Live the Dream
Stop Going to Church Week 4
Pastor Kris Freeman
Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018
Scripture: Proverbs 29: 18 (NLT)
Let’s look at this scripture in four different parallel versions:
Proverbs 29:18 New Living Translation (NLT)
18 When people do not accept “divine guidance,” they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.
Proverbs 29:18 New International Version (NIV)
18 Where there is no “revelation,” people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.
Proverbs 29:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 Where there is no “vision,” the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.
Proverbs 29:18 English Standard Version (ESV)
18 Where there is no “prophetic vision” the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
The dream God has for you and for His church is much bigger than what any of us could imagine.
If your vision is small enough that you can accomplish it without God’s intervention, then whose vision was it to start with? Your vision must be so big that it’s impossible unless God is in it!
Let’s look at the word for vision in this scripture:
– Chazown (Strong’s H2377) – Kah-zone. The word occurs 35 times in the Old Testament in Hebrew. That is the noun. The verb of the word (to see – to envision) occurs another 51 times.
It has four meanings:
1. A vision in an ecstatic state
2. A vision in the night (a dream)
3. An oracle prophecy (divine revelation)
4. A book of prophecy (written)
In each case, this word carries power because the source of the divine revelation is from God.
Listen to this poetic description of envisioning the church from Ed Stetzer:
The Gospel came to the Greeks, and the Greeks turned it into a philosophy.
The Gospel came to the Romans, and the Romans turned it into a system.
The Gospel came to the Europeans, and the Europeans turned it into a culture.
The Gospel came to America, and the Americans turned it into a business.
Was it God’s dream for the church to be a capitalistic venture to compete with the secular world, or did God’s vision for the church include prophetic revelation, evangelistic engagement, disciples on a mission and servanthood around the world?
Several years ago, our research found that church plants are getting larger and growing faster, and yet are simultaneously reaching less people for Christ. As the economic community has come along and capitalism has entered into our church planting ventures, we’ve become better at gathering a crowd. But perhaps we have relied on that too much. We’ve grown too comfortable. Our church planting capacity has grown, but our evangelistic impact has not. We haven’t been reaching more and more new people with the gospel. The evangelism impact is actually declining. – Ed Stetzer
So in turning the tables back to a design for the church with prophetic revelation, let’s:
Build a church which gives God all the glory.
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. – Matthew 5:14-16
2. Build a church which leaves the world better than sin has done to it.
11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. 12 Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. 13 This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. – Ephesians 4:11-13
3. Build a church which accepts every person and points them to Jesus.
12 The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 13 But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. 14 Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women. 15 As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. 16 Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed. – Acts 5:12-16