What’s supposed to happen at church?

What’s supposed to happen at church?

Passage: Acts 1
Service Type:

Little Johnny was in church with his mom for Sunday Mass when he felt like he was going to vomit. "Mom, I think I'm going to throw up!" 

She told him, "I want you to run outside as fast as you can. Run across the lawn and go behind the bushes. You can throw up behind the bushes and nobody will see you." So Little Johnny ran for the door. Less than a minute later, he returned to his seat next to his mom. He had the look of obvious relief on his face. 

"Did you make it all the way to the bushes, Johnny?"

"I didn't have to go that far, mom. Just as I got to the front door, I found a box that had a sign on it: FOR THE SICK."

What exactly is church supposed to be?

Seeker friendly? Entertaining? Challenging? Community oriented? Food? 

Everybody has a flavor, but what does the Bible say? The book of ACTS!

1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. 

Example: Doubting Thomas

“…he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

John 20:25b-27

1. Everyone gets enough proof to believe.

For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 1:20

Jesus gives what’s needed, nothing more, nothing less.

4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, 

“Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 

Timing: We all want to know… “How long, Lord?”

Example: When will things be back to normal?

2. Times and dates are not essential for belief and obedience.

Why does God delay?

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. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:8-9

3. God’s delay shows his love and grace.

“Can a mortal ask questions which God finds unanswerable? Quite easily, I should think. All nonsense questions are unanswerable. How many hours are in a mile? Is yellow square or round? Probably half the questions we ask - half our great theological and metaphysical problems - are like that.”

― C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed

BUT you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” 9 After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

Key Verse for the book. The Holy Spirit spreads the gospel through people from one town to the ends of the earth.

WAIT for the gift of God… “Our strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.”

4. Divine strength is worth waiting for.

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

1 Corinthians 1:25

To the ends of the earth…

Strength is for being a witness to the world.

Jesus left… and now they are the early church.

Example: My meeting with Bob Duffer.

What exactly is church supposed to be?

1. Evangelism. “and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8b

2. Discipleship.  Teaching either collectively or individually.

3. Fellowship. One believer bearing the burdens of another… community.

4. Ministry. “Meeting needs in Jesus’ name”

“The Bible says Jesus looked at them, had compassion on them,” and then healed or fed or taught them,

“If we take time to look at people, we can help them,” he said, adding, 

5. Worship. Worship “is not the last priority. Includes prayer.

10 They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them. 11 “Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

The wait began… for Jesus to return.

Some Christians want him to come back and others not so much.

12 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. 13 When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

worship - 

5. Work for God must come from intimacy with God. 

- Dan Bauman

15 In those days Peter stood up… 

concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus. 17 He was one of our number and shared in our ministry.”

Peter teaches… DISCIPLESHIP

21 Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us…

For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”

fellowship - making sure there were elders in the early church

evangelism - to the ends of the earth

What exactly is church supposed to be?

1. Everyone gets enough proof to believe.

2. Times and dates are not essential for belief and obedience.

3. God’s delay shows his love and grace.

4. Divine strength is worth waiting for.

5. Work for God must come from intimacy with God. 

Before the early church began ministry, 

they laid a foundation of intimacy with God.

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