More Important Than Numbers

More Important Than NumbersText: Matthew 7:13-14

Some churches are so focused on numbers they will do almost anything to boost their attendance, membership, conversions, etc. We would certainly all prefer to see an increase in these numbers, but not at all costs. The New Testament shows that there are things that are more important than numbers.

Favor of God (Galatians 1:10)

  • It stands to reason – the more we please men, the larger the crowd that will attend/follow/join
  • Better to seek God’s favor – we are accountable to Him (Hebrews 4:13); He determines our eternal fate (Matthew 25:32, 34, 41)

Sound preaching (2 Timothy 4:2-5)

  • There is a certain type of preaching that people want – in accordance to their own desires
  • Better to demand sound preaching – the gospel saves (Romans 1:16); changing it takes that power away (Galatians 1:6-9)

Warning against sin/error (Matthew 15:7-14)

  • If people are offended, they leave – they would rather be affirmed in their errors and sinful practices
  • Better to warn – people cannot repent if they do not know they need to repent (2 Corinthians 7:8-10; Ezekiel 3:17-18)

Congregational purity (1 Corinthians 5:1-7)

  • People sin because they want to sin – it can be popular to allow them to continue without guilt
  • Better to keep the church pure – sin spreads (1 Corinthians 5:6); can cause Jesus to reject the church (Revelation 2:20-23)

Congregational unity (Titus 3:9-11)

  • A heretic causes factions in the church – not just a troublemaker; he has a following (cf. 3 John 9-10)
  • Better for the church to have unity – factions show who is approved (1 Corinthians 11:19); those who would depart are not of us (1 John 2:19)

Committed Disciples (John 6:60-68)

  • Jesus had 5,000 men ready to fight to make Him king (John 6:10, 15) – but not interested in spiritual things (John 6:26)
  • Better to have people committed to discipleship – this is what He wants (Matthew 28:19); willingly sacrifice (Luke 9:23)

Following the Narrow Way (Matthew 7:13-14)

  • Much more company along the broad way – there will be few on the narrow way
  • Better to follow the narrow way – leads to eternal life (Romans 6:22-23); it will be worth it (Revelation 21:4; 22:1-5)

Conclusion

  • We don’t want to go so far as to say that numbers are unimportant – but there are certain things that are more important
  • We must not sacrifice what is right for what is popular – it is better stand with God in the minority than to stand against God in the majority

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