Summary: What does your church do? Has God ever "cast out demons in your life?" Do you speak with new tongues? Have you ever shared your faith and led someone else to become a Christian?
Delivered Disciples Deliver Disciples
“And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18
Intro: Today I want talk about how God delivers us from sin to make us disciples and then how as disciples how God uses us to make more disciples. My father was born in 1901. Years before I came along my father was an alcoholic. My mom would tell the stories of how he would come home drunk. How he drove home after drinking without hurting someone or wrecking the horse and buggy I will never know. (laughter) It has been said that sometimes a horse has more sense than a person. But later in life my father Walter Lee got saved. From that moment forward he never had a desire to drink another drop of whiskey. He said God had supernaturally delivered him from the sickness of alcoholism. The father I knew was a man of God. He was preacher. I saw him read his bible. I heard him pray. I watched as he shared his testimony. He told others, if God can deliver me from my sin, he said God can also deliver you from your sin.
The title of today’s sermon is “Delivered Disciples Deliver Disciples.” Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world telling everyone that on the old rugged cross he had became the sacrifice that paid the penalty for sin. Those who believe in him were forgiven and saved. The Greek word used here in Mark 16:16 (Strong’s 4982 sṓzō (from sōs, "safe, rescued") used properly, to deliver out of danger and into safety; used principally of God rescuing the perishing from the penalty and power of sin and into His provisions (safety)., delivered. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that everyone who believes in him will not perish but will have eternal life.”The very next verse, John 3:17 “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. ”God sent Jesus to do what? To save or to deliver those from the dangers or to rescue them from sin so that those who believe would be saved from condemnation. To give them the provision they need for their journey of deliverance.
Now we have to define the word "condemned" as it is found here in our text for today. Mark 16:16 “but he who does not believe will be condemned.” This is talking about those who do not believe will face the judgment of God and be sentenced for their sin. Condemned is very closed related to the word damned. As in, “to be judged and sentenced and the damnation of hell.” Titus 3:5 “God saves us (or we can use the word delivers us) not because of the good things we have done but because of His mercy. He washed away our sins and gave us a new life through the Holy Spirit."
You see that is what happened in my dad’s life. It wasn’t that he was so good that God had mercy upon him because of it. No, my dad wasn’t a very good person in his early life. When my dad took one step forward to an altar and repented of his sin God gave him a new life through the Holy Spirit. His condemned life was changed to blessed life. His failures were substituted with God’s favor. His bitterness was replaced with God’s blessings. He received mercy instead of condemnation. God will do the same thing for you. Hear the “Good News” Christ is our deliverer! Christ will deliver us from our sin and save us.
Recently a woman was talking to me about her life and some of the problems she was having. I listened as she shared her struggles which span a broad range from: financial difficulties, to health issues, relationship problems, and she concluded with a litany of bad experiences with churches she had attended. Finally she looked me squarely in the eyes and asked “what does your church do?”
How would you answer her question, “What does your church do?” She has asked a very practical question, one that every member of the church must be able to quickly give a response to. Without hesitation our answer is: “We are in the Disciple making business.”