How many of you have been in an old-fashioned Tug-of-War? You were glad
when people would join behind you when you felt the pull of the opposition.
You were usually organized with the pullers up front and the heavyweights in
the back ... right?
August 13th, 2000, Sunday Evening
"Pulling Together with Power"
We need every church member to 'pull together'
OPENING: Acts 4:32-33, KJV
When you're pulling from a worthy opponent, you all need to work together
on the team. If you have a strategy and you all pull together, in unison,
and at the same, you will defeat your opponent.
In church, everyone needs to join and pull together at the same time--even
children. Everyone pulls or everyone hurts.
Acts 4:1-3: Peter and John were beaten and thrown in
prison for preaching about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Who in this country
has been publicly beaten for doing this? No one ... yet. Don't joke--the time
may come. This great country is going down the tubes at breakneck speed.
Acts 4:29,32: The key here is being of one
heart and soul--pulling together with power. As we yield ourselves to the spirit
of God, we will come together as one.
Acts 1:22: The purpose of the apostles was to be
a witness for Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9: You cannot be
saved without believing Jesus
Christ rose from the dead. The Resurrection was proof His death was sufficient
to pay for our sins--yours and mine.
His death is our receipt to an eternal life. So when it's time for
you to be justified to enter heaven, just pull out your receipt!
Jesus Christ's death was a
atonement for our sins.
1 Corinthians 15:1: This chapter is referred to as the
"Resurrection" chapter of the bible. Jesus Christ didn't die to be buried. He
died for our sins. That's why he rose again. If he didn't come back to life,
what future would man have beyond our death? We'd be miserable through the rest
of our life because we'd have nothing to look forward to!
- Some people have claimed to "seen Elvis" or "seen the Virgin Mary."
NEWSFLASH: Elvis (who died of a drug overdose over a toilet), Mary,
Mohammed--they're all dead. They have not come back to life nor are they alive.
When you pray for forgiveness, you can feel guilt for your sins but
not be truly in sorrow about them. To have sorrow in addition to guilt when
praying for forgiveness is a sign of being truly sorry--as if you were coming
to tears--a true emotion.
You need power to give the word of God to others.
- #1. You need a testimony.
In order to sway people to believe in the word of God, you need to give them proof
of others' coming to Christ through their disbelief.
- #2. Acts 4:31: Speak with the word of God with
- #3. You need to be a group united with the same heart, mind,
and thought--the ideal position of a church. As a group, speak one voice--not
a multitude of voices. When one person says you sound just like someone else
they know, chances are you and that friend are speaking the same mind, judgment,
and voice--ideal Christian fellowship.
- Acts 4:32
- Romans 12:16
- Romans 15:6
- 1 Corinthians 1:10
- Philippians 1:27
- Philippians 2:2
- 1 Peter 3:8
- #4: Leadership -- You need a cadence counter when pulling that rope.
The pastor will be the cadence counter. However, even after a while if you can't
hear the pastor anymore, you should have the mindset of knowing at what moment
to pull that rope--without encouragement!
- Even little children can make the difference. As you keep adding
little children to one end of a rope, inevitably, sooner or later, you will
not be able to pull against the strength of the children!
Who is this power available to?
- Acts 1:22: To be a witness to the resurrection, you
need power (and be baptized)
- Acts 4:33: EXAMPLE: The apostles were given that power
so they could witness
- Acts 4:29: To those who would speak the word of God
- While the apostles were the KEY to the successful prayers of the
people, it took the prayers of the people to be successful. Therefore, always
pray for your pastor!
- Those who require this power are those who would attempt to
do something spriritual; If you try witnessing in the flesh for the first time
(without God's guidance or asking God first), one of two things will happen:
- 1. You will quit
- 2. You will invite and confess to God that you need Him in this effort
How is this power activated?
- Luke 11:13: To those who ask God
Three things to do to come together:
- #1: Acknowledge sin (Psalm 51)
- #2: Ask for forgiveness (1 John 1:9)
- #3: Accept forgiveness -- by allowing the Holy Spirit to take
control of you. This is not demon possession. This is freely and willingly
allowing the Holy Spirit to take control of the steering wheel in your head.
The moment he steers you in a direction you're afraid of and you take the
wheel back, the Holy Spirit is going to say, "Ok! You have the wheel!"
To come together:
- Pray you believe (in God)
- Pray you repent (to God)
- Pray you rely (on God)
- Pray you relinquish
(by giving the wheel to God)
Acts 4:32-33: Let us, as Christians and churches,
pull together with power today. God has allowed our church to stand today
for a reason. Otherwise, we wouldn't be here or have a purpose for God.