THE CHURCH NEEDS TO GET OUT
1 Peter 2:9, John 20:21, 1 Thes. 4:17

1 Pet 2:9    But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for {God's} own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;    (NAS)

John 20:21    Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace {be} with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."  (NAS)

1Thes 4:17    Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.    (NAS)
 

INTRODUCTION
Ever so often someone from an anti-church group says, "The church ought to get out." "It ought to get out of politics, radio, television, education, etc." I don't agree. However, I do believe the church needs to get out because: 1. It has been called out; 2. It has been sent out; and 3. It will be taken out. Please follow as I develop these three areas of thought.
 
 

I.    The church needs to get out because it has been called out. 1 Peter 2:9 


1 Pet 2:9    But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for {God's} own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;    (NAS)

This text tells us we are called out of darkness into His marvelous light. It is interesting to note the history of the word 'church'. The term church in the Greek language is EKKLESIA.. It is formed by taking the word EK, meaning out of, and KELESIS, meaning a calling. The word means "called out ones." It had an early use signifying any assembly where the people were called to that gathering for a specific purpose. Therefore, the church is a body of believers called out of the world to live for Jesus. We should get out because the very meaning of our name is the called out ones.

The contrast is made between light and dark. We are called out of darkness into light. Many points can be made to emphasize this contrast. I want to make two points each related to darkness and light. First, darkness is Satan's domain. Acts 26:18 reads ". . .turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God. . ." In Colossians 1:13, we note, "For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,". Darkness is Satan's domain. We have been called out of darkness.

The second point related to darkness is that it represents a sinful lifestyle. In the book of Ephesians 4:17-19, there is a list of different categories of sin. In verse 17 it is called ". . .walking in the futility of their mind." This has reference to follow intellect rather than God. Verse 18 calls sin ". . .darkened in their understanding, . . .". It relates sin is ". . .hardness or heart, . . ." In verse 19, sin is likened to being callous and given to sensuality and all kinds of impurity with greediness. A sinful lifestyle further displays itself in ego, pride, indifference and enslavement to many habits. But we--all Christians--have been called out of that lifestyle characterized by darkness. The church ought to get out because it has been called out.

Light is in contrast to darkness. Two points about light are: First, light is the domain of Jesus In John 8:12, it is recorded that Jesus said, ". . .I am the light of the world; he who follows me shall not walk in the darkness, . . .". Light is the domain of Jesus. You can go all the way back to the beginning. In the first chapter of Genesis, it relates there was darkness and God said, "let there be light." Turn to the gospel of John 1:9-12, these verses further support the idea that the domain of Jesus is that of light.

Light also represents a righteous lifestyle. Turn your Bible to Ephesians 5:8-14. What a contrast from the lifestyle of sin--goodness, righteousness, truth, pleasing God, exposing sin. It is a life that Christ shines on. When Christ shines on this life, it is called out of Satan's domain to Christ's. It is transferred from a lifestyle of sin to one of righteousness. We need to get out because we have been called out.

Illustration
Just last week an electrical storm caused the electricity to go off for about two hours. Candles, flashlights, and other means of light became very important. Stories broke out about having to study as a child by using an oil lamp. But at their best, the candles, lamps, and flashlights don't equal the kind of light we have become accustomed to. When the electrical power came back on, no one wanted to leave the lights off and continue with the candles, etc. Why? Because we prefer our bright electric lights.

Application

Friend, Christ calls us out of darkness into His marvelous light. It represents a much better way. If you have not responded to His call, we encourage you to make that decision today. Now notice the 2nd reason the church ought to get out.
 
 

II.    The church needs to get out because it has been sent out. John 20:21 


John 20:21    Jesus therefore said to them again, "Peace {be} with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you."  (NAS)

This passage of scripture is the great commission according to John. We are sent out. This truth is mentioned five times in the real Lord's Prayer. (John 17:8, 18, 21, 23, 25.) Is there any doubt that the Lord sends out His church? We have no question about God sending His Son. The Son says, "I send you." We ought to get out because we are sent out.

We are sent out to proclaim the gospel. In Luke 9:1 & 2, the instructions to the 12 disciples were, ". . .proclaim the kingdom of God, and to preform healing," He sent them out for that purpose. In Matthew 10:7 & 8 a more detailed instruction was given, "And as you go preach, saying, "The kingdom of heaven is at hand." Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons; freely you received, freely give."

Just as a parenthesis, I want you to note they were given specific instruction which included raising the dead. Some place a big emphasis on a healing ministry, but forget the other part of this instruction. I believe God heals today, but that there was a special need and anointing for healing in the first century that does not exist today. My prove would be, where are those who raise the dead and heal any sickness? End of parentheses.

The disciples' commission had a primary emphasis on preaching the kingdom. In a ver similar manner, we are sent out to proclaim the gospel. Any physical need may last for a lifetime, but a spiritual need may last for eternity. A person without Christ will go to hell. Therefore, we are sent to proclaim good news.

This proclaiming of good news may not be easy. The Lord tells, "Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; therefore, be shrewd as serpents, and innocent as doves." We are sent out and we may be received as sheep in the midst of wolves. As we go door to door, we may not get a favorable reception. As we talk about Jesus in the community, we may be seen as sheep among wolves. But that doesn't alter the fact that we have been sent out by the Lord. Spiritually, the only way wolves become sheep is that sheep go and present the claims of Jesus. We ought to get out because we are sent out.

Illustration
Adrian Rodgers was the president of our S.B.C. He preached at the recent convention in Dallas. He told of his first attempt to lead someone to Jesus. He was a new Christian, and went downtown to get some gas (as I recall). He was shirtless and shoeless. A transient asked him for a handout. He told this old needy man he didn't have any money. As he walked away, the Lord placed the impression on him, "Tell that old man about Jesus." But Adrian thought, I'm young; I don't have a Bible or New Testament; I don't have on a shirt or shoes; but the Lord continued to impress Adrian to witness. So, he turned toward the man, and saw him looking at him. He went to the man and said, "I don't have a Bible, but I'd like to share a word with you about Jesus." The man pulled out a New Testament and said, "Somebody gave me this; will it help?" Adrian turned to John 3:16, and told the man how he could believe in Jesus and be saved. The man responded by saying "yes" to Jesus, and they knelt right there on the street. As Adrian started to leave, the man, with tears in his eyes, said, "Son, I've been all over these United States; and you're the only person who ever told me about Jesus."

Application

Why did that experience happen? Because Adrian Rodgers believed he was sent out by his Lord to share the gospel. Each of us may have a similar story to share. The opportunity will come in the future if we are faithful. The church ought to get out, because it is sent out. Now, please follow with me on this third point.
 
 

III.    The church needs to get out because it will be taken out. 1 Thes. 4:17 


1Thes 4:17    Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.    (NAS)

The church will be taken out of this world. The promise of this scripture is such. Some day, probably in the near future, a trumpet so sweet is going to sound the homeward call. All the living redeemed are going to be called out to meet the Lord in the clouds. The text says, ". . .shall be caught up. . ." The Greek word speaks of being seized or snatched with a sudden irresistible force. Someone has humorously said, "It's the only way to fly." However, you must be saved before the trumpet sounds to get in on this flight.

In the text is related the fact that the saved are called out for a reunion. We are going to be with all the saved since the resurrection of Jesus. Every friend, loved one, or relative who has gone on to be with the Lord will be met. The Greek indicates this will be full association. What a joy for you to be with that dear ole mother or father, brother, sister or other relative. In full association we are called our for a reunion.

We are also called out for a meeting. Note the phrase that says, ". . .to meet the Lord in the air. . ." What a day of meeting when we physically and in full glory meet the Lord Jesus. Today you can ask me if I know the Lord and I'll say, "Yes, but I've never really seen Him or touched Him; but on that day, I'll see Him. I'm going to a meeting."

In verse 17 the next phrase relates ". . .and thus we shall always be with the Lord." We are called out for association. Always be with the Lord. All the saved forever with the Savior. Oh, that will be glory, the glory of His eternal presence.

Illustration
A young lady at a Baptist College had been told not to walk at night through a wooded area. But one particular night she knew it was the only way she could get to the dorm before the doors were locked. As she walked along the path, a large burly man stepped out from behind a tree. She said, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." The man walked right passed her. The next day she learned a woman had been attacked. The call came for anyone to identify a man they held in custody. This girl related that it was the same man who had walked by her. Later she got an opportunity to ask why this man walked right passed her. He said, "Are you kidding? I wasn't going to mess with that big guy walking by your side."

Application

Friend, I believe that story. Somehow the Lord's presence was manifested and protected that girl. You might ask then, why doesn't that always happen, and I can't answer that. But the text says there will be a time when we will have His presence forever. The church ought to get out, because it is going to be taken out.
 
 

Conclusion

We will sing an invitation hymn. You are invited to come forward. I will meet you. If you would like to acknowledge Jesus as Lord, you come. Perhaps you want to move your life and membership from another church. You come; do it now.
 
 


 
 


 
 

DRjim@preachhim.org
 


 

And Beyond.    Amen?    Amen!