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A Y2K Plan For Gilead Baptist Church Sermon #1

Heb. 10:22-25

A Y2K PLAN FOR THE FATHER'S HOUSE

Intro: Now that many of the Y2K doom prophets have been proven wrong and the fears related to Y2K have begun to fade from our minds, it is a good time for us to begin to look to the future. For years, we were told that we needed a plan for dealing with Y2K related emergencies. Well, 2,000 has come, the millennium has rolled over and life still goes on! While I don't think there is much of a problem with Y2K, I do know that we need a plan for dealing with this year here at Gilead Baptist Church. Therefore, I am going to take the next few Sunday mornings and preach a series around the theme of A Y2K Plan For Gilead Baptist Church. The focus of these sermons will be those areas of church life and ministry that I feel we need to concentrate on as we go farther into the new year.

This morning, I believe that we need a plan for The Father's House. We need to rethink our priorities as they relate to the church. With that in mind, I would like for you to join me as we look into thee verses and talk about a Y2K Plan For The Father's House.

I. V. 22 THIS PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE FAITH

A. Faith Regarding Our Salvation - You need to be sure that you are saved! (Ill. The plan of salvation! Rom. 10:9-10; 13; Acts 16:31) Salvation is not about accepting a plan, it is about placing your faith in a man! Are you sure that you are saved!

B. Faith Regarding Our Situation - We are to draw near to God! (Ill. James 4:8) (Ill. many have been slipping farther and farther away from the Lord. This needs to be stopped and made right today!)

C. Faith Regarding Our Separation - (Ill. "True heart" - This speaks of sincerity in our walk with the Lord. Are you sincere about this thing? If so, it will be seen in 2 areas of your life.)

1. A Clean Heart - This is salvation plus a consistently clean life. It is having your sins confessed and dealt with before the Lord! It is being in a place where there is assurance and confidence within that all is well between you and the Father, 1 John 1:9; 1 John 3:20.

2. Clean Hands - This is a consistently clean walk! This is what is meant by walking in the light, 1 John 1:7. This is living a life that is centered in the Word of God, Psa. 119:105.

(Ill. When these things are in place, then our experience in the Father's House will be much improved! Because, it is only when these things are in place in your life and mine that we can approach God in the assurance that He will hear us and help us, Psa. 66:18; Pro. 15:8; 28:9. On the other hand, when there is sin in our lives and an unclean attitude about us, it closes up Heaven and hinders the work of the church!)

I. This Plan Should Include Faith

II. V. 23, 25a THIS PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE FAITHFULNESS

A. V. 23 Faithfulness Regarding Our Walk - This has already been touched on, but it is so vitally important that God's children live like they are God's children! When the Bible tells us to hold fast "the profession of our faith", it is telling that we need to live like what we say we are! How, by taking heed that we avoid certain actions and attitudes as we pass through this world.

1. The believer is not to listen to the voices of the world and materialism and turn away from the Lord - 2 Pet. 3:17; 1 John 2:15.

2. The believer is not to doubt the great truths of the Gospel!

3. The believer is not to listen to the voices of doubt and false doctrine, Eph. 4:14.

4. The believer is not to allow trials, circumstances or temptations shake his faith in Christ, 1 Cor. 15:58.

(Ill. How is this kind of resolve possible? How is it possible to walk in faith day by day? Because of the greatness of the One Who made the promises to us in the beginning! All the promises of the Christian life hinge on the power of the promise Maker. God made the promises and God will see to it that they are kept, Rom. 4:21!)

B. V. 25a Faithfulness Regarding Our Worship - In this verse we are told that there is a great need to be faithful to the gathering of the saints at the House of God. Let's face the fact this morning that church is viewed as optional by many. It should not be this way! There ought to be an excitement about going out to the House of God, Psa. 122:1. This is an area where Gilead Baptist could greatly improve in the coming year!

(Ill. At least be honest about not coming to church. Instead of making up excuses, just learn to tell the truth and say, "I wasn't here because I didn't want to be here!" Personally, I miss each one when they are out, but you are the one who misses when you are out. It is impossible to continue to grow in the Lord while you miss worship in His House!)

(Ill. When a pastor called on a wayward church member, he found him sitting by a fireplace. He asked about his absence from services, and the parishioner replied, "I think I can worship as well alone as at church." After reflecting a moment, the pastor took the fireplace tongs, lifted a live coal from the fire, and set it down at the side of the grate. As they watched, its color turned to gray and the heat slowly died. The church member got the point. After a pause, he said, "I'll be in church Sunday.")

I. This Plan Should Include Faith

II. This Plan Should Include Faithfulness

III. V. 24 THIS PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE FAMILY

(Ill. In this context, we are referring to the family of saints that make up the body of Christ!)

A. We Are To Consider Our Family - One of the greatest blessings in being a part of a local New Testament congregation is the sense of family that one finds among the saints of God. The word "consider" means, "It means to give attention to; to fix our attention upon; to give continuous care; to watch over." This is how we are supposed to care one for another. Unfortunately, many are neglecting this essential biblical mandate and the church is suffering as a result. According to the Bible, we are to love one another, John 13:34-35, care for one another, Gal. 6:2 and look after one another, Phil. 4:2. Sadly, many in our day only have eyes for those in their own homes. We need to consider the family of God!

B. We Are To Challenge Our Family - By the way we conduct our lives, we should be a living challenge to those around us. Our lives should provoke them to a deeper service and devotion to God!

1. To Deeper Love - Love is infectious! The more we love, the more others around us are challenged to love. Love should be the trademark of our relationship one with another. Not just any love, but godly, Christ-centered love that manifests itself in holiness and genuine godliness, 1 Cor. 13:1-8.

2. To Dedicated Labor - Let's face it, there are some people in the church who will never give, never be faithful and never do a single thing for the church, or for God as long as they live. However, there are some with a sincere desire to be a blessing in the church. As others work, they are challenged to do more for God. I really believe that just as love is infectious, so also is work! When we are busy for the Lord, others are encouraged to work also. May I remind you that God saved no one to sit back and do nothing! (Ill. Eph. 2:10; James 2:18)

(Ill. What a difference we would see in our church in this New Year if every saved person in this room decided, this morning, that they were tired of sitting on the fence, that they were tired of watching others do all the work, that they were tired of not being involved, and they made a serious commitment to the Lord that they were going to serve Him, no holds barred this year! God, let it be! It would revolutionize this church, it would revolutionize this community, it would revolutionize those around you and it would revolutionize your life! Let's join Jesus as He ministers in this world!)

I. This Plan Should Include Faith

II. This Plan Should Include Faithfulness

III. This Plan Should Include Family

IV. V. 25b THIS PLAN SHOULD INCLUDE THE FUTURE

A. We Are To Plan To Expand - We are encouraged to "exhort" one another. That is, we are to be in the business of encouraging one another so that we will be motivated to go out and do the work of the Lord. We need to be on the move for the Lord Jesus Christ. If the truth were told this morning, there are some of you who did not share the Gospel with a single person this past year. Allow me to "exhort" you! Get out there Brother and tell someone about Jesus!

(Ill. This verse tells us that we are to assemble ourselves together and that this is to be going on "so much the more." The idea is one of expansion! Let us never become like so many churches that are afraid to grow and afraid to reach out and afraid to change. We need to be in the market to expand this family and increase this work. If we do not, we will grow stale and lifeless! God help us to look to the future!)

B. We Are To Plan To Exit - This verse refers to the return of the Lord Jesus in the rapture. We need to be ready to go, because He is coming, 1 Thes. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-52. Until He does, there are two attitudes that need to occupy the church!

1. We Must Work For The Master - He may come today, but He might not come in your lifetime. Therefore, we do not have the time to sit down and quit, our duty is to get involved in the work of the Lord and make our lives count for God. (Ill. 1 Cor. 3:9-15. We can either build a mansion or a shack. Which will it be for you?)

2. We Must Watch For The Master - While Jesus may not come for a while, He could come at any instant. Therefore, we must work with like He will never return and at the same time live like He will return at any moment. He's coming, we just don't know when, Matt. 24:44; 1 John 3:3.

Conc: Don't misunderstand me, I think Gilead Baptist Church is a great church! Yet, I look around and I see areas where there is plenty of room for improvement. I tell you about it in the hope that you will listen to the Lord and will see that your life can be brought closer to that ideal life that the Lord wants you to live. As we as individuals get closer to the Lord, our church will naturally improve. God help us to implement this Y2K plan for the Father's House. I leave you with two questions: Is everything in your life exactly like God would have it to be this morning? Can you honestly say that you treat the church in a manner that pleases the Lord?




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