Sermon Title: And Change the World
Text: Acts 3:24-25; 17:6 (ESV)
Brief summary (what’s the point of this text/sermon?)
Our theme for 2018 has been “Love God. Love People. Change the World.”This past Sunday we turned our attention to the last of those three descriptions of what we are called to do: Change the World.
Few would disagree with the fact that the world is messed up in so many ways. Our country is struggling: raging political rivalries, persistent racial tension, widespread addictions, increasing immorality. But of course this is not a new development; the world apart from God has always embraced attitudes that are self-destructive.
In the middle of this mess God has placed us, his church, to be an influence for good. That has always been his plan for his people, which he hinted at when he said Abraham’s descendants would bless “all the families of the earth.” And God’s church has been an active force for good in many ways since Jesus created it 2,000 years ago (respect for human life, the value of each individual, abolition of slavery, scientific and medical advancements, racial reconciliation, etc.).
But it’s tempting for us to forget that God put us here to make a difference in the world. We’re called to do more than “go to church” . . . we are to “be” the church, which means that we avoid an inward-focused selfishness by looking out at the world and asking: “Why has God put us here in this community? How can he use us to bless the world?”
God put the Hoover Church of Christ here to be agents for change in the lives of people who ignore or who don’t know what
How do I live out the implications of this passage? (Discussion starters to help with applying the sermon to our lives)
- What are some of the ways that our world is largely living in rebellion to God’s will?
- Thinking about what we know of the last 2,000 years, how has Christianity been a positive influence on the world?
- How have Christians sometimes been a negative influence? How have Christians been too slow to react to sinful practices and attitudes?
- In the sermon, we talked about a friend who encourages churches to ask these questions: “If our congregation ceased to exist tomorrow, what would our community miss? What good things that are being done now would not be done if we weren’t here?”
- A clear way that we can make a difference in our community is by sharing the gospel (something that we will explore more in the next couple of months). How can we as a church do better evangelistically?
- God told the Jews in exile: “But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.” Besides evangelism, what has our congregation done to bless our communities? In what other ways might we “seek the welfare” of our city?