By Brother Steve

We are beginning this session with assumption that the Word of God is our teacher.

  • I hope that all of us have reached a place in our walk with God where the Bible has become the foundation of what we do, who we are and the values we espouse.
  • Luke 6: 47-48   As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built.
  • Colossians 2:8  See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.

I don’t want to preach my own philosophy and opinions, which have no power to save. I want to preach the Word of God, the gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation.

  • As Christians we should never be intimidated by the “wisdom of this world.

This training is about equipping us all for missions. One of the most basic pieces of equipment we need is; a reason to do what we are doing.

  • Everyone has participated in something, maybe you jumped in midstream, but somewhere you stop and ask: ”why are we doing this”?
  • Is this really necessary?
  • Who started this in the first place?

We need a solid foundation under us that can support us and continue to keep us on course especially when things are difficult and even painful.

     I. The Teaching of Scripture

A. What do you think? Does a person have to be a Christian to be saved?  Is there some other avenue or means to God besides Jesus?

·         What about those who have never heard of Christ?

·         What about those who are already devoted to their own religious persuasion and are models of character and good works?

      B. What does the Scripture teach?

John 14:6  Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Acts 4:12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

Mark 16:15-16  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned."

I John 5:12  "Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life."

Galatians 2:21 "I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

     1. Is there another way?  Is this not in essence what Jesus Himself asked at Gethsemane?    Matthew 26:39 My Father, if it is possible, may this       cup be taken from me.

2. Because this cup was not removed and the crucifixion was carried out, cannot it be implied that the answer to Jesus question is: “there is no another way, the sacrifice of Jesus was necessary.”

3.So why this rigid exclusiveness that is found in the Christian gospel?

C. Once again we must turn to the Bible and see how God sees man (the only opinion that matters) not how man sees himself.

1. Sometimes the Word of God is not very flattering.  But neither is a doctor when he gives you a diagnosis that you don’t want to hear.

2. All mankind has a Law from God that they are expected to obey whether they’ve ever seen a Bible or not.

3. The Jews had God’s written law  Rom 3:1-2 "What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, ….? Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God."

4. But God has also given the Gentiles a Law as well Rom 2:14-15 "Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.15 They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts sometimes accusing them and at other times even defending them."

5. But neither Jew nor Gentile have been able to live up to the light given them. Rom 3:22-23  "There is no difference between Jew and Gentile,23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

                           6. When did you become lost,  i.e. separated from God?

·When Adam sinned?  1 Cor 15:21-22  "For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive."

·When you were conceived? Psalm 51:5 "Surely I was sinful at birth,  sinful from the time my mother conceived me."

·When you committed your first sin? Rom 3:23   "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."      

·The correct answer is all the above! 

D. It is generally easier to get a person saved than to get a person “lost.”                       

    1. It is indeed a bitter pill to swallow to come to a realization that all we have been doing up to this point has been wrong and a major               adjustment is necessary (repentance). When someone has to totally tear down what they’ve built (Paul in Philippians 3:1-10).

         2.  “Twas grace that taught my heart to fear”

3.  Indeed this is a work where the convicting work of the Holy Spirit is absolutely necessary (Acts 2:37 "they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”)

4.  We have a greater appreciation of being saved when we first have a greater understanding of being lost.

5.  We have to realize that we are lost, separated from God without Christ, before we can see the Burmese people or anyone else that way.

6.  If not, we become like the Pharisee in Luke 18.

E.      Man’s complete inability to Solve this Dilemma

           1.      John 6:63 "The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing."

2.      Human striving & effort have no ability to help whatsoever in this dilemma.

3.      ILLUS. You have cancer. “Well, I’ll start brushing my teeth every day.” Brushing your teeth is a worthwhile act but it has no ability to affect your cancer whatsoever.

4.      Rom 8:3 "For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son."

5.      ILLUS. People with varying abilities attempting to jump across the Grand Canyon

6.      The Church can be compared to a dentist. There may be aspects of it that I do not like but I will always keep going back. Why? Because it has something I need.

Conclusion: If we waver on this point, then we are no longer preaching the Word of God, we have begun to proclaim the doctrines and philosophies of men not the gospel of Jesus Christ.

     II. The Uniqueness of Jesus

A. No one else in history has had such things said about them:

Phil 2:9-11 "Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

B. His power to save the weak, the broken, the sinful, the unworthy is without comparison. There is nothing like it in all the universe.

C. “Black Friday” is considered to be a day of exceptional shopping and good deals that supposedly only happens once a year,   I would like to present you with the deal of deals, the sale of all sales, the best bargain you will ever find anywhere, any place.

1. Rom 6:23  "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

2. When shopping, people will put their “great deals” on a credit card?  However, this is going to have to be paid someday, with interest. 

3. 2 Cor 5: 19  "that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them."

4. It would be like getting a call from Target store and they said, we are going to remove the charges on your credit card from what you purchased at our store on Black Friday, and you know what, we are going to pay off whatever balance you have remaining on your credit card and in fact we are going to put a $5000 credit on your account.

5. No credit card company in the world is going to do this but God does it for us everyday.

6. When I received Jesus Christ as my Savior, an account was established in my name in heaven. I may not get a monthly statement from heaven like I do from the credit card company,  but just by reading the Bible,  I know what is on my statement in heaven.

    Jn 1:9  "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness  (all debts deleted)."

    2 Cor 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (a credit given)."

7.How many were limited in the number of things you could buy on Black Friday because you didn’t have enough money?

8.How many have things in your house you want to get rid of? Garbage, a TV that doesn’t work anymore? Your annoying brother?

9.What if you could bring a bag of garbage to the Best Buy store and exchange it for an iPad?

10.We bring our guilt and our shame, our sin and our failures and we exchange for the forgiveness and righteousness of God, His kindness and His joy

11Isaiah 61:3a  "and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

12. Song: I’m Trading my Sorrows

13. Where in all the world is there anything like this? Who can compare with our wonderful Lord Jesus?

14. Black Friday comes only once a year, but God’s deal has been offered every day the last 2000 years in every country of the world where there was someone to preach the gospel.

                       You read the fine print on these ads and it says “only 10 per store.”

                       What if only 10 people in your church could get saved?

          D. Not only is Jesus the only one who would save us, He is the only one who could save us.

1. Would:  Romans 5:5-8 "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die" and "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

2. Could: Jesus has the unique resume of being “fully God and fully man”. Being man and able to represent humanity, being God with the power to save.

3. Jesus is referred to in the gospels as both the son of God and the son of man.

4. This can be illustrated when David represented all of Israel when he faced Goliath. David’s victory was the victory of all Israel.

2 Cor 5:21 "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

·         Not only is all the badness wiped away……. but the goodness, the virtue of Christ is imparted into us.

·         So when the Father looks at me,  He doesn’t see the dirt, the sin, the shame, the mistakes, to Him those things don’t even exist,     (There’s power in the Blood) and all the goodwill He has towards His Son, all the virtue, all the rightness, all the holiness of Jesus Christ has been imputed into me.   

·         The words:  “we might become the righteousness of God” ought to take our breath away.

You see God’s forgiveness and justification are not shallow or superficial or anything like that.

·         Our righteousness in God isn’t fake, it’s really been imparted unto us.

III.    The Urgency of the Sent

A. Are those who have never heard of Christ irrevocably lost ?  

·         CS Lewis: “Is it not frightfully unfair that this new life should be confined to people who have heard of Christ and been able to believe in Him? But the truth is God has not told us what His arrangements about other people are. We do not know that only those who know Him can be saved through Him.”

·         I’m not claiming I know everything about this, no man does. Yet I do want to emphasize what we do know, what we have been directed by God to do.

B. Is there some way the redemption of Christ can be applied to a person although that person has never heard of Christ?

·         Abraham, Moses, David

·         They were saved through Christ

·         The Theory of upper Sheol  (Luke 16:22-26 ; Ephesians 4:7-9 ; Matthew 27:51-53)

·         Yet to try and extrapolate this concept to include the whole world is quite a leap.

C. If the blood of Christ was shed for the world, and appropriating redemption through His blood can come into a person’s life in a variety of ways, (i.e. outside of Romans 10:9 conversion), why the urgency of evangelism?

    1. As expressed by Christ:
John 4:34-38 "I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.36 Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37 Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38 I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor.”

·         A harvest is wasted unless it is brought in.

·         Matthew 28:18-20 "Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

·         Jesus gave world evangelism as a prerequisite for His return.

·         Matthew 24:14 "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

2. As expressed by all 12 apostles:

·         It is widely held that 11 of the 12 apostles died a martyrs death while preaching the gospel in such places as Egypt, North Africa, Persia and India.  

·         Peter sent to Cornelius  Acts 10; 11:13-14  "He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter.14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved."

·         Paul goes to Mars Hill. These men were attempting to seek after God(s) with the light that they had. Acts 17:30-31 "In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent.31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”

·         Romans 10:13-17

·         Once the telegraph was completed, why go through all the trouble of the Pony Express if they are going to get it anyway?

3. As expressed by the Apostle Paul:

·         2 Corinthians 11:23-31, 1 Corinthians 15:30-32 "And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised."

·         Acts 20:24   “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there.23 I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace."

·         It is worth giving your life for. 

4. As expressed by the missionary movement of the Church through the ages:

·         Victor Plymire

·         Adonarim Judson

·         David Livingstone

·         Mostly unknown  -  “we’re not home yet”

A century ago, a band of brave souls became known as one-way missionaries. They purchased single tickets to the mission field without the return half. And instead of suitcases, they packed their few earthly belongings into coffins. As they sailed out of port, they waved
good-bye to everyone they loved, everything they knew. They knew they’d never return home.

A. W. Milne was one of those missionaries. He set sail for the New Hebrides in the South Pacific, knowing full well that the headhunters who lived there had martyred every missionary before him. Milne did not fear for his life, because he had already died to himself. His coffin was packed. For thirty-five years, he lived among that tribe and loved them. When he died, tribe members buried him in the middle of their village and inscribed this epitaph on his tombstone: When he came there was no light. When he left there was no darkness.

When did we start believing that God wants to send us to safe places to do easy things? That faithfulness is holding the fort? That playing it safe is safe? That there is any greater privilege than sacrifice? That radical is anything but normal?

Jesus didn’t die to keep us safe. He died to make us dangerous. Faithfulness is not holding the fort. It’s storming the gates of hell. The will of God is not an insurance plan. It’s a daring plan. The complete surrender of your life to the cause of Christ isn’t radical. It’s normal.  It’s time to quit living as if the purpose of life is to arrive safely at death. It’s time to go all in and all out for the All in All. Pack your coffin!

5.      We endeavor to continue in that conviction and direction.

·         Because it’s biblically based 

·         The vision hasn’t changed and we shouldn’t quit following it .