Our theme for this month: “Personal Responsibility”
Our Bible verse for today: “And may the Lord cause you to increase and overflow with love for one another and for everyone, just as we do.” 1 Thessalonians 3:12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “The health of the church is your responsibility”
The little church in Thessalonica was a good church that was faced with tough times. They were being persecuted and afflicted by a hostile society, but they were holding fast to their faith. This was a healthy church during a time when it wasn’t so easy to be a healthy church.
But many churches are not healthy. Hundreds of churches close their doors in the USA each week. (Fortunately, as those churches are dying and closing, the Lord is raising up new churches to take their places). Interestingly, while those churches are in the process of dying, the Lord lets them die. That’s right, He lets them die. He doesn’t have to. He is all-powerful. The Holy Spirit could draw people to those churches and fill the pews every Sunday if He wanted to. But He obviously doesn’t want to. Instead, He let’s them die.
The reason those churches die is because the people aren’t doing their part to keep them healthy. Often they get stuck in tradition and refuse to change their methods, even though the old ways of doing things obviously don’t work anymore. In other cases they have compromised their doctrine and therefore the Holy Spirit has withdrawn His blessing. In many cases the people have gotten lazy and they simply make little or no effort to keep the church healthy. Sometimes they have circled the wagons and are hunkering down inside their little church forts, having nothing to do with the outside world.
For many reasons churches die – and God lets them. But it doesn’t have to happen. Churches can continue to survive and thrive, but it’s up to the individuals to take the steps necessary to keep their church healthy.
This Sunday at Oak Hill Baptist Church we’re going to celebrate our annual Homecoming Day. It’s our way of kicking off the new church year in a big, fun way. Oak Hill is a church that was revived, and which is once again on-fire for the Lord and making a difference in our little corner of the world. In the sermon I will talk about why that happened and how it happened.
Come and enjoy the day with us! Sunday school is at 9:00 and the worship service is at 10:00. There will be special music from the choir, a commissioning service for our new missionary Trevor Wright, a word of greeting from our missionaries to Southeast Asia Jeff and Rachel Gayhart, and a special Homecoming message as the sermon. Afterwards we will enjoy a catered lunch from Big John’s BBQ. We would love to have you with us!