Why the Church Matters

Hey everyone!

You guys have been posting some great stuff on this blog and I want to thank you. I read all of them, and I love it when you are ministering to each other. That’s what it’s all about.

This Sunday at Harvest, I will continue my series on the book of Acts, and I will be speaking on “Secrets of the Early Church.” It will be webcast live at 7:45, 9:45, and 11:45 A.M, Pacific Time. It will also be archived for future viewing. To watch click here.

In this time when so many are quick to ether criticize or attempt to reinvent the Church, I thought it would be good to go back to “the original Greek,” so to speak. So I will be looking at the Church of the Book of Acts that turned its world upside down.

But there are hypocrites in the Church!

Sometimes people will say, “The reason I don’t go to church is because there are too many hypocrites!” Guess what? There were hypocrites in the first-century Church too, as we will see. They had rivalries, heresies, and some pretty radical immorality. There was even a hypocrite among Jesus’ handpicked disciples.

To help us understand this, Jesus told them a parable about tares and wheat that grow side by side (see Matthew 13:24-30). The two look exactly the same, until the time the tare actually uproots the wheat.

Satan has his “tares,” or fakes, out there, so we need to just be aware of it. Wherever there is the genuine, there will be the counterfeit.

Satan would love you to see a few of those counterfeits and say, “That’s it, I’m not going to church anymore. Too many hypocrites!”

So, let’s not let him prevail. Let’s all pray that God will help each of us to be a consistent witness and representative of Him to a watching world.

A couple of other things…

I have an article on the importance of prayer posted at WorldNetDaily. It’s called “Prayer: Your First (or Last) Resort.”

Here is our long-form weekend devotion as well.

God bless you all, and as Billy Graham always used to say at the end of his crusade telecasts, “And be sure to go to church on Sunday!”


11 thoughts on “Why the Church Matters”

  1. Abbey says:

    This is to Jeff, who posted a comment on prayer in response to the article “Why the Church Matters” on 4/20/08:

    I am praying for you. Some may say I’m wrong, but I have found that my prayers don’t always have words.
    – The groanings that can’t be uttered
    – The sighings of my heart
    – God knows your thoughts before you think them
    – He knows your heart – He hears you . . . even without words

    Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. Rom 8:26-27

    I will be praying – for God’s peace to be a covering over you and to fill you.

    But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:26-27

    You are now added to my daily prayer list – just know that there’s one more person out here praying for you.

    May God bless you mightily.

  2. Babylot says:

    Greg, I have been listening to your radio program everyday on my way to work for the last 6 years and you have inspired me and learn more about the scriptures than any other way. By listening to your message everyday it enriches my knowledge about Jesus. I wish I live close to your church in Riverside that I can come every Sunday but I make a point that on Easter Sunday we can visit your church. It became a tradition for me and my daugther every Easter that we make a trip just to feel the presence of the holy spirit while we are visiting. Last Easter Sunday I went to the last noon service and when you invited people to come forward and saw a lot of them tears start flowing in my eyes just happy for them.

    God Bless.

  3. Tim says:

    Greg, I listen to your podcasts, and read the daily devos. This Sunday I was unable to go to church after throwing my back out our church work day, I listened to you online. It was a great message “turning your world upside down”.I was exposed to the excessiveness of some of the early “spirit led” ministries. Thank you for being a voice of balance that I now as a father of five can point my kids to as a relevant voice, so they can turn their world upside down. Praying for you as you keep on the cutting edge front lines, the battle is fierce.

  4. Jeff says:

    I read your article on prayer… I have had some problems with this lately I am so beside myself so deeply turned upside down.. I dont even know what to pray so I have been simply been praying that God have his way in my life and the my current situation be used to bring me closer to Him so I dont really know what else to pray for I find myself praying this way alot because I dont even know what to say.

  5. Teri says:

    Wow!!!!! Your message today was such a blessing to me and I’m sure,to many others as well. Thank you,Pastor Greg, for always and consistently preaching God’s Word from His Word. I could never fall asleep during any of your messages!LOL

  6. Abbey says:

    Read your WND article on prayer early Sat. morning – thought it was great – very accurate – very timely. We live in different times. The Church needs to pray seriously, fervently, focused. I agree.

  7. Lane Miller says:

    A friend sent me your devotions that are a blessing. I forward them to the members of His Prayer – Heartfelt Care Team at our church and other hungry Christians, leaders and persons of infleunce. His Praise team has been given the devotions to in-JOY the praise music and Bible based sermons. Well done for this inspiration. Keep UP the blessed work, its highly effective in reaching my spiritual heart/Spirit

  8. Greg says:

    Thanks for the kind words.
    Actually, I have never really left these roots at all. As a matter of fact, we prayed for everyone in the congregation to be baptized in and filled with the Holy Spirit the last two Sundays. But it’s always a blast to teach through the book of Acts!

  9. Oengus says:

    quote: …So I will be looking at the Church of the Book of Acts that turned its world upside down.

    Greg, I am glad to hear that you are getting back to your roots by looking at the book of Acts. Yes, I well remember when you use to pray for people to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. And I would like to express my appreciation for your preaching on the subject back in the 1970s, because that was at one of your services at All Saints that I came to learn about it and receive it.

  10. Matthew says:

    Very true Greg! There are hypocrites in the church today as well as when the first church started. Satan will use any distraction he can to get believers off the path that God has for them. People are one of the most used distractions that Satan uses. The word hypocrite literally means “actor.” We must be careful not just to “act” like we are OK, or that we have everything under control, or even act like we are doing everything right while we point fingers at others. We should encourage one another, and love each other. And when we see others act in an ungodly manner, we must not become offended and get angry at God, but we ought to love that person and pray for that person. Let’s move forward to the upward calling placed on our lives, casting aside the distractions of this world! Lord bless you all this weekend.

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