Monday, July 21, 2014

TURNING POINTS: "Turning Points for the Church"

Here are the notes for the message yesterday at New Life Community Church.  If you desire to listen to this message, you may do so by going to our website at  God bless!

Turning Points, Part 3                                            Sunday, July 20, 2014
“Turning Points for the Church”

To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:  Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”  Matthew 16:16-19 (ESV)

Jesus has promised that His church will prevail. 
Yet here is the reality:
Researcher David Olson tells us that 3,500 to 4,000 local churches in the United States go out of existence each year.

Decline in church attendance.
1950’s approximately 47%
Today:  a little over 18%
Rise in internet spirituality.

The Passenger Pigeon
Once the most abundant bird in the world.  Accounted for more than a quarter of all birds in North America.  Hunting and habitat destruction led to demise.
One migratory flock in early 20th century:  1 mile wide and 300 miles long – took 14 hours to pass – in excess of 3.5 billion birds.
Last one died Sept. 1, 1914 in Cincinnati Zoo.

Mauritius.  Had no natural enemies.  Did not need to fly.  When man arrived, it was defenseless.

Two Simple Reasons for Extinction:
1.     Could not ADAPT.
2.     Did not REPRODUCE.

Standard replacement for population equilibrium requires that every couple produce two children and that each child does the same when they grow up. However this model is too simple and needs to consider that:
(1)    one or both children may die before adulthood
(2)    one or both children may not marry or live in a relationship, or
(3)    they may have only one child or none at all.

Hence the fertility rate to sustain a culture has to be greater than 2, and research shows it to be 2.11.
So it is stated that:
(1)    a culture can’t survive over generations if the fertility rate drops to below 2.11
(2)    history tells us that even at a fertility rate of 1.9, no previous culture has survived
(3)    at a rate of 1.3, it is impossible to recover.

Pew Research for Europe:
Non-Muslim Fertility Rate: 1.5
Muslim Fertility Rate:  2.2
It is estimated that Germany will be Islamic by 2015 if current trends continue.
The Netherlands will be a 50% muslim country within 15 years (2024), and Belgium by 2025. Even Russia will be 50% Muslim around 2050.

Will the America Church Survive?
In a recent sermon, Pastor James McDonald from Walking in the Word Ministries revealed these shocking numbers about Christianity in America:
1.      Of the 250,000 Protestant churches in America, 200,000 are either stagnant (with no growth) or declining. That is 80% of the churches in America and maybe the one you attend, if you attend at all.
2.      4,000 churches close their doors every single year.
3.      There is less than half of the number of churches today than there were only 100 years ago.
4.      3,500 people leave the church every single day.
5.      Since 1950, there are 1/3rd fewer churches in the U.S.

Look at Western Europe.
Denominational Crises:
United Methodist Church
Episcopal Church
Rise of the Megachurch.
Rise of the None’s

1.     Powered by PRESENCE.

Holy Spirit

16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,  Ephesians 5:16-20 (ESV)

2.     Built on the BIBLE.

13 each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.  16 Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?  I Corinthians 3:13-16 (ESV)

3.     Passionate about PEOPLE.

Birth Rate
Do anything short of sin to win people to Jesus.

35 And Jesus went throughout all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom and healing every disease and every affliction. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”  Matthew 9:35-38 (ESV)

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