Stand..and Live Life on Mission [Scott Moore, Lead Pastor of Eastridge Community Church]
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” Then he sternly warned the disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead. But Peter took him aside and began to reprimand him for saying such things. “Heaven forbid, Lord,” he said. “This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul? For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father and will judge all people according to their deeds. And I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Son of Man coming in his Kingdom.” (Matthew 16:13-28 NLT)
Three “must answer” questions:
- Has God revealed Jesus to me?
- Do I have a satanic mind? (Like Peter, am I trying to do things MY way and maybe in direct opposition to God’s will? Or am I ready to give up all my comforts and follow what He calls me to?)
- Will I give it all up and follow Jesus? (If no, then the message ends for you right here today.)
If so, look at what we get to be a part of..
I will build My church!
But one of the twenty-four elders said to me, “Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory. He is worthy to open the scroll and its seven seals.” (Revelation 5:5 NLT)
And they sang a new song with these words: “You are worthy to take the scroll and break its seals and open it. For you were slaughtered, and your blood has ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. And you have caused them to become a Kingdom of priests for our God.
And they will reign on the earth.” Then I looked again, and I heard the voices of thousands and millions of angels around the throne and of the living beings and the elders. And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered—to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” And then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea. They sang: “Blessing and honor and glory and power belong to the one sitting on the throne and to the Lamb forever and ever.” And the four living beings said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb. (Revelation 5:9-14 NLT)
The most powerful and worthy entity, Jesus, will authoritatively build His church.
The church will be built..not with bricks and mortar but with human hearts and souls.
Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all. (Acts 2:37-41 NLT)
If God can use impulsive, irrational, knucklehead Peter, then He can use ME!
And he ordered us to preach everywhere and to testify that Jesus is the one appointed by God to be the judge of all—the living and the dead. He is the one all the prophets testified about, saying that everyone who believes in him will have their sins forgiven through his name.” (Acts 10:42, 43 NLT)
Jesus is going to build His church because He loves us, and everyone else who is lost. And He knows that the church will be the living embodiment of Christ once He’s gone on to heaven.
Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. (Ephesians 1:4 NLT)
And not only for that nation, but to bring together and unite all the children of God scattered around the world. (John 11:52 NLT)
Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. (Matthew 16:18 NLT)
4 out of 5 churches in America have plateaued in attendance or are in decline. 3500 churches in America are shutting their doors each year. It’s time to change that, Eastridge.
Jesus does not promise to build His school, or His civic club, or His medical clinic..He promises to build HIS CHURCH! And scripture tells us that nothing, not even Hell will prevail against the Church.
Knowing Jesus as Lord changes everything..
Live with HIS mission.