Pleasant Run Baptist Church
"Get in, Grow Up, or Get Out"
Matthew 16:18—And I say unto
thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and
the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
Matthew 16:24—Then said Jesus
unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and
take up his cross, and follow me
seldom put a title to any of my messages, but this morning I have given this
particular message a title. I will give you the title as I go farther into
the message. I don’t want to let the, “Cat out of the bag” too early.
is a question for you. What is the Church? Is it a building with a tall
steeple? Is it a building with carpet on the floors and padded pews? The
church is not a building. It is a community of believers made up of the men
and women of faith.
Jesus said He
would build His church upon this rock. The church is more than a confession.
It is more than a profession. The church is built upon the Rock of Jesus
Christ. Hell will try to destroy the church,
it will send its secret spies to seek and devour, but I believe
there are not enough devils in Hell to destroy the kingdom of God. The
church will stand until the Lord returns. She will become marked and
wounded and battle scarred, but she
Jesus said, ”If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up
his cross and follow me.”
is the purpose of the church? How do you get in the church? The first point
I want to title this message is, “To Get In.” We must express an invitation
to a lost and dying world that Jesus’ grace is still fresh and still
sufficient to forgive the most violent sinners.
What is the role of the church?
believe it is the responsibility of the church to preach of the “good news.”
How the death of Christ lets us come into the church through the shed blood
of Jesus Christ. We get into the church through that cross.
In the eyes of God a person gets into the church by his acceptance of
His son Jesus. So think that the act of baptism is all there is to it…I do
not believe that. Baptism is a public announcement of what has taken place
in your heart, a show of faith. It is important, but is not the most
role of the church is to preach the glorious gospel. Preach Heaven sweet and
Hell hot. Preach the straight and the narrow way for the children of God.
role of the church is to send
Missionaries around the world…In Matthew28:19---Jesus told his disciples to
“Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost.” The role of the
church is to be an influence to the world and in your own community. Be
involved in the things of your community. Care for those who are in need. Be
a beacon for those who need guidance.
fourth role of the church is simply this…It is where the word of God is
taught to believers for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instructions that
the Man of God may be perfect and thoroughly furnished
to do good works …11 Timothy 3:16-17---All scripture is given by inscription of God, and is profitable for
doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good
think we do well in most things, in our community, in our church, we could
do better, but I really believe we
are doing an injustice to the church when we fail to hold its members to a
said the first part of this sermon is to be titled “To Get In.” You have an
invitation to get into the family of God…Once you get into the family, you
are committed to grow up.
Second part of the title is “Grow Up.” How can we tell a true Christian from
a pretender? Watch them to see if they are growing.
The life of a Christian is to be alive. A living thing grows and
continues to grow. There is no place, where we can slow down, idle, or pull
over to the side. I believe we are to serve Him from the moment we confess
before God, and we continue to grow and serve Him until the moment He calls
is the church not growing?
It starts behind the pulpit. It is
the Pastor’s responsibility to feed the flock God has entrusted to
Him…Timothy told Paul to preach the word for the time will come when they
will not endure sound doctrine.
Another part of the failure is that we are living in the last days. You may
say, “Preacher, I don’t believe that.” The Bible tells us there will be a
“Great falling away.” A time
when people do not endure sound document. It tells of a time when people
will become apathetic and lazy.
I believe those times are here.
church should be a place where people are equipped. However, I don’t think
we are doing all we can to be well equipped. We are in church approximately
two hours on Sunday morning, another hour or so at Sunday night service…Some
come for an hour of Bible study and prayer meeting on Wednesday night. There
is another problem…What are we doing in our home study. What are we doing to
supplement what we are getting in church? We are all guilty of pushing God
aside and letting the world crowd in. We don’t make time for worship.
We don’t make time for teaching. We don’t make time for personal
Then, we wonder why things are so bad…True believers want to hear about God.
They want to hear Bible teaching and they want to learn Bible truth.
want to say this as lovingly as I can, but Sunday school classes have
dropped off and Sunday night services are low. We have one of the best
prepared adult Sunday school teachers any church could possibly have.
Bro. Johnny McConaha, is one of the best Sunday school teachers I
have ever sat under. He teaches sound and down to my level… The Lord has
blessed us with more teachers, our youth teachers are great; and still our
classes are dropping off. What is that a symptom of? We don’t want to learn.
I can understand when people are working, when you are tired and sick, but
when you are sitting at home because you are too lazy to get ready for
church that is a symptom of being lazy.
women pack the house every time they have their monthly bible study, but the
men, well, we could do much better. People have lost the desire to learn.
have people that will come to church, see a small piece of paper in the
floor and instead of getting cleaning it up themselves, they will complain
about it being there. What is wrong with them getting the broom and dustpan
and cleaning it up? Let me get
something off my chest….Today, I am going to preach… The next time I see
someone cutting your nails during church services, I am going to come to you
and embarrass you. If you are so bored you have to snip your fingernails
shame on you. If you have a disturbing hangnail snip that one
and no more…Good night!
Every Sunday after church, I sweep up nail clippings, paper, crackers
and cookie crumbs, and candy papers. People, this is God’s house. It
deserves more respect that…Now that I have gotten that off my chest, I will
go back to preaching…..
People have lost their desire to life for God…They have lost their desire to
live godly before God and before man. There is a great falling away from
God, but there is another problem. I said before the church is a community
of baptized believers but in recent years (I know I will make someone mad
with this statement) the church has become a hiding place for unsaved
sinners. I have a problem with people who profess to be a Christian and hide
their sinful ways behind the church.
discussed this in Sunday school…one hypocrite can do more to damage the
church than a thousand unsaved people.
heard something the other day that made my blood boil…But, I stayed cool.
Someone told me of an incident where a man was discussing to others how he
dismissed the church in prayer and later went out and got drunk.
I don’t know if that is true, I only know what I was told.
How dare someone drag this church, or any church through the mud like
would an unsaved person come in here sit back in a pew and watch me as I
rant and rave, wipe sweat, and slobber, while they amen me….Why do they do
that? So they can get their conscience cleared.
They feel like going to church makes everything better.
If you are going to be a part of the church, you gotta’ do it the
“Jesus way.” That means denying yourself.
does it mean to be a part of the church?
Out of the clear blue sky someone called me and this is how the
conversation went….”Ah, Bro. Fields, I want to become a member of your
church.” They don’t go to church
and never made a profession of faith as far as I know.
Do people think that being in a
church is going to be all that God requires?
Here is a news flash for you…You can be a member of every church from
New York to California and die and split Hell wide open. Being a church
member will not get you into Heaven.
is happy that you are here today, you may not all come back, but God is
happy you are here today.
want people to be real. Don’t be an imposture, be real. Don’t try to fool
God. There have been times when I
have been fooled. I thought I was a good judge of character and normally I
am, but, mercy have I been fooled…But, you can’t fool God. Judgment is
Jesus said if you are going to come
after me, you must follow… where is He? He is with the Father, and to follow
Him means you must deny yourself. The problem is...People think it’s all
about me. But, it is not about me. It is not about us…It is all about Him.
Someone once said in order to have joy in your life you must put Jesus
first, others second, and yourself last. That is a good formula to use.
I am sick of those using the church
as a hiding place for their sinful nature. It makes all church members look
bad in the eyes of the unbelievers…
Get in, grow up, and if you can’t do that, then get out of the way.
You might think that is a rough statement to make, bu
t I am tired of looking back and you should be too. Right now, you
might be thinking “I can’t help that situation preacher,” and you can’t.
But it will be taken care of…
There was a man who planted his fields. During the night someone went into
them and sowed tares among the wheat.
When the servant found this out, he went to his master and said,
“Master, the enemy has slipped into the wheat fields during the night and
planted tares among the good crop, what are we going to do? I will go into
the fields and pluck out the tares now if you want me to.”
The master said,
“No, leave them alone. At harvest time, we will divide the tares from the
wheat and put them in the fire…
We need to be a church that grows. We
need to be a church that loves. We need to be a church that is
compassionate. But, we have got to be real.
breaks my heart to preach in this manner, but I must tell you, we have got
to be real… Get in, or get out. If you are trying to hide sin behind a
church pew, get out. IF you GET
IN, you must GROW UP. If you can’t grow up, GET OUT!
Christians we have our
problems, too. We have become lazy.
It is time we straightened up…If we are not growing in faith it is
time for us to GROW UP.
14—Straight is the gate, and narrow the way, which leadeth unto life, and
few there be that find it…
Matthew 7: 22-23—Many
will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name?
and in thy name have cast out devils, and in thy
name done many wonderful works?
23—And then will I
profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
People that sat in a church pew
for years will die and miss Heaven because they were hiding from God.
is no place you can go and hide from God.
Pastor JR Fields