Churches are a dime a dozen in the Metro-Plex. The members of these churches are collectively in the millions. Each week, millions attend church in some form or fashion. The question is why?
The New Testament consist of 27 books. Of those 27 books, 13 are written to the church. In Revelation chapter 3, Jesus Himself speaks to the prominent churches of the new testament with some sobering truths.
Some churches had blatant issues that we all would agree needed to be addressed, others were subtle, but no less serious. In this session, we discuss how it is possible to be part of something good, yet miss God. A person can be in church, but not be in the Kingdom. We will answer three question to insure that we understand what it takes to be sure that we are not missing the Kingdom.
GOAL FOR THIS SESSION
To make sure that everyone understands that salvation is more than church attendance.
1. Have you recognized your need for God and for grace because of your lost condition?
Only when we recognize our state of being “poor in spirit” can we embrace our true need for God!
2. Salvation comes through a true understanding of our lost state and our brokenness.
Until we embrace our lost condition and are grieved by it, God can not or will not begin to bring us comfort through salvation.
3. Each one of us have a Next Step in spiritual growth.
As we grow in our relationship with God, we develop a greater understanding of what our new life in Christ is truly about.
4. Generosity is the mark of a heart that is pure.
Jesus himself stated that our biggest competition for worship is our money and our possessions. Until God is the highest priority and is allowed to change our character to His, we will continue to struggle spiritually and financially.
The Christian life in America has become so diluted that it has little effect our most people’s daily life. For some, if not most, it has become a list of do’s and don’t. Worse yet, to some it has become more of a habit than a relationship. The real problem is we have been lied to. The lies consist of “we must walk an isle, say a prayer, get dunked, go to church, and then you will go to heaven.” While all of these things have value, these half truths to often leads to misunderstanding as to the “why” we do these things.
These deeds are worthless unless we first have a change of heart. Until we recognize our lost state, are broken over it, and turn to God for salvation, the before mentioned deeds are simply hollow actions.
In your group there may be folks who grew up in church yet have never truly given their hearts to Christ. Be sensitive and persistent in clarifying the truth of our greatest need is Jesus. Without Jesus, everything else is hollow acts of religion.
Session 2: “Come and Die”
Review the sermon if needed.
Use the questions provided in each session to facilitate your group’s discussion and application of each topic.
- Have you ever eating something so bad you couldn’t swallow it and had to spit it out? Worse yet did it make you throw up?
- According to the sermon this week, who is evaluating the church at Laodicea?
- According to verse 15, they were hard at work. What was the problem Jesus pointed out to them about their works?
- What was the major misconception that Jesus pointed out to the church at Laodicea?
- How can a person be in church and not be in the Kingdom?
- What was Jesus’ solution to their need?
- Because of their current circumstances and misconception, where was Jesus located in relation to their church?
- How many of you thought this verse was talking about lost people outside the church?
The Beatitudes found in Matthew chapter 5 are not a list of different types of people, but rather it is an explanation of the salvation and discipleship process of every person. Each characteristic listed is building upon the the other to a better understanding of how a relationship with God is established and maintained.
- What does it mean to be poor in spirit?
- How does recognizing your spiritual condition begin the process of grace in your life?
- How does this verse explain our need for Jesus?
Key Point 1: Have you recognized your need for God and for Grace because of your lost condition?
- What is the person in this passage mourning?
- What part does true brokenness play in our salvation?
Key Point 2: Salvation comes through a true understanding of our lost state and our brokenness.
- One pastor stated that meekness is not weakness, but strength under control: or better defined and being teachable. Why is being teachable so necessary to our continued spiritual growth?
- One of our Core Values is “Growing People Change”. What are some Next Steps the Fountains provides to allow change to take place? (The Gospel is presented every Sunday, Invest and Invite, Baptism, Life Groups, Serving in the Ministry, Equip classes such as Essentials, Ownership etc.,)
- Why is it hypocritical to say you serve Christ and not serve in His local church?
Key Point 3: Each one of us have a Next Step in spiritual Growth.
- How are these two verses connected?
- How is our heart and treasure connected?
- How does making God first in our finance show our devotion to Christ?
Key Point Four: Generosity is the mark of a heart that is pure.
Help your Group identify and take their next steps with Jesus. Pray with them and for them. Ask them about their Next Steps later this week.
- Have you recognized your need for God and are you grieved by the sin you can't overcome?
- Is your Next Step taking your first step and giving your heart to Christ?
- Since “Growing People Change” is your next step baptism, serving joining a Life Group, attending Ownership Class, or Essentials Class?
- Is your Next Step to make God first in your finance? Do you give generously to others do you tithe faithfully?
Pray for those in your group who are struggling with the questions asked tonight. Pray for one another to take your Next Steps in growing in your relationship with God.