Summary: The purpose of this sermon was to increase missions awareness and concern within the church.
I. As I was preparing this weeks message, a thought came to me.
II. I cannot remember hearing very many, if any sermons preached from 2nd Corinthians.
A. I have heard verses quoted here and there.
B. I am sure, I must have heard at least one or two messages based on some text, BUT
III. I really don’t remember ever hearing a message, much less a series of messages from2nd Corinthians.
IV. After reading our passage for today, I then looked at one of my commentaries, and I found the author to say this,
A. “Although the second letter to the Corinthians is full of profound theological truths, it is one of the least studied books that Paul wrote. One reason is that in contrast to 1 Corinthians, ... this book seems to be dominated by the discussion of Paul’s ministry and his authority–a sort of “preachers discussion.”
B. Second Corinthians is also difficult to understand because, in its function as a letter, it alludes to people and events with which the readers were quite familiar, but which we know little or nothing about. Paul also makes assumptions about the knowledge of his readers, often leaving us in the dark. For instance, it is likely that nearly everyone who read this letter knew about Paul’s ‘thorn in the flesh’. But the many different theories that scholars have advanced concerning it are prof that we do not know what it was.” (Rev. Kenneth Chapin, The Communicators Commentary, pg. 197. Copyrite 1985)
C. But more about 2 Corinthians 3:16 next week.
V. I read that quote because this morning, but, I am not going to be speaking from 2nd Corinthians 3, but rather I want to speak about the missions program at Newtown Community Church.
A. Last Sunday I referred to the fact that Jose and Pam Munoz will be speaking here on 22 October.
1. I referred to them as the Munoz’s
2. I later was informed that our church knows the Munoz’s as Jose and Pam, and therefore when I said Munoz some were left wondering to whom I was referring.
B. What occurred to me as a result of this was that,
1. Had I said “Jose and Pam” some would have known to whom I was referring, AND
2. When I said “Munoz” some, most especially those on the Mission Committee SHOULD have known to whom I was referring, BUT
3. Regardless of what name I said, most of us probably had no idea at all to whom I was referring, WHY
4. Because we don’t discuss our mission’s effort very often.
C. This morning, I would like to make and attempt to increase our collective awareness concerning the missions in general, and specifically the missions effort of our church family.
VI. As in every other facet of church life, there are a variety of opinions surrounding the importance of a church missions program.
A. Some believe a church is extremely lacking without a vital missions program.
B. Some feel missions is important, but not vital.
C. Some don’t consider missions at all.
VII. As for me, I believe that missions is the entire reason for the existence of the church.
A. Perhaps not in the sense that you might think.
B. But missions, the idea of seeing the lost come to faith, and the found mature in their faith, is the reason for our very existence.
VIII. The purpose of the church is missions, but I also believe that missions is more than what happens in Africa or any other nation you can think of.
IX. Missions is the very foundation of the church.
The Foundation of Missions
I. What is missions?
A. The dictionary that I often use defines missions as “the vocation of a religious organization to spread its faith.”
B. That is probably a pretty good definition.
C. Missions then is the employment of sharing what we believe to be true concerning God with those that do not yet believe, but where does the idea of doing missions come from!
II. Would anyone like to venture a guess as to how many times the word “missions” or “missionary” is found in the Bible?
A. If missions is so important, the word must be there right.
B. Actually the word is not found in scripture even one time, except perhaps the words, “Paul’s first missionary journey” or “second missionary journey” or even “Paul’s third missionary journey” which are added as headings, but are not scripture.
C. The actual word “missionary” is from the Latin word “missio” which means “sending” and the Greek word “apostelo” which means “messenger.”
D. For Christians then, a missionary is a person that has been sent to carry forth the good news of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.