What should be the main concern of the Church?
At times, pastors and congregations become confused and dis- couraged by the multiplicity of projects, programs, goals, etc. The Early Church had one main directive from the Lord: --It was: "Be My witnesses" --They were to bring people to Christ (God's Priority) All other "goodies" such as Spirit baptism, gifts, miracles, etc., are specifically given to enhance our ability to save souls. What a tragedy: when churches are without new souls.
Saving Souls is God's Priority (It has been all along)
I. Why Did God Create Mankind? He made us in His "image and likeness." Gen. 1:26
1. To develop a family of "sons" (His children) Heb. 2:10 --John 1:12; Galatians 3:26
2. To have meaningful communication and fellowship with those who are in His "likeness." (His children). --"Called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ." 1 Co.1:9 --"They will walk with Me." Rev.3:4, (as He once did with Adam)
3. To lavish His love on us; make us His heirs.
II. God Knew that Man Would Fall
1. He allowed man to be tested re: his personal choice, faithfulness, obedience
2. By this test man can better understand God's character (who He is) --To know His love, holiness, graciousness. Eph.2: 5-8
3. It gave man a reason to respect, to love and to desire Him.
4. Through the process of giving man a choice, God produces true "sons" who voluntarily choose Him as their Father.
III. God Provided Salvation - Reconciliation for Fallen Mankind
1. This was in God's plan even before man was created. "...Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Rev. 13:8 --1 Cor. 2:7; 2 Tim. 1:9; Tit.1:2
2. God gives sinful man a chance for redemption - salvation --"...not willing that any should perish." 2 Peter 3:9
3. God provided a Savior - JESUS "...Seed of the woman." Gen.3:15 --"He gave His only begotten Son." John 3:16
IV. God's Priority is the Salvation of Man
1. Saving man gives Him great joy. "Who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross." Heb. 12:2 --This is the process of birthing "sons" (children).
2. Jesus came "To seek and to save that which was lost." Lk. 19:10
--"Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." 1 Tim. 1:15
3. All of God's actions in both O.T. and N.T. was to save and reconcile man to Himself, so that man could be with God forever.
4. God's main purpose -- to save man. -- "Joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth." Luke 15:7
V. The Church's Responsibility re: God's Priority
1. It's the same as God's: To save the lost! --It was Christ's command to the Church. "Go..preach..make disciples"
2. This priority must never be reduced to a lesser status.
3. The Church often majors in minors such as: gifts, prosperity, emotion, power, programs, etc., (at the expense of God's priority) --Church can become comfortable and lose the burden to save souls. --"...Thou sayest I am rich and have need of nothing..." Rev.3:17.
4. We must remember: all spiritual bonuses (gifts, etc.) are given to help us become better witnesses, and not to make us fat and lazy and forget about God's priority.
Pastors, church members, don't forget what your priori-ties are: God is disappointed when we put carnal things first.
"Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness"
1. Preach It - pastor
2. Practice It - pastor and congregation!