AROUND THE WORLD ON A MAGIC CARPET!!!
Matthew 28:19, 20
November 2, 2008
From the literature of the ancient East, we read of a legendary “magic carpet” which could transport one who stood on it to any place desired. In a moment’s time one could be carried incredible distances. Today, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, I would like to place each you on a magic carpet of inspired imagination and transport you around the world in which we live. I would then using this magic carpet take you back to those events of unique spiritual significance that provide us with both a message that our world needs and the motivation that we must have if we would carry this message to our world.
I. A Visit to Mount Olivet.
Before we start our journey, let’s make a visit to Mount Olivet and listen closely to the One who conquered death, hell, and the grave. As we listen, He reveals His purpose of worldwide redemption. He discloses His program. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” The word “Go” is really a participle with the force of an imperative. It literally means, “In your going about from place to place, make disciples!” You will note that Jesus’ personal presence is promised in our attempts to evangelize the world: “Lo, I am with you always.”
We need to hear afresh the Master’s magnificent claim. We need to “stand at attention” as we hear the Master’s trumpet-toned command. We should rejoice with joy beyond measure because of the Master’s promise of marvelous companionship.
II. Our Modern World.
Now using our magic carpet, let us travel around the world and seek to discover the world’s need for Christ. The world is becoming more pagan with the passing of every year. Christianity is becoming more of a minority movement with the passing of every day.
A World of Fear: From the angel’s prospective as recorded in Luke 2:8-10, we see a world filled with fear. The United States has soldiers in sixty different nations of the world. Now we are “fighting terrorism” in Iraq and Afghanistan, while refusing to fight “domestic terrorism” in the cities of our own nation. We have in this present presidential administration the largest defense budget ever. We live when a nuclear holocaust (God allowing) could start the destruction of the human race. Many of us live in fear of the mortgage payment and the next meal!
A World of Hate: One nation hates another. One color hates another. We sometimes hate each other.
From our position in outer space, we see a world filled with Greed and Selfishness.
From our magic carpet, we see a Foolish World. Man has become captivated and fascinated by technology. He worships at the shrine of science. He builds different computers. He complicates his life with electronic gadgets (IPods, Blackberry’s, Smart phones). He’s interested in breaking all kinds of speed records. He’s trying to climb higher and dig deeper than his predecessors. He gives his deepest devotion and his greatest energy to athletic and entertainment achievement, and leaves the real “heart of the matter” untouched.
The Bible says in Matthew 4:4, “It is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” The Bible says in Luke 12:15, "Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of the things he owns." The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:8, “For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.”
From our magic carpet we see a world groping in spiritual darkness. Some have shut God out completely. Many have shut God in. They have refused to turn Him loose in their lives. From our magic carpet, we can see thousands of churches that are seemingly unconcerned about the spiritual destitution of those around them.
III. Crusade of Compassion.
As those who claim to have the truth about God, we should be greatly alarmed. The affect we as Christians are making on our world is difficult to discern. It is embarrassing to stand here and confess that we are not seriously engaged in a crusade to win this generation to faith in our Lord.
I would like to suggest that we start a Crusade of Compassion. Jesus believed that there was hope for the world, because He gave the command in Matthew 28:19, 20. The apostle Paul believed there was hope for the world, so he wrote in Romans 1:15-17, “So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."
IV. Motivation for the task.
If we would be adequately motivated for the task which challenges us, we must get on our magic carpet and Visit Calvary:
Calvary is where “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (John 3:16).
Calvary is where we see “the Lamb of God taking away the sins of the world “(John 1:29).
Calvary is where “Christ Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree” (1 Peter 2:28)
Calvary is where “He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, where the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and where by His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah (53:6).
Calvary is where “God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Calvary is where echoes the cry, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household."
Visit the Empty Tomb: Where tragedy was transformed into triumph.
Visit the Empty Tomb: Where Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power (Romans 1:4).
Visit the Empty Tomb: Where we learn that death has been conquered and the grave wins no lasting victory (1 Corinthians 15:57).
Visit the Empty Tomb: Where immortality was demonstrated beyond any shadow of doubt (Revelation 1:18).
Visit the Empty Tomb: Where Christ is declared to be an adequate and all-sufficient Savior. “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25).