SHOW YOURSELF FRIENDLY
1. Churches develop reputations based upon their actions (Rev. 2-3: "I know your works...." - cf. 3:1).
2. It is good & right for churches to examine & evaluate themselves so that they can rise to their greatest potential - cf. 1 Ths. 4:9-10.
3. Evaluate: How we greet each other & our visitors at worship services.
4. Are we missing opportunities to encourage & save because we are not very friendly to visitors & newcomers?
5. What can I do to help this church properly receive its visitors as well as each other?
I. "LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF" - Matt. 22:39.
A. We Must Not Show Partiality When We Assemble - Jas. 2:1-10.
1. Principle applies: Family, close friends, etc. - Do we only speak with the same people at services while ignoring others? - cf. Matt. 5:46-48
B. We Must Be Kind & Hospitable To All - 1 Pet. 4:8-9.
1. In greeting our brethren - cf. 1 Pet. 5:14; 1 Cor. 16:20 (Acts 2:44, 46).
2. In greeting visitors - Heb. 13:1-2; Jas. 2:4. (Lev. 19:34; Deut. 10:19).
II. THE WISDOM OF FRIENDLINESS TOWARD OUR VISITORS.
A. It Helps To Establish Contact With The Lost - Matt. 9:10-13.
1. cf. The effort of the visitor to come to our services.
2. How do we receive them when they arrive?!
B. We Should Seize Our Opportunity To Help/Serve Them - Col. 4:5-6.
1. Jno. 4:35 (30) - When visitors show interest, what message is conveyed to them when we show little/no interest in them?!!
2. cf. Acts 16:9-10 - Prompt response to cry for help.
3. Open ourselves to them Þ Spiritual assistance, guidance, learning, help. Matt. 9:37-38
C. Help The Visitor Want To Return.
1. Acts 2:46-47 - Unity & concern influenced the lost.
2. Eccl. 11:1 - Cast your bread on the water - It will return a blessing.
a. Help people be comfortable here - Hear the gospel.....
b. Coldness & disinterest will never help people be interested in us!
III. THE FOLLY OF UNFRIENDLINESS.
A. We Become A Stumblingblock - Matt. 18:5-7, 10-14.
1. Lack of interest will turn away souls who need salvation!
2. Matt. 5:14-16 - Let your light shine - Dont extinguish it w/ coldness!
B. We Miss Opportunities To Serve Others - cf. 1 Tim. 5:9-10 (Acts 20:35). Þ Matt. 25:41-45 - Unfriendly to others....to Christ!
C. We Wont Have Many Friends - Prov. 18:24.
1. How we treat people at our services reflects on how we generally treat people everywhere else!
2. Matt. 5:47 - Not being like God - Like the ungodly!
a. "Im too shy." That can be overcome. (Take along someone you are comfortable with, then go meet a stranger!)
b. "Others will greet people." What about you? (Gal. 6:5)
c. "I dont know what to say." (Genuine expressions of interest.)
d. "I dont need to do that." (Jas. 4:17)
4. We must stretch ourselves!
1. How are we treating people at our services: Distant, disinterested......or with care, concern and genuine interest & encouragement?!
2. Matt. 7:12; 22:39 - Golden rule....love our neighbor as ourselves.
3. Let it never be said that this church is not friendly!!