Not so long ago, people would be born, grow up, get a job, get married, have a family, grow old, and eventually die without leaving their town or general area. It is still that way in much of this world, but no longer in America. We are living in a very mobile society. People will move across the country for jobs, education, or often just a whim! That mindset has carried over to other areas of their lives as well. Unfortunately, even when it comes to spiritual matters. Not only do we have folks who hop from church to church, but we also have some who have little concern over the doctrine and practice of the churches they choose! This month marks my 16th anniversary as pastor of Grace Baptist Temple. Someone asked me if I was the pastor when the church was started, but I really am not that old (even if I look it)! In the summer of 1960, I was only 9 years old! With that said, I would like to say this morning that I have decided to stay! For some that may be discouraging, but I hope not. Not only am I going to stay, but I want to encourage you to stay as well. Listen to the charge of the apostle Paul to the folks in the church at Corinth.
1Co 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Paul said, be stedfast and unmoveable…that means stay put and don't quit!
I. God Wants Us to Stay Steadfast.
A. The dictionary defines that as "firm in belief, determination, or adherence; loyal or faithful".
B. What does that mean to us?
1. It has to do with our faithful service to God.
2. He specifically tells us here that we are to abound (or go beyond the norm) in the work of the Lord.
3. The work of the Lord is what is important.
4. It means reaching people with the simple message of God's love.
5. It means teaching others in His ways.
6. It is the most important function that we have here on this earth.
C. There is a promise to those who are steadfast, unmovable, and abounding.
1. The knowledge that our labor is not in vain.
2. We are not wasting our time when we invest it in the work of the Lord.
3. We may not see the immediate results of our investment, but one day we will when we reach out to Christ…
4. And He says to us, 'Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter thou into the joy of the Lord' we will be glad we stayed!
5. God wants us to serve Him no matter what.
6. He doesn't want us to be "on again off again" when it comes to our walk with Him.
7. He tells us to be 'steadfast'! 8. That means don't quit…don't give up!
II. God Wants Us to Stay Unmoveable
A. This is very similar to being steadfast.
1. The difference is that this speaks more about what we are than about what we do.
2. It reminds me of the importance of being anchored.
a. While in the Navy our ship literally lost its anchor.
b. We began to drift along with the ocean currents.
c. Paul talks about being blown about with every wind of doctrine.
d. That will not happen if we are unmovable.
B. We must know what we believe and why we believe it.
1. If we believe something because that is what our church teaches, or that is what such and such pastor teaches…then we will change if they change!
2. We need to base our belief on the Word of God…because it will not change!
3. Jesus said, "He is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow" and He is the Word!
III. God Wants Us To Stay…
A. With The Savior
(John 6:67) "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?"
1. Many have left Him today - they may still be in church, but they have left Him.
2. They may still sing - teach - pray - but are far from Him.
(Mat 15:8) "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me."
B. Stay With The Word of God.
1. It is to be our rule, authority in faith and practice…nothing is to take precedence over it in our lives and decisions.
2. It is the Truth.
3. It tells us that we need to be saved, it tells us how to be saved, and it gives us the assurance of our salvation!
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
4. Stay with the Book! Don't replace it with anything or anyone!
C. Stay with the local church.
Heb 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.
1. All that we do for God is to be done in and through the local church.
2. The local church is the only organization commissioned to take the Gospel to the world.
3. No other organization has God's authority.
I don't know about you, but I have decided to stay! I didn't just make that decision this morning; I made that decision a long time ago. But this morning I am ready to recommit my life to God. Regardless of what may happen, I am going to stay! What about you? There is more work to be done, but we have fewer folks who are willing to do it! Will you stay? Now is not the time to quit…now is the time to re-enlist in God's service. For some this morning, you need to step up and say yes to God. You need to accept Christ and be born again! Will you come this morning?