Mon. Jan 25th, 2021

T.W. Barnes

 

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Acts 2:1-8: And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled saying one to another. Behold, are not all these which speak Galileans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

 

Acts 2:46-47: And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

 

Nobody went to sleep in that service. The sound from heaven as a rushing mighty wind and the fire and the tongues kept everybody wide awake. It attracted a great multitude of people.

 

Many ways are used to attract people. Organization and advertising are frequently used, but nothing attracts like the power of God.

 

If while traveling down the road, you saw a great multitude of people and cars everywhere; you would immediately ask these questions: “I wonder who is there? I wonder what is there? What is going on in this place.” You drive a little bit further and see the name on the building–Wal-Mart.

 

What attracted those people? “Mr. Wal-Mart” started off with one store, but he kept on adding to his business. Now, all over the United States the Wal-Mart stores attract people. Why? Because they have just about everything a person wants.

 

The Wal-Mart stores could look like the one they once had here (in Minden). Notice how empty that lot is now. It used to be a Wal-Mart store and next door housed a big grocery store. Not a car can be seen on that hill now. Why? They moved their items. They moved what the people wanted down the highway into another building and the people followed.

 

Wal-Mart could become like a vacant car lot if it did just two or three things. If they dismissed all the workers except one checker who had to do everything, people would be lined up from wall to wall with their carts full of stuff trying to get out. It wouldn’t be long until we would see cars around the country stores again. Wal-Mart had what the people wanted; but they couldn’t get it out, so they went somewhere else.

 

It takes many people to get the job done and to keep things moving; it takes a lot of trucks coming and going. It takes a lot of hired people, staying up day and night to keep the business going.

 

Many churches once had the power of the Lord, but when they lost the power the Lord moved out. We have much to offer a lost world, but we need to be an attractive church. Every member is a worker; just one or two can’t do everything. Our church needs everybody to make this an attractive church. Each individual should be an attractive Christian.

 

Somebody said, “Aw, it doesn’t matter what is on the outside.”

 

I ask this question: “If you went to a grocery store all broken down with the roof caved in and at the front door cigarette stubs, tobacco juice, and beer cans were piled around, would you go in?” No, you would decide the outside shows the inside will be just as jumbled up and dirty. It does matter about the outside.

 

In Proverbs 7 we read about a boy meeting a woman dressed like a harlot. I don’t know how harlots dressed then, but maybe her dress was much shorter than most women wore. Her collar may have been lower than the others, but her appearance told the kind of woman she was. Today in a lot of churches someone dressed like this may be considered a saint, but to God your clothes and also your countenance matter. If you are depressed, don’t go to town until you pray through and can walk with a spring in your step and have a smile on your face.

 

Matthew 12:33: Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.

 

Don’t argue with me that a thorn bush is a peach tree; it tells me it is a thorn bush. I can see the thorns; I can feel the thorns. If you don’t believe it’s a thorn bush, hug it.

 

Read the signs. Driving though a city, I felt really sick. (I was a whole lot younger then than I am now.) I had never gone to doctors; I just didn’t want to fool around with them and did not like to take all that old junk. I saw a doctor’s office and I just pulled in and thought, “I’ll go in there and get a doctor to examine me and see what is wrong with me.”

 

I walked up to the lady (I saw some doctors’ names outside–but I didn’t read the whole thing up to the top.) and said, “I’d like to see a doctor.”

 

She said, “You mean your wife would like to see one?”

 

I said, “No, I want to see one.”

 

She said, “This is the O.B. Clinic.”

 

I could have gone through the floor. I hurried out and got in the car and looked back. In box car letters I read the name of the clinic. It pays to read the signs on the outside..

 

You may have the fattest turkeys in town–I mean the best in the barn, but if you put a sign, Buzzards for Sale on the barn door, you won’t get a customer. Nobody wants a buzzard.

 

Ask the folks that say it does not matter about the outside if it matters what is on the outside signs when they go to town–you know–groceries over here, hardware over there and on and on. We look for the sign. It tells us what is on the inside. And whatever the outside sign reads, that should be on the inside. If it says groceries, it should be groceries, not pole cats.

 

We want to look like Christians, walk like Christians, act like Christians; we want to be Christians wherever we go. Be what you are, but don’t “rub it in”. I’ve worked on jobs; I didn’t tell anyone I was a Christian. I knew they would find it out in a day or two. I didn’t smoke; I didn’t drink; I didn’t curse. When they told dirty jokes, I would go sit under a tree away from them.

 

Finally, they said, “You must be a Christian.”
I asked, “How did you know?”

 

They said, “Well, you don’t join in the things we do around here.”

 

I said, “That is right; I don’t. I once did, but I don’t talk that way or think that way anymore. I have changed.”

 

The world’s most attractive church! What attracted them on the day of Pentecost? A sound from heaven–thank God it came from heaven. Don’t pay any attention to anything that don’t come from heaven. A sound came from heaven as a rushing mighty wind. Tongues like as unto fire sat upon each of them. They all began to speak in that supernatural language. The world tries to understand tongues, but they can’t. If they could only feel what we feel when the gift of tongues is rolling through our soul–if they could only know. But they stand and look on.

 

The power continued to attract. Why? They didn’t have a building–a two million church building to attract them. They didn’t have much money. The leader plainly said, Silver and gold have we none, but such as we have we give unto you. So it wasn’t money, it wasn’t prestige, it wasn’t big names that attracted the multitudes. Something else attracted them..

 

They continued daily in one accord (They all believed the same things.) breaking bread from house to house and did eat their meat with gladness. They were a happy people. I told somebody the other day, “I know you’re going through this certain trial, but it has become so big the sun doesn’t shine any more for you. The sun is gone from your heart and you’re not enjoying anything. The only way you can handle this is to get out somewhere and walk with the Lord and enjoy the presence of God and talk to Him and put this other thing on the shelf. Get out and live. It is time to get out and live.”

 

They were a happy people and a very popular people because they had favor with all. A growing church and a fruitful church attracts people of the world.

 

The Lord added daily to this attractive church. Every day somebody received Holy Ghost. Every day someone was baptized in Jesus name. Daily somebody in this church was saved. Members of this church lived genuine Christian lives that attracted the poor lost sinner to this beautiful church. We must also live genuine Christian lives if we attract lost souls to our church.

 

To have a revival in Jerusalem, the hardest, toughest city in the world would seem no easy task. A revival in the city where Jesus said, You have stoned the prophets? The city that crucified the Lord? Of all cities in the world, don’t try to have a revival here. But no city is too hard for the New Testament church.

 

Why did God want revival in Jerusalem–the world’s hardest city that killed the prophets, stoned them to death in the streets, and murdered the Lord on the old rugged cross? He wanted the world to know He can have revival in the toughest city in the world.

We can have revival in any city. Do not doubt Him. Be careful about asking the question can God? He doesn’t like that. He can if we will.

 

Informed people made up the church in Jerusalem. (v.32). This Jesus has God raised up whereof we are all witnesses. We are witnesses that God raised Him up. We have seen Him. We have felt Him; we have heard Him; we are witnesses. We know what we know! We have been born again of the water and the spirit, been baptized in Jesus Name, filled with the Holy Ghost. We are a witness to the Apostolic Church that He lives! Be a witness; that is all that is asked of you–be a witness. Don’t try to force–just be a witness.

 

It remained an attractive church because they continued in the apostle’s doctrine. Today we hear the way to have revival is to throw the doctrine away. How did the early church have continual revival? They continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine. God help us to raise the level of faith to apostolic revival–not lower it to carnal living!

 

It was a Holy Ghost church. They were all filled with the Holy Ghost and when they prayed, things happened. Acts 4:31: A nd when they had prayed, the place was shaken. I don’t know what all that meant, but it is far more important for the church to pray for sinners to be shaken–stirred up. Pray they will awaken in the night, dreaming about God’s church, feeling the pull of the Holy Ghost.

 

What will cause the church to become unattractive? Romans 12:1,2: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed..

 

As we become too adjusted to this world, the church becomes less attractive to the sinner. Offenses against each other causes the church to loose its attractiveness. Whosoever offends one of these little ones, it would be better if a millstone were tied to his neck and cast into the sea. Do not become a stumbling block to one of these precious little ones! If you become a stumbling block or offend one of God’s children, it would be better if you were cast into the sea.

 

A church can have the best singing and the best music and still be just four walls and pews. It can have the best organization, it can have a million dollar building, but be cold and dead.

 

What makes any church attractive? Jesus himself said, And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto Me.

 

Your sins and mine lifted Him and nailed Him to the old rugged cross. He died; He was buried; He arose; He ascended, and He is soon to come back. Now my job–since I have been forgiven and filled–is to lift up the glorified Christ who will soon come back for His church without spot or without wrinkle. Oh, let me lift Him up; let me tell the world He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

 

My sins lifted Him to the cross. Now my love lifts up a glorified Christ to the world. I want you to see the King of Glory. It is He that attracts. He alone. Great singing and great preaching alone will not attract the lost, but His Spirit will. I have watched men-­sinners–sit under some of the greatest preaching I have heard in all my life–they sat there cold. Out of the same crowd others would rise and obey and be saved. Only the Spirit of God draws men to Him.

 

We are an attractive church. We must keep growing in this realm to attract people to come and be saved. Tell them Jesus walks the aisles of this church. Tell them Jesus is around this altar. The greatest thing about the Pentecostal Church–we believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God and Savior of the world, and He still baptizes with the Holy Ghost and forgives all sins. People, troubled and heartbroken, need to hear this. Sin has wrecked their lives. Satan is trying to discourage others and cause them to fall by the wayside.

 

Jesus makes our church attractive. “On a hill far away…”–what an attraction. We are here because of Him!

 

 

 

The above article, “The Most Attractive Church” was written by T. W. Barnes. The article was excerpted from chapter five in Barnes’ book, Living in the Overflow.

 

The material is copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.

 

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