THE CHURCH WITH A VISION Acts 13: l-3ff.; Matthew 16:16ff.
Introduction: How do you distinguish God's authentic Church from a world of counterfeits? Our challenge is to understand and to present with Biblical faithfulness the concept of The Church from the Scripture to our Restoration Heritage. A fundamental question is how do we clarify the distinction between authentic Christianity in our Post Modem world of diversity of models? In our Post Modem world, which denies the existence of "True Truth", we must face the Biblical ground for relating conviction, consensus, and community. These factors stand or fall together.
The following questions must receive our immediate attention within the context of our heritage:
1. How can we tell an authentic $100 bill from a counterfeit $100 bill?
2. How can we tell an authentic gold watch from a cheaper brass watch?
3. How can we tell the authentic Gospel from a false gospel?
4. How can we tell authentic worship style in the context of our worship wars?
5. How can we tell authentic preaching in view of our homiletics wars?
6. How can we tell an authentic coke from the new coke? (1984)
MODELS OF THE CHURCH:
1. The Church as an INSTITUTION
2 The Church as a MYSTICAL COMMUNION
3. The Church as a SACRAMENT
4. The Church as a HERALD
5. The Church as a SERVANT
6. The Church as ESCHATOLOGY (man's hope)
7. The Church and the WORD OF GOD
Our present challenge in our Global Village is what is negotiable and what is non-negotiable in the Christian faith? We presently live in a Theological cafeteria.
GOD'S PILOT PLANT: Four conditions
CHARACTERISTICS OF A MATURE CHURCH:
1. Word directed
2. Spirit empowered
3. Active in recovering God's fallen creation (Genesis 3 - Ra) Sin and The Fall broke the relationship between Man and God, Man and Man, Man and Self, and Man in Nature (Creation)
4. Growing by maturing, not merely quantitatively
5. Giving -God's hilarious givers (Cor. 8) How much will it cost the Church to evangelize our Global Village of over 5 billion people?
6. Witnessing - You shall be my witnesses to all the Ethnics (the 10/40 window)
8. Caring (refer to the letter from Diatrophes)
CONCLUSION: Is your Church a Church with a Vision? Does your Church have a strategy to carry out the Lord's commission?
GOD CREATED HIS CHURCH - A CHURCH WITH A VISION!! The strategy to carry out God's purpose has been placed in the hands of His disciples.