Summary: This is week six of Forty Days of Purpose and deals with Purpose number 5 evangelism.
Drop your buffs. I wasn’t sure at first what I was hearing then I realized that what host Jeff Probst of Survivor was telling the contestants to do was to remove the scarves that identified each of four tribes that made up the competition in this season’s Survivor. After only a week on the island the tribes were being reorganized and went from four small tribes to two large tribes.
There was a general shuffling and milling around, people were chosen and ignored as the tribes were expanded. It was almost like school children picking teams for softball or dodge ball. Part of the selection process was based on skill sets, what different people could bring to the tribe and part was simply based on popularity, who was liked or wasn’t liked. And when it was over there were two new larger, presumably stronger tribes.
This is the week 6 of Forty Days of purpose and this is the fifth purpose and that is: You Were Made for a Mission. And what is that mission? It is to expand our tribe. To reach out and touch other people with the good news. Christianity is always 1 generation from extinction. Every Christian alive today, October 29th 2006 will need to be replaced if Christianity is to survive.
So what is the secret to fulfilling our mission?
1) We Need To Care About People. We need to care about people because Jesus cared about people. He cared so much he was willing to surrender his life for people, what are we willing to do? Cornerstone Wesleyan Church needs to put people number one. We need to care that people need Jesus or they will go to hell, in essence
A) We Need To Understand the Consequences.
The contestants on Survivor know two things, 1) If they are the winner they get a million dollars and 2) If they are not the winner they don’t. So they understand the consequences what will happen and what won’t happen. But bottom line is that it’s just a game and they are each concerned with being the winner, ultimately they really aren’t all that concerned with what happens to the rest of the tribe, any one of them could wear that t-shirt that says “It’s all about me”.
But that isn’t the way it should be with us, we need to recognize that the consequences here are much bigger as spelled out in the word of God and that’s always the kicker isn’t’ it? Just how convinced are we that this book is true? How convinced are we that there is a heaven to be gained and a hell to be shunned? If what this book says is true, then those who accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of their lives will spend eternity with God. But by the same token those who don’t accept Jesus Christ as the Lord of their life will spend a Christless eternity in torment.
Now I realize that heaven and hell can be a little abstract to grasp, but somehow we as a church need to become convinced of the value of Jesus Christ in the lives of people, not only for the here and now but for the there and then.
And once we become convinced of that then we have to be ready to communicate that to people in a culturally relevant way. That is culturally relevant to this area, in October of 2006. And that can be tough, after all if it was easy every church would be doing it and they’re not. Too many churches are sound evangelically and sound asleep evangelistically.
If we believe the reality of hell and according to the word of God hell is a reality, then we should be heartbroken over the fact that we have friends and family who will in reality be tormented for eternity. That’s what the book says and we don’t debate the book. Did you know that the Bible speaks more about Hell then about heaven? Listen to how Jesus describes it in Mark 9:48 as a place where ‘where the worm never dies and the fire never goes out.’ and in Matthew 18:9 Jesus speaks of the Fires of Hell and again in Matthew 13:42 and they will throw them into the furnace and burn them. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Are we truly convinced of the reality of Hell? And if we are then the next question has to be: are we that convinced that Jesus is the only solution to the reality of hell?
There are not many ways to heaven, there are not several ways to heaven, and there are not even two ways to heaven. You can’t get there by being good, or by being sincere, following Buddha won’t get you there, following Mohammed won’t get you there, as a matter of fact Jesus said in John 14:6 Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. And friends that is not being narrow, that is being scriptural. And until we understand that we will never see the need to tell people about Jesus. Cornerstone Wesleyan Church wasn’t started so that we could have a Wesleyan Church in Hammonds Plains, we came here to help depopulate hell. Now it’s not simply enough to understand the consequences.