Summary: Running a rescue shop at the front gates of hell
Matthew 28:18-19, "18Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.""
37Jesus replied, " `You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: `Love your neighbor as yourself.’
20"I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me because of their testimony. 21My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father--that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me.
22"I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are-- 23I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.
You know its really time that we as Christians got out of our comfort zones and praise the Lord for His goodness. Its time that we go outside of the confines of ourselves. Instead of saying we have changed its time that we instead as believers demonstrated that change. A Pastor friend of mine says this all the time, "I want to run a rescue shop near the front gates of hell." I think that if we realized the punishments of hell more instead of being all about the grace and love of God that we are as Edwards points out hanging like a spider from a thin thread, then perhaps instead of boasting we would instead serve and bow down as our Lord did with the disciples by washing the feet of those who would ultimately turn their backs upon them.
Its time to stop being so focused upon ourselves and start being focused on God’s Word and upon preaching its Truth, because if we believe that the Word of God is living and active them we will in turn preach the living Word of God to those who are perishing and ill, and sick. If the Word of God is to liberate and save then those who believe in that very same Word that is able to save them must in turn give of themselves so that others may in turn be saved and go out and the process may continue.
The Christian life is all about reproducing its not about sitting around comfortable like and sitting on our fannies and telling others what to do. No, the Christian life is about activity being involved and active in God’s plans and purposes. If we so much as want to see others saved, then we must be involved in the activity of that very same salvation that we claim to uphold and cherish so much.
The biggest failure of the Church is the Great Commission but not so much the Great Commission but the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:38-39), and the Ultimate Purpose of Christ in (John 17:20-23). Many would like to say that the body of Christ is a building and confined within the confines of an understanding of a building yet no where in the New Testament or in Jesus words is this recorded, no in fact the Book of Acts makes mention of meeting in homes, but even that the preaching of the Lost was done on the Streets of the Cities! If we really want to win our cities for Christ we will run a Rescue shop at the front gates of hell, or our cities streets for that matter.
John Piper said, "When the heart no longer feels the truth of hell, the gospel passes from good news to just news. The intensity of joy is blunted and the heart spring of love is dried up. The keener the memory of our awful rescue, the more naturally we pity those in a similar plight. The more deeply we feel how undeserved and free was the grace that plucked us from the flames, the freer will be our benevolence to sinners."
If we really want to win our cities for Christ though we will expose in turn those who are opposed to the Gospel. Philippians 1:15-19, "16They preach because they love me, for they know the Lord brought me here to defend the Good News. 17Those others do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely, intending to make my chains more painful to me. 18But whether or not their motives are pure, the fact remains that the message about Christ is being preached, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice. " Part of the real problem with our churches today is what is known as postmodernism. Post modernism at its foundation would have us believe in everything as truth; however if this is true then that would counter the teaching of Jesus in John 14:6, "6Jesus told him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me. " So what we see at the core is that those who want to preach Christ out of philosophical reasoning and motivations will not succeed necessarily and be blessed. Those who preach philosophy are causing others to face a stumbling block not the Cross of Christ.