What Went Wrong in Church Yesterday…

I enjoyed preaching from God’s Word this past week at FBC Vidalia! There are some weeks I come down from the pulpit wondering whether I have communicated at all, and there are others where I feel the hand of God on me as I preach. 

This past week was a week where I could see the Holy Spirit work through our congregation. 

This week’s text lent itself for me to share the gospel clearly, thoroughly, and simply. 

I preached on the selfishness of the human heart and our complete fallenness before God. 

I preached on both the love and justice of God being seen clearly in the cross of Christ. 

I preached about Hell and did not hold punches regarding the waiting punishment for men. 

I preached on the unconditional love of God in that, “while were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

I opened up the invitation for anybody to respond. No one came. 

Often after messages like this week, church members offer statements saying, “I can’t believe no one responded to that sermon.”

Many probably walked away grateful that we are a church that proclaims the gospel. 

But we aren’t. 

As I looked across the room, I did not see one unfamiliar face. The gospel was proclaimed to a congregation which hears it every week. 

Having the gospel preached faithfully every week in church does not make you a church which proclaims the gospel. It makes you a church which hoards the gospel. 

For First Baptist Church (or your church) to become a gospel proclaiming church, a major change must take place. 

The simplest change is for you to invite someone to church. Asking people to join you at church, saving a seat for them, and taking them to lunch afterwards is one of the simplest ways to be a gospel proclaimer. I promise as pastor that there will never be a week that I do not clearly share that Jesus died for every person’s sin. 

To become a gospel proclaiming church, every person must take ownership of the message. I don’t have the opportunity to share the gospel with your coworkers like you do. Can you imagine the difference we could make if everyone in our church led one person to trust Jesus this year?

This coming September I am going to put a challenge in front of our church. I am going to challenge every person to identify and invest in one person who has not trusted Jesus or has fallen away from church. My challenge is to reach your person with the gospel. 

Today I came into the office sad. In the midst of many church people encouraging me with what a great message yesterday was, I am afraid the message of Jesus’ forgiveness never left our worship center. 

May this be the last week the gospel is hoarded in our church. 

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