Summary: A Missions sermon: In Acts 16, Paul had a vision which he took to be a call to change his plans and take the Gospel to Europe. We too have a call, and it might change our plans if we take it seriously.
Investing in Eternity!
October 13, 2019
NOTE: A PowerPoint presentation is available for this sermon by request at email@example.com. Please mention the full title of the sermon and the Bible text to help me find the sermon in my archives.
TEXT: Acts 16:9-10 – “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia, and help us.’ 10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.”
Over the next few weeks, we launch out into a missions emphasis at Grace Baptist Church. [PROMOTE MISSIONS EMPHASIS SUNDAYS + SHOW “MISSIONS INVESTMENT CARD” (FORMERLY CALLD “FAITH PROMISE CARD” & OFFERING ENVELOPE IN THE SLIDES & EXPLAIN.]
As we launch into our mission emphasis, I want God to have His way in your heart and life. In our passage here, we see that Paul and Silas, and apparently Timothy and Luke who were with them at this time, were extremely sensitive to the Holy Spirit. God was at work, and God gave Paul a vision—a vision that called them to get in on the next big thing God is going to do—to take the Gospel to Europe.
In our text, I want you to see four things God wants you to get in on that God’s up to in the world, and how it ought to compel you to get involved by giving to missions.
I. FIRST OF ALL, CATCH GOD’S VISION – Acts 16:9a – “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night…”
Paul had a literal vision, but I’m speaking of a different kind of vision this morning. Today I think we need a vision in two senses of the word:
First, we need a vision in the sense of having a mission.
Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish….”
God’s people move when they get a vision of what God’s plan is on earth. Did you know that Jesus has given the church a vision in this sense? It’s called the “Great Commission.”
In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus said, “Go…therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: 20 Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
We need a vision to go forth and accomplish the mission of the church—to win the lost to Jesus both near and far; to baptize them in the name of the Trinity; to disciple them in the teachings of God’s Word.
Second, we need a vision in the sense of seeing things the way God does.
We need a vision of eternity—a realization that everyone will go to either heaven or hell. – When you get a vision of these contrasting destinies, you realize that really, everything else pales by comparison doesn’t it?
We also need a vision of the holiness and perfect righteousness of God. If we realize that God’s holiness is perfect and infinite and all-encompassing, you begin to understand mankind’s precarious condition. It’s because of the holiness of God that God judges sin and why we cannot stand before God in our own goodness because our own goodness still falls short of God’s infinite perfection.
But we also need a vision of the goodness and mercy of God. God IS infinitely holy, but 1 John 4:8 tells us that God is also love. And it is God’s goodness, love and mercy that caused Him to reach down to sinners like us to provide a way to know Him and be His child.
John said, “…God is love. 9 In this was the love of God manifested toward us,…that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:8b-10)
Can you get a vision of this marvelous truth? God in His great love provided a way for the lost to be saved; to have their sins forgiven; to be accepted by God; to have a home in heaven.
Finally, we also need a vision of multitudes in heaven someday, saved by the Blood of the Lamb. Can you envision it?—Multitudes of people around the throne…there because God’s grace provided an answer to the sinfulness of man. But how will all these multitudes make it into heaven? Each will be there because someone told them the wonderful story of Jesus and the cross and the way of forgiveness through faith in the risen Savior.