The Church Without Walls
?The Church Without Walls?? 9-27-15 Mt. 4:23; 10:5-8
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23Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness among the people.?24The news about Him spread throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all who were ill, those suffering with various diseases and pains, demoniacs, epileptics, paralytics; and He healed them.? (Mt. 4:23,24)
5These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions:??Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans.?6Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.?7As you go, proclaim this message: ?The kingdom of heaven has come near.??8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,a?drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give. (Mt. 10:5-8)
Today we are trying an experiment that illustrates I think who the New Testament church was and who we are today. We are not here to be entertained- we are here to serve God.? Our worship and identity is not restricted to the walls of the sanctuary or simply the 2721 Dutch Fork Rd. Address.? We are a church without walls.? Our walls are there but they are permeable membranes- like cell walls- they let people in and they also let them out. I have seen some churches have a sign by their exits that say, ?You are now entering the mission field.?? That is really true.? But what might be more accurate would be is we had a sign that said ?You are not leaving church- but taking it with you.?
Jesus did not restrict his work to the Temple or the synagogue.? Instead he is preaching the sermon on the mount, teaching from a boat, going into a large house- and people are breaking down the roof in order to get in.? He did teach in the Temple- but he did not limit his teaching to that location.? He ate and drank with sinners- enjoyed their company- almost to the disdain of the purists of his day. Jesus actually tried to teach his disciples to do the same. Go to the lost people of the church.? Preach a message that ?the kingdom of heaven is near.?? In other words- it is time to get serious about your faith. Then they were to bring his power and gifts to them.
We have got to get the salt out of the salt shaker.? We are not just the church gathered, and then individual members of the church dispersed.? We are still the church as a group as we go out into the world and make a difference for Him. If all the light in the world is gathered into one room, it is not making a difference.? We need to get our light out- let our light shine for Christ.? Let the good deeds inside of us- out. Don?t go to church- be the church.
In our day- in our culture- the world would tell you to keep church within your walls.? Keep your prayers out of school, keep God out of the workplace.? I believe Christians should be the best students the most faithful workers for we do not study or work just for ourselves- but for the glory of God.? Let your faith effect all you do- and your attitude as you answer the menial tasks in life- serve God- outside these walls.
Years ago in Columbia, when they were trying to build Riverbanks zoo they had a tiger in a cage? at Constance Car Wash- “Happy the Tiger.”? Problem was happy became less like a tiger as time went on.? There is a huge difference between a tiger in a cage and a tiger in the wild.? There are a lot of people who would like to put God behind walls.? Then He can’t scare anyone, nor could God make a difference. Let God out of these walls!
Jesus didn’t say “Stay here and make disciples, maybe they will come in.” He said “Go!”? “Go into all the world and make disciples.” So today, I invite you- and we are giving you the opportunity to go and serve and be a witness.? These elders and deacons you will elect are to help lead you into the world in service and witness.”