Summary: Sermon examining the commission of every Christian to take the gospel into the world.
Kim Duk-Soo will never forget November 20, 1950. That was the day Communist troops found him hiding with his father in a root cellar. He had been among the thousands of Christians who escaping the North for free South. Kim says, “When we heard the soldiers coming, I was sure we would be killed. My Daddy told me we could not tell a lie to save our lives."
But Kim and his father, a preacher of 42 years, were caught. They were put in a makeshift prison, to be executed the next morning. That evening, a captain approached Kim. "Are you a Christian?" he asked. For a fleeting moment, life for a lie seemed the only logical thing to do. But the young boy remembered his father's instruction. "I am a Christian," Kim said.
The captain drew closer, and whispered, "I am a Christian too. I used to be a Sunday school teacher before the war. You must escape tonight. I will help you." Kim escaped that night, having to leave his father behind.
It is Mother's Day at First Presbyterian in Taegu. "A Mighty Fortress" reverberates from 2,000 Korean voices. As he has done for 30 years, Kim plays the organ. "I should have been killed after the Communists found me, but God sent that Christian guard to help me escape. When I play the organ at church. I am doing it for God."
Kim’s story is just one of the thousands of times that God sent someone to do His work.
Jesus knows about sending people to do His work
(Matthew 28:18-20) Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
(Mark 16:15) He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.
Turns out, His whole reason for gathering 12 men around Himself and spending almost 3 years with them was to send them out to do His work after He left.
I’m not sure but what we’ve missed the boat – that the Church shouldn’t be gathering people as much as it should be sending. I don’t see billboards around town or hear commercials for churches saying, “Come here and get sent.”
Still, that line works for certain organizations: travel agencies; auto clubs; the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Yep, you know that if you go to one of those places, they’re going to send you somewhere. If you need to travel, that’s the place to be. But an add that says, “Come here and we’ll send you away” won’t work for a realtor or a nursing home!
The Church is in the “sending business.” We’re supposed to be a place where people come who don’t want to stay here forever. We’re supposed to be carrying on the work that Jesus chose His Apostles to do. Amen?
This Church is in the “sending business.” Or haven’t you noticed the number of people who’ve gone out from VHCC in the past 18 months for the sake of overseas missions, or the number of people here who are directly involved in some of the many ministries in Joplin, or the number of students who will be here, some of them just long enough for us to get to really know and appreciate them, and then they’ll graduate and be gone from here. And I say Praise God – because we’re in the sending business.
Now, I know that by saying this, I’m making it sound like the business of caring for the Church gets cast aside. In fact, there’s a school of thought that you either have to be outward minded and focused on reaching people outside the church, or you have to be inward focused and caring for the people already in the church – that you have to choose one or the other. I mean to tell you that’s a false choice! Which would Jesus choose? We’re in the sending business, and since that runs so counter to how many in the Church of today are thinking, I want you to see today that God is in the sending business. And a serious business it is…
I. God Sent His Son
The first and greatest evidence that God is in the sending business is that He sent His Son into the world.
I started chasing this phrase “into the world” through the NT. One fact stood out to me: Jesus didn’t just “come” to the earth; He was sent.