Turn in your Bibles, please, to Matthew 28:18-20, in the King James Version of the Scriptures. The Bible says: 18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
I want to speak to you today on the subject: "The 3-Fold Purpose of the Church."
The purpose of the church, and of this website as an extension of the local church, is 3-fold: 1. To evangelize the sinner, by preaching the Gospel. 2. To educate the saint, by teaching the Bible. 3. And to exalt our Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, by lifting Him up before all the world. God has commanded every Christian, and every genuine Christian church, to carry out the Great Commission of Matthew 28. Unfortunately, the "go" has been taken out of the "gospel" in many churches, and they are sitting around the church house in a "spell." The Lord Jesus Christ never intended for the church to become what many churches have become - mere social clubs with a religious atmosphere, where the members think of themselves as the "elite of society" rather than as a "light" to this dark world. By the help of God, and through your prayers, our desire for this web page is to be used in such a way so as to fulfill the 3-fold purpose God has for us - both personally as individuals, and collectively as the body of Christ. Let me say first that the purpose of the church is to evangelize the sinner by preaching the Gospel. In our text, the Lord Jesus Christ authorized the church to be His representative upon this earth, and commanded us to take the Gospel to the world.
In Mark 16:15 the Lord said it this way: "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." In the book of Acts, chapter 1 and verse 8, the Lord said: "But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
The apostle Peter said this in Acts 10:42 and 43 - 42 "And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. 43 "To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins."
The apostle Paul said in Romans 1:15 and 16 - 15 "So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek."
Now, a few definitions are in order. By the word 'evangelize,' we mean to preach the good news of God's saving grace. To evangelize literally means to "preach." We are to preach the "gospel," and the word "gospel" means GOOD NEWS. So to evangelize the sinner, we must proclaim the good news of salvation to those who are lost, to those who have never been saved and experienced the free pardon of sin and the free gift of eternal life through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. By the word "sinner" we mean all who have been born into this world. Every human being is born spiritually dead to God, and needs to be born again with life from above. The Bible tells us that we "all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Rom.3:23). The Bible tells us that,"There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom.3:10). The Bible tells us that we are all conceived in sin (Psalm 51:5) and that there is not a just man upon the earth (Eccl. 7:20). A sinner is simply one who has disobeyed God and broken His laws. And we have all done that. You do not have to be a murderer to be a sinner. You do not have to be a kidnapper to be a sinner. You do not have to be a bank robber to be a sinner. If you have committed onesin, you are a sinner who needs to repent and be forgiven by God. You are familiar with the 10 commandments. Worship God only. Make no graven images to bow down to and worship. Respect God's name. Keep the Sabbath. Honor your parents. Don't steal. Don't commit adultery. Don't commit murder. Don't lie. Don't covet. Unless you've never been born, you've broken at least one of those commandments sometime in your life, and that makes you a sinner. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen? Have you ever sassed your parents? Have you ever committed adultery, in body or in mind? Have you ever murdered or hated anyone? Have you ever coveted another man's possessions? Have you failed to worship God this week? Have you ever used God's name as a cuss-word? I say again, unless you've never been born, you have broken at least one of these commandments at least once in your lifetime, and that makes you a sinner. As a sinner, you cannot enter heaven without your sins being forgiven and paid for. The Bible says in Romans 6:23 - "For the wages of sin is death." That is, there is a penalty due for your sin, a payment that must be made. That payment, that penalty, is death. You must die physically - the result of sin in your body; and you must die eternally - the result of sin in your soul. The Bible refers to the place where those who die unsaved go to as the Lake of Fire, which is also called the "second death" (Rev.21:8). The Bible says: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die" (Ezekiel 18:4,20). But the good news of the Gospel is found in the last part of Romans 6:23, where it says: "But the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." God offers salvation to those who will repent of their sins and receive Christ as their personal Saviour. You need not die in your sins and spend eternity in hell. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance, and be saved. The Good News is that you can be saved if you will believe the Gospel and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.
Solid Rock Baptist Church - Serving the Lord in the Memphis/Mid-South area