Summary: Constructing a people not a building, vision, life evangelism.
A VISION OF THE POSSIBLE
Matt 4: 19 (p677), 28: 18-20 (p698) June 2, 2013
“Come follow me Jesus said, and I will send you out to fish for people”
I want you to close your eyes for just a moment and imagine the church….Please don’t picture buildings or the inside of the sanctuary….don’t envision programs or activities just the people. People who live in a world of sin and darkness, suffering and pain. A world where over 3 billion people survive on less than 2 dollars a day and billions of these people live in absolute poverty. A world where billions are entangled in false religions and around 2 billion of them have never even heard the gospel…they are all (literally billions of people) on a road that leads to an eternal Hell---suffering that will never, ever, ever end.
But you and the people who have really made a decision to surrender to the Lordship of Jesus, you’ve accepted His sacrifice…He is your Savior…In your mind and heart you know Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to save people from their sins, all people! In your heart of hearts, the depth of your souls you’ve tasted and seen that only He can satisfy your deepest desires…everyone’s deepest desires…your will has been surrender to His purpose and you want to witness for Him and you’ll do that where every He leads you in this world….the people you envision are brothers and sisters in a local church with a global commission: MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS. God has filled every single one of you with the power of His own spirit to enable each of you individually and all of you collectively to reach the world with His message…the gospel. He has made your feet “Beautiful shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace”. So open your eyes…
If you only had people…no building, no programs, no ministry staff----and you were charged with spreading the gospel to the entire world, where would you start...Would you pool your money…spend millions on a big building to meet together in? Would you get an exciting speaker the best musicians and the most talented staff in order to organize presentations and programs that appeal to families and children? Would you devote your resources to what is most comfortable, most entertaining, and most pleasing to you?
I don’t think your church would do that---and neither would mine. Not if we really believed God’s word and were honestly looking at God’s word. If we recognized that there are billions of people without the gospel, many who have never even heard it…and there are hundreds of millions of people starving without food or water…we probably wouldn’t say….”Let’s spend millions and millions of dollars building places where we can worship together…The Bible never commands us to build a house for worship…instead God’s word says His people “are the house of worship”.
“Yes we are told “Not to give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – more and more as we see the day of Christ’s return approaching.” (Heb 10:25)
Let me ask you…what do you think we would, or should encourage one another to be doing, all the more as the day of Christ’s returns draws near????!!!
The New Testament never tells us to build a place for people to come to us…instead the New Testament commands us to give our lives going to people.
If we really believe the Bible, our job is to equip ever single person in the church to release the Holy Spirit equipped gift in them for ministry. Our emphasis should be that we are a “going” people…instead we’ve become “attending people.
You see, the purpose of our gathering together would not be to soak in a show or set in a class. The purpose of our gathering is to share our lives…to share the hurts, the joys, the struggles and the victories we are experiencing as we spend our lives going out into the world.
We should encourage one another, teach one another, worship with one another, give to one another, and sacrifice for one another…and then we scatter again to make the gospel of Jesus known to the world…the church isn’t about inviting a bunch of people to hear a great messenger...the church is about many ministers slash servants infiltrating the world with the good news. It’s what we should do week after week, month after month, year after year and we shouldn’t stop until the gospel impacts every community in the world. I give you….
I A PORTRAIT OF THE CHURCH IN ITS EARLY STAGES
A band of 12 men responded to Jesus life---changing invitation: “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men”. (Matt 4:14)