Jim Cymbala, pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, states that Christianity is only as strong as the local church and that God wants to bless our churches in ways we can’t possibly imagine. It doesn’t matter whether a church is alive and growing or barely surviving on life support. God has a plan for it. God is able to deal with any problem a church will ever face – as long as his people earnestly seek him.
To be a church that God uses, we can learn much from the church of Antioch in the Acts of the Apostles. This was a church on which God was pouring out His blessings – not based on some marketing techniques or having the latest high-tech devices or with the most sophisticated programs but a church that genuinely loved the Lord and wanted to see others come to faith in Jesus Christ.
There are multiple principles based upon the Church in Antioch. I just want to focus on one. God uses a church where the gospel is clearly proclaimed! To understand our text, you need to know something about Antioch. It was located 300 miles north of Jerusalem and was the third largest city in the Roman Empire, behind Rome and Alexandria, having more than 500,000 residents. It was a center for commerce and a crossroads for travel and trade between Europe and the Orient. This made the city a melting pot of various races, including the Romans, the local Syrians, Jews, and others.
The city was also known for sexual immorality. Five miles outside of town was the grove of Daphne, where worshipers of Artemis and Apollo pursued their religion of pleasure with temple prostitutes.
It is significant that when God picked a city that would become the center for missionary endeavor, He picked a cosmopolitan, morally corrupt city like Antioch. In this secular, pagan environment, common Christians began telling the simple gospel message that Christ Jesus came into this world to save sinners, that whoever believes in Him receives eternal life and forgiveness as God’s free gift.
Acts 11:20 literally reads, “Preaching the Lord Jesus.” But in telling the good news, they didn’t dodge the hard matters of sin and repentance, since we read in v. 21 that a great number who believed turned to the Lord. This means that these former pagans gave up their idols, their sexual immorality, their lying, and their corrupt business practices when they put their trust in Jesus as Lord.
So, Antioch is a wonderful example for us! It was a church founded by simple believers who proclaimed the gospel as the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. And the hand of the Lord was with them, and considerable numbers were brought to the Lord.
I covet that for Hope Community Church! I want to be part of a church, like Antioch, where growth clearly comes from the Lord and where, also like Antioch, we become a center for worldwide impact for Jesus Christ. Will you join me in that desire? And, let’s make it happen right here in Waynesboro . . . and beyond!
Pastor Glen will continue the sermon series, Ephesians: Our Identity and Purpose! His sermon this Sunday is “Purpose of the Church,” based upon Ephesians 4:7-10. Please read this text in preparation for worship.
Adult Sunday School
Our Adult Sunday school class will meet this Sunday immediately after worship in the large Sunday school room. Please join Janet Coiner and others for a wonderful time around God’s Word!! We will study Mark 1: “Who is Mark, and where did he obtain his knowledge of Jesus?” Please bring your Bible!!
Bless Every Home
Let’s ALL participate in blessing every home in our neighborhoods by intentional pray-care-share lifestyles! PLEASE check out the website: www.blesseveryhome.com!
If you have not had your photo taken to update our photo directory, please sign-up this week in the Welcome Center. You would be able to have your photo taken THIS Sunday!!
Tithes and Offerings
An offering box is available when you enter or exit the sanctuary. Additionally, online giving opportunities are available on the website.
May Financial Report
Offerings: Monthly: $35,143.89 YTD: $89,892.88
Expenses: Monthly: $13,604.31 YTD: $73,820.51
We have also received monies designated for our capital campaign and building fund. In May received $1,185.00 for the Capital Campaign and $550.00 in restricted giving.
Support Hope Community Church by choosing us as your Amazon Smile charity. Simply login to Amazon. In the upper left corner, Click Amazon Smile. If you are supporting a charity already, you will see that name. Click the dropdown arrow. Click “Change Charity”. Search for “Hope Community Church Waynesboro”. Click and select.
Christian Imagination and Creative Cultural Engagement Seminar
Join Dr. Ted Turnau, who will explore cultural engagement, and how we can contribute to the cultural conversation all around us! Sunday, July 10 at 6:00 p.m. at Lebanon Evangelical Presbyterian Church (8312 Brooksville Road in Greenwood, Virginia!
Our Weekly Prayer meeting is held at our church facility each Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. We invite you to join with us as we seek the Lord’s face!
Paige Holder (6/24)