Occasion: Eight Anniversary Service Anchor Baptist Church Cape Coast, Ghana
Date: 27th August 2017
“Three Facts about the Future of This Church”
Text: Revelation 3:10-13 “Hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown…”
Introduction: If there is anything that I can present to this congregation on this special and happy occasion, it will be the contents that will follow in this message from God’s word. These facts are non-negotiables in the life and health of this local church. If we fail to put into practice the truths found in this message, we will one day cease to exist as a vibrant gospel preaching local church. The truths we will examine today require far more attention than the few minutes we will take to examine them this morning. If we correctly embrace this exhortation today, these facts will provide the framework for the life of our church and its members for the rest of their lives, and the lives of those who follow behind them till Christ returns. One day, we will all stand at Christ’s judgment seat, and as the text exhorted this dear Christians in Philadelphia, there is something to grasp with all our might today and there is something to be lost or gained on that day.
Fact 1: If this church will hold fast until Christ comes: we must be a doctrinally sound church
- If we do not hold fast to sound doctrine, we will cease to be a church in the Biblical sense
1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
2 Thessalonians 2:15 Stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
- We must hold fast to the gospel: If we lose the gospel, we have lost the faith Jude 1:3 Earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
- We must hold fast to sound Christian doctrine Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
- We must hold fast to preaching on personal holiness 1 Peter 1:14-15 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
Fact 2: If this church will hold fast until Christ comes: we must be a Christ-like church
- If we do not have Christ-like character, we will self destruct and undermine the message we are trying to proclaim.
Philippians 2:2-5 Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Colossian 3:12-15 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Romans 12:2 Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- Humility: We must be gracious, teachable, and peaceable.
- Compassion: We must genuinely care about the spiritual and physical wellbeing of others.
- Conviction: We must know what is right, refuse to compromise, and purpose to do the will of God in all things.
- Focus: We must not be distracted by the things of this world.
Fact 3: If this church will hold fast until Christ comes: we must be a reproducing church
- If we do not reproduce ourselves, in one generation, there will be no church:
- Our families: Evangelism and discipleship Ephesians 6:4 Fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
- Our neighbors: Evangelism and discipleship Acts 5:42 Daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
- Our future leaders: Service and mentoring 2 Timothy 2:2 The things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Conclusion: My appeal to you from the word of God is simple to understand, yet may require you to put off certain attitudes, ideas, and habits and then to replace them with new attitudes, ideas, and habits. This message may cause your to face troubling and painful realities about the way you think and live on a daily basis, but that pain is for your good and Christ’s glory at His judgment seat. How will you respond to this exhortation? Will you embrace it as the words of a friend directing you to the words of your Creator and Lord? May God graciously grant us repentance as He transforms us through the renewing of our minds. May we have ears to hear, eyes to see, and a will to be moved and molded by the Spirit of God through His word.