Summary: Here we have the fifth in the series of firm foundations ’Meeting the world’ loooking at Christian basics this one focuses on mission.
Meeting the world is mission. Col. 4;2-6.
Have you ever picked up one of those children’s books where’s Wally? Where you have to find Wally in amongst the crowds....
As Christians we can be a little bit like Wally so difficult to find in the world in which God has put us! Making little impact on the surroundings we find ourselves in.
It was completely different for those early Christians they stood out they were meeting the world and engaging with them, sharing their faith. And at time under fierce opposition!
Within 10 years of the death of Christ the gospel had reached Alexandria in Africa, Antioch in Asia and Rome the capital city of the world! Christians had become so notorious that Nero would use them as scapegoats for the great fire in AD64. The message spread like wild fire because these Christians were mission minded people!
Jesus commands us to go and meet the world!
This isn’t an optional extra for the ordained minister or the Christian who is a bit OTT! No! It’s the sacred duty of all Christians to meet the world! Paul here gives us practical pointers in meeting the world. It is reflected in three areas of our lives in our Prayer life, in our daily living and in our conversation with others.
1) V2-V3 Prayer needs to be a priority in meeting the world.
Prayer must be a priority in a believer’s life, they were called to be devoted to prayer for the expansion of the gospel, it was the key ingredient. Prayer enables you and I and calls others to meet the world Matt 9.38 pray to the Lord….
However enthusiastic we might be , however many meetings we might put on without prayer it will not succeed.
C.H. Spurgeon meet a couple of students outside the tabernacle in London they never reconised Spurgeon, they were seeking to get into the Church to hear the prince of preachers. Yet no-one was around they found this strange, Spurgeon meet them at the entrance and led them in and then stated .”Let me show you the heating plant” a man says to young students… He took them down stairs where hundreds of people were praying. Spurgeon said, ’ Nothing gets done upstairs until it firstly gets done down here. ’Do we pray like our ancestors?’,
Let’s take a look at the priority of prayer in mission.
What were the disciple doing whilst waiting for the Holy Spirit?
Acts 1; 14 They all joined together constantly in prayer.
The Church explodes to over 3000 converts and what were they doing?
Acts 2:42 the early Church devoted to prayer.
And what was happening at that time?
V47 And the Lord added to their number daily.
After Peter and John were released by the Sanhedrian
Acts 4. 24. Believers raised their voices together in prayer over what took place.
V31 and the place was shaken!
Peters escape from prison a result of prayer
Acts12.5, The Church were earnestly Praying for Peter whilst in prison.
Peter returns to… V12 all night prayer meeting!
Church leaders were enabled to be devoted to prayer and the Word.
Acts 6; 4 The Church leaders gave their attention to prayer.
No short cuts
We will only see real Church growth, if we are genuinely devoted too prayer not only on our own but together as a fellowship.
Evan Roberts prayed for 11 years before the 1904 Welsh revival and his ministry broke him physically, yet when the revival broke out at that time more than 100,000 converted to Christ. 2Chr..7:14 If my people will humble themselves and pray
A) Prayer can bring new opportunities in meeting the world. V3
Paul desires that these believers pray for him, not for his health or his wealth or his release from his arrest but that he might be effective in reaching as many people as he can. This new door was a door of opportunity v3, 4.
What was this open door?
Was it to be released from his captor’s freedom? No! Even under Roman guard a new door had opened up for him Phil1:12-13Whilst under house arrest we see for two whole years he was free to preach the kingdom of God. Acts28.30-31. (Who were the real prisoners?) Paul saw immense opportunitie where ever he went.
These doors could have been when he would face the courts of Rome! Whatever Paul’s circumstances he considered them a door of opportunity! What Looked like set backs to others were opportunities to advance the gospel. Eph.6:19. Read.
Doors which have shut and opened here?
The pulling out of Bethel from this Church may have been seen as a setback by some but hasn’t it opened the door towards greater advances as a fellowship.
Bringing you all closer together, stepping out in faith, calling a pastor, seeing new doors of opportunity open up, like schools work, youth work, simply Christianity, kids work continuing, Sunday school restarting, new faces coming into Church.