Summary: How our church is to change the world.
A CHURCH TO CHANGE THE WORLD
Sermon Four: Influencing the World by
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:19-20).
“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Tim. 2:2).
1. The Jerusalem church is the “acorn” church from which the mighty oak--known as Christianity--grew. This church had it all: evangelism, revival, prayer, and courage in the face of danger. But this was a teaching church and through its educational foundation, changed the world. Notice how they did it,
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine . . .” (Acts 2:42). The word doctrine means “teaching.” They taught new believers the doctrine they received from the Lord Jesus. Notice the method how they did it, “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ” (Acts 5:42). They taught in both the homes and the Temple, which was their “church building.” This is the model for Thomas Road Baptist Church’s teaching ministry.
2. The Antioch church. The second great church to change the world was in Antioch. Among the greatest thing this great missionary church did, was lay the foundations for world-wide missions. But, where did they get their passion for missions? It came from their teaching ministry, “they (Barnabas and Paul) assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). I want Thomas Road Baptist Church to influence the world in foreign missions, but we’ll have to do it upon the foundation of strong Bible teaching.
3. The church in Geneva: John Calvin. John Calvin attempted to create a model Christian city in Geneva and a model Christian church in contrast to the corrupt church and city of Rome. While I am not a five-point Calvinist, I salute the great impact that Calvin made on the world. With Calvin’s high view of the sovereignty of God, his great commitment to word-for-word inerrancy of Scripture, his understanding of the total depravity of man, and his unashamed support for the blood atonement of Jesus Christ; Calvin’s anointed scholarship produced men who went around the world teaching the Reformed view that has become the foundation of the great Presbyterian church. Truly, the Geneva church was a church that influenced the world theologically. I want Thomas Road Baptist Church to influence the world, both theologically and experientially through revival.
4. Metropolitan Baptist Tabernacle. Under pastor Charles Spurgeon, this church was a proto-type of Thomas Road Baptist Church. This church had a Bible college, home missions outreach, foreign missions outreach, and an impact on the English government; and because it was located in London, capital city of the British Empire, it influenced the world. Spurgeon’s books, sermons and writings became the basis for the great ministry of the church.
5. Moody Memorial Church, Chicago, Illinois. Under the influence of Dwight L. Moody, he established the Moody Bible Institute (January 22, 1886). And through its teaching ministry, sent out pastors, missionaries, and has influenced the world for more than a hundred years and fifteen years.
6. Churches on the mission field that are unknown, and unrecognized, but powerful to change a tribal nation. Think of missionaries unknown to us who have labored diligently to take a heathen language that is only spoken, create a linguistic written alphabet, and then begin to translate the Bible, hymns and Christian books into that language. After winning heathens to Christ, they taught them to read, write and build churches. These missionaries carved a civilization out of heathen tribes. How many unknown churches have been responsible for the evangelization for entire tribes? This includes people that you and I don’t know about, but will be numbered with us when we arrive in Heaven. Each of these churches changed “its world” through a strong teaching ministry. From William Carey who translated the Bible into the language of the people of India, and Adoniram Judson, who translated the Bible into the language of the people of Burma; missionaries are still doing it around the world today.
B. THOMAS ROAD AND ITS EDUCATIONAL INFLUENCE
1. Lynchburg Christian Academy (LCA). This school with over a thousand students presently, was begun in 1967. Literally, thousands of business men and women, educators, politicians, in every walk of life have been trained at LCA. Perhaps the most notable are: Senator Stephen Newman, member of the Virginia Senate and Stephen Martin, member of the Virginia General Assembly.