Summary: The Staff, The Foundation, The Walls, and now we cap our series with our Third and very important purpose of the Church, The Evangelization of the lost. In this series we will call this part, or this action “The Purposeful Action of the Church”.

The Cap (or The Roof)

The Purposeful Action of the Church

John 1:29-31 (NIV)

Part 4



The Staff, The Foundation, The Walls, and now we cap our series with our Third and very important purpose of the Church, The Evangelization of the lost. In this series we will call this part, or this action “The Purposeful Action of the Church”.

Would you walk past a building where you looked into the store front and see people working and as you pass the corner you see the back of the building engulfed in flames and not turn around and warn those inside of the danger?

If you were walking down a street and saw a toddler walking out into the street, would you say to yourself, “I’m sure the mother is near by, she’ll take care of it, or he’ll take care of it?

Would you live in a house if you were told that it could collapse at any time, but don’t worry, it probably won’t happen until you die.

I would expect your answer to all three questions to be NO WAY. Yet as Christians we see people in crisis situations where their lives are on fire, and often fail to even say that we will pray for them.

If we are indeed disciples of Jesus Christ, let us look at Him as our example. If we use Jesus as our example, not other men, then we will never fail in the work to which He has called us. So to know what our purpose is in Christ, we must know what Christ’s purpose was when He came to us. I often hear this scripture quoted by people that rarely speak of God or Christ. They will say, “All thing work together for good”. Even many mature Christians will use it at times when they just don’t know what else to say and they might know enough to add “to them who love the Lord.” All that is fine, but let’s take a look at that verse. It is found in Romans 8:28 (NIV)

28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

When you look at the whole scripture you realize that there is a codicil to the promise that all things work together for good. It requires us to do what we have been called to do.

So if the foundation we build on must be Jesus Christ, then wouldn’t it be a good idea to know what His purpose was?

We have been studying three purposes of the church; let’s look at three purposes of Jesus Christ.

1) Jesus came to teach believers; Edification of the believers.

Matthew 11:1 (NIV)

1 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

2) He came to bring light for the world to see God. Exaltation of God.

John 12:44-47 (NIV) Then Jesus cried out, "When a man believes in me, he does not believe in me only, but in the one who sent me. When he looks at me, he sees the one who sent me. I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.

3) He came to call the sinners. Evangelization of Sinners

Matthew 9:10-13 (NIV) 10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?" On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

Now I have already spent the last two weeks on the Edification of the Believer and the Exaltation of God, so this week and next week will talk about the cap stone of this series, The Purposeful Action of the Church, The Evangelization of Sinners. And Next week The Purposeful Preparation of Gods People.

Our text will be coming from the first chapter of John. We will focus on verses 40-41, but to first give you a quick background to this passage, Jesus is walking and he passes John the Baptist; John says, “John 1:29-31 (NIV)

"Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

30 This is the one I meant when I said, 'A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.'

31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel."

When I started this message I planned it to be just today, but I realized as I read this portion that there is a dual purpose of the church in the evangelization of sinners. One that we will get into today, reaching out to the lost, but the second part is preparation to reach the lost.

Right after John the Baptist calls out “Look, the Lamb of God”, two of his disciples left him and followed Jesus. One would think that was pretty fickle. Here is a disciple of John and as soon as someone else comes along, they leave John and follow Jesus, but we will get into that next week when we look at the “The Purposeful Preparation of Gods People”

Today I want us to look at a simple phrase found in the passage just past what we just read; Read with me; John 1:40-42 (NIV)

40 Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus.

41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, "We have found the Messiah" (that is, the Christ).

42 And he brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas" (which, when translated, is Peter).

Can anyone guess what the simple phrase we need to focus on is?

I know that “We have found the Messiah”, jumps out, and I have a message of that title, but we in the church have found the Messiah. The phrase that jumps out to me is “The first thing Andrew did.”

What is in your life that comes under the heading, “The First Thing”? Can you honestly say that Jesus is the “First Thing” in your life?

I think most of you know that I can’t meet any one, talk to anyone, think of anyone without there being the thought, “I want them to know Christ,” But you also may believe that is my job. I am the pastor so I am paid to be that way. This is not true. I have said it in my first weeks here, I said it when we had our planning meeting, and I will say it again; “I am only responsible for witnessing to souls to the same extent that each of us as individuals are.”

Jesus said to the “Members of the Church” the Pharisees, In Matthew 9:13 “But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." I like how the Jamison, Fausset and Brown commentary puts it;

"Sacrifice," the chief part of the ceremonial law, is here put for a religion of literal adherence to mere rules; while "mercy" expresses such compassion for the fallen as seeks to lift them up.

Are you serving a religion? Do you come to fulfill the requirement that God made, telling us to not forsake the assembly? Or do you serve a savior that you love with all your heart, soul and mind?

I want to serve a God that has mercy. I want to serve a God that would rather lift up than tear down, and I believe that is what people are looking for if they could only find it. That is what we should be doing as disciples of Jesus Christ, extending mercy rather than trying to make people follow a set of rules.

There are two distinct times that we see sacrifice brought up in this way. Besides this Hosea 6:6 reference Jesus made to the leaders of the church; “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings”. There is another time when in;

1 Samuel 15:22 (NIV) it says But Samuel replied: "Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (This was when King Saul disobeyed God and brought back spoil that God had told him to destroy. Saul tried to explain it by using the lame excuse; “I only brought them back to sacrifice to God”.

So God would rather we obeyed His word, and that we should have mercy rather than sacrifice. There are far too many in the church today that have sacrificed time, money and family to serve in the church yet they have no idea what the love of God is all about. To obey His word, we need to be in His word, to have mercy on others, we have to have mercy on ourselves. To forgive, we need to be forgiven. And to be a fruitful Christian we have to have fruit.


So what is the application to us? Jesus once said to his mother, I need to be about my father’s business. Well I say we need to be about our fathers business. We need to be passionate about reaching the lost. Jesus came to seek and to save the lost, and we should be doing the same.

What happens to our passion to reach the lost when we leave this building? Is it a first thought when you are in the world to introduce people to Jesus?

What if right now you resolve to begin doing what I will call “The First Thing”?

I want to ask you a series of basic questions. You don’t have to answer them out loud, but ask yourself these questions and answer them honestly.

When I wake up in the morning, what is my first thought?

When I go to sleep at night, what is my last thought?

How do I prepare for service each week? Have I prayed faithfully for my friends in the church? (This one is important, because if you are not praying for me and I am not praying for you, we will never bother to pray for that person we have not even met yet.)

How often do I seek opportunities to share my faith?

When was the last time I talked to an un-churched person about what I believe?

I find that most Christians I have known over the years are great at edifying each other. I find that most Christians I have known over the years truly enjoy the process of exaltation to God. What can be better than lifting our hands to glorify God? So what happens to this third leg of the church?

Today’s church has an attitude that Two out of three ain’t bad.

Remember the Meat Loaf song;

I want you, I need you

But there ain't no way I'm ever gonna love you

Now don't be sad

'Cause two out of three ain't bad

We can’t want God and need God and not Love God. Jesus said “John 14:15 (NIV) 15 "If you love me, you will obey what I command.

And one of the things that He has commanded for us to do is found in Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

You really didn’t think I would get through a message on evangelization of the lost without quoting the Great Commission did you? And you really didn’t think the great commission is only for the missionaries and pastors did you?

I want to leave you with this thought, because I know how hard it is to witness to unbelievers.

If White Stone Chapel had a soft ball team, I bet it would not bother anyone to tell someone they barely knew, “hey come on out and play soft-ball.” When we have a Wii night, we can easily tell someone come on out and play Wii. So let’s at least do that. When we have anything special make it a point to invite people.

We have several events coming up in Feb. Wii during the week of kids off of school; The Greens are coming the possibly on the 19th. Invite everyone on your contact list, you remember them, you filled yours out right? If you did not, this is a good time to do it and let those on your responsibility list know what is going on. Take some time and think of events that we will be dong over the next six months and write down next to their names events that they might be willing to attend. If they have a child, invite the child to our Wii day during the week school is out. If they are the type that enjoys your home, invite them over with someone else from the church. Mainly, let’s try to do something that is a purposeful, deliberate action to reach out to an un-church, unsaved, or hurting family or person.

Now, it is time to enter our mission field.