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1 Corinthians: The Perfect Church (9 of 29)
Series: Through the New Testament
1 Corinthians 1:1-9
Introduction: A rich man went to his preacher and said, ''I want you and your wife to take a three-month trip to the Holy Land at my expense. When you come back, I'll have a surprise for you.'' The preacher accepted the offer. He and his wife went off to the Middle East.
Three months later they returned. The wealthy parishioner greeted them at the airport with the news that while they were gone, he had built a completely new church building. He had designed and paid for it himself. ''It's the finest building money can buy, '' he explained. ''No expense was spared. It has every feature to make it the perfect church building!''
He was right. It was a magnificent structure both outside and in. It was made from the finest stone on the outside and the most beautiful wood on the inside. The sound and lighting were perfect. It had the latest technology everywhere. But there was one striking peculiarity. The sanctuary had only one pew and it was at the very back. ''A church with only one pew?'' questioned the preacher. ''You just wait until Sunday,'' the rich man said.
When the time came for the Sunday service, the early arrivals entered the church, filed onto the one pew and sat down. When the pew was full, a sensor tripped a silent switch, a circuit closed, the gears meshed, a belt moved and, automatically, the rear pew moved forward. When it reached the front of the church, it came to a stop. At the same time, another empty pew came up from below and rested at the back. More people sat down. And so it continued. Pews filled and moved forward until finally the church was full, from front to back.
''Wonderful!'' said the preacher. ''This IS the perfect church building!''
The service began. When it came time for the sermon, the preacher stepped to the new pulpit. He launched into his text. As the regular ending time for the service approached ...
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