THIS PRESENT TIME #29
What Does A Great Church Look Like 10.01.23
1. True Greatness is not about being large, it is about being influential, producing disciples, and fulfilling the purposes of God “in its generation.”
2. There is a day of Reward and Regret when The Lord Himself shall give His assessment of every church.
3. He will evaluate Leaders and Pastors (who must give account) as well as the congregation as a spiritual family. I believe this will be separate from our assessment as individuals.
4. In Acts 20, we see devotion to a Great Person, a Great Purpose, and a Great Principle.
In Acts, we see nine characteristics identified as “Great,” either in quantity, quality, or both.
Great Power (Acts 4:33) “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.”
Great Boldness (Acts 4:29-30) “Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. Stretch out your hand to heal and perform miraculous signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus."
Great Miracles (Acts 6:8 and 8:13) “Now Stephen, a man full of God's grace and power, did great wonders and miraculous signs among the people. “Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.”
Great Eagerness (17:10-12) “As soon as it was night, the brothers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagernessand examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 12Many of the Jews believed, as did also a number of prominent Greek women and many Greek men.”
Great Grace (Acts 4:33) “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great gracewas upon them all.”
Great Fear (Acts 5:5-11) “When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price." 9Peter said to her, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also." 10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband.
11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.”
Great Persecution (Acts 8:1) “And Saul was there, giving approval to his death. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church at Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria. 2Godly men buried Stephen and mourned deeply for him. 3But Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off men and women and put them in prison.”
Great Joy (Acts 8:4-8) ”Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Christthere. 6When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8So there was great joy in that city.”
Great Numbers (Acts 11:19-21; 14:1; 11:26) 11:19-21 “Now those who had been scattered by the persecution in connection withStephen traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, telling the message only to Jews. Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. The Lord's hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.” 14:1 “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There
they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.” 11:25-26 “Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taughtgreat numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
This translates into a church that…
1. Was connected to the Holy Spirit and His manifestations, anointing and control. (Power, Boldness, Miracles)
2. Was connected to the Scriptures as the center of our world view and standard for Holy Living.(Great Eagerness or Hunger for the Scripture)
3. Was connected to God’s Enabling Grace that is Good Will toward us, and His Good Work within us.
4. Was connected to a healthy and holy fear of God that spilled over into the community.
5. Was connected to the idea of The Fellowship of His Sufferings, receiving difficulties with joy.
6. Was connected to an outreach and service to The Lost that resulted in Joy throughout the community.
7. Was connected to a spiritual understanding of what numbers really represent.