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STATE OF THE CHURCH
I CORINTHIANS 9: 22
JESUS CHRIST originated and organized the church. It is the only
organization on earth with divine origin.
It is the only institution on earth with the exclusive mission
of reaching, teaching, winning, and developing people for
Christ. If for any reason, regardless of how good that reason
might be, the church is diverted from its mission there is no
other organization that will fulfill its role.
The fact many churches did by default fail to fulfill their
role, para-church groups have sprung up. Often the specialized
Christian groups do a good job in their specific area but none
of them are the church of which Christ spoke. Even they, as good
as they often are, divert money from the local church.
Even something as important as moral concerns can be used of the
devil to divert a church from its primary role.
Our text speaks of making a diverse effort in order that "by all
means...(we) might save some." Why extend such an effort? It is
because people have spiritual needs and we are under a mandate
from Christ to meet them.
Diversity is a distinctive noted in the text. We are a
heterogenous church. That is, we have a cross-segment of society
in our membership and that is good. We are not exclusive, we are
inclusive of the "whosoever" of John 3:16.
Our diversity is of the Lord and is one of our strengths. One
aspect of our diversification is that many have come into our
membership with non-Southern Baptist backgrounds and many
different cultural backgrounds. As a natural result they don't
know some of our policies and procedures. This message is in
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