And from the time John the Baptist began preaching until now, the KINGDOM OF HEAVEN has been FORCEFULLY ADVANCING (invading) and VIOLENT (fervent, eager) people are ATTACKING IT (Taking it by force). (Matthew 11:12 NLT)
- “From the days of John the Baptist until now,” there has been an extraordinary rush of people pressing in from all sides, eager for a blessing.
- The phrase “violent take it by force” is a figurative way of speaking. It’s talking about the eagerness of the people to enter in.
- The intensity was so great that was as if they were beating down the doors of heaven to enter in.
- Can you imagine if people once again were that hungry for God?
- One of the characteristics of being an oasis is that aggressive hunger for God.
8 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. (Luke 5:18-19)
- They were so determined to have an encounter with Jesus that they would not allow anything to get in the way. They found another way to Jesus.
- Can you imagine if we came to church with that level of desperation for God?
- A desperation for God will always unlock your breakthrough!
- The biggest obstacle to a revival in the church: Not enough desperation for God!
The question is why? Why are we not desperate? Why are we not hungry?
The enemy has given Christians (emphasis on Christians) every possible reason to make church NOT an essential part of life. Soon God is no longer number one!
- Number 1 reason why Christians do not go to church: Offenses.
- If you look for an opportunity to be offended, you will find it.
- The number 2 reason: Busyness of life.
- Even good things can replace God in your life!
5 good reasons why coming to church is important:
#1 TO HEAR AND APPLY THE WORD
So then FAITH COMES BY HEARING, and HEARING BY THE WORD OF GOD. (Romans 10:17 NKJ)
#2 TO PARTICIPATE IN CORPORATE WORSHIP
Oh come, let US sing to the Lord! Let US shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let US come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let US shout joyfully to Him with psalms. (Psalm 95:1-2 NKJ)
#3 BECAUSE IRON SHARPENS IRON
As IRON SHARPENS IRON, so a FRIEND SHARPENS A FRIEND. (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)
#4 TO EXERCISE YOUR GIFTS
6 In his grace, God has given us DIFFERENT GIFTS FOR DOING CERTAIN THINGS WELL. (Romans 12:6 NLT)
#5 BECAUSE GOD SAYS SO
25 And LET US NOT NEGLECT OUR MEETING TOGETHER, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near. (Hebrews 10:25 NLT)
What is the Holy Spirit saying to you through this message?