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Summary: The heart of God is to rescue the perishing. Paul caught the vision of God's incomparable love and was so moved that he too felt compelled to join God's efforts, regardless of the cost. The love of God should motivate us to rescue the perishing too!

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COMPELLED BY LOVE

2 Cor. 5:14

INTRODUCTION

A. HUMOR: school is back in session.

1. “How did school go today?” a mother asked her little boy. “Fine”, the little fellow replied. “We had a new teacher and she wanted to know if I had any brothers or sisters and I told her I was an only child”. “What did she say?” his mother asked. “The teacher said, “Thank goodness!”

2. TEACHER: “Here’s a math problem. If your dad earned $800 a week and he gave your mother half, what would she have? STUDENT: “A heart attack.”

3. A new teacher, trying to make use of her psychology courses, started her class by saying, “Everyone who thinks you’re stupid, stand up.” After a few seconds, little Johnny stood up. The teacher said, “Do you think you’re stupid, Johnny?” “No ma’am,” he said, “but I hate to see you standing up there all by yourself.”

B. TEXT

“For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that [Jesus] died for all …. that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” 2 Cor. 5:14-15

C. THESIS

1. Usually, when we think of missions, we think of the Great Commission. But missions didn’t begin with the Great Commission, missions began with God. It first beat in His heart before it was ever made a major purpose of the church. It’s still the heartbeat of God we ought to be moved by today.

2. Paul said the love of Christ compelled him. Let’s look at what he meant by that.

I. THE LOVE OF CHRIST (FOR THE LOST)

A. THE POWER OF WONDER

First century believers went every where telling about Jesus because their lives had been filled with wonder! Christ’s demonstration of love strikes us with wonder.

1. WONDER: THAT GOD WOULD DECIDE TO SAVE MAN

a. It’s not a wonder that God would make man. But it was a wonder that God decided to redeem man. If I had been God when Adam & Eve disobeyed and fell into sin, and I had looked ahead and seen all the misery in store for the human race, I would have taken that opportunity to pull the plug on the human race and quit while I was ahead.

b. But God didn’t do that!

2. WONDER: THAT JESUS WOULD VOLUNTEER

a. Why in the world would Jesus, the Prince of the Universe, who stood to gain nothing and to lose everything, volunteer to die in order to save the depraved human race?

b. What was in it for Him? We didn’t know Him yet

3. WONDER: THAT THE FATHER WOULD LET JESUS SUFFER SUCH EXTREMES.

a. The extreme of becoming human; of suffering such horrible abuse for us.

b. Jesus had to experience all sin! He had to be immersed in filth; all the rapes, murders, sodomies, incests…

4. WONDER: THAT GOD WOULD LET HUMANS LIVE IN HEAVEN.

a. Letting humans live in heaven forever is like having rowdy company move into your house – not for a day or week or month, but for eternity.

b. It’s like asking for trouble. Like having a bunch of hyperactive kids move into your house. They would definitely disturb your peace. Why would God do that?

5. WONDER: THAT HE WOULD LET US EAT FROM THE TREE OF LIFE

a. If I were God, living forever, and had the human race, living only short life spans; and knowing how bothersome they are, would I want to give them a lifespan equal to my own?

b. God had it right the first time by placing an angel at the gate of the Garden of Eden to keep humans from reentering the Garden and eating of the Tree of Life and living forever. Why would He change His mind now?

6. WONDER: THAT GOD WOULD PUT HIS HOLY SPIRIT INSIDE US.

a. That’s getting too close for comfort! I like to be around people, but as evil as most people are in their hearts (Paul said that he “inwardly burned”) how could God subject the Holy Spirit to people who are often actively sinning?

b. Undoubtedly there was no other way; we had to have the Holy Spirit inside us to transform us from the inside out.

7. WONDER: THAT GOD LOVES US!

I John 3:1, “Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us…”. This is the greatest love story of all time. Why?

a. It’s an incomprehensible love. Eph. 3:19, “And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.”

b. It’s an undeserved love. Rom. 5:8

c. It’s a sacrificial love. I John 4:10

d. It’s a constraining love. 2 Cor. 5:14

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