Sunday, April 24, 2016 - Be Loyal to Christ’s Church!
Pastor Roger C. Marcos
April 24, 2014
There is a saying: ACTION SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS. It’s really true for me because loyalty is what you do, NOT WHAT YOU SAY. Talk they say is cheap. No action, can’t be real. Yes, talking is important from time to time to reassure our allegiance verbally to our friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend, work, ministry, and above all to Christ church but, that is not enough.
Loyalty must be action packed. It can and does not thrive on mere verbal assurances; it must reveal itself in all that we do. The level of impact we make as Christians involved in the work of the Kingdom, cannot be measured in any way satisfactorily if it does not take cognizance of our practical involvement with verifiable results.
Our Loyalty must produce evidential ends, not just comments and verbal contributions. Even the bible, in giving account of the ministry of Jesus on earth which in fact was an outlet of His commitment to the Fathers business, said “.all that Jesus began to do and to teach.” Acts 1:1. Jesus did not begin by talking, He began by doing. This is very instructive. Therefore, we can safely say that we must of necessity, take a cue from Jesus. After all, God will not require from us that which He has not first and foremost demonstrated to us.
Text: ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days. Be faithful until death and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10
This means “Be firm, hold fast the faith, confess Christ to the end. The evidence of your loyalty is demonstrated in the church. NOT BY WHAT YOU SAY BUT, WHAT YOU DO.”
When Apostle Paul wrote 2 Timothy 4:16-18 he was alone without one person to stand with him. Friends, there are many lonely times in our lives, especially when we are true to Christ. Not only do people forsake us as individuals but, the church suffers from those who turn their backs on the work and walk away, leaving the Church to struggle and perhaps die if you follow them.
BE FAITHFUL IN YOUR SERVICE TO GOD AND OTHERS. Jesus promises a great reward to those who live faithfully for the Lord.
Today, I want to ask you a personal question: “ARE YOU LOYAL TO CHRIST’S CHURCH?” (I am being thankful to all of you) Before you answer that provoking question, first you must understand what LOYALTY means.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE LOYAL? Loyalty is not a word it’s a lifestyle.
Many people just mouth loyalty, but it’s not a reality in their life. In the world today we hear so many people making wedding vows just to divorce in the end.
- It is to be true blue: It is to be a person that can be counted on to stand when others fails. It is to be one who can depend on.
- from Old French loial, leal "of good quality; faithful; honorable;
- law-abiding; legitimate, born in wedlock
- having a strong feeling or showing complete and constant support for someone or something. (it is the response of the heart)
- characterized by or showing faithfulness to commitments, vows, allegiance, obligations.
“ARE YOU LOYAL TO CHRIST’S CHURCH?”
Loyalty is a willing decision that involves sacrifices. It is the act of giving something precious and of high value at one’s expense. Are you listening church?
Let us consider three things. First.
I. The MEMBER Who Is LOYAL Has Concerned About the Welfare of the Church. In the book of Acts it tells us about the loyalty of the believers to the Lord in the midst of severe persecution. The church’s strength lies on the faithfulness, dedication and love concerned of each member.
A. NT. Example of Loyalty: The Apostles were loyal to Christ when faced with threats.
Acts 4: 18-20 18 And when they had summoned them, they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. 19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; 20 for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
There was a man who had a new home, two new cars and large plasma TV. One day this man went to church only when there was nothing else to do. When he did go, which was seldom, he did nothing but FIND FAULT within the church:
The sermon was too long and boring, the young people were too noisy, and they asked for too much money for the church. The list of things he saw wrong with the church could go on and on. After he had been absent from the church for over a year, he became seriously ill and was placed in the hospital. WHEN NOBODY FROM THE CHURCH CAME TO SEE, HE ASKED SOMEONE WHY NO ONE FROM HIS CHURCH CAME TO VISIT HIM.
The person he asked replied, “That Church went out of business and closed its doors nearly a year ago.” The poor sick man replied, “THAT IS A SHAME THEY LET IT DIE. I wonder why they let it happened?”
Fellow brethren, ARE YOU CONCERNED ABOUT THE WELFARE OF NYCC? How concerned are we about the NYCC Image in the City of Toronto?
Do we represent the church well? Do our actions bring glory the Lord? Or do our actions limit our influence for God?
ILLUS: God fully expects the church of Jesus Christ to prove itself a miraculous group in the very midst of a hostile world. Christians of necessity must be in contact with the world but, in being and spirit ought to be separated from the world - and as such, we should be the most amazing people in the world. - A. W. Tozer (1897-1963) (Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World. Copyright © 1992 by Edythe Draper)
II. THE LOYAL MEMBER WILL BE COMMITTED IN CHRIST. Jesus did not say, “Come to me and get it over with.” He said, “If any man would come after me, let him take up his cross daily and follow me.” Daily is the key word. Our commitment to Christ, however genuine and wholehearted it may be today, must be renewed tomorrow . . . and the day after that . . . and the day after that . . . until the path comes at last to the river. - Louis Cassels (1922-1974) (Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World. Copyright © 1992 by Edythe Draper).
THE LOYAL WILL BE:
- REGULAR IN THEIR ATTENDANCE. One who is loyal will not have to be begged or bribed into coming to Church. They will come without coercion. They will look forward to coming together with God’s people to feast on the Word and fellowship with God’s people.
Hebrew 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
- REAL IN THEIR AFFECTION. Loyal people are loving people. They love the Lord. They love the Lord’s people. They love lost people.
Our Vision Statement: NYCC is a church that cares and reaches the lost!
WHAT DOES LOYALTY INCLUDE IN A CHURCH?
A. Fellowship Is Included
B. Friendship Is Included
- Friendship is one of the great blessings of the Christian life. The kinship we have as believers, even those who are miles apart from us, is special. Sadly today, many of our so-called friends are not truly our friends at all. Many speak well of us when we are around but, speak ill of us when we are not present. There are two things we need to remember about friends:
- FRIENDS REMAIN. Someone has given the definition of a friend as “One who is there when everyone else is gone.” A real friend, no matter what you are facing, will be there for you. A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you today just the way you are. (Mark 4 storm)
- FRIENDS RESPOND. Many times, in our darkest hour, those who say they love us and care for us are nowhere to be found. Someone said, “A friend is one who comes in when everyone else walks out.” A friend will joyfully sing with you when you are on the mountaintop and silently walk beside you through the valley.
C. Finances Are Included
- The Bible has much to say about money. The best plan for supporting the Lord’s work is the Biblical plan.
Malachi 3:8, 10
Tells us-“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.” Money is like manure: If you spread it around, it does a world of good; but if you pile it up, it stinks to high heaven.
We have considered WHAT LOYALTY EXCLUDES and WHAT LOYALTY INCLUDES but finally let us See!!!
III. HOW LOYALTY IN CHRIST’S CHURCH CONCLUDES. II Tim. 4: 16 - At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them.
A. THE LOYAL WILL BE REWARDED. The apostle Paul, after years of faithful and loyal service to God, could look back and remember the faithfulness of God and look forward to the glory that awaited him. In 2 Timothy 4:6-8
Paul declares - “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
ILLUS: As he neared the end of his life, Paul could confidently say that he had been faithful to his call. Thus, he faced death calmly, knowing that he would be rewarded by Christ. Is your life preparing you for death? Do you share Paul’s confident expectation of meeting Christ? The good news is that the heavenly reward is not just for giants of the faith, like Paul, but for all who are eagerly looking forward to Jesus’ second coming. Paul gave these words to encourage Timothy, and us, that no matter how difficult the fight seems-keep fighting. When we are with Jesus Christ, we will discover that it was all worth it.
B. THE LOYAL IN CHRIST’S CHURCH WILL BE REJOICING. In the Lord’s parable of the talents, both faithful servants were told-“Well done, thou good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” (Matthew 25:21, 23)
Although believers are to rejoice continually in the prospect of their Lord’s coming again, they are not to sit back in idleness and do nothing. Saving faith is serving faith. On the other hand, they are not to become so caught up in serving the Lord that they forget to contemplate and rejoice in His return.
Conclusion: Hebrew 10:35-39 NIV
35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For, “In just a little while, he who is coming will come and will not delay.”
38 And, “But my righteous[b] one will live by faith. And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” 39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.
Friends, let me ask you once again, “ARE YOU LOYAL TO CHRIST’S CHURCH?” “Are you loyal in FELLOWSHIP, FRIENDSHIP, and FINANCES? If so, your loyalty will be rewarded and you will be rejoicing.