RAP SHEET 1/9/22
Sermon: Soft Open/Grand Open
Scriptures: Acts 2, 10, and 15
ICE BREAKER: What is the scariest thing you have ever done?
This week we celebrated the Grand Opening of our new building. In order to put it in proper context, we looked back at the beginning of THE church in the first century.
Jesus came into a Jewish context and that is where he spent his ministry. It is no wonder that the first time the disciples preached the gospel, they did it to an exclusively Jewish audience. In fact, the first season of the church was all done in Israel. This was the "Soft Open" in a sense. The message was going out - but only to a small circle of similar people.
However, Jesus had given very clear marching orders that the church movement was to go all the way to "the ends of the earth." That began to happen in Acts 10 when God gave Peter a unique vision. Peter was sent to a man named Cornelius who was a Gentile, (or non-Jew). The assignment was clear - Peter was to engage Cornelius with the gospel.
There was just one BIG problem, Peter had NEVER stepped foot in a Gentile house! His entire life he was taught that to enter into a non-Jewish home would defile him and make him spiritually unclean. Peter moved closer to the door and before he knew it he was standing at the Threshold of the home.
We all have our thresholds. The things that we are uncomfortable doing, the people we see as "others" or unclean, the places we refuse to go, or the habits we deny are real.
What is the THRESHOLD you have been unwilling to cross in your faith?
What opportunities might you be missing on the other side of that threshold?
Peter cross the THRESHOLD. This one small step for Peter was a GIANT leap forward for the Movement of Jesus. As Peter entered into foreign territory, the Holy Spirit was unleashed into all the world for all people! This was the setup for the Grand Opening of THE Church!
The Mission became even clearer a short time later at the Jerusalem council. After much debate over how to bring the Gentiles into the church, James brought clarity on how they would move forward:
"WE WILL NOT MAKE IT DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO COME TO JESUS!"
With that, the Church was wide open and began it's journey around the world - changing lives everywhere it went!
MetaChurch is determined to follow the same blueprint laid out in scripture. We are a church for everyone in all places of life and spirituality. This means we MUST cross the thresholds that have kept us away from those who don't know Jesus.
Some of these thresholds are social, some are mental/emotional, some are mindsets, and many are habits or ways of life.
HERE IS THIS WEEK'S APPLICATION QUESTION:
What is ONE Threshold you have seen in your life and what is ONE WAY you will intentionally cross it this week?
Spend some time praying for MetaChurch and its impact in our city and beyond. Ask the Holy Spirit to continue to show you the threshold's you have been unwilling to cross. Remember Peter's example and ask Jesus for the strength to do whatever it takes to push this movement forward.