Summary: message on the aspect of our vision statement regarding reaching the nations
Text: Matthew 28:19, Title: RRB 3: All The Nations! Date/Place: NRBC, 7/5/09, AM
A. Opening illustration: some of the slides from Closing the Gap, 293 mill unreached unengaged peoples,
B. Main thought: we have a calling and purpose to carry the glorious gospel of Christ to the nations, so that they may make much of Him and enjoy Him forever.
A. Constantly Remind of the Goal
1. Less we become man-centered, or program-driven, we must consistently remind ourselves why we do missions. It is not to get as many people to heaven as we can, although that is helpful. It is to bring as much glory to God as humanly possible, through people being joyously satisfied in Him. God has said that there will be a numberless number from every tribe, tongue, and people, and nation around the throne worshipping together. And He has promised that at least one from every nation will be there.
3. Illustration: “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever. Worship therefore is fuel and goal of missions.” –Piper, “The highest of missionary motives is neither obedience to the Great Commission, nor love for sinners who are alienated and perishing, strong as that is, especially as we contemplate the wrath of God, but rather zeal, burning and passionate zeal for the glory of Jesus Christ, only one imperialism is Christian, and that is concern for His imperial majesty, Jesus Christ and for the glory of His empire!...And we should be jealous for the sake of His Name, troubled when It remains unknown, hurt when It is ignored, indignant when it is blasphemed, and all the time anxious and determined that It will be given the honor and glory to which It is due!” –Stott,
4. We are very forgetful, especially when we are comfortable or in crisis. The fact that there are about 6 billion people in the world right now who are not worshipping God, needs to be regularly front and center. And if we are truly passionate about the glory of Christ, then our zeal for missions never ceases or wanes for very long. For we are so thrilled with His sufficiency and joy, that we desire for as many people as possible all over the world to experience this joy, and reflect heavenward a part of the glory due Him. Therefore, we must continually refresh ourselves to the height, depth, breath, and width of the glory of Christ, and His commitment to manifesting that glory, especially through the suffering of missionaries.
B. Develop a Heart for the Nations (prayer)
1. God has a heart and passion for the nations of the earth, for He loves people. And God not only wants the nations to worship, He wants the nations to carry the gospel to the nations. He wants believers in the Yanamarca Valley, who don’t even exist yet as believers, to share the gospel with surrounding villages and nations! Our hearts, our passions, should be growing more likened into what His passions are as we are conformed unto the image of Christ. Tell about doing Google Earth with the People Group overlay.
3. Illustration: read the words to Our Heart Our Desire, When David Livingstone, the great missionary doctor and explorer who opened up the heart of Africa to the gospel, died in 1873, his body was buried in England, where he was born, but they took his heart and buried it beneath a tree in a small African village that was full of people who respected him, indicative of his love for the nations, Many Faces illustration
4. We should seek to put ourselves in position to have our passions enflamed with zeal for the nations. We should read books, blogs, and magazines that speak of the plight of the nations. The IMB website is a spectacular resource, Frontiers.org, the US Center for World Evangelization, Operation World, On Mission. And this is not simply the job of the WMU and the missions classes on Wed nights and during VBS. SS teachers must constantly be a trumpet heralding the needs of the nations and the fact that there are millions who are dying without having a chance to know Him. Ministry leaders, deacons, in fact, all church members should constantly think on the nations. Put of reminders in your home, where you read and pray, listen to music that exalts Christ and propels us to go. There really is no excuse for each one of us not praying for missionaries, people groups, and the advance of the gospel at least weekly; access to information is so easy. God knows that this will result in prayer; prayer for the nations! And there must be a revival of prayer for the nations, not because it is on the calendar, but b/c we love them, and Him!