Sermons

Summary: The second part of our vision and mission is to be a people reaching out to others.

1. We have begun a short series on the Vision and Mission of this congregation

a. Vision -- Where we are going/what we are to become -- destination

b. Mission -- how to get there

c. First Aspect of our Vision and Mission -- To be a God-Led People

2. Second Aspect -- to be an Outreach-Centered Congregation

3. St Catherine's Monastery

One of the oldest monasteries in the world is Saint Catherine's. Built by Emperor Justinian to protect the monks in the region, St. Catherine's sits at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt. The walls are made of granite and are between 8 and 35 meters tall.

Up until the last century, there was only one way into the monastery: a tiny door more than thirty feet above the ground. People entered the monastery through a system of pulleys and ropes. The monastery itself contains ancient icons and many treasures. But up until recently, it was largely inaccessible to the outside world.

It is easy for churches to drift toward becoming like St. Catherine's monastery: a fortified, doorless organization that focuses upon its own preservation rather than its specific mission.

I. Motivations for Outreach

A. Ego -- Often Preachers' #1 Problem

1. God numbered the people for HIS purposes, to show that he could care for millions of people in the desert [(General Dwight Eisenhower ordered pictures to be made of the holocaust because, he said, some so-and-so will say it never happened.) -- Numbers 1.1-4;

2. David numbered his people for his own ego and God punished him for it -- 2 Samuel 24.1ff

B. Outside Factors (Lord and Bank says we need to evangelize)

C. Obedience to God -- Go Ye Means Go Me by Ivan Stewart; Mark 16.15; Matthew 28.18-20 -- as you go

D. The Heart of God

1. Jesus and Jerusalem -- 41 And when he drew near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, "Would that you, even you, had known on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 For the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up a barricade around you and surround you and hem you in on every side 44 and tear you down to the ground, you and your children within you. And they will not leave one stone upon another in you, because you did not know the time of your visitation." Luke 19.41-44 [Barricade at Masada?; piles of stone near temple mount

2. Jesus and Moneychangers --

45 And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold, 46 saying to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be a house of prayer,' but you have made it a den of robbers." Luke 19.45-46 (cf. Isaiah 56.7; Jeremiah 7.11)

a. [80% of temple mount was for nations

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;

make known his deeds among the peoples! 1 Chronicles 16.8

b. South side of the temple grounds was taken over by greedy priests to sell animals and merchandise to Jews; pushing out Gentiles

"Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the LORD of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers' soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. Malachi 3.1-3

3. Delayed return

"The Lord...is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but wants everyone to come to repentance." 2 Peter 3:9

4. Pursuit of God

II. Preparations for Outreach

Illustration - W.B. Riley (Pastor, died 1947) used to tell the story of a man who had walked the streets of Philadelphia searching for employment. One day he happened to into the office of a well-known businessman by the name of Girard. When he asked for a job, Mr. Girard said, "Yes, I can give you work. See that pile of bricks over there? Carry them over to the other end of the yard and stack them up." The man worked all day and at the end of the day reported that he had moved all the bricks. The next day he came in and Girard asked him to carry the bricks back to where he found them. For more than a week he carried those bricks back and forth. It became evident that he was dependable and could be trusted to do exactly what he was told. Then he was given a new and bigger responsibility. He was sent downtown and was told to bid on a large quantity of sugar. No one at the auction knew the fellow and were somewhat surprised by his bid. His bid was accepted by the auctioneer and asked him who would pay the bill. "Mr. Girard," replied the man. "I am his agent." The man earned his position by being faithful and obedient in a menial task. [Luke 16.10]

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