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A Place For All      Matt 19:1-15      November 11, 2007

Have you ever been part of a church that tried to care for all people? When I was saved at Tower Grove Baptist Church they worked to try to reach all kinds of people. They had classes for Single Adults, Single Again Adults, those with hearing, and sight problems. We were really concerned about reaching everyone, and I grew up thinking that attitude ought to be the norm for all churches. Yet through the years I have heard of people that did not want some others being a part of their church because of their social standing, or sinful backgrounds. That is wrong, and the church needs to be a haven for the saints, and a hospital for sinners, A Place For All.

1. A Place For All Including . . Married People. 19:4-6

     A. Recognizing The . . Plan For Marriage. 19:4-5
4 "Haven't you read," He replied, "that He who created them in the beginning made
them male and female, 5 and He also said: For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?

B. Recognizing The . . Permanence Of Marriage. 19:6
6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together,
man must not separate."

    Married couples need fellowship with other couples and the church is a great place for that to happen. The church holds up a biblical standard for the plan, and permanence of marriage. It is not unusual to hear of several couples in the church celebrating many years of marriage. That needs to be encouraged. Let us invite all married couples.

2. A Place For All Including . . Divorced People. 19:1-3, 7-9

      A. Recognizing The . . Possibility Of Divorce. 19:1-3, 7
1 When Jesus had finished this instruction, He departed from Galilee and went to the region of Judea across the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees approached Him to test Him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife on any grounds?" 7 "Why then," they asked Him, "did Moses command us to give divorce papers and to send her away?"

    B. Recognizing The . . Permitting Of Divorce. 19:8
8 He told them, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because of the hardness of
your hearts. But it was not like that from the beginning.

    C. Recognizing The . . Problem Of Divorce. 19:9
9 And I tell you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries
another, commits adultery."  

    Divorce can be a devastating time. Someone needs to express concern. Several churches have divorce care ministries, and I have heard good things from those ministries. In the text Jesus permitted divorce for one reason. A divorce for any reason is not pleasing to the Lord. My mom divorced my dad after several years of trying to make it work so I know first hand of the difficulties couples can have. Our church always seemed to be ready to give a helping hand. Let us try to help all divorced persons.

3. A Place For All Including . . Single People. 19:10-12

    A. Recognizing The . . Election Of Marriage And Singleness. 19:10
10 His disciples said to Him, "If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it's
better not to marry!"

B. Recognizing The . . Eunuch And Singleness. 19:11-12
11 But He told them, "Not everyone can accept this saying, but only those it has been
given to. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb, there are eunuchs who were made by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves that way because of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."

    I heard the largest unreached people group is single adults. If the church does not help to bring them together where will they meet Christians? The world has many singles bars, and night spots. The church also must recognize the biblical reason for singleness. Some may believe it is a gift from God. All need to wait until God gives them a mate. Let us try to help all single persons.

4. A Place For All Including . . Children. 19:13-15

    A. Appreciating The . . Needs Of Children. 19:13
13 Then children were brought to Him so He might put His hands on them and pray.  But the disciples rebuked them.

B. Appreciating The . . Nurturing Of Children. 19:14-15
14 Then Jesus said, "Leave the children alone, and don't try to keep them from coming
to Me, because the kingdom of heaven is made up of people like this." 15 After putting His hands on them, He went on from there. (HCSB.)

         Too many children today do not have their needs met. That is especially true in relationship to spiritual needs. Jesus is willing to receive the children; are we in our churches? It takes work.  The bus ministries died out primarily because of a lack of workers on the routes and in the Sunday Schools. Jesus wants to nurture the children in all of their needs and allows us to be involved in reaching out to implement the nurturing effects. Let us try to help all children, and truly be A Place For All. Amen? Amen!