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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jentezen Franklin » Jentezen Franklin - Church is a Big Deal to Me

Jentezen Franklin - Church is a Big Deal to Me

Jentezen Franklin - Church is a Big Deal to Me
Jentezen Franklin - Church is a Big Deal to Me
TOPICS: Church

In Psalms 84, and it says, "The chief musician, on a instrument of Gath, a psalm of the sons of Korah," and that's very important, a song from the sons of Korah, and I'll explain that in a few minutes. "How lovely is Your tabernacle, O Lord of hosts"! The tabernacle is the church, the house of worship. "My soul longs, yes, even faints For the courts of the Lord;" This guy is missing church. "My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, And the swallow a nest for herself, Where she may raise her young, even in Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; They will still be praising You". No matter what they go through, if they keep coming to the house of the Lord, they'll still be praising Him. "Whose heart is set on pilgrimage".

Now, you'll run right over that, but you've gotta understand who he directed this song they wrote to, "Whose heart is set on a pilgrimage". That's very important wording. He goes on to say in the next verse, "They pass through the Valley of Baca," that's weeping. The word Baca means weeping, and "make it a spring". Verse 7, "They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion". Zion is the church. For the sake of time, I'll conclude with Verse 10, "For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I'd rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory". I'm not gonna preach on all of this. It's just too good to quit. "No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly". "Blessed is the man who trusts in You"! And the church said amen. We could just shout right there and have a good time.

Psalms 23 is the most famous psalm of the Book of Psalms which is a book of songs. It's God's best hits, the top 50 or 100, 150. Psalms 51 is the repentance. If you ever feel guilty and ashamed of yourself in something you've done, pull out Psalm 51 and read it out loud. It'll cleanse you. It'll wash you from head to toe. Psalms 91 is the psalm of protection, but Psalm 84 is known in theology as the "Pearl of Psalms", and it speaks directly to the yearly pilgrimage that the Hebrews were required to make to the temple of Jerusalem. Actually more than once a year. a minimum of three times they had to go all the way to Jerusalem. There were seven feasts, and they were required by families to take their families on a long pilgrimage to the temple in Jerusalem.

And so, when he writes the words, he's speaking to them, and a great feature of Hebrew life was going to the house of God, traveling with your family on the same road, and as they would pass villages, other families would join them, and there would be other families, and the group, the gathering would get bigger and bigger. The traffic on the road, they would have to have tents. They would have to have a little cart and maybe a donkey pulling the cart. The little children sitting up. It was a playful, joyful, happy celebration. We're going up to Jerusalem to worship the king, and they were so excited about it. It was like festive, joyful. They would sing songs along the journey. Somebody would just start singing, and all of the people for miles, they would be headed to the temple, and they would start singing and clapping. Sometimes they would be joyful songs, and they would start dancing.

You remember the story of Jesus getting lost when He was a child. They were coming from the temple going back home, and Jesus got, as a little child, they thought He got lost. He was in the temple confounding the brilliant scholars with His wisdom. So, it was a family thing to go up to the house of God. I'm preaching today on the subject of "Church is a Big Deal to Me". Church is a big deal to me. I could see them going on this road journeying to the house of God with their families. It was usually a trek that would take them three or four days to get there. It was not an easy journey. If you've ever been to Jerusalem, geographically Jerusalem is set on seven mountains, and it's always going up to Jerusalem. The Bible talks about the Good Samaritan came down the road because he was coming from the temple going to Jericho. Everything is down. Geographically, it is the center of the earth. Literally, the center of the earth is Jerusalem.

I'm not making that up. Only God could've picked that place, and so, miraculously, miraculously as they would journey, you can imagine it was hills. It was not just fun and convenient. It was hard sometimes. It was tough sometimes. It required effort. But apparently, something superseded the challenges of getting to the house of God. Something superseded in the minds of the worshippers the inconvenience, the awkwardness. It's kind of like the times we're in now. I see masks, and I see us doing all the restrictions that we're doing, going through what we're going through, and we could use that as an excuse and as something that's inconvenient or it's just not like it used to be or whatever we wanna say, but overriding, superseding all of the excuses that they had to not go to the house of God was one thing. It's worth the trip.

I don't care what mountain I've got to go over. I don't care what valley I've got to go through. I know we've gotta get up and pack and unpack the tent and sleep out and cook, but they were having fun, and they were building memories with their families that would stay in them for passed down for generation after generation. That's why coming to the house of God and worshipping like this is so critical. You're giving something to your family that money cannot buy. In Psalms 48, I just read Psalms 84, the sister psalm of Psalm 84 is Psalm 48. It's backwards. You get it? That's kind of cute too, right? Stay with me. I'm gonna teach a little bit, but we're going somewhere. "Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised in the city of our God," Jerusalem. "The mountain of His holiness," the temple mount. "Beautiful for situation the joy of the whole earth, Is Mount Zion", the temple, the church "The sides of the north, The city of the great King".

Now, I realize that verse where it says beautiful for situation has to do with the geographical location and how that it was high up and beautiful. It was positioned... What he's saying is its position is beautiful. It's perfect where God has put the temple geographically. But I wanna preach it just a little bit and say that it doesn't matter the situation in your life. The church, the house of God is beautiful for your situation. If your marriage is in trouble, this is where you need to come because it's beautiful for your situation. If your family is all jacked up and falling to pieces, bring all of them in here. All of them, every one of them. Crazy attitudes. Sit them down 'cause this place is beautiful for situation. The Holy Spirit can still touch them. The Holy Spirit can still convict them. The Holy Spirit can still melt mean, cold hearts. The Holy Spirit can still make somebody forgive and move on and put it behind.

If you're sick in your body, this place is beautiful for your situation. If you need a miracle in your finances, this place is beautiful. There's hope here. There's faith here. If you're afraid, if you're worried, if you're stressed out, this place is beautiful for any situation you'll face in this life. Praise the Lord! I love this place! Church is a big deal to me. It's beautiful for any situation. If you're grieving and you lost a loved one, if you're joyful and you wanna rejoice 'cause God's been so good to you, it's beautiful for any situation. Beautiful. The sons of Korah who wrote Psalm 84, do you know who Korah was? Korah is mentioned in the Bible as rebelling against Moses, and God got so upset with him that He opened up the earth and swallowed him up.

See, every once in a while I get people who come against me, and I just want God to do that one time. Just show them I'm anointed and open the floor up. I don't want Him to burn them up. Just let them fall through. Maybe sprain their ankle or something. But the Bible said, the earth, can you imagine, fire reached up and grabbed their ankles and pulled them down. I mean, Moses is just standing there, "I told you I was his friend". But do you know who the sons of Korah were? Seven generations later. Go study it. Seven generations later. The reason they became the musicians, the people who wrote the music charts, the orchestra parts, the psalms were the sons of Korah. This is so interesting because not only did God swallow Korah up, but He forbid his family, any of his ancestors to come back to the tabernacle. And for seven generations no one from that family got to come.

So, when it says the sons of Korah after being banished and banned for seven generations from being in the house of God, throw up Psalm 84:1. Let's read it now with a new revelation. Can you hear their hearts after seven generations of not being allowed, being under a restriction worship ban for seven generations? "How lovely is your tabernacle", next verse, "My soul longs". See, this wasn't some take it or leave it little deal about going to church. "My soul longs, even faints for the courts of the Lord". I can't stand it. I gotta get to church. I got it in my heart, my flesh. It's crying out for the living God. You know they're doing that in China. There's millions of Christians in China. There's millions of Christians in the persecuted places all over the world where in Iran and Iraq there are Christian believers who would give anything. David didn't say I was glad when they said unto me let us go back to the throne room.

Do you understand chronologically where that famous verse in Psalms 122 came from? Do you understand when David wrote it what the circumstances were? He had left, been forced out of Jerusalem, had to leave his throne, his own son Absalom had attacked and had temporarily overcome his forces, and he was running for his life. This is in 2 Samuel 15 or something like that in the Bible somewhere. And he was leaving, running for his life. Now watch this. And on his way out some of his faithful, mighty men grabbed the Ark of the Covenant and said we know you want the Ark to go with you, and he said, no, take it back. Take it back to the temple. "If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and the dwelling place".

I don't know what I'm about to go through, but I'll know that the favor of God is on me if I get to come back and get in the presence of God. I'm gonna go through a time where it's gonna be distant from God. I'm gonna go through a time where it feels like God doesn't remember who I am, but if He shows me enough favor to ever let me get back, I'll know that He has favored me. Every one of us ought to be shouting 'cause for five months we couldn't come in here, but we're back and the favor of God is back. The blessing of God is back. God is still on the throne, and His church is still a beautiful for situation. Whatever situation we face at the end of this election or a pandemic or anything else, the church is beautiful for this situation. Hallelujah!

My wife sitting down here, she'll tell you, I enjoyed the pandemic for about a month. I shouldn't say that. You know what I mean. Not anybody suffering. But personally, it was almost like a sabbatical. I mean, I still had to preach, sill had to study, still had to preach online, but it was just there was no... I don't know. But boy, I'm telling you, by about that third week this is how you know whether you're saved or not. At some point, Sunday began to feel like any other day, and my heart couldn't stand it. My spirit couldn't stand it. Something in me said this isn't right. We gotta get, we gotta get back to church. Please God, have mercy on us. There's no place like this place. My soul longs for you. My flesh yearns for the living God, just to get in your presence. Unfortunately, some people have to be made to come to church.

Back in Europe in the 1800s and even earlier, 1600s, they would build something called the belfry, B-E-L-F-R-Y. The belfry, they built one in every little village, every city. They didn't have the money or the people to build some huge, beautiful cathedral that had a bell tower where there was a big bell. They would build what was known as a belfry, and a belfry, sometimes they would put them on wheels. It was something that was built way up, and it had a big, much, much larger bell than this, but it had a big bell on it, and somebody would get up there and on Sunday morning, the day of worship, you would hear this all across the land, and that sound meant get up. This is just not another day. That sound meant, oh, get your children ready, get your family ready, get the clothes packed. You ought to hear this in your spirit.

This right here... because never have your children needed to be in church more than they need it now. Never have teenagers needed to be, never have kids needed, young couples. Nobody needs to not have the sound of that bell. I'm afraid the sound of the bell of assembly is being silenced in people's spirit. The devil is an opportunist, and he has moved in on millions in the church, and they don't get up on Sunday morning with the mindset I gotta get shaved. You women, you gotta get shaved. No, you men, you gotta get shaved. You gotta. They don't get up throwing their clothes on.

The bell was ringing to remind them you need to show up in the house of God, and I told them when we leave 'cause we got one over there in that chapel, I said I want you to ring the fire out of it. I want you to ring it in the neighborhood. I want you to ring it all over this, all over this parking lot. I want people to leave here with a ring in their heart that says I love my church, I love worship, I love God. I know that it's beautiful for any situation life will, I'm so thankful. You told the Lord if you ever came back you promised Him you'd praise Him. Well, we're back. We have His favor, and you need to get caught up in praise just a minute. Would you give Him praise? He's been good to us. You ever feel like sometimes I just got to get to Jesus? I've got to get there. I'm not gonna be a backslider. I'm not gonna let my family fall by the wayside. I'm not gonna give up and turn back.

I'm simply saying to you that it takes 21 days to develop a new habit, and they said that to develop a strong habit it takes You do the same thing for 66 days, and you will develop a strong habit in that area. You drink for 66 days and get drunk, you're gonna end up a drunk. It won't even take that long. But you do anything 66 days. We were out of church trying to be good citizens and we still are. Again, I honor and respect. Don't feel any condemnation if you're not released, and you don't feel good about coming back and you've got health issues. I'm not talking about any of that. But I am concerned, I feel a burden that millions of teenagers have fallen out of the regularity of going to church and millions of Christians now, well, what difference does it make? It makes a huge difference. So much easier, Pastor, just to stay home, but Christianity was never designed to be easy. It takes consecration. It takes discipline. It takes dedication. It takes loyalty to the house of God, and it must be a part.

You must have the ringing inside of you of the Holy Spirit saying get to the house of God. An old habit is hard to break. I got an old habit that's stronger than my new habit of COVID of not going to church. My old habit was started by my mother. She bounced me on her knee, and I'd suck on a pacifier and watch the old Pentecostal church that I grew up in and watch the women shout their bobby pins out. Y'all don't even know what a bobby pin is. Mom used to have her hair that high, and I respect that. And when she would shout, she would do like that, and you had to duck. Boom! Bam! Boom! You might get one in your eye. It'd look like a horse mane. Where can I go now? Where do I go when the troubles come and life is hard and I feel like giving up? Lead me to the rock. Lead me up there on top of that mountain, Mount Zion. Get me to the temple. Get me to the sanctuary. There's hope there. There's healing there. There's victory there. I can make it if I can get in His presence one more time.
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