Summary: Fifth in a series on our Church's Discipleship Path. The key to sharing my faith is to see other people through the eyes of Jesus
One of the challenges of being a pastor is that most people tend to think of a pastor as someone who completely has his act together and who has answers to every question. But those of you who know me, understand that is certainly not the case for me, nor do I think it is true of any other pastor I know. Like you, I have my doubts from time to time. And there are also a lot of questions that I ponder that frankly I just don’t have all the answers for. But I’ve come to understand that is actually a good thing because it just means that God is God and I am not so there is just no way that I’m ever going to be able to understand some of the things that God has chosen to keep hidden as a mystery for the time being.
One of the questions that people often ask and one that I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about is “Why do bad things happen to Christians and why do they suffer?” And thinking about that leads to questions like these: “Why does God leave His children here on earth to live in the midst of the darkness and sin that is at the root of tall his suffering? Why doesn’t God just take His children to heaven to be with Him the very moment that they put their faith in Jesus?” Anyone else here wrestled with those kinds of questions?
I’m not sure that I can answer those questions fully, but I think we can arrive at least a partial answer to those questions this morning as we come to the fifth and final step in our discipleship path – Share.
THORNYDALE FAMILY CHURCH
I’m going to come back to this path at the end of the message and challenge all of us to take some concrete steps to apply the things that we’ve learned over the last 6 weeks. So right now, let’s jump right into the fifth and final step – Share. I’m confident that as we do that this morning, we’ll develop at least some partial answers to the kinds of questions I posed a moment ago.
Contrary to popular belief, we will be doing a lot of the same things that we do on earth right now when we spend eternity in the presence of Jesus in the New Jerusalem. We’ll worship, we’ll serve others, we’ll continue to develop our relationship with Jesus and even eat and drink. But I can think of at least two things we won’t be doing there, so it seems that perhaps the reason Jesus leaves us here on earth when we become His disciples is to engage in one or both of those activities.
The first thing that we can do on earth that we won’t be able to do in eternity is to sin. As we talked about in our study of Romans, we will one day be free from the presence of sin because there is no sin in the presence of a holy God.
The other thing that we can do here on earth that we won’t be doing in eternity is to tell other people about Jesus. That is because the only people who will be there with us will have already placed their faith in Jesus since that is the only possible way they could be there.
So which of the two do you think is the reason that God leaves us here on earth for a while before He calls us home to be with Him? I think the answer is pretty obvious isn’t it?
Once again this morning we’ll be answering the same question I’ve posed every week during this series:
1. What concrete actions can I take right now to take this next step in my relationship with Jesus?
But instead of waiting until the end of the message to answer that question like we’ve done each week so far, I’m going to answer that question very early on in this message. And my guess is that you may very well be surprised at how I’m going to answer that question.
Once again today we’ll look at one of Paul’s letters in order to answer that question. So go ahead and turn with me to 2 Corinthians chapter 5. I’ll begin reading in verse 14.
 For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died;  and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.  From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;  that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.  Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.