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<< Discover the Book, with Dr. John Barnett

Discover the Book - Aug. 10, 2008

  • 2008 Aug 10
  • COMMENTS
 

What Do We Lose

When We FAKE IT by JUST Playing Church?

For a moment think of Jesus with me--Jesus founded His Church, purchased His Church, and now ever lives for His Church. Jesus is all about the Church. And what is Christ's complete focus at present? He is building His Church.

So Christ's priority, Christ's focus, Christ's activities are all centered upon the Church. That is where the action is. That is what is important to Him.

Now for a moment think of us who are here--Jesus loved us, bought us, saved and cleansed us—and now He wants us to focus our attention on what He thinks is worthy of all His attention—His Church.

How are you doing at building your life, your priorities, your schedule, your time, your investments around what Jesus says is MOST IMPORTANT—His Church?

The reason I am asking you that is that our Lord Jesus Christ says we lose something when we are not engaged in what He thinks is most important.

To help us keep His focus, Jesus left His Church an ordinance (definition: an authoritative command or order).

We gathered to celebrate the Lord's Table, the Lord"s Supper or—what is that other word we most often use for this celebration? The word we use is Communion, right?

Turn with me to the only place in the Bible where what we are doing this morning is called communion, and that is 1st Corinthians 10:16. Look with me at the two times the word communion is used and just exactly what that word means.

The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion (Gk. koinonia) of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion (Gk. koinonia) of the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16 NKJV)

 

Is not the cup of thanksgiving for which we give thanks a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16 NIV)

 

Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? (1 Corinthians 10:16 NASB)

 

This morning we affirm that we are in partnership with Christ and with each other. This is based upon this word koinonia or communion, which Paul uses to describe the Lord’s Supper.

 

Every time we come together we are gathered as partners; and every time we celebrate communion we are reminding ourselves of the sacred duties and responsibilities of our shared partnership with all other born again believers.

 

Greek word Strong’s # 2842 koinonia translated in the KJV as- fellowship 12, communion 4, communication 1, distribution 1, contribution 1, to communicate 1; 20 times used in the New Testament. This word in the Greek dictionary means: fellowship, association, community, communion, joint participation, the share which one has in anything, participation; intimacy.

 

The instant you and I were saved we were joined to Christ's church. Not just the visible local assembly where you attend—but His Church, His Body, His 'general assembly of justified ones… enrolled in Heaven’ as Jesus calls us in Hebrews.

 

Gathering as local assemblies is part of our obedience; but His Church we didn’t join—He placed us there at the instant of salvation. And all through our lives as believers, our eternal rewards are closely tied to how we invest our time in relation to Christ's Church.

 

I have a question for each of us who are saved to answer in our hearts and minds. What do we lose when we FAKE IT by JUST Playing Church?

 

Jesus Christ warns us that we will lose our rewards at His Judgment Seat if our time we were given on earth to invest in His Church is wasted.

 

The whole message of Paul to the Corinthians was invest in Christ's Church (1st Corinthians 3:5-18). His message is about building our life upon the foundation of Christ by serving His Church. When we fail to do that our time is wasted, whatever else we do with our life just burns up, and turns to soot and ashes!

 

God has a big plan for you and me in His Church; He wants us to make something out of the time He gives us by investing it in His Church.

 

Time like electricity flows around us and remains unseen and useless--unless it is captured and harnessed into usefulness. A lifetime for each of us contains a lot of time.

 

Jesus left a long list of things to do with our time, while He was away building a home for us. That list is the New Testament. In the New Testament we find three broad categories of our responsibilities.

 

Evangelism: is the part of the list that involves going and making disciples all over the world for His Church.

Consecration: is another part of that list, and is all about each of us individually staying in His Word, staying close to Him, and staying away from sin.

Fellowship: is the rest of that list, and is all about our responsibilities to the other members of Christ's family. And that happens to be the vast majority of all that the New Testament instructs and commands us to do.

Each day a river of time flows all around us. When life is measured in minutes it can be seen as a constant flow of time traveling by us minute by minute.

 

Here is the summary of time we each get in our lives:

 

One year is a ½ million minutes.

Your teen aged years last for just under four million minutes.

A child from birth to heading off to college at eighteen was with you for 9 ½ million minutes.

An entire average lifetime lasts for forty million minutes.

So before most of us head to Heaven 40 MILLION MINUTES will have flown by us in a steady stream, day in and day out.

 

I hope you are investing your life minute-by-minute in what Jesus Christ is most interested in. It is those tiny fractional investments in Christ's Church that will pile up for eternity.

 

One of the most clearly commanded investments we can make of our time is in Christ's Church. And time invested, minutes and hours given to Christ for His Church He said will never lose their reward.

 

Rewards are what is produced by my life that will last forever. Rewards flow from all three general lists He has left for us in His Word. All of those lists revolve around Christ's Church.

 

As part of His Church He wants and expects prayers from a clean heart, worship from a consecrated life, time lived under the direction of the Holy Spirit, acts of devotion prompted by His love, souls won to Christ, saints edified for Christ, suffering endured for Him, sacrifices made for Him.

 

But if we don’t share His priorities for His Church, what happens? What do we lose when we FAKE IT by JUST Playing Church? We lose our rewards; our time we were given on earth just burns up, and turns to soot and ashes!

 

May I remind you of the incredible challenge each of us face? According to what Jesus said in the verses before us, all that will last of your and my life on Earth will be the time we give Him while we are alive on this planet. Everything else of ours--will either burn, rust, or rot. Have you paused lately and looked around all that fills up the minutes of our lives?

 

Everything we spend our minutes on will turn to rust and ashes except for what was transformed by Christ into rewards--all else attached to our lives Jesus Christ has promised He will burn away at the BEMA SEAT JUDGMENT.

 

How do we best fulfill our calling as Christ's church? By our communion, our fellowship, our partnership with Christ and each other!

 

We are connected in life by marriages, by family ties, by shared schools, shared work, shared communities where we live, by cell phones, email, postal mail, radio, TV, and shared experiences.

 

But what makes us this morning really closer than any other association? It is what we celebrate. Christ's death made us one with Him and each other. The only need is for us to live out the reality of what we have.

 

Please look again at 1st Corinthians 10:16-17.

 

Christ died to make us—ONE. We are to be united and share the fellowship that He bought and paid for.

 

This sermon will be continued tomorrow August 11th.

 

 

For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit  discoverthebook.org.

 

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