OceanSide church of Christ
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Victor M. Eskew
A. All transitions within congregations seem to be difficult.
B. The transition sets everyone’s nerves on edge.
1. Our hearts ache with deep concern for the congregation of which we are a part.
2. Our minds begin to wonder and ask questions.
3. These things are natural as we seek to reach a state of equilibrium again.
This is the place
1. Kathleen and I are moving to a new field of labor.
Hearts are saddened by
our departure and those same hearts are concerned for
3. Some may wonder: “Will OceanSide survive?”
D. The answer to that question is a resounding: “Yes!” As long as some key components stay in place, this congregation can be in existence until the Lord returns.
A. One of the figures used to describe the local church is a sheepfold (Acts 20:28; I Pet. 5:2).
B. Over this fold, the Lord has placed men called shepherds.
C. The shepherds have the responsibility of watching the sheep.
1. Acts 20:28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock…
2. I Peter 5:2
Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof…
3. Hebrews 13:17
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls…
E. There are many things these shepherds must be on the look out for:
1. Dangerous predators that seek to devour the sheep.
2. Sheep that tend to wander off from the flock.
3. Sheep that develop ailments and sicknesses.
If the pastors will
immediately and diligently respond, the church at
1. That puts these men in your business.
2. That puts these men in the decision-making mode.
3. This causes these men to have to take actions that many seem to hurt for a time.
II. WITH SOUND PREACHING OF THE WORD OF GOD
A. I Corinthians 1:21
For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
B. There are some requirements of this preaching that make it successful:
1. It must be the Word of God (II Tim. 4:2).
2. It must involve the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27).
3. It must be spoken out of love for the hearers (Eph. 4:15).
4. It must be done with no partiality, or, respect of persons (I Tim. 5:20-21).
5. It must be done boldly, that is courageously (Eph. 6:19-20).
6. It must involve both the negatives and the positives of the Word (II Tim. 2:4).
C. Sometimes we have a problem confusing the content of the message and the manner of delivery.
1. The manner of delivery involves the flesh of man.
a. I liked that sermon. I didn’t like the other sermon.
b. Our analysis is subjective, coming from our feelings.
2. The content of the message deals with the inner man.
a. It is the truth that has the power to save men’s souls (Rom. 1:16; Heb. 4:12).
b. A message filled with the Word of God from a less than eloquent speaker can still convert souls.
D. I sincerely believe that brother Rodgers will be a man who speaks sound doctrine (Tit. 2:1) and who speaks as the oracles of God (I Pet. 4:11).
1. Listen to the content of his messages. Take good notes.
2. Make application of those truths to your life.
III. WITH DILIGENT LABORERS FULFILLING THEIR DUTIES
A. The church is not a “one-man” show.
B. The church is a vineyard that is being worked by many laborers (Matt. 20:1).
For the kingdom of heaven is like a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard.
1. One man can’t do all the work in the vineyard.
2. Many laborers are required to get all the work done.
3. Thus, every member is exhorted to labor and toil in the kingdom.
a. 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.
b. Hebrews 4:11
Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
c. I Thessalonians 1:3
Remembering without ceasing, your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father.
C. This congregation has about 60% - 65% of her members who labor diligently.
1. These individuals need to keep doing the works that need to be done.
2. The remaining 40% need to find them a place in the work of the Lord and get busy doing their duties.
3. Why? You will be judged according to your works (Rev. 20:12).
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
IV. WITH LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER
A. According to I Corinthians 13:1-3, we can be doing everything right, but if we fail to have love for each other, our efforts profit us nothing.
…and though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
1. We often connect action to love (See I John 3:17-18).
2. It is interesting in I Corinthians 13 that Paul says we can have actions and still have no love.
3. Love also has to reside deep within the heart of man.
B. NOTE: Loving one another is more than tolerating one another.
C. According to John 13:34-35, the love that we have for each has two major characteristics:
1. It is a love that is like Jesus’ love for us.
2. It is a love that the world can see that proves we are Jesus’ disciples.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye should love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
V. WITH EVERY MEMBER GIVING AS THEY HAVE BEEN PROSPERED
A. Money is needed for the Lord’s work to survive in any given locale.
1. We need money to pay the preacher.
2. We need money to send missionaries to foreign lands.
3. We need money to do benevolence.
4. We need money to take care of the expediencies of the Lord’s work.
Question: What would happen to the Lord’s church
C. II Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
D. Let me challenge this congregation to make up her mind collectively to all in her power to meet the budget the elders have set.
B. Right now it is the departure that is hard. It is the loss that causes grief. It is the good-byes that bring sadness and tears.
C. It may be that we will never see some of your again, but the old song provides us all a wonderful hope: “If we never meet again this side of heaven, I will greet you on that shore, that beautiful shore.”
D. Friends, let live to make that hope reality!!!