Summary: Four reasons we can be on mission with God
On Mission with God
Perhaps one of the most dynamic stories in all of history is that of the followers of Jesus, those who constituted His first church turning the world upside down. It is in reality an account of a church with humble beginnings on mission with God turning the world right side up. We understand from the Genesis account that God created things the way He wanted them. What He created He intended to be considered normal. It was normal for man to work and not grow weary. It was normal for man to walk and fellowship with God. Yet man perverted that normalcy and made it abnormal. He took what was right side up and turned it over, corrupting God’s perfect, sinless creation.
Since that day, God has been at work righting what man has wronged. He has been at work through the ages redeeming man to Himself, and He is still at work today doing just that. When Jesus came to earth, He could have stayed and done it all Himself. God could have chosen any means He wanted to evangelize the world and declare His good news to all mankind, but He didn’t. In God’s eternal plan, whether we understand it or not, He chose to organize and commission churches to carry out His work, churches just like this one.
Twenty-one centuries later…He still has no other plan. He’s counting on you and me. High on God’s "To Do" list is the evangelization of the world. His early disciples adopted His priorities and devoted themselves to reaching their world, to being on mission with God. Christ counted on them, and they delivered. The Lord is counting on us to deliver as well. The Bible assures us that we are well able to reach the people God has set before us. I believe we can do what God has called us as a church to do because of four reasons found in this text. Woodlawn can be on mission with God…
Because of the promise of the Father.
Remember that Jesus had assured them during His ministry that they would not be left alone. In John 14:16, Jesus said,
"And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever…"
He said in verse 26,
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
In John 15:26, He also said,
"But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me."
Jesus was assuring the church that He would still be there with them, they would not be alone. The promise was not made to them as individuals; they already possessed the Holy Spirit. The promise was that the church could be immersed in the Spirit of God. If God made the church a promise, they could take it to the bank. Remember, when God promised that there would be no more floods, He gave the rainbow. When God promised an old Abraham and Sarah a child, He gave them an Isaac. When God said that He wouldn’t leave His people in Egypt, He gave them a Moses. David wrote over and over that God is a God of truth. He does not lie and what He has promised will come to pass. If God promised His church the Holy Spirit, then they could be sure they would receive Him, and we find as we read on that they did indeed. The best part of it all is that He never took Him back. The same Holy Spirit that was promised to the church at Jerusalem is the same Holy Spirit that indwells this church and every other New Testament church.
Why could the first church so boldly and expectantly follow through for the Lord Jesus Christ? Because they believed His promise. Do we still believe that the Holy Spirit indwells this church? Do we still believe that He is at work among us?
Because of the purpose of the church.
In the past few weeks, I know I have spoke often about the purpose of the church. We understand what the church is not - It is not a social club. It is not a place for a free handout. It is not a place for a free ride. The church is however the vehicle that God has chosen, that Jesus has bought and commissioned to carry out the Great Commission. If that’s not why were here, then we ought to close and lock the doors and go join the Rifle Club or something.