Community: It’s Always Been God’s Plan

June 13, 2021   /   Lombard Bible Church

Sermon Series: Community

Message 3: It’s Always Been God’s Plan

June 13, 2021

Gene Smillie




1. Genesis 9:1 says, “God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth’.”

If you’d just been through the damp disaster they’d just been through, wouldn’t you want to stay near that ark, “just in case”? But God tells them to scatter, to go populate the entire planet.


2. In Genesis 12:1-3, when God calls Abram to leave his father’s house and go elsewhere, he says I will make you a great nation . . . and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

Is this how you are used to thinking of the “call of Abram” to form a special family, later called “the Jews”?    Does it surprise you that God stated right from the beginning his purpose in forming this special people was: to bless ALLthe families of the earth?


3. What does the choice of a high, remote, inaccessiblemountaintop for Israel’s capitol suggest?

Throughout the Bible the people of God are commandedtwo seemingly conflicting emphases: separate yourselves from the ungodly, stay away from them, don’t hang out with them, don’t adapt to their ways . . . and yet also, at the same time . . . reach out to those who are in darkness with the Good News about God’s offer of salvation and blessing, and invite them to share The Light in your community of God’s people.         Have you felt the difficulties of trying to do both?

As an individual?  As a church, God’s local community?


4. After a thousand years of waiting and watching for the restoration of Jewish domination over the rest of the world like it had been under Kings David and Solomon, what did Jesus’ contemporaries think he meant when Jesus began declaring that “the Kingdom of God is about to appear in your midst”?

Even his 11 disciples – the very last moments he was on earth before returning to heaven 40 days after the resurrection! – are still asking Jesus (Acts 1:6), “Is it NOW that you are going to restore the KINGDOM to ISRAEL?”.
Jesus’ well-known answer is that [instead] they will be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and outwards, all the way to the remotest parts of the earth” (Acts 1) and will “make disciples of ALL the ethnic groups of the entire world” (Matthew 28).


5. As you reflect on the character of Lombard Bible Church as a community, would you say we most resemble the exclusivist Israelites living in deliberate separation from the “worldly neighbors”?   – the early Church in Jerusalem, making sure we attend the Temple” regularly, but gathered nevertheless in isolation from the rest of the world?  – the church in Antioch, with its multi-ethnic leadership team, diverse composition ethnically, and missionary zeal to send out apostles to remote places that have not heard the Good News?  – the wild enthusiastic charismatic-oriented congregation in Corinth, made up of people with some really unsavory backgrounds?   – the church in Jerusalem 30 years after Pentecost (Acts 21:20-26), comprised of many faithful Jews who make sure they keep all the kosher requirements for ceremonial purity as their way of honoring God?

How might God describe the kind of community He would like LBC to be?

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