Summary: An examination of the only purpose we will NOT be able to carry out in heaven.
MADE FOR A MISSION
Have you ever wondered, "When a person becomes a Christian, why doesn’t God just take them directly on to heaven?"
The answer is that God has an assignment for each of us; you and I were made for a mission.
What is that mission? You don’t have to speculate. Just as Jesus was leaving to go back to heaven, he left clear instructions for each of us. Today we’re going to examine the only one of the five purposes we won’t be able to do in heaven!
Let’s just quickly recall our first four purposes:
1. To bring God pleasure by loving Him and that is called worship.
2. To be a part of God’s family and that is called fellowship.
3. To become like Christ and that is called discipleship.
4. To serve God by serving others and that is called ministry.
To start examining our fifth and final purpose, let’s read our first two Scriptures together: “Jesus said, ‘In the same way that You gave Me a mission in the world, I give them a mission in the world.’” And “As the Father sent Me, I am sending you”
The Father gave the Son a mission to complete while He was in the world. Now that He is in heaven, He isn’t doing that mission anymore. He passed it on to us. That mission is to tell all the people who don’t yet know Him and have not yet joined His team about the great love of God. There won’t be any non-believers in heaven, so there won’t be any mission.
Last week we talked about ministry.
• Ministry is primarily our service to other believers. It is when we feed the hungry and clothe the naked and take care of the widowed and homeless and build up the Body of Christ.
• Mission is to those outside the Church of Jesus Christ to let them hear how God loves everyone and wants to love them intimately. As believers we have this mission in common.
• Story of a new monk in the monastery – afraid to preach – his prior gave him the assignment to preach the next day – “Brothers, do you know what I am going to say” (All shook heads – NO. He said “Neither do I – Let’s stand for the benediction” – Prior angry – ordered him to preach next day. Same thing. “Brothers, do you know what I am going to say?” This time – they nodded YES. “Well, if you already know, there is no need for me to tell you. Let’s stand for the benediction.” Prior furious – ordered him to preach the next day or lose his meal privileges for a week. Next day, “Brothers do you know what I am going to say?” Half nodded YES and half shook heads – NO. So he said, “Well now will those who know, please tell the other half who don’t. Let’s stand for the benediction”
Read the next verse with me. “The most important thing is that I complete my mission, the work that the Lord Jesus gave me – to tell people the Good News about God’s grace.” We have a mission and God expects us to finish it before we get to heaven.
Underscore the text in bold on your outline. My fifth purpose is to share the Good News. God really expects us to share our first four purposes in life with people who don’t have a personal relationship with Him. Now the word for that assignment is one that has come to have some negativity associated with it - That word is evangelism. But the Greek word that we translate into evangelism - euangelion – literally means good news. That’s all God wants us to share is the good news that He loves everybody and is willing to forgive sin so that everyone can be adopted into His family.
Jesus gave a plan to the disciples about how to do this. Read the next verse with me. “After the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and Judea, and in all Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
• Jesus told the disciples to start at home with the people who are closest to them and had things in common with them. That is your Jerusalem.
• Your Judea means people like you but not in your current circle of friends and family.
• Samaria are the people that aren’t like you but are around you.
• The ends of the earth means everyone else. Jesus didn’t leave anyone out!
It is important to understand that God is not asking us to become His defense attorney. Some people are afraid of sharing the Good News because they might get asked questions that they can’t answer. God doesn’t need you defending Him. Nor does God want you to be a prosecutor going around judging people and their actions. He is better equipped to do that than we are. Nor is God looking for a salesperson. He doesn’t want us to try and sell Him to anybody. Being a witness means telling people what you have seen and experienced.