbath? "
28:42 "Oh, " he said, "I'm clear on the Sabbath. "
28:45 He said: "I understand what it says. "
28:47 He said: "I don't have any trouble with that...
28:48 going to church on the Sabbath. "
28:50 I said: "You don't have any problem with this
28:52 working on the Sabbath? "
28:53 And he said: "No, " he said, "I don't have any problem
28:54 that way. " I said: "That's fine, Max. "
28:57 I said: "Do you understand, Max, that when a person
29:02 dies the scripture doesn't teach that he goes to heaven
29:06 or he goes to hell? Do you understand that when he
29:08 dies the Bible says that person is asleep
29:11 and will be that way until Jesus comes? "
29:14 "Oh, " he said, "yes, I understand that. "
29:15 I said: "Do you understand the Bible teaches
29:19 that your body is God's temple?
29:22 And that you and I are to care for it very carefully
29:26 and we aren't to put things in it that hurt it
29:28 or defile it? We aren't to use tobacco or alcohol
29:32 or even what the scripture classifies as unclean meat? "
29:35 He said: "Oh, yes, I understand that. "
29:37 He said: "In fact, my wife and I cleaned the refrigerator
29:40 last week. " He said: "Don't have anything there
29:43 that's contrary to scripture. "
29:45 And I said: "Well that's great, Max. "
29:46 I said: "Do you understand that Jesus is coming back?
29:52 That the Bible teaches that it will be a coming
29:55 that you and I will be able to see and to hear
29:57 the great event? " He said: "Oh, yes,
30:00 I understand that. " And I said:
30:02 "Do you understand that when the wicked die
30:05 they aren't going to burn in the fires of hell for eternity?
30:10 The Bible doesn't teach that. "
30:12 He said: "Best news I ever heard. "
30:14 He said: "I don't have any problem with that at all. "
30:17 I said: "Well Max, if you're clear on all those things,
30:20 you're clear enough to be baptized. "
30:22 And he said: "Yeah, and I'm a Seventh-day Adventist too,
30:25 aren't I? " Now you see, folks,
30:29 I'm a Seventh-day Adventist.
30:33 But I am not a Seventh-day Adventist because
30:37 there's a Seventh-day Adventist church.
30:39 I'm a Seventh-day Adventist
30:42 because that's what this book teaches.
30:45 And I will always be that
30:47 because that's what the book teaches.
30:50 And that's what God expects you and I to do
30:53 is to follow the book... what it says.
30:56 That's how I know what the church is.
31:00 That's why the scripture says here:
31:15 The church is the apple of God's eye.
31:19 She's precious to Him,
31:21 and He cares for her in a very, very definite way.
31:25 And you and I are to be part of His church.
31:29 "My church, " He says.
31:30 He talks about it even as His bride.
31:41 The church is very special.
31:43 In fact, it even uses this comparison:
31:53 So this is the church. Now, the truth, folks.
31:57 There have been people that followed the Lord
32:00 and walked with the Lord of every nation, every tribe,
32:05 every race all the way down through time.
32:10 And on that great and glorious day
32:14 when the resurrection takes place
32:16 and all of God's children are gathered together
32:19 that have followed the Lord down through time
32:22 it pictures them there in the New Jerusalem
32:25 and it pictures that city as the bride
32:29 because it's gathering all of God's children into that city.
32:34 Understand that.
32:36 But when you pick up the Bible and you read in Acts
32:41 and other places about the church,
32:43 it's talking about a local church in a particular town
32:47 and city. It is not talking about the great
32:52 ethereal body of Christ.
32:54 And I want you to look at some texts with me
32:57 that makes that very, very clear.
33:05 That doesn't say one church; that says the churches.
33:09 These were different churches in different towns and cities
33:13 across Asia Minor, and it says they increased in number.
33:16 This was the churches.
33:19 These were God's churches.
33:20 That's a church in a particular location.
33:31 She was a member in a particular local church.
33:35 What I'm trying to get across to you is that you and I
33:38 are to belong to a church in a particular location.
33:44 This does not teach us that we have the right to belong
33:48 to some great ethereal body of Christ
33:50 where we have no responsibility.
33:53 Doesn't teach that.
34:05 A church is not a building.
34:12 OK?
34:14 A church is not a building.
34:17 A church is a group of people
34:21 that believe what the book teaches.
34:24 That's a church.
34:25 And I don't care whether they're meeting in a barn
34:29 or whether they're meeting in a house. Wherever that
34:32 group is meeting, that is God's church.
34:36 Aquila and Priscilla had these people meeting in their home.
34:40 That was God's church in that particular place.
34:45 You and I as individuals are to be part of that church.
34:51 Paul and Silas, it says:
34:56 That's all the people.
35:12 They preached there; they made many disciples.
35:31 They went back to these cities where they had preached
35:35 the message - the gospel - and these people had
35:37 accepted Christ, they had become disciples,
35:40 and they became a church.
35:42 And they went back and strengthened them.
35:44 That's what it's talking about.
35:59 They went back to those cities.
36:01 They helped organize those churches.
36:04 They elected elders in the church.
36:06 Folks, this is organization.
36:09 I run onto people who want to say
36:11 "Oh, I don't want to belong to an organization. "
36:14 I'm sorry... the scripture doesn't teach that.
36:17 It teaches that there is to be organization.
36:21 And they ordained elders and they set up each church
36:24 and they ministered to the people there.
36:27 That's what God says we're to do.
36:43 Added to the church daily
36:47 those who were being saved.
36:50 Very, very important.
36:52 When I give my heart to Jesus Christ
36:55 and I accept Him as my Savior,
36:58 then dear friend my responsibility is to be part
37:03 of His church...
37:06 have responsibility in it.
37:17 This is a great, great text, folks.
37:20 the next few that I read.
37:22 And it tells you and I exactly what we are supposed to do.
37:27 I mean, clear as can be.
37:30 So here it says that they preached the Word of God
37:34 and it says that the Word of God which you heard from us, listen:
37:43 They preached to them the Word of God.
37:46 And as they read the Word of God, they accepted it
37:50 not as the word of men
37:53 but as it is truth.
37:57 See, they opened up the scripture. They read it.
38:00 They understood what it said, and they accepted the truth.
38:03 of God's Word.
38:11 Now let's see what happens.
38:22 You can change that word imitators to members
38:26 or disciples.
38:28 "You brethren became members of the churches of God
38:32 which are in Judea in Christ Jesus. "
38:34 That's what it's saying.
38:36 In other words, they got into the Word of God.
38:40 They studied it. They listened to the preaching of Paul
38:43 and Silas and they checked it with the Word of God.
38:47 They found it to be truth.
38:49 And when they found it to be truth,
38:50 they became members of the churches of God.
38:54 That's what it's saying.
38:56 And that's what you and I as individuals are to do.
39:00 That's what God calls us to do.
39:03 Now this idea that the church is to be -
39:07 how should I say this? -
39:09 I run onto this idea where they want to take and...
39:13 they want to just take the
39:15 church over here and just be
39:16 one little church over here
39:18 by itself. Have no connection
39:20 with anybody. No, the scripture
39:23 doesn't teach that.
39:25 Not what the scripture says.
39:38 Now here all the churches - not one church...
39:42 all the churches got together
39:45 and they're sending this brother
39:47 with Paul and with Silas.
39:50 They're sending... Watch as it goes on:
40:02 Now they said well Paul and Silas need help.
40:05 Let's send this brother with them.
40:09 OK? They were taking a gift.
40:12 They're taking a gift... and by the way, back then
40:15 a gift, folks, were not something you can carry
40:18 in your pocket. They send produce and stuff with them.
40:23 So this is... takes a lot of help.
40:26 All right. And it says:
40:38 And they said: "We're sending this brother with us
40:40 to help us. He was chosen by the churches. "
40:43 So what I'm trying to say
40:47 is this is organization... this is churches cooperating.
40:52 Church has no right to go over here just by itself
40:55 and say "I'm not going to associate with anybody else...
40:57 not have anything to do with anybody else. "
40:59 No! We're to work together.
41:02 That's what God chose the churches to do
41:05 is to work together.
41:06 So God has a church.
41:25 So God has given us commission,
41:27 and the churches' responsibility is to take the gospel
41:31 to the world.
41:33 We're to share it, and dear friends...
41:35 we're to cooperate in that.
41:37 It's not something that one person should do
41:39 but the church has the responsibility
41:42 of taking the gospel to the whole world.
41:45 That's what God called it to do.
41:50 There's was church - a very, very wealthy church.
41:56 Really it didn't do anything... didn't do anything for anybody.
42:02 It spent all of its money on itself.
42:04 And it was a very, very beautiful church.
42:08 A gorgeous church and all.
42:11 But they really had more money than they knew what to do with.
42:15 And so one of the committees got together and they decided
42:20 that they ought to have a picture painted
42:25 that they could hang up in the hall of the church.
42:28 And they wanted a picture painted of a dying church.
42:32 And they said: "We can hang it up there in the hall
42:35 and that way when the members look at it
42:37 they'll know that our church should never get that way.
42:41 It'll be a reminder to them to never let our church
42:44 get like that church. "
42:45 And so they hired an artist.
42:49 They told him what they wanted
42:51 and commissioned him to paint the painting.
42:55 He painted the painting and called them up
42:58 and told them on a certain day they could see the painting.
43:02 And so they had a great big service.
43:05 Going to have the unveiling of this painting
43:08 this artist had done of a dying church.
43:10 They all got together, and the time the artist
43:15 unveiled this picture of a dying church.
43:19 Beautiful church. Gorgeous.
43:23 They looked at it, and I mean everything was in place.
43:29 There wasn't any signs of windows being broken
43:34 and the doors hanging sideways on the hinges...
43:36 which is what they expected. That wasn't anywhere,
43:40 and they couldn't see where the church was dying.
43:44 And as they got close and they looked very, very carefully
43:49 over in the corner was an offering box.
43:54 And on the offering box it said missions.
44:00 A spider had come... woven its web
44:04 over where they dropped their offering.
44:07 That's all it takes for a church to die.
44:10 When the church no longer has a vision
44:14 of taking the gospel to the world,
44:16 then, dear friends, that church is dying.
44:21 I will never forget when I was at the seminary
44:27 professor told us to go downtown Washington, D.C.
44:31 and to visit five churches.
44:34 And then to pick one of those churches that we visited
44:38 and write him a paper on that church.
44:41 He said: "I want you to tell me when the church started.
44:44 I want you to tell me where... the different buildings
44:47 its been in over the years.
44:49 I want you to tell me about its mission work.
44:52 What influence it's had. " He said: "I want you to write me
44:54 a paper on this church. "
44:56 Well I went to these 5 churches.
44:59 And I picked one church, folks. A beautiful church.
45:03 I mean this is a church when you walked in
45:06 the stained-glass windows and the inside of the church
45:10 just gave you a feeling of - you know - really being
45:14 in a church. And when I went to the service
45:18 I mean the organist... music was just fabulous.
45:23 This was a church that when you went to the church
45:27 you were met at the door by a deacon.
45:30 And that deacon ushered you down the aisle and seated you.
45:36 Handed you a bulletin. I mean, it was just...
45:40 everything was just top-notch.
45:42 The choir was absolutely fantastic,
45:46 and the minister preached great sermons.
45:49 And I wrote my paper on this,
45:52 but when I got through with the paper
45:55 I just didn't feel quite happy with it.
45:58 And I went back down and went to the church.
46:01 And after it was over I stepped to the side and stood there
46:05 in the foyer. And one of the deacons came up to me and said:
46:08 "Can I help you? " And I said: "Yes. "
46:10 And I told him I was a seminary student...
46:12 what I was doing and all.
46:14 And I said: "I've just got one question. "
46:15 I said: "I've written this paper about your church.
46:19 But, " I said, "I don't have much information about the
46:22 last ten years. "
46:24 I said: "Tell me, how many people have been brought to
46:27 Christ by this church in the last ten years? "
46:31 And I'll never forget... He hung his head and he said:
46:34 "Not one. "
46:36 "Not one. "
46:39 See you can have the prettiest church in the world
46:42 and a fantastic choir, but if it's lost its mission
46:46 it doesn't have a reason to exist.
46:48 Listen: "And He... " that's referring to Jesus Christ
47:02 So it tells us clearly in God's Word
47:04 that Jesus is the head of the church.
47:07 Now it says the church is the body...
47:18 So Christ is the head, the church is the body.
47:21 And it has many members.
47:29 All right.
48:01 So it says that the church is the body.
48:04 It says we are members of the body.
48:07 Bothers me the way I see members treating one another.
48:11 You see, if I... I get a toothache
48:15 and my tooth is hurting me.
48:19 And I get up at 2 o'clock in the morning
48:22 and I go into the bathroom and see if I can find something to
48:24 deaden the pain,
48:26 and when I get in the bathroom
48:28 my hands won't move.
48:31 They just won't move.
48:32 And I'm standing there trying to
48:34 do something for my tooth
48:36 and my hands say: "Good enough for you.
48:40 Shouldn't have eaten so much sugar.
48:43 Next time you'll know better than to eat all those sweets. "
48:46 Is that the way my hands treat my tooth?
48:49 No, my hand sympathizes with my tooth.
48:52 You know, we have a song we sing
48:55 You may notice that we say brother and sister around here?
48:59 It's because we are a family
49:02 and these folks are so dear.
49:04 If one has a heartache,
49:06 we all shed the tear.
49:09 And rejoice in each victory
49:12 in this family so dear.
49:14 This is what the church is to be.
49:16 To be a place where we fellowship together.
49:32 You and I are to be members.
49:34 Some are the hands, some are the feet.
49:36 Some are the eyes, some are the ears.
49:38 But we all have a responsibility in God's church.
49:42 All of us do.
49:44 Now we're down to the end.
49:49 The woman being the church.
49:55 That's the last part...
50:02 So it says the devil is going to be angry at the church
50:06 right down at the end of time.
50:10 "Which keep the commandments of God and have the
50:13 testimony of Jesus Christ. " In other words,
50:14 what it's saying, folks, is His church
50:18 follows the Word of God.
50:22 They walk in accordance with God's Word,
50:25 and because of that the devil is angry at them.
50:31 Very much so.
50:33 That it says will be the condition at the end of time.
50:37 And I'll assure you, the devil will do everything to keep you
50:40 from following God's Word.
50:43 Just outside of London, England,
50:46 there is this church.
50:49 This church was built by a young man named Robert Shirley.
50:55 Robert Shirley built this church
51:00 and all the people in the community came
51:03 and worshiped there.
51:06 But the king of England decided there should be only one church.
51:11 And he sent out orders
51:14 that all the other churches
51:16 other than the state church
51:18 were to be shut up.
51:19 Closed.
51:21 And they came to Robert Shirley's church here
51:24 and they dismissed all the members.
51:27 They boarded up the doors
51:30 and they forbade them to worship there.
51:33 Robert Shirley took that for a number of years.
51:39 But in his heart, he just... it bothered him.
51:45 It just seemed to be something that was constantly there
51:48 nagging at him. And finally he could take it no longer
51:52 and he went out and he opened the church up.
51:57 Repaired it. Cleaned it up,
52:01 and went out into the community and invited people to come
52:05 and to worship.
52:07 And they came and they started worshiping in the church.
52:12 The king heard about it.
52:14 Sent soldiers.
52:17 They came down and dismissed the people.
52:20 Boarded up the church and forbade the people to worship,
52:24 and they arrested Robert Shirley.
52:27 They took him and put him in the tower in London.
52:33 I've been there.
52:35 I've looked at the record of those that were in the tower
52:39 of London, and there Robert Shirley's name is.
52:42 A young man, and he was there all of his life
52:46 until he died.
52:49 That little church still stands.
52:51 And when you go there, on the front door is a plaque.
52:56 And the plaque simply says this:
52:59 In the year of 1651 AD
53:02 when everything throughout the land was either demolished
53:07 or profaned, I - Sir Robert Shirley -
53:13 do dedicate this church to God
53:16 whose singular praise it is to have done the best thing
53:21 in the worst times.
53:23 May God grant to you and I
53:26 that we could stand and say "I did the best thing
53:32 even in the worst times. "
53:35 Let us pray.
53:37 Heavenly Father,
53:39 we thank you for Your Word.
53:43 That by it we can know truth
53:46 and we can stand on Your Word
53:50 and know that it will guide and lead us and direct us
53:55 and be a light unto our path.
53:58 May each one of us walk with You, Lord.
54:02 May we follow in Your Word as You direct us and lead us.
54:06 May our lives be surrendered
54:10 as we walk in Your church.
54:13 We pray in Christ's name, Amen.
54:17 Remember our next presentation:
54:20 The Front Door of the Church.
54:23 Hope it will be a blessing to you.
54:25 Good night. God bless each one of you.
54:30 There's a popular movie that depicts the complete
54:34 annihilation of the world through earthquakes,
54:37 fires, tsunamis, and floods
54:39 in the year 2012 AD.
54:42 Jesus warns us against setting dates in Matthew 24:36.
54:47 "But of that day and hour, no one knows...
54:50 not even the angels of heaven
54:52 but My Father only. "
54:54 While this film may be entertaining,
54:56 it has done nothing but heighten the fear
54:59 of the people of this world.
55:01 For many years now, we have seen the signs of a world
55:04 in a state of collapse.
55:06 And even unbelievers are increasingly uncomfortable
55:10 with the way things are going.
55:12 Truly we stand on the very edge
55:15 of earth's history. And believe me,
55:17 the $250,000,000 spent on special effects for this film
55:22 don't even come close
55:24 to what is about to be unleashed upon mankind.
55:28 The Bible warns of wars,
55:30 famines, pestilence, and earthquakes
55:33 culminating in the most spectacular upheaval
55:36 this world has ever seen.
55:38 Just listen to this description
55:40 found in Revelation the sixth chapter.
55:43 "And behold, there was a great earthquake
55:45 and the sun became black as the sackcloth of hair
55:49 and the moon became like blood.
55:52 And the stars of the heaven fell to the earth
55:54 as a fig tree drops its late figs
55:57 when it is shaken by a mighty wind.
56:00 Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up
56:03 and every mountain and island were moved out of its place. "
56:07 Friends, this will not be a Hollywood movie.
56:12 These events will surely take place,
56:14 and we must warn the world as quickly as possible.
56:18 You see, there will be no secret rapture.
56:22 Every human being alive at the time will be affected
56:27 whether they are wicked or righteous.
56:29 But while the fear that has gripped the hearts of the wicked
56:32 will cause them to beg for rocks to fall on them,
56:35 those who are righteous will welcome these events
56:39 as signs of Christ's coming.
56:41 They will say: "Behold! This is our God.
56:44 We have waited for Him, and He will save us. "
56:48 Listen to these glorious words
56:50 from I Thessalonians 4:
56:52 "For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout
56:55 with the voice of the archangel
56:58 and with the trumpet of God,
57:00 and the dead in Christ will rise first.
57:03 Then we who are alive and remain
57:05 shall be caught up together with them in the clouds
57:08 to meet the Lord in the air.
57:10 And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
57:13 Wherefore, comfort one another with these words. "
57:16 Oh friends, our burden is to share this good news.
57:20 To bring comfort to those who are living in fear.
57:23 That's why we continue to preach the gospel of salvation
57:27 through Jesus Christ to anyone who will listen.
57:30 To see a soul come to Jesus and be saved is worth any cost
57:35 and all efforts. That's why this ministry exists.
57:39 Won't you help us?
57:40 Please consider what you can do
57:42 for those who still don't know about Jesus.
57:45 As the Holy Spirit impresses,
57:47 please send your tax-deductible gifts to:
58:01 Thank you for helping us spread the light of God's Word
58:03 through television and radio.
58:05 Your gifts help bring the blessed hope of salvation
58:07 to millions around the world.


Revised 2014-12-17