Grace Bible Church

Grace Bible Church
Grace Bible Church
Christmas Store-HOLLAND PARK, QLD
Christmas Store-Holland Park, QLD
So the preacher has waxed eloquent, expounding scripture, arguing for truth, exulting the glory of God, drawing out application from the Word and passionately calling for action from your pa..
10 Yuletide St, Holland Park, Qld, 4121.
10 Yuletide St, Holland Park, Qld, 4121.
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So the preacher has waxed eloquent, expounding scripture, arguing for truth, exulting the glory of God, drawing out application from the Word and passionately calling for action from your part. He finishes a few minutes over time, leads through a closing song and then leaves you with a blessing, “thank you for coming and may God bless you and keep you.” Then you turn to the person next to you and say, “So, how did you think the Broncos went last night?” What?! Talk about totally missing it! All that beautiful Gospel truth and you opt for some trivial query like that? Yet, I can’t throw the first stone because this is often my shortfall. Coming out of a time intended to drawer my heart and mind to the glories of my Saviour and my saving Gospel, I often free fall to the dull, trivial, dross with just a turn of my head.

So the preacher has waxed eloquent, expounding scripture, arguing for truth, exulting the glory of God, drawing out application from the Word and passionately calling for action from your part.  He finishes a few minutes over time, leads through a closing song and then leaves you with a blessing, “thank you for coming and may God bless you and keep you.”

Then you turn to the person next to you and say, “So, how did you think the Broncos went last night?”

What?!  Talk about totally missing it! All that beautiful Gospel truth and you opt for some trivial query like that?

Yet, I can’t throw the first stone because this is often my shortfall.  Coming out of a time intended to drawer my heart and mind to the glories of my Saviour and my saving Gospel, I often free fall to the dull, trivial, dross with just a turn of my head.

And I don’t think I’m alone in this.   So, why do we do this?

Well, I think there are many possible reasons:

-  maybe we totally missed the point of the message and failed to find personal application?

-  maybe we think that we have ‘done our part for God’ by just ‘enduring’ the service?

-  maybe our view of scripture and preaching is so low that we disregard the message and its implication?

There could be as many reasons as there are church goers, but I would like to highlight one reason that affects you, and the person next to you, and the whole congregation, but worse yet – it affects the purity of the Gospel in the Church.

And that reason is this:

Our failure is in assuming that the person sitting next to us does not need to be challenged by the Gospel through the message just delivered.

We too often think that if they come to church, they must be ‘good to go’.

But one does not need to be a Bible reader for too long until they are sobered by the warning found in Mat 7:21-23, â€œNot everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven… …and then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me.”

We read that the visible church is filled with both wheat and weeds, both the redeemed and the lost (Mat 13:24-30), but here’s the catch:  we often fail to understand that this exact verse may be ringing true for the person in the pew next to us. They heard the same glorious sermon as you, joined in the same voice of worship as you, and will soon share in the same fellowship with the congregation as you… but may not be sharing in the forgiveness of sins as you are.

Are you accountable for their souls? Not exactly. But there is no other place on this planet that one can be made to ‘feel’ saved and ‘taste of the goodness’ of the Gospel and yet finally hear those eternally fatal words, â€œI never knew you; depart from Me.”

Jonathan Edwards writes, â€œGod is a great deal more angry with great numbers that are now on earth: yea, doubtless, with many that are now in this congregation, who it may be are at ease, than he is with many of those who are now in the flames of hell.” (‘Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God’, Enfield, Connecticut July 8, 1741)

So what can we do about this?

Next time the church service finishes and everyone starts mingling around, turn the person next to you and engage in a discussion that aims at maturing,encouraging and challenging both of you.

Maybe ask questions that drive at the heart like this:

-  In what ways does that passage / sermon instill hope in you for real transformation?

-  I was really challenged about such & such . . . how about you? How were you challenged?

Or if it is someone that you have not met before, you might consider simply asking, â€˜So when did you become a Christian?’ Based on how they answer, you may able to lovingly discern if they actually understand the Gospel and what it means to be born again.

Start by asking yourself some of these questions, both during and after the service. Examine your own heart first.

Jesus warns in Luke 21:34-36, â€œBe careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life,  and that day will close on you suddenly  like a trap.” We are our own worst enemies and most often have a deluded view of ourselves.

Therefore we need to be watching that we are not driven to miss the transforming command scripture and Biblical preaching should have on us each time we read and hear the Truth.

This is not what ‘weed’s want to hear and it will either cause them to flee the building, but hopefully it will cause them to flee to Christ for salvation and to become one of the ‘wheat’.  While Church should be a loving, gracious & friendly place, Church should not be a “comfortable” place for sinners.

Aim at maturingencouraging and challenging both of yourself and the person you are chatting with!

So engage in â€˜Pew Evangelism’ next time you are in a church service.

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