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Faithlife

Looking the Right Way Part 2

Missions Central Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Notes & Transcripts
There was a man who once loved his father so very much when he was a little preschool aged boy, but as the little boy got older that loved gradually diminished. When he was in elementary school he would never ask his dad to go to the school functions, and he would never allow friends to come over to his house. See the boy had become ashamed of his dad because of the huge horrendous scars on his dad’s face where he was missing one eye. When the boy became a teenager he treated him horribly because he could not do as much with one eye that was loosing its vision. The dad would ask his son on several occasions to help him do things he was not able to do, but the boy would grumble and complain all the while doing it. It eventually got to the point when the boy was old enough, he moved out leaving the father’s care to someone else.
After a few decades the boy now a man received a phone call that his fathered had died. After the funeral was over and all the people were gone home, the funeral director handed him a note that his father wanted him to read once he was dead and gone. This is what it said:
“My precious and dearly loved son. I am tremendously sorry that your life was not better growing up. I hate that my scars were the cause of your embarrassment, and I am truly sorry that my deteriorating vision caused me to become a burden. I thought you deserved some explanation now. You see, you were only born with one eye, and the doctors told me that you would not have vision very long after birth unless you received an eye transplant. I loved you so much and could not stand the thought of you living life blind, so I gave up my eye so you could see with great vision.”
John 3:16 NASB95
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.
John 8:12 CSB
Jesus spoke to them again: “I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.”
John 9:
John 9:39 CSB
Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.”
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John 9:39 CSB
Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment, in order that those who do not see will see and those who do see will become blind.”
STAND AND READ THE TEXT WITH ME
STAND AND READ THE TEXT WITH ME
Acts 1:8-
Acts 1:8–14 CSB
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” After he had said this, he was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen him going into heaven.” Then they returned to Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, which is near Jerusalem—a Sabbath day’s journey away. When they arrived, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying: Peter, John, James, Andrew, Philip, Thomas, Bartholomew, Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James. They all were continually united in prayer, along with the women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.
PRAYER
“Every Christian is a missionary or is an impostor.” - Charles Spurgeon
Kind of harsh and makes you feel guilty, but it is true. For me fear and guilt has never been good motivators. When it comes to telling other people about Jesus and his free gift of salvation, the same is true. is Jesus’ mandate given to all who claim to be His followers; however, fear and guilt are not what motivates Christ followers to be His witnesses.
The Great Commission contained in this text focuses first on a person: Jesus. The first Christians died, were martyred, from the Greek word for witness, because they loved this person Jesus. They loved Jesus because they witnessed His death on the cross, and they wanted tell others about His love of the cross. This person Jesus is now the one with the authority under which we the church operates, and He is the object of a church’s witness. This mandate stands as the theme of Acts and the foundation of everything we find the first Christians doing in the days and years to follow.
Now Jesus doesn’t have scars on his eyes, but He does have holes in His wrist and scars on His side and scars on His feet, because he knew you were headed to hell as soon as you were born. There was not a thing you could do as you grew up to spiritually see and keep yourself from being separated from God. You were destined to die in hell, but because of Jesus’ scars and the calling of the Holy Spirit, you were able to receive forgiveness when you asked. Spiritually healthy, mature Christians live on mission as an outflow of their love for Jesus who died to save them. They tell of his love to others who are spiritually blind.
When you get a perfect vision of the One who died for you, then it will not be hard for anyone to motivate you to be a witness for Him. You talk about the people you love, and you basically keep quiet about the ones you don’t care much for. Now notice what Jesus gives you, the one he loves.
This Great Commission also contains a promise: the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. That is what the disciples were waiting on as they prayed together with their vision of Oneness.
What Jesus means with the word power is the Holy Spirit will give a Christian the ability to accomplish what Jesus commanded and will remove the obstacles a Christian will face while trying.
What Jesus means here is the Holy Spirit will gives us the ability to accomplish what Jesus commanded and will remove the obstacles we will face while trying.
A lumberjack walked into Lowe’s one day looking for a great new invention. He had been using an axe to chop four to six trees down a day, but he had heard about these new power chainsaws. The salesman said yes of course, this will enable you to cut down 50 times as many trees as you can do with your own efforts.
2-3 days later the lumberjack walks in and slings the saw on the counter demanding a refund. He said he was not able to chop one tree down. So, the puzzled salesman took the saw, pulled the cord, and fired it right up. The lumberjack looked shocked and yelled, “What’s that noise?” See, the lumberjack took the saw home all excited, but he forgot to ever pull the cord to start the saw.
These disciples in Acts never forgot to pull the cord. Prayer is the cord that starts the power saw of missions.
When you have a perfect vision of the One power Jesus promised to help fulfill the Great Commission, You will never come to church again and not have a vision of Oneness in prayer together. Once you have a vision of this One power, you will never come to church again and be afraid to pray in public, because the Holy Spirit will enable you. You will never wonder who, what, nor where to pray for either because the Holy Spirit will reveal it.
Think about our prayer ministry here - Is it a vision of Oneness? If so, is there evidence of us receiving the promised power of the Holy Spirit?
When you have a vision of the great power promised to us, you will see the Lord of the Harvest sending out workers because you will have faith to go with the power of God. When you have this vision you will see the results of a spiritual harvest because God will use you to lead lost souls to Christ.
When we have a vision of the great power promised to us, we will see the Harvest because we will have faith in the power of God and be used by Him to lead lost souls to Christ.
You see the person of our missions. You see the promised power for our missions. Notice the Great Commission contains the purpose of our missions: reaching the nations.
Matthew 24:14 NKJV
And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Revelation 7:9 CSB
After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes with palm branches in their hands.
Revelation gives us a vision of Oneness in heaven and what we have to look forward to when we arrive. Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude wrote their letters to teach us how to live out the heavenly vision of Oneness in our churches. But, Acts confronts and convicts us with the vision every church, every Christian must have to accomplish that heavenly vision of Oneness both here and now. Here in Jesus gives you, His follower, your present day and every day responsibility. Without it there is no church left to carry on the legacy of JFBC .
It is what Jesus had, and that drove his mission. It is what the disciples had because they took the vision Jesus died to give them. All that follows in the Book of Acts is the result of Jesus’ vision, and what we see in its chapters is the disciples’ fulfillment of that vision.
Matthew 24:14 CSB
This good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed in all the world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
The word Nation translates from the Greek Word ethnos. If it sounds familiar, it is the root of our word ethnicity. The gospel is meant for all people in all places. All people groups based around language, culture and geographical ties no matter their country of origin or location of residence.
The word Nation translates from the Greek Word ethnos. If it sounds familiar, it is the root of our word ethnicity. The gospel is meant for all people in all places. All people groups based around language, culture and geographical ties no matter their country of origin or location of residence.
One of Dr. Seuss’ famous character’s Horton, in Horton hears a Who, says, “A person is a person no matter how small.” Meaning the tiny little who’s on the dandelion were worth saving.
Jesus is implying that a person is a person no matter their color or their country. Every soul is valuable to Jesus and worth saving, that’s why he died on the cross. The path of the gospel is exclusive, Jesus is the only way, but the scope of the gospel is all inclusive, any person can follow the path of Jesus.
Every soul around the world is a potential Christ follower and worshipper, and when you embrace that truth of the Bible you will embrace the vision for Panta ta Ethne - “all the peoples of the world.”
All that follows in the Book of Acts is the result of Jesus’ vision for the world, and what we see in its chapters is the disciples’ obedient fulfillment of that vision. When you look the right way, and see the person who loved you, see the promise he left you, and see the purpose he has for you, then you will answer Jesus’ call for our church to have a worldwide plan of missions involvement.
Conclusion: One aspect we cannot overlook. Notice what Jesus says in v.7
Acts 1:7 NASB95
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority;
Look back at what the angels said in v.11 - The way you saw him leave is the way he is returning. It is too easy for a church to develop a debilitating focus upon the rapture. This causes churches to loose the vision of their purpose of missions. Notice what Jesus had to do to set their mind right to receive the vision for missions.
The rapture and everything concerning it is the secret of God the Father, and no human has a right to speculate. Avoid any teacher, preacher, Christian or church that spends more time focused on when the saved are leaving for heaven than focusing on where on earth the saved are going to reach lost people.
Acts 1:7 CSB
He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority.
The time of the rapture is God the Father’s secret and no human has the right to speculate. The certainty of the rapture occuring should give comfort, the spontaneity of its occurrence should give conviction. Avoid any teacher, preacher, Christian or Church that is more focused on the people of the church being raptured than the people of the world being saved.
Whether you believe in pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, or no-trib rapture - your
Avoid any teacher, preacher, Christian or Church that is more focused on the people of the church being raptured than the people of the world being saved. Whether you believe in pre-trib, mid-trib, post-trib, or no-trib rapture - your repsonsibility is
“Serving God is not a matter of location. It’s a matter of obedience.” -Nik Ripken
Here is my pastoral challenge to you. Hold the mirror of God’s Word up and look intentionally into it. Ask these questions: “Does JFBC look like the bold, missions central churches of the New Testament? Are we following the Holy Spirit’s leadership by having and following an missional plan?”
I know many of you are probably thinking, “Pastor what else do you expect from us, we are mostly senior adults and we give more than most.” I want you to turn your giving into going. It can be done. In an un-evangelized region of Asia, 3 small churches with 85 mostly elderly Christians grew to 550 churches with 55,000 believers.
We have a fabulous leader who has a deep heart for missions, Marti Martin, who will help you learn all you can with the resources of the library and others. But, I challenge each SS class and its teacher to have a missions leader who works with her.
Jerusalem: I challenge each class to develop an plan beginning in our Jerusalem, because if you have no concern for the lost people in Anna-Jonesboro, Union County you will have no care to go into the world. I want you to have a mission project your class does in our Jerusalem at least twice a year, working up to once a quarter then eventually once a month.
Judea: The people in your Judea will be found in the surrounding areas of SoIL and SEMO where you go work, shop, learn and play. I challenge you to get involved in the times of learning I will offer to help you learn how to have gospel conversations. Get involved in learning how to be a disciplemaker. I challenge you that when a church planting effort presents itself we take it in Cairo, Cape or Carbondale; in Jackson or Johnson County. Don’t wait on one find one.
Samaria: 7 out of 10 people (or greater) in North America do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. I challenge you to join forces with SS classes and seek out through IBSA and NAMB ways to be involved. Find other churches who are already going to places like Chicago or St. Louis or Phoenix or Atlanta or rural areas and join them, or do your own work there.
The World: I plan within the next 6 mths to take a trip somewhere to discern if God would have us go there regularly. I challenge you to pray for me and the place, and I challenge some of you to go with me to see if God is leading there. I ask for your help to enable me to go. I can go in Nov. to DR with Marion 1st for $1,200. Assoc. Pastor at Anna 1st wants me to go to Jamaica or Guatemala where they will become engaged to see if we might engage with them.
Talk to your friends at other churches. Almost every church around here is doing missions here and going somewhere throughout the world.
Again you can’t tell others about your savior if Jesus is not your savior. Repent of your sins today and be saved.
Christian, Jesus saved you. He died to give you sight. Will you love him enough to respond to His call to be involved in missions to the ends of the world?
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