Summary: This is the 17th sermon in the series "The Cure". This is my desire as a pastor.
Series: The Cure [#17]
MY DESIRE AS PASTOR
Last week, we talked about commitment. I thought a lot about what I said and the challenge that I gave the Church. This question came to my mind, “What is it that I want to see happen at the Church”?
Romans 10:1, 9-10, 13 (NIV)
“Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
My desire is that…
1. All people be saved.
I know that this sounds very generic and “religious”; but the truth is, we are called to love all people and if you love them, you want them to be saved. The challenge to this statement is that many of us have people that we have to deal with that we just can’t stand. In fact the thought in our head or the words from our mouth is, “Go to Hell”. Christians, which is it? Do you want them to be saved or go to Hell?
A Church that is only about the comfort of the saved is a Church that will be in decline. As we grow, it must be with the lost in mind. If you are thinking, “I’ve tried to talk to people that aren’t saved and they just don’t listen or care. They always turn me down”. Remember that your responsibility is not results. The enemy is going to do everything he can to keep a person from being saved. There are barriers to salvation.
Romans 10:1-2 (NIV)
“Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.”
Ignorance is a barrier to salvation.
Remember that we do not seek God- God seeks us. Just as the Jewish people were ignorant about the saving power of Jesus Christ, so are many today. They hear things about God, they see things about God, but they don’t apply it to their life. They count everything about God as religion and they stay out of anything that is about religion.
Romans 10:3-4 (NIV)
“Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.”
Works is a barrier to salvation.
Throughout history, man has tried to devise ways to be close to God. In the process, man has come up with his own rules for religion. This has also infiltrated into the Church. It is hard to find any Church that has not devised its own rules in different areas of the Church. People have a hard time believing that there is nothing that they can do on their own to be accepted by God.
Romans 10:5-8 (NIV)
“Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them." But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, `Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down) "or `Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming.”
The truth is a barrier to salvation.
You may be thinking, “He has lost his mind. How does the truth keep people from coming to Jesus?” The truth of the Word exposes the sin in a person’s life and they don’t want to deal with it.
Romans 10:16-21 (NIV)
“But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding." And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me." But concerning Israel he says, "All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."