Summary: For a church to be called a real NT church, it must be actively engaged in the major priority of sending the light of the Gospel. This involves our personal witness where we are now, and from here reaching out nationwide and worldwide. Not only must we ha
Intro: For a church to be called a real NT church, it must be actively engaged in the major priority of sending the light of the Gospel. This involves our personal witness where we are now, and from here reaching out nationwide and worldwide. Not only must we have a program of evangelism where we are, but we are to have a plan that will include the whole world. This is the mandate of the Lord in Acts 1:8.
While the word “missionary” is not found in the Bible, the teaching is clearly there. Strictly speaking, all missionaries are soul winners but not all soul-winners are missionaries. A soul-winner is someone who reaches out to the lost where he lives – in his family, at his place of work, in his community. A missionary is someone specially sent by the Lord to another place or country to deliver the Gospel message. Today we shall learn from the life of pioneer missionaries, esp. of Paul.
I. HOW MISSIONARIES ARE SENT (Acts 13:1–5)
A. God Calls Whom He Chooses. (13:2, 4)
1. God separates them. (13:2b)
2. God selects them. (13:2b).
3. God sends them. (13:4)
B. The Local Church Certifies That Call. (13:3)
1. The church evaluates the candidate. (II Tim. 3:10)
a. Examine his personal dedication.
b. Examine his biblical doctrine.
c. Examine his familial demeanor.
2. The church sets its approval and releases them.
C. The Church Shows Its Appreciation For Them.
1. By praying for them (safety, progress, and success).
2. By providing for them (financial, material, and moral).
II. WHY MISSIONARIES ARE SENT FORTH.
A. They Are Sent Forth To Establish Churches.
1. To teach and warn disciples. (Acts 20:20, 27, 31)
2. To train and equip disciples. (Col. 1:28)
III. WHERE MISSIONARIES ARE SENT FORTH
A. They Are Sent Forth To Regions Beyond.
1. Where we cannot go. (II Cor. 10:16)
2. Where others have not built churches. (Rom. 15:20)
IV. PROBLEMS OF SENDING FORTH MISSIONARIES.
A. Church Members Are Not Willing To Do Their Part.
1. Not willing to pray for missionaries’ concerns.
2. Not willing to pay for missionaries’ support.
3. Not willing to profit from missionaries’ experiences.
a. When they share their answered prayers.
b. When they share their progress.
c. When they share their pressing problems.
d. When they share their future plans.
B. Missionaries Are Not Willing To Endure Hardness.
1. As they give up in the midst of the work. (Acts 13:13)
2. As they give up to the things of the world. (II Tim. 4:10)
3. As they give up the truths of the word. (I Tim. 1:20)
(The truth of the matter is, of the thousands of men and women who went out to the mission field, there are too many quitters and not enough people that are whole heartedly sold out to being Christ's missionary to a lost world! To be a missionary is to be committed to Christ’s mission!)
Conclusion: Paul took his commission seriously! He did exactly what he had been told to do (Acts 1:8). He began where he was and then carried the Gospel to the whole world. Illust. Tracing the Three Missionary Journeys of Paul, it is estimated that he traveled over 18,000 miles – 10,000 miles mostly on foot and 8,000 miles by sea – which is almost ¾ of the earth’s circumference at the equator. This is a astounding feat considering the way people traveled 2000 years ago.
This is the biblical pattern for ministry. We are to begin with our Jerusalem (our responsibility), and expand in other regions (their responsibility); until the whole world becomes a burden in our hearts, in our prayers, and in our giving. Please remember that we were saved because God sent forth a soul-winner. Brethren, it is about time that we return the favor!