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There is one goal for this message and it’s an invitation. I want all of us who call ourselves Christians to make a commitment to the Church. Recommit your life to the Church, prioritize it, to sacrifice for it. Why? Because without it, very few of us would have ever become Christians and those of us who did become Christians, wouldn’t have stayed that way.
My whole life I’ve heard people say, “Oh, church is old school. I don’t need church to be a Christian.” And there’s a little truth in both of those statements. The problem is, that person is almost always wrong. They almost always end up losing connection with God and run back to the church to reconnect. Christians who don’t make church a priority have two problems.
Dangers of trying to be a Christian apart from the Church:
So today I want to make the case that these relationships (relationships with God and with people) actually help us grow. They help us become the people God created us to be.
While Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 6 The night before Peter was to be placed on trial, he was asleep, fastened with two chains between two soldiers. 7 Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists.
When we are in trouble, when we’re in pain, we need the church! There’s going to be a time in our life when you’re going to be alone or in pain, and you’re going to desperately want someone to help you, to be there with you. When everything seems good, we’re tempted to point fingers and judge people. But when we’re in chains, it’s hard to point fingers. When things get bad, we just hope and pray that people we judged will come to our rescue.
We like to point fingers at people who are in chains, but at some point, we’re all going to be in chains. So get this: The chains had to fall off of Peter first! Peter was in chains, and HE needed to be set free. Jesus said,
Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.
Make a commitment to take a next step in deepening your connection to the Church. Make a commitment to come to other Christians when you’re burdened and to support other Christians when they are burdened. Join a Life Group, volunteer, start tithing, take a step.
Did you like this message, Freedom Kingdom – Week 2? Check out more of our Sunday teachings here.