OceanSide church of Christ
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STATE OF THE CHURCH ADDRESS (2)
Victor M. Eskew
A. In Revelation 2-3, we read the phrase, “I know thy works…” seven (7) times.
The Lord was speaking to the
seven churches of
2. Following that phrase, He summarized the state of each of those churches.
a. Some of the things He noted were very negative in nature.
b. Some were very positive.
do not even begin to hint that I have the knowledge of our Lord about any
church, including the
C. Last week we began a two-part lesson entitled, “The State of the Church Address.”
1. Last week we examined some of the negatives.
2. This week we want to look at some positive qualities of this church.
I. AN ELDERSHIP WITH SOUNDNESS, VISION, AND FAITH
A. The elders are men who oversee and superintend the local congregation (I Pet. 5:1-2a).
The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof…
B. The job of leading a congregation is a very weighty responsibility. In many ways, these men either make or break a congregation.
C. Qualified men, good men, knowledgeable men, and men who understand the position of bishop are needed in this position.
1. They are sound in the faith.
a. Titus 2:9.
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
So many churches are deviating from the truth. Often, the elders are the ones leading
the charge. Not so at
2. They have vision.
a. To lead, the leader must be out in front going somewhere (John 10:2-4).
But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.
b. The elders have set before this congregation ten goals. They have been diligently working to meet as many of the objectives as possible to accomplish these goals.
1) Mission work.
2) Billboard for advertising.
3) Adult education.
3. They have faith.
a. Matthew 17:20.
…for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove from hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
b. Expanding one’s efforts takes faith. Money and manpower are always needed. Both can be in short supply.
1) The elders believe that God will provide as long as we strive to do His will.
2) They also have faith in us as the sheep. They believe that when challenged, we will respond positively to their call.
II. BIBLE PREACHING AND TEACHING
A. II Timothy 4:1-4.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
B. Both in the pulpit and classroom, we will focus upon the proclamation of truth.
1. Some of it will be pleasant and palatable.
2. Some of it will seem sour and negative.
3. We will set forth warnings against sin and false doctrine.
4. We will seek to teach the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27).
Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men. For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
C. Many do not long for this type of preaching and teaching. They desire a “feel good” religion. Any preacher who forsakes the truth, violates his charge, and will be held accountable unto God Almighty.
III. BRETHREN WHO WANT TO WORK
A. Christianity is about laboring in the vineyard and serving the Lord Jesus Christ and building up the kingdom. Thus, there are many passages that exhort us to work.
1. I Corinthians 15:58.
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
2. Titus 3:8.
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
B. There are some members who cannot labor as diligently as they might like. Personal struggles and health issues keep them from some parts of the work.
C. There are a few who just choose not to be involved in the work. They have talents. They have time. They just refuse to labor in the vineyard. They are like the one talent man of Matthew 25:24-30. They will give an account for their lack of activity when the Lord returns.
D. Most members of this congregation do not fall into the last category. Most are willing to work and labor and toil for the Master.
1. Young people, young couples, singles, the elderly.
2. Teaching, cleaning the building, door-knocking, visitation, assisting in accomplishing the various goals.
Paul experienced a church
full of workers in the first century.
He gave thanks for them, just as we do for all the workers at
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; remembering without ceasing you work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.
IV. LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER
A. I John 4:7.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
B. Some individuals have a mistaken idea of what love really is.
1. They see it as cordial feelings.
2. They see it as an environment filled with peace and tranquility.
3. They believe that it involves tolerance, compassion, and total acceptance.
4. In their minds, firmness, rebuke, and discipline are not part of love.
C. Biblical love runs much deeper and carries much weightier responsibilities than those previously listed.
1. Love seeks the best interest of another.
2. Love tries to meet the needs of others: physical, emotional, and spiritual.
a. Sometimes one may desire help. Sometimes, he may not.
b. Sometimes one may not know he is in need, especially spiritually.
3. Most members of this congregation care for one another.
a. If a physical or emotional need arises, most would assist.
b. The spiritual needs are more difficult, especially when it involves those who are unfaithful and living in sin. Still there are those who will reach out.
D. Again, we are reminded of the Thessalonian church (I Thess. 3:9-10).
But as touching
brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to
love one another. And indeed ye do
it toward all the brethren which are in all
If someone were to say: “Please describe the
1. She has a sound, visionary, faithful leadership.
2. She is sound in her preaching and teaching.
3. She has many members who are willing to work.
4. She has members who love one another.
B. That is a description of a congregation that all should desire.
1. We understand that there are many other things that influence members to be part of various congregations: personalities, pulpit style, whether one’s needs are met, etc.
But if those things are only