Summary: This sermon is a part of our "What We Believe" series and it speaks of our need to be missionary, that is, evangelistic where God places us.
What We Believe
One Sunday morning, a pastor began his sermon saying, “I’d like to make three points today. First, there are millions of people around the world who are going to hell. Second, most of us sitting here today do not give a damn about it.”
After a lengthy pause he continued: “My third point is that you are more concerned that I, your pastor, said the word “damn” than you are about the millions of people going to hell.”
This unfortunately is the viewpoint of many within the church. We’re so concerned about church etiquette than we are about people who are lost and going to hell. We’re more concerned about what a person looks like, what they wear and how they speak, than we are about their eternal destiny.
Further, when it comes to evangelism, most believe that this is a job or task best left to the “professionals.” People kind of have the old west mentality that the pastor is not only the hired hand, but is also the hired gun. That it is the pastor’s job to evangelize, and it is the people’s job to sit and listen.
But this is not the biblical view. The biblical view teaches that every believer is to be missionary. Now notice I did not say to be “a” missionary, but to be missionary. Being missionary is to tell people about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the wonderful amazing grace of God as a result of it.
“I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.” (2 Tim. 4:1-5 NKJV)
Now some may question this section of Scripture thinking that this advise was only to Timothy, however, that would be a mistake. Now, from our text it would seem that Timothy’s ministry was that of an evangelist, but it really was that of a pastor.
Look at what Paul tells him to begin with. It was to “preach” the word, to always be ready in season and out of season to do whatever it takes so that the people would understand the gospel message.
And the reason is because people are such humans, that is, sinners who want what they want the way they want it. So instead of going to where the word of God is preached, they’ll go and listen with itching ears to these positive feel good messages and how God wants them to be healthy and wealthy. Unfortunately, I have seen too many horror stories of people’s faith that have been, or almost have been smashed due to this sort of teaching.
Paul also encouraged Timothy to be watchful as well. That is to be sober minded, to be calm, cool and collected in his spirit and always on the alert. He also told him to endure afflictions, and that’s because when you preach the truth, Satan isn’t going to like it and will throw all sorts of trials and tribulations your way.
Then Paul tells Timothy to do the work of an evangelist, that is, be a person who will bring the good news to anyone who is willing to listen. What he’s telling Timothy is that being evangelistic should entail everything he does.
And finally, Paul tells Timothy to fulfill his ministry, that is, to fully perform what God has called him to do.
What does all this mean? Paul is making evangelism an integral part of Timothy’s life. Like all of these areas, to watch, endure, and fulfill, Paul is telling Timothy to evangelize, that is, to be missionary, and he’s telling us the same thing.
And so, the first thing we see about being missionary is that we are…
Sent By God To The World
This was actually Jesus’ command when He first revealed Himself after the resurrection.
“Peace to you! As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (John 20:21 NKJV)
Just as the Father sent Jesus to bare witness of Him in His words and actions, so is Jesus now sending us to bear witness of His wonderful, amazing, and saving grace in both our words and actions.
We see this same thing in what is known as the Great Commission.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20a NKJV)