Well, good morning, man today is going to be an incredible day. I want to share a story with you. I don’t know how much you like history, but there’s some history in this building right here today. I want to share it with you, because you might discover that we may be repeating history, ourselves, [, Music, ]. Today, i’m standing in front of the historic cumberland presbyterian church, i’m at the corner of washington and 2nd street in clarendon arkansas, and this is a pretty amazing church.
This church actually has a very decorated history, you’re, going to hear the background of a city still going on, while i’m talking to you, but the cumberland presbyterian church was built and established in 1869 by a group of believers who formed up in 1854. It was a interesting story behind this church. What happened was is that a group of guys here in in clarendon arkansas decided during the civil war? They would commandeer one of the iron maiden ships that belonged to the north and they got it right out here. Just a few hundred yards behind me on the white river and they took it over.
They released all the sailors and the soldiers that were on the ship, but what they did was they went ahead and burned it to the ground. Well, the north couldn’t deal with that kind of activity and that kind of rebellion, and so they sent troops to clarendon arkansas and clarendon arkansas somewhere around 1854 was burnt to the ground, completely gone, never to be heard from or seen again so they thought. But a few years later, five years exactly this church was built. This is cumberland presbyterian, church, here’s what’s interesting. This church was built under duress and it was five denominations that actually came together and met in this church for the next 50 years.
Now, what’s amazing to me is when i stop and think about it today? How often do you see churches coming together being willing to work together in this kind of circumstance? What, in my mind, i asked the question thinking the history lesson of of what took place here. I asked the question: what what caused these churches to work together, because today we we can’t seem to get anybody to work together. You know what it is outside pressure see they lived during a time when things were difficult.
They lived during a time here when things were tough, they sensed the persecution and pressure. You know what persecution does it’ll do one of two things: it’ll, either press you out of your place of comfort or it’ll press you, together with the people who are like-minded, like you are see today. Most of our experience in church has been one where we didn’t. We haven’t dealt with persecution, we haven’t dealt with the pressures from outside and so guess what we have we’re: fragmented across town. There’S this church and a block later.
There’S this church and over here there’s this church. There’S this denomination! There’S the baptist! There’S a pentecostal there’s the methodist there’s the church of christ, you name it there’s divisions within each of those major denominations and we’re fragmented all over the place. Why?
For the most part, much of our recent history hasn’t been filled with pressure or persecution, and when we’re not being chased or hounded or or come after, what we tend to do is we tend to go out and want to do our own thing? We don’t want to go to church there anymore. Why? Because i don’t like old so-and-so. I don’t like what she said or i don’t like the way they do this and i don’t like the color of that thing and i don’t like the fact that they don’t play this kind of music and gosh.
My kids, don’t like that church and my kids. Don’T like this church, and so we fragment and we go, and we do whatever we want to, but the world’s changed, and i want you to think about it for a second, the world has changed. We don’t live in the world that we used to live in. We don’t live in the world that we grew up in. We don’t live in the world that our parents grew up in.
We live in a different world and pressure persecution, complexities difficulties are coming what’s interesting is is that the bible tells us very specifically about our enemy. It tells us that that our enemy satan is like a roaring lion seeking whom he might devour. Now i don’t know if you’ve ever paid attention to how a line hunts but i’ll tell you this a lion hunts. Looking for fragments of the herd, a lion finds the one by itself, a lion finds the old or the weak or the young or the naive, and it searches them out and it attacks them and that’s what it goes after. I look at our the christian culture as a whole in america and i think you know up until now to be quite honest with you, we haven’t had the band together and you know what we’ve done is we’ve taken non-essential things.
We’Ve allowed non-essential issues to separate us. I want to just pose this one question and i want you to think about it for just a second. Do you believe that if you’re, let’s say you’re one denial, let’s say you’re baptist? Do you believe that the people that are the church of christ that are devoted to god and working in their ministry and working in their denomination and working in the work that god’s given to do you believe that they hate god, that they test the bible that They dislike the truth of god’s word, i would say no, let’s say your church of christ. Do you believe that the baptist they themselves actually dislike?
God? Do you think the baptist hate the word of god or hate jesus? Do you think they they’re not sincere or devoted to the the the god that they worship? No, i think they are. How about the assemblies of god?
Do you think that they’re wrong or how about the non-denominationals? Do you think that they don’t care actually about god? Actually, the truth is, if we really boil it down denominations, we all care about god. Whatever perspective we have, but here’s what we’ve done now, i’m not talking about all denominations, because there’s there’s some religions out there. That are contrary on essential things.
They don’t believe some of the essential things that we believe about christ, but, for the most part, mainstream denominations we’re not divided based on essentials. We’Re divided based on style, we’re divided based on history, we’re divided based on things that don’t really matter we’re not divided, necessarily by whether we believe the bible is true or not. We’Re not divided essentially whether we believe god is real or not we’re not divided by where salvation comes through christ. We’Re not divided we’re divided about the things that that encircle, those things and we can be, and up until now we could be this. We could have this level of divide, we could all kind of do our own thing and, moreover, there’s some of you who aren’t even a part of a denomination you’re at home, you’re those people say.
Well, i can worship, god home. I don’t need the church. I can i can do my own thing i can do. I can do whatever it is that i want to do and you just kind of go about your own way, and you know what up until now, you could do that, but something changed something changed. Just months ago, something changed: you don’t live in a world where you can be off by yourself anymore, because the bible says that you need to be sober.
That means that you need to have a sober perspective on. What’S really going on, the bible says, be sober, be vigilant. That means you need to be actively pursuing and making sure you’re taking care of the things that, god has told us to take care of it says be sober, be vigilant for your adversary. That means you have an enemy you. I have a a real enemy he’s legitimate, listen, the the spiritual battle that that results in physical, emotional and spiritual damage is real and you have an enemy that desires nothing more than to consume and destroy you.
It’S real be sober, be vigilant for your adversary, the devil prowleth, about like a roaring lion, seeking him out of hour who’s. He looking for he’s looking for these fragments, and you know what we’ve done, because we haven’t had persecution or pressure. We’Re not like this church when it first began. Five denominations coming together: understanding that their identity as a follower of jesus was more important than the non-essential things that they tend to cling to you, and i live in an age where we may have to let go of these things that have to do with style. That have to do with programming that have to do with color or has to do with music, or has to do with things that don’t matter we have to let those things go so that we can come together, because pressure and persecution is at our doorstep.
You live in a world today that is hostile to the things that you believe. If you are a christian and i don’t know if you’ve noticed it or not, but what’s taken place in our world, is we it? We have changed and we have shifted. We don’t have a government that embraces and endorses what we believe is true. We now have pressure and persecution, and maybe we could learn from a church that was built in 1869 that five denominations met in for 50 years because they understood that they needed each other.
I think the baptists need to know that they need the assemblies of god, and i think the assemblies of god need to know that they need the church of christ and i think the church of christ needs to know they need the baptist and vice versa. Do we does that mean that we surrender um our individual convictions? No, it doesn’t, but what it does mean is that, for the greater good of the purpose and the mission that we’re on and and to thwart the enemy that we’re against, we may have to come together and let the non-essentials be non-essential. And let’s focus on. What’S really important because you and i live in a world – that’s separated from a god who loves it.
We live in a world where there’s a group of people that god wants to have a relationship with, and god has called every single one of us, every single one of us. I don’t care what denominational background you come from to come together. Do i know what that looks like? I really don’t be honest with you. I don’t really know what that looks like yet, but here’s what i know i have conviction about it.
Here’S what i also know. I know that if you and i we’re willing to set aside some things and work together, it’s for the greater good of all that’s going on right now, i don’t know, maybe it’s just something you should think about. I believe it’s something that’s important. I pray. I pray that you’ll consider maybe you’re at home right now.
You’Re, like hey man, i don’t go to church. I can worship god from the deer stand or from my house or from a you can’t anymore. You need to be identified with a group of people, a group of people who love jesus, a group of people who are willing to stand locked armed together, walking in lock step together, caring about and carrying out the purpose of christ. The the implications are too big. The the consequences are too great for us to try to do this by ourselves or fragmented, as we are we’re gon na have to come together.
Y’All, that’s gon na be really really important in the days to come. I’M convinced of it that our world is going to become more complex and our purpose and cause is going to be more complicated if we continue to be individualized and and separate. So that’s my two cents. You can take it or leave it. I’D love for you to leave a comment if you’ve got some some something you’d like to apply and you’re like hey.
I want to talk about this, throw a comment and say i i answer all the comments, so just throw them out there, regardless how silly the comments sometimes are, and they are sometimes silly, but that’s. Okay, anyway, until the next time i get a chance to talk to you. God bless you. I pray that you’ll at least consider what i said. God is good, he really is and he calls us to be together.
Let’S do that. I think it’d be awesome. God bless you [ Music, ], so [, Music ], you