My Church | Investing in the Story
Our Cause: The Ministry of Reconciliation | My Church Part 4 | Lehi
2 Corinthians 5:17-20
Psalm 34:18-19 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;Psalm 34:18-19 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all;
Matthew 5:13 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”
Series Thesis: The greatest MOVEMENT in human history is the local church.
Objection: Religion is the #1 cause of WAR.
Reality: Less than 7% of all wars in history had a religious cause and half of those were waged by ISLAM.
Question: Is it possible that the greatest cause of suffering in human history is FATHERLESSNESS?
REALITY OF FATHERLESSNESS
- Fatherless families are 44% more likely to raise children living in poverty.
- 90% of all homeless and runaway children are fatherless.
- Kids from fatherless homes are 10x more likely to abuse chemical substances.
- 71% of all adolescent substance abusers come from a fatherless home.
- 80% of all adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes.
- Kids from fatherless homes are 2x more likely to commit suicide.
- Fatherless children experience more accidents and a higher rate of chronic asthma, headaches and speech defects.
- Kids from fatherless homes are 9x more likely to drop-out of school.
- 70% of adolescents in juvenile correction facilities come from fatherless homes.
- 60% of rapists are raised in a fatherless home.
- Kids from fatherless homes are 11x more likely to have violent behavior.
- Kids from fatherless homes are 20x more likely to be incarcerated
- Kids from fatherless homes are 9x more likely to be raped or sexually abused.
- 70% of teen pregnancies happen in fatherless homes.
(All stats from the National Center for Fathering)
The local church is the best equipped organization to prevent ALL social ills since it is the place where families are nurtured and fathers are ENCOURAGED.
Psalm 68:4-5 Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.
The local church is a GIFT to single mothers.
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
BIG IDEA: Perhaps the biggest impact of the local church throughout history is what it has PREVENTED.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
Bottom Line: A healthy Church CORPORATION makes possible a healthy Church COMMUNITY which makes possible a successful Church CAUSE.
1. Of all the things that Christ taught and Christians have practiced for the last 2000 years (not counting salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ) what do you think has made the biggest impact on our world today? Why?
2. Read Psalm 34:18-19. Do you think that the world believes that God is FOR THEM? Why? Why not?
3. Why is it important that we correct the erroneous charge that RELIGION (and to some extent, Christianity) is the source of most conflicts in the world? Did the statistics presented in the message surprise you?
4. Read Psalm 68:4-5 and James 1:27. Talk about how the Church has been used by God to show care for the “fatherless children” of the world. Review the statistics regarding fatherlessness. What surprises you?
5. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-20. Discuss the Christians’ role in joining with Jesus to reconcile all things to Him. What does this look like in your family? Work place? Community? Other?