Jesus' Marching Orders for the Church
Matthew 28: 11-20
INTRODUCTION: ILL.- Cowboy Joe was telling his fellow cowboys back on the ranch about his first visit to a big-city church.
"When I got there, they had me park my old truck in the corral," Joe began.
"You mean the parking lot," interrupted Charlie, a worldly fellow.
"I walked up the trail to the door," Joe continued.
"The sidewalk to the door," Charlie corrected him.
"Inside the door, I was met by this dude," Joe went on.
"That would be the usher," Charlie explained.
"Well, the usher led me down the chute," Joe said.
"You mean the aisle," Charlie said.
"Then, he led me to a stall and told me to sit there," Joe continued.
"Pew," Charlie retorted.
"Yeah," recalled Joe. "That's what that pretty lady said when I sat down beside her."
ILL.- Here's another. One Sunday morning an old cowboy entered a church just before services were to begin.
Although the old man and his clothes were spotlessly clean, he wore jeans, a denim shirt and boots that were very worn and ragged. In his hand he carried a worn out old hat and an equally worn out bible.
The Church he entered was in a very upscale and exclusive part of the city. It was the largest and most beautiful church the old cowboy had ever seen. The people of the congregation were all dressed with expensive clothes and accessories.
As the cowboy took a seat, the others moved away from him. No one greeted, spoke to, or welcomed him. They were all appalled at his appearance and did not attempt to hide it.
The preacher gave a long sermon about Hellfire and brimstone and a stern lecture on how much money the church needed to do God's work.
As the old cowboy was leaving the church, the preacher approached him and asked the cowboy to do him a favor. "Before you come back in here again, have a talk with God and ask him what He thinks would be appropriate attire for worship." The old cowboy assured the preacher he would.
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