Discipleship - Lessons from Titus
Good morning, if you're new here among us, my name is Gene, your resident clown or a pastor, whatever you want to call me, that's fine. So today, I'm going to start with a story that I heard about a hog and a hand. So there was a hog and a hand and they're sharing a barnyard, they hear about a church's program to feed the hungry. So they start discussing how they can help. Now at this point, if you think that this story is real, you still have time to go to the Children's Ministry for an age-appropriate lesson, right? So I, so they're talking about it. Now the hen comes up with an idea. I got it. We'll make bacon and eggs for this church. That's the hens idea. Well, hogs is one problem for you. This just means a contribution.
But you're asking me to fry for the faith!
So this is often the case with true discipleship, total commitment, and that's what we're going to talk about today. You might have to fry for the faith. Yeah. Pick up your cross. Right. Deny yourself. Follow me. That's how he's starting today. Yep. All right. So really, yeah. Really? Okay. First, I tried to break the ice. It just maybe it works. Maybe it doesn't. Last week, we looked at First and Second Timothy, right, two books of the Bible. We looked at regional letters. Well, following Paul through the book of Acts, and we're looking at the places he writes letters back to so we look at this Asia Minor area that you saw Ephesians Colossians. We looked at Philemon, First and Second Timothy went in there because Timothy is like pastoring, or overseeing the churches in Ephesus. Well, today, we're going to go to category we're going to go to Titus. It's not a regional letter. He's not there. He's in Crete. We'll find that out in a second. But it's similar. It's called a pastoral epistle. Right. So this was actually a name. It's only about a couple 100 years old. Because pasture is a fairly new term. I'm more like an elder or an overseer here, biblically speaking, but we use pasture because people use pasture. But anyway, they're overseers. And so there's discipleship here, we see that Paul is writing to his disciple, or wrote his disciple, Timothy now, Titus, so you're going to see this discipleship process, I want you to look for that here. Now. Again, this is kind of like looking at an email from one person to another. This is not to the church as a whole, but you're going to see here within it applies to us today. So we're going to look for some of those things. So let's hop right into Titus, Titus, one, one. This letters from Paul, a slave of God and apostle of Jesus Christ, I have been sent to proclaim the faith to those God has chosen and to teach them to know the truth that shows them how to live godly lives. This truth gives them confidence that they have eternal life, which God who does not lie, promise them before the world began. And now at just the right time, he has revealed this message, which we announced to everyone. It is by the command of God, our Savior, that I've been entrusted with this work for him. I'm writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share, make God the Father and Christ Jesus, our Savior, give you grace, and peace. So we've seen this kind of introduction before grace and peace you always kind of starts with the right attitude and the right posture. Notice that it's not like the apostle Paul is writing to know right, a slave. So it's the right posture. And I'll kind of talk about that if you haven't heard that before. In this church, we'll get there again, on that topic. But this is just means here, fully committed to godly living, right so this this is what it means to be a slave of Christ. Titus is work in Crete, Titus, one five, I left you on the island of Crete so you can complete our work there and appoints elders in each town as I instructed you. An elder must live a blameless life, he must be faithful to his wife, one woman, man and the Greek and its children must be believers who don't have a reputation for wild or rebellious living or reputation for being wild, rebellious. A church leader is a manager of God's household so he must live a blameless life. He must not be arrogant or quick tempered. He must not be a heavy drinker too much wine in the Greek violent or dishonest with money. Rather, he must enjoy having guests in his home hospital. I think it applies to the church as well. And he must love what is good. He must live wisely and be just he must live a devout and disciplined life. He must have a strong belief and the trustworthy message he was taught, then you will be able to encourage others with wholesome teaching and show those who oppose it where they are wrong. So if this sounds like you've heard this before, like last week, First Timothy three, it's almost exactly the same. He's giving him the same type of in Instructions. Notice that it is strict, devout discipline like these are very hard requirements to fulfill as they should be. And we'll talk about it a little bit later, like I think we can for being honest, the modern church has kind of dropped the bar here, they've lowered the bar a little bit, especially when it comes to being like dishonest with money. That's in there. I think people should pay attention. They're counting on you never reading it. Right. So that's what's going on. So here's a question for you. We'll start out with a question. Have you ever watched the news? Don't do that. Right. So have you ever watch the news? And then like, you see someone talking, right? They're doing that a lot now. Right? So they're like, What do you think about, you know, the President's ideas? Or blah, blah, blah? And then have you ever listened to people talk? And then have this thought be honest, have you had this thought? That person probably shouldn't be voting?
Have you thought that I have, I don't know.
what to write, like, Why?
Why are they like, this should be a test,
or something like, it's terrible. Right? So that's one thing group thought politics, but I want you to notice something in a text a point leaders, a point leaders, so we'll talk about this a little bit, but and what happens. So like in politics, you may be thinking like, this person doesn't know economic policy, foreign policy, it doesn't know anything about the Constitution. Right? So what are they talking about? Nothing, whatever they've been told. And if you're honest, maybe you had that thought, if you're not well, okay. The Children's areas right down there. You know, you're thinking, right, so this happens in church all the time, right? You have people never read the Bible and be like, That guy seems like a great pastor, you know, it's like, but you, you don't even know what makes a great pastor. So this is the word of God, making sure that that mass doesn't happen in the church. And that's just what it is, right? So you have to put worldly ideas aside. And there's God. So God wants us to be a theocracy. And that just means he's in charge, Christ centered church, not people. So it doesn't make much sense when you get God's anointed and appointed, and then you have a bunch of people. We don't know anything about the Bible voting. God's anointed out. Doesn't make sense, does it? Right, so it doesn't work out too well. And we're going to see what happens when churches do that type of thing. Right. So appointed, so basically, discipleship. So you're seeing that process, Paul, to Titus. Titus, you go now, like I did with you. Pray, pray, right. Find the right guy, God will send trust God will send them to you. Train them up, send him out, you do the same. And that's how the process continues, is a godly process. Not saying anything bad about democracy, please don't get stuck there. Okay, let's move on. Titus 110. For there are many rebellious people who engage in useless talk and deceive others. This is especially true of those who insist on circumcision for salvation. They must be silenced because they are turning whole families away from the truth by their false teaching. And they do it only for money. Every one of their own men a prophet will create said about them. And the people of Crete are all liars, cruel animals, and lazy gluttons. If you're from Crete today, just what it says, I don't know. This is true. So reprimand him sternly. To make them strong in the faith, they must stop listening to Jewish myths and the commands of people have turned away from the truth. So this is actually a quote from FM and he's a poet a, you know, an author of the day. And so here's where some have asked, like, if Paul knew this was going to be in the Bible. Would he have said that? Well, we looked at the other letters, right. So like, even Philippians, which is like one of the nicest ones, he gets a chapter three, right? The false teachers, their dogs, right, their god is their belly. Galatians. Regarding the circumcision, people try to force that when they're doing it. I hope the knife slips is essentially what he's getting out there. So I think the answer is yeah, yeah, Paul would have said this was showing in the Bible. Right now. It may be hyperbole. He's making a strong point. We see Jesus does this. Paul does this all the time. What is that point? False teachers calling out? We saw that a lot. And Timothy, even by name, he's calling them out. Again, something modern church seems to have a problem doing why? Because if we're all doing wrong, let's just agree not to call each other out. That's what's happening, right? Paul doesn't care about that. So he's like, nope, so false teachers. First Timothy 115. Everything is pure to those whose hearts are pure, but nothing is pure to those who are corrupt and unbelieving, because their minds and consciences are corrupted. Such people claim they know God, but they deny him by the way they live. They are detestable and disobedient, worthless for doing anything good. So this is true. There's a lot of people out there who claim they know God right. They claim to be Christians, but they deny him by the way they live. What you do Who says more about what you believe than anything you said. So you'll see this theme here. That is to one. As for you, Titus, promote the kind of living that reflects wholesome teaching, teach the older man's exercise self control, to be worthy of respect and to live wisely, they must have sound faith and be filled with love and patience. Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God, they must not slander others, or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good, these older women must train the younger women to love their husbands and their children, to live wisely and be pure, to work in their homes to do good, and to be submissive to their husbands, then they will not bring shame literally says, blaspheme the Word of God. In the same way, encourage the young men to live wisely. And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. But everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching, teach the truth, so that your teaching can't be criticized. And those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us. So here's you see, you see this emphasis on the teaching being like really, really important. We talked about that last week how teachers need to be fully devoted, committed to the Word of God, good leaders, lead by example, examples. Very, very important. Now, we talked about the structure. Remember how Paul painted a picture and the church as a family working together as a family, you kind of start to see that here, right? So these different categories of people, also, now you're starting to see this discipleship process, what's going on now? Now it's going a little bit beyond Titus. That's really interesting, right? In particular, in the women's case. So now you have it going from Paul to Titus, right to these people in the church, the elders he appointed there, then to the women, other women are training and teaching the younger women, so it carries on, this is how it is supposed to be. So we lead at different levels. And that's just fine. We'll talk about that a little later. But this is so serious, and it's an interesting word, which is why I put the word blaspheme in there, because that's what it says. So if you know blasphemy of the Holy Spirit, very serious thing. Well, it's very serious. You can blaspheme the Word of God by what? Not just that, but your actions is what the Word of God says. Titus, two, nine, slaves must always obey their masters and do their best to please them. There was not talk back or steal my show themselves to be entirely trustworthy and good, then they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive in every way, For the grace of God has been revealed bringing salvation to all people, and we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures, we should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope, that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us and to make us his very own people totally committed to doing good deeds. You must teach these things and encourage the believers to do them, you have the authority to correct them when necessary. So don't let anyone disregard what you say. So, again, we've addressed this in the past, but just in case you're new slavery here is more like commerce and economy than it is about racism, you could have a slave, that would be maybe the same color, ethnicity, whatever it is, as you that's not what it's about. It's about total commitment here. But in this particular context, you can just think of it as slaves, like as employees, employers, like just think of it in that way, because very much you could have slaves that Rose and I showed you how Jesus gave a parable about that rose to great prominence actually, and have a lot of money make more money than someone who wasn't a slave, depending on your masters wealth, again, totally committed, what else? Are they totally committed to doing good deeds? So you're seeing this theme a lot in here, this is interesting. Jesus gave his life to what free us from sin. While what we look forward with hope to that wonderful day, when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ will be revealed. You may have heard someone say, The Bible never says Jesus is God or something stupid like that. Wrong, and so it does. So here's one of those verses where the Bible clearly says Jesus has got authority. Do the word authority. Yes. Yes. The elders in the church Titus has authority. But how do we exercise that authority? Parent with the pastoral requirements, right with what? Gentleness, right?
We're, we're patient and kind to everyone. I'm working on it. I'm working on it. So it sounds like the fruit of the Spirit love joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self control. Right. So these are all things the pastors need to have? Titus three, one, remind the believers to submit themselves to government, the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone application, get off Facebook. That's the important thing. Right? So we see redundancy here, right? So what was it in Timothy pray for kings so that we can live peaceful lives what make the faith to try Active why? Because we're catch more flies with honey right? So make the bait attractive. Hopefully all these kings and rulers they become Christians and we don't have to worry about being persecuted. That's the idea here. Right? So really redundant in the Bible. Lot of people are very, very, very surprised about this. Again, they watch the news more than they read their Bible. And so this shocks them, because in Romans 13, it's clearly there. Same type of thing. First Peter to same exact type of thing. Honor the Emperor who's, by the way, burning us a lot of the fiery trials. honor him anyway. So that surprises a lot of people. But if you read your Bible, you'll have less surprises in general. Again, gentle and humble. Don't slander anybody doesn't get you anywhere. Remember, the quarreling and divisions that were sinful? Don't engage in that Christians don't We don't do that. Right. So inside and outside the church again, attraction, attraction, attraction. Titus three, once we too, are foolish and disobedient. So what's he taught when we foolish and disobedient, we're engaging in these arguments. We're doing the stupid stuff. We were misled, became slaves, to many lesson pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy and we hated each other. But when God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done. But because of His mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and a new life for the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out this spirit upon us through Jesus Christ, our Savior, because of his grace, He made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit into your life. This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings so that all who trust in God will devote themselves to doing good, these teachings are good and beneficial for everyone. So what you have here is like one of those I've taught, I call them like gospel poems, you have one of these like creedal sayings, early on, this is a trustworthy saying, your, your Bible may like, format it so that you can recognize them. That's what this is. And so what's the important thing we received by what mercy in this case, but if he didn't sue, we're saved by grace, not by doing good works. But if you keep reading beyond Ephesians, two, you'll see it says verse 10, it'll say, but we are created a new in Christ Jesus for what? Good Works. And so you see the same thing here, right, so we're not saved by the good works. But if we're saying we're saved, then we should see the good works, it should be evidence of our salvation, devoted to doing good, totally committed, not slaves to sin, slaves to Jesus. Titus three, nine, do not get involved with foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees, or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. If people are causing divisions among you give them first and second warning after that have nothing more to do with them, for people like that have turned away from the truth and their own sins condemned them. So remember, don't waste your time with time wasters that we see the redundancy of just arguing and fighting in this case. Now there's the Jewish laws, they're fighting about any of this stuff, right? So we've looked at that in the past two divisions are sinful. Again, it comes up. Now, you see, after our first and second warning, if you know the Bible, this is going to echo Matthew 18. Right. There's that process in church. It's supposed to be the reconciliation process. But like, I think people use it as like, how do we kick this person out of church process? Right? So they skip the one where you go one on one, and you've gained a brother? Awesome, they skip that. There's gossip there, then bring in a couple of witnesses for like, accountability, skip that, you know, like, and if he still does it, we'll tell it to the church. Yeah, that's a good one. And then throw that a church like a sinner, a tax collector, right. So we don't want to rush the process. It's supposed to be for reconciliation. So Paul's not rushing here. First and second warning, right? We want to talk about it. Okay. But if they keep arguing and making stuff too important, get out but what's the point handed over to Satan? Remember, he was talking about Alexander and Hymenaeus. He's talking about handing these people are saying, well, hopefully First Corinthians five, he clarifies if I do that, paraphrasing, they'll hit a bottom out there and hopefully come back. I like to think that that guy was wrecked reconcile. Really important. We're looking for reconciliation for forgiveness all the way around. First and second warning, Titus 312. I'm planning to send either Artemis or tickets to you. As soon as one as one of them arrives. Do your best to meet me at the Koblenz, Fred decided to stay there for the winters is where we know where he's writing it from. Do everything you can to help Zenus the lawyer and Apollos with their trip. See that they're given everything they need are people must learn to do good by meeting the urgent needs of others, then they will not be unproductive. Everyone here sends greetings please give my greetings all the believers all who love us. May God's grace be with all of you. So you see if you've been with us for a while you see those familiar people take a guess the mailman deliver some of the letters there. You see Apollo's the eloquent speaker acts 18. You see that's the issue first Corinthians one through four. Again, doing good is emphasized grace, grace and peace, the tone and counting. Titus is like a shorter First Timothy CliffsNotes version if you We'll so we see a lot of similar things, you see the personal correspondence in there you see the personal instruction, instructions about how a church should be run, and how the people right should be behaving themselves. It's all kind of baked in there. But in this letter to Titus, it's kind of interesting, I brought it up. But if you're paying attention, Paul kind of takes it a step beyond that, in how people should be training each other. So we get a window not into an organization, but into a family into an organism, right, something that just kind of operates very naturally. So again, in this case, it was just the older woman happened to be them, but applies to everyone, right? Training the younger one. Now, if you don't know anything about the word, discipleship, you might not it's kind of a churchy thing, you know, you might think it's kind of outside of church. It's weird, like maybe saw in some kind of medieval video game like that. Right? This? What's this? I mean, it's a biker gang, the disciples, right? So something like that, right? So you might not be familiar in church, this is how it works. It's very, very simple. If you're in recovery, you've maybe you've heard of AAA, it's like sponsorship, it's very, very similar type of thing going on there. Where it doesn't require that like a leader or a title or no titles, nothing like that. It doesn't take that to sponsor someone. Right? So you just have to be a little bit further ahead. That's really yeah, there's really like, not necessarily time, I don't know. But in church, no, not necessarily just a little bit further, and you don't have read the whole Bible. You don't need to know everything, right. So maybe you've heard this or in Pastor school, they teach you, like, you know, everybody needs a Paul, a Barnabas and a Timothy or a Titus, right? So if you know anything about this, Paul, you need a mentor, you need someone who's ahead of you. Right? Then you need someone to do life with that will be bonded to this man, he's traveling around before they're split up, he's traveling around with Barnabas, like so someone who's kind of on your level, right? Then you need someone who's just a couple steps behind you, maybe that you're bringing along. And that is what like a complete Christian life looks like as far as like interactions with other human beings, right? So we're doing our part on all those levels, right? So we have that accountability and learning. We have again, accountability with someone on your level, iron sharpens iron, perhaps. And then also you're doing the process of passing it along. Very, very important. It's again, a part of that natural organic family structure. It's how it works, right? So that's what happens. You have Grandpa, you have Dad, you have the children type of thing, or in this case, the older women, you know, the women your age, and then the younger woman. So a question arises, this is asked, you know, of pastors, but it should be asked if people if we're seeing what we're reading in God's Word and God's word, we're trying to do that.
Where's your Titus? Where's your Timothy? If,
if you've been in here long enough, you know, I would say just a few months.
Where is it?
So let me give you some context. I'm going to give you some more verses, if you've been in church for a while, I'm going to show you how they apply a little bit better than they're normally yours. So Matthew 28 context, Jesus has risen from the dead, and he needs his 11, specifically disciples, and He tells they tell him to go to a certain place, and he's going to meet him the resurrected Jesus, right? So 11 disciples, Judas is dead. This is the who, what, when, where, why, right, who Jesus is specifically talking to. And then Matthew 2018, Jesus came and told his disciples in this setting, I have been given all authority in heaven on earth, therefore, go and make disciples, of all the nations, ethnic ethnicities, baptizing the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I've given you. And be sure of this, I'm with you always, even to the end of the age. Now, if you read this in context, you see, these aren't necessarily calling everyone dimensions. Who was he talking to the 11 disciples, right? Or even places? If you look at the word Ethany. It's about people that were just gets translated, depending on how the translator wants to translate it. But the command of discipleship is very clear here. And indeed, these are instructions to the apostles. And if we have been around for a while, you've heard me say this, but first Corinthians 12. In particular, not all are apostles. That's the closest the Word Missionaries is not in the Bible. The closest thing we have is apostle or “apopstelo”. I send someone who is sent literally from the church to make more disciples places, you know, we haven't been again and again, so it's clarified. We're not all missionaries. Paul is an apostle though. And what we see today is right if we keep reading past Matthew 28, we see a call for everybody to make disciples. That's what we see. So the New Testament clarifies itself here. So interesting. So this speaks to all of us, everyone. Last week, we talked about Florida I think God's waiting room. Right. And the other side of that, though, finishing strong, we talked about what it was to finish strong indeed, there is no retirement from Christianity, yet there are many people calling them selves, Christians behaving like they are. It's kind of interesting. So I'm going to give you a little window into some church history, because we've done it the wrong way. If I'm being honest with you, we've done it the wrong way, in a traditional sense. We've done it the wrong way, in a modern sense. So everything here is very intentional. Except when music didn't work last week, that was not intentional. But we didn't. But we didn't lose our minds over it, right? So we're like, Oh, hey, that's God saying something. Let's just go eat. That's more important. Right? So it's very intentional, like everything's really thought about we ask a lot of why questions in this church, and things are absent or they're not there. Trust me. We've tried it. We've done it like, we've tried to be the megachurch. We've tried to do all this stuff like and we just doesn't work. So just want to talk about the history on this discipleship thing. I want to paint a picture of you, or of our experience as a church going back and what we tried to do so many years ago, we were not C three in the sense where we were Christ centered church. We were C three where we were community Congregational Church, otherwise known as community congregational Country Club. And so that's what we were trying to be. We had a gigantic building 45,000 square feet. And we did with a lot of other churches tried to do this kind of before. My wife and I got there in the 80s. And you build these big buildings, right? You build these gigantic buildings, and really, it's like the pastor showing off. Because what you do, you know, they had a giant kitchen in this building. And now that I cook for hobby, I'm like, Oh, wait, can we go back to that building? It's really awesome. Because it was really a it's like a huge professional kick. My dream come true in their minds, the pizza oven, but they can work on it. Right? So anyway, don't get me on the pizza tangent. So big basketball court, like I think bigger than this whole room like the basketball court was gigantic. It had the basketball things like in school, they come down and had that divider. No, it had the divider wall. Like everything was crazy, the full size get big facility, and here's what we're going to do. We're going to build all this stuff and not let the community in.
Hey, number this church, that kid, are you tithing?
What was the thing? Oh, yeah, green signatures. That's what they call them. They think members have a sign the book or they get you know, it's like, well, why are they here? Right. So that's what they did. It was really crazy. You had again, this voting thing. So what happened is one pastor, they went through 10 pastors and 20 years was 10. I mean, like, every two years, they got rid of the pastor. So they did, they voted him out. Even though you shouldn't do that. Their bylaws were way more important than the Bible. There was and you should know these bylaws, but not the Bible. And so if you hit them with the Bible, they're like, that's what the bylaws say, though. That's how the church is run. So I'm like, okay, you know, so the carnality, the divisions, the voting of the pastors not liking what we're saying, let's vote them out. They just kept doing it over and over and over again, burning pastors out, not biblical. So the church as a result, was dying. So the average age at one point that is nice, traditional sanctuary was 85 years old, and I'm not even joking. It's actually at. Listen, I believe there. Okay, so anyway, so it was really crazy, right? So, and it was just nuts. And they're all memorializing themselves, literally, like they've had the graveyard in the sanctuary. That's the place where we do this. So it'd be like having a, it's called the column variant. I never knew what that meant, until I saw it. And basically, it's like a Muslim, you buy your mortality right in the church, and then they tore it down, it's great. So you know, you buy this plaque with your name on it. And you know, if you pay more money, you get to be, you know, in the center up top, you're not going to think and you're worshipping, looking at this, and I'm like, I guess it's a stark reminder. But none of these people are getting it right. So that's where you're going to go, like, you better start thinking this thing through. No, no, like, this is our stuff. But he did realize, oh, no, we're dying. And what do we got to do? We can't pay the mortgage anymore. And all this like stuff is happening. I know what we'll do. We'll do a modern service. And we're going to get the young people in here with the monitor. So that higher mountain this is just about the time we arrived at the church about 12. Now we're talking like 12 years ago or so. So they hired a young pastor got there just before us did the modern service, right? We can have the worship band and all this other stuff. And but here's what we're going to do, we're not going to let them in the sanctuary. We're going to do that. They're going to do their service in the gym, but not the whole gym, because we might need some of that. So we're going to put up that dividing walls, get the keys going, and we're going to put them in there, the half gym, right? So this is where my wife and I joined. So we joined her sister. So it was incredible. Incredibly A marginalized, very unwelcoming, right? So what happened is they burnt that young pastor out, got him out of there. Then they got the next pastor and who was good, my mentor and he decided, alright, we're just going to turn the ship around. Like we're this is not good violence, I don't care what they say we're going to do this right. And they really hated him tried to pull him out, chase him out of the church and all that. But anyway, so he said was we need to do this together. So here's what we're going to do. So he's first and second service very, very divided, right? And they didn't like second service at all. We're like the redheaded stepchild government here. It's totally cool. My daughter does that too. But anyway, that's not her. So you got disclaimer, everything nowadays, don't you? But anyway, so we're going to bring in the modern worship people. Now unfortunately, for me at this time, I was on the worship team. Right. So when I was leading worship at this time, I was like the worship leader at this time. So we went in there. And now if I was leading in the second service, I didn't care. It's rock and roll, right? So I'd have my T shirt on. I didn't care what it said. I haven't like sandals. Sometimes. I didn't care at all. You should have seen my hair was crazy, right? So there's not I didn't care, right? Nobody in the service really did. But first service, right? You got to get dressed up in fancy. So I basically dressed like this, except with the exception of one thing. dungarees. Now, if you don't know what dungarees are great, you're not a gold miner in the 1800s. So you shouldn't so just their jeans are called jeans, right? So but this guy once I went into worship, they're in this dungarees. Here's like you're going to wear dungarees to charge, like screaming at me, like right before I'm supposed to lead worship. I'm like, You better not say you're worshiping today, sir, like so anyway, but you know, this is the environment, it was really hostile. And we didn't even have the drums like, it's just like acoustic guitars.
Totally hostile towards us, like completely hostile. It was unbelievable.
And so it was really interesting, because I share this video say without discipleship, right without meeting some of the young people where they are where we can. A church dies. Like if we're all not doing this, that's how the church dies. I've seen it for myself. Now what was really interesting is very quickly, there was a church in this building already. They wanted to be big, right? So they wanted a bigger building. They're like, hey, we will swap buildings. godson is in, I believe God sent them in. But I was like, couldn't walk without building. Because like, he was paying the bills, right? It costs like $500,000 a year to run this place to here. Like, we're out. They came here. And it's like, easier to manage a better building for us, right? It's it fits our vision better. And what we're doing right, so here's the thing. For them, it was all too little, too late. Again, and again. And again. Some of the kids too little, too late. And so now that we have this building, and that's exactly what we did. Essentially, we're like, Okay, Let's not mess it up this time. Right. That's why discipleship is important. That's why honoring the Word of God is important. Those points, this is what we do. If you want to know we do read the points, the four things that they did an X right, were devoted to the Word of God, right to fellowship, breaking the bread in the prayer. That's it, get that right. And you're going to be fine. It really doesn't matter what else happens, right? We're loving with one another. But the other thing we talked a lot about is discipleship. That was a big thing. Like, where's my Timothy? Where's my Timothy? without rushing it, you're praying and trusting that he's going to send it in to everyone you know, we need to pass it on, we need to pass it on. And it's really funny to talking about intentionality to someone like everything was like that. Like there's a standard operating procedure, like there. Why didn't you die? Like, like that with staff, everybody on like, we could just die now like, so just set everything up in the church as if you're going to die like now, right? So the manuals for everything, nothing's hard to find me. You should have seen cleaning out this old church. It was I thought her closet was bad. Like, no, that's actually inside joke, which is now outside. So anyway. But I knew was a nightmare, right? It was like, Oh my gosh, there's like video cameras in here from 1978. You know, like, what they could have sold this stuff. It was $15,000. So you know, just constantly keeping our stuff clean, making everything easy to operate, making it simple, bringing other people along and showing them how to do this, right? No, you're not going to get immortalized. I've talked about this in the past. I don't care how much money you get, right? No, it's not about you. Right? This is about Jesus right and the body of Christ. Very important. So we learn from our mistakes. First Corinthians 10. Like some people have asked the question like, why is all this Old Testament? We're not under the law. Why is it all why do we have to read it? Well, Paul clarifies. Right. We learn from their mistakes. We learn from their mistakes, good, bad examples. So the main issue look, it was not focused on Christ. But consumerism. That's the big problem in the church. I talked about this before, right. I jumped in Call them you have a lot of like Wally Christians, right? Like, have you seen that movie, right? They're all just being carted around and complaining that they're not getting fed. They're not I'm not getting fed up here that drives me. Don't say that around me. Right? So I'm not getting stuff. I'm not getting fed. I'm like that's all you need, though. Like, that's your fault. That's your fault, really. Now, the pastors, they don't use a lot of Scripture. That's another problem. We'll talk about that later. But your fault That's totally on you. Man does not live on bread alone. But what every word that comes from the mouth of God, God's word is how we get fit, right? So if you have a Bible, that's all you need, you don't need like the band. You don't need the fancy stuff. You don't even need my jokes. Imagine that. Right? So none of it is necessary, right? This is all you got it, you're good. Right? Now the church, the Body of Christ. If you're not on a desert island, yes, find a church and be a part of the body of Christ. If you're not a part of the body of Christ, you are apart from the body of Christ. It's very important when you read the Bible, right? Very, very important being a part of a church. Yet you get like I said, before you get kind of these lazy, entitled type of Christians that just want to be fed all the time. But we see a Christian who isn't doing and giving, incomplete, incomplete. And the question comes up, like, what are we like that in our own modern way? Like, are we still doing that? Now, it's like, the modern church has become this, like commercial enterprise made to attract consumers, not Christians. And it's very interesting when you see it, where I'm at, like we answered, the phones or the emails, some of the things that people ask their first questions are literally unbelievable. When you're a Christian, you know, unbelievable. Sometimes I'm I find myself like losing my patience. Sometimes if people do the same stuff, like very rare. And if you've been here for a while, you are the people who are like, you know, do you do you read a lot of scriptures? You know what I mean? Like, are you giving me the meat? You know what I mean? And not the garnish? are you preaching faithfully from the Word of God? You know, like, Are you serving the community? Right? Like, you know, but what you normally get 99% of the time, is like, what programs are there for me? You know, like, it's a woman, you have a women's product, do you have this? Do you have that none of that is bad. It's not bad to find, like people or do those types of things. But it starts with the meat questions. And this is no joke. It'll start because that's where they start, but then they'll start walking towards this. And these are all things that I have gotten. Do you have coffee and snacks? What times a service I've gotten this, Oh, that's too early. I'm like, Alright, let's talk about Saturday night. What that looks like for you, you know, but these are, these are all fake. 10 o'clock, like, Okay, we've been there Right? Within that lifestyle, right? I've always been a pastor. I get it. We found the 11 o'clock service. That was the latest one, right? But
I'm like, Oh, my gosh, you know, anyway, okay. I mean, you got to start somewhere, right? But it's always like,
Do you have a band? Do you have this? You know, what
color shirt does the password I made that one up? But anyway, like, it's it is literally that this snaps? This next? Like, what kind? I'm like, is that really what how you're choosing your church? You know? Yes. Right. And so we were at a point where we had one of these pastors trying to make us a mega church. Like he was spending 6000 $6,000 here. Well, I called goodie bags, right? Because I saw a district and he actually brought other goodie bags in to show us what the other churches were doing. Like, this is the bug zapper that they're getting all these people with, you know, I'm like, $6,000 a year. So when I became pastor, I was like, no, no, we're going to give that to missions, and people can use the app. It's a test. If you need a goodie bag. This is not the right church for you. Yeah, so that's why you didn't get goodie bag when you came in today. Shame on you if you wanted one.
You just got to get Christianity
in perspective, we just do we do. Look Christian. I'm a Christian. It means baby Christ was a joke. In the beginning. They're making fun of Jesus. There's Mark Jesus what God gets crucified. This is ridiculous, right? So it was a joke, but it means baby Christians it means be like Jesus Philippians member we're talking about that. Philippians two, make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, who existing in the form of God did not regard equality with God something to be taken advantage of. Instead, he emptied himself became in the form of a slave right took on the form of a slave. Right he humbled himself by becoming obedient, the point of death, even the death on a cross. This is Jesus. And Jesus doesn't say you're good. I did it. You're out. You don't have to do anything now. True, you are saved by His blood. But what did we just read? And what did he just look? Ephesians two read it. Right.
He said just I want to follow you, what
did you say over and over again? Okay? Deny yourself. Wait, was that mean to the person calling about snacks? I haven't used that one yet, but I'm getting there. Right? Jesus said deny yourself being like, hello, you're not a Christian goodbye, you know, like, that kind of thing.
But you get it right? He says you must do it to Jesus washed his feet.
What did he say? Somebody's got to know the answer. Let me see. If I, your master and teacher doing this for you? How much more should you do? You need to wash feet, Jesus washed feet. Right? So with that being said, we've learned that the church is Christ's body, especially Ephesians and Colossians. It's the body of Christ. It's the word of God, not me. The Word of God has defined the church as such, it is the body of Christ, we are the members of it. So think about that for a second, a question should arise. How are you caring for Christ's body? Now a lot of people are like, whatever, you know, we should not like how are we in turn, based on what Jesus did for us? Washing people's feet? Like, how are we doing that? Start thinking now, a lot of people think they're off the hook. So I want to ruin that for you. If you think that this morning. So Jesus is talking about being ready and he tells the parable of the virgins right about being ready for the bridegroom to come back. He does the talents, you know, five to one in that one, right? So then he gets to him coming back the Son of man. So he starts telling stories like so the Son of Man is going to come so what he's talking about is when he comes back to judge everybody, right? He's going to gather up the nation is going to be on his glorious throne with the angels there. He's going to gather up the nation like a shepherd does with the sheep and the goats. He's going to put the goats on his left side, the sheep on the right side is blessed are you right by my father? Blessed are you because now they say you're going to inherit the kingdom that was prepared for you since the foundation of the world for when I was hungry. You fed me when I was thirsty. You gave me something to drink. When I was naked, you clothed me was a stranger, you let me in. When I was sick, you came in care for me in prison, you visited me? And the sheep say, when did we see you? And they go back through the whole thing? When did we see you in any of these conditions?
That what you did to the least of my brothers, you did it to me.
Matthew 2541, Then the King will turn to those on the left and say away with you. You curse ones into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his demons. For I was hungry. And you didn't feed me. I was thirsty. You didn't give me a drink. I was a stranger. And you didn't invite me into your home. I was naked. You didn't give me clothing. I was sick. And in prison. You didn't visit me? And they were playing Lord. When did we ever see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison and not help you? You will answer I tell you the truth. When you refuse to help the least of my brothers and sisters, you're refusing to help me and they will go away into eternal punishment but the righteous and do eternal life, Jesus's words, not mine. But this is serious. As you notice something my brothers and sisters who pray tell is that. It brings us to an important question for all Christians. Did you care for Jesus his body? The church, his brothers and sisters, the church. He said deny yourself first. These are all instructions care for the church. edify right? So build up the body. It is a command. A command with eternal consequences. Again, good works. You don't get saved by law. But it's evidence of your salvation. It's funny because Jesus is probably just my guess, based on what I know about the Bible. Probably not going to ask you like you die. And then he's not going to be like, so how was the coffee at church? Do you think that's going to happen? I mean, I want that's what I wrote. I'm like, you know, like, listen, when the Lord comes back, you know, like when you're judged because we saw this too awkward. And Jesus, this is clear, right? The sheep, even the sheep are judged, right? Like when you're judged based on what you did. It's all over the New Testament. If someone told you will not be judged, they are wrong. They have not read the Bible, you won't be judged that is as a Christian. We've seen in the past very clearly. And so what you know, think about this scenario these people are, it's amazing. Like so imagine that like, like, so how do you think you did? Like imagine these people like, I didn't go to church, you know a lot because the coffee was terrible. I know. I love good coffee. I totally get that you're good. If I didn't go to the service was just too early. Imagine Jesus, like, totally get that too. I hate getting up early. Especially, you know, I turned all that water in the wind staff or that church, you know, like,
do it. But that's, that's how they behave. It's ridiculous, right?
I didn't like the band. No, because when I did the Sermon on the Mount, we had Led Zeppelin there was amazing, or they got old.
But you know what? I mean, they were great. They wouldn't have
AC DC. There's a way to do
that. But anyway.
I keep shooting all night long. Ah, no, no, no, let's not do that one. Anyway, okay.
I'll stop. So you get my boy, I hope. Gosh, he won't care about any of that. Because consumerism is antithetical the opposite of Christianity. It's literally the opposite.
Everything. A lot of these things, people are participating in both the traditional and the modern church. They have nothing. Nothing to do with Christianity, except, sadly, distract people from it. Right if your music isn't so and so, you know what I mean? Like, the guy yelling at the worship leader before I have to lead worship. I'm not over it yet. I forgive him in my heart. Trust me. But still, you know what? It's crazy. I've seen pastors at big churches abuse their staff for making minor mistakes. No one got yelled at because the song, did they?
It's crazy. You have no right to treat?
How am I supposed to exercise my authority? patience, love kindness that didn't sound patient and loving at all. But anyway, you're getting my point. Right?
So it's great.
It's great that you're saying by the grace of God, good for you. But are you being selfish about it? Because that's not what it says our response should be. Can we pass it on? Then we pass on what we've inherited? Or did we keep it to ourselves, only to possibly lose it? stern warning, so as to kind of bring things to a close here, just some practical stuff. I've talked about this. But if you're new. You know, and I've said this, because people say I don't need church, you know, but again, maybe your church needs you. And we do. We need help. We're trying to do a lot creating bridges to the community. You'd be told about the potluck afterwards. It's awesome. So we need people to help with that, right? We want to be like a family, we need to help them help in the kitchen. We help cooking things. We need help greeting people. We just were we have recovery meetings here. You know, the community groups that just meet here, we they use our building and stuff. But sometimes we need help and stuff cleaning up whatever it is. Right? And discipleship. That's important. I am one guy. We have a very small leadership team. We don't if we're 150 people, maybe that's what we are. I don't know. I cannot disciple 150 people, it's impossible. And I watched you guys before me try to burn out. You can't do that. And I can't be like, wholly devoted to that many people. I can we can exchange numbers, I'll talk to you. You know, we can have meetings and stuff. As long as it's not about like the music or the service. Right? But Fine, I'll meet with you. But I need help. You'd say there's a pastor, I can't cook all the food do all this. Pastors need to stop trying to be everybody, right? We need you. We need you to be a part of this discipleship process to be a part of the family. So please connect with us. The other side of this is, especially we've learned this in the last couple years, right? And not supposed to do life alone. Right? We're supposed to be around other people supposed to be interacting and doing life together. Right? I think Satan wants you alone. But Jesus doesn't want you together, doing life together. Right? Being a real fully operational Body of Christ. And that's our vision. That's our goal here. Again, teamwork, the buddy system, you do not have to be a leader. You don't have to be a Christian for 10 years to do any of these things to help out. Or, Hey, you're new What's up, you know, just like that. So and then bring them along. Right? So hey, if you need help with some things you need someone to talk to especially if you're older, you have so much experience. I was going to say wisdom and experience but it's not always true. I'm just being honest. But Share, share, share with others. That's what it's all about. There are people here who want to listen, they want to learn. If anyone's been here for more than a few months, that's a person who wants to learn. It's fertile soil. So there are tons of young people aren't to learn that desire this. So you have a place here you have value, I've talked about this in the past, you have value, you're important to us, you're an essential part of the body of Christ. So please connect with us on end with a little scripture not going to put on the screen, but I'm going to set that up for my prayer for you this morning. So I'm going to go from Galatians, six, nine. So let's not get tired of doing what is good, just the right time we will reap a harvest a blessing if we don't give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially those in the family of faith. So it is my prayer this morning that you open hearts, you make people receptive to your words to the gospel message. Just Lord, I pray you make us all useful parts of your body, just vehicles of Your grace, your mercy, Your love your gospel message. All for the building of your kingdom and your glory. And I ask these things in Jesus name. Amen.