Summary: part of our mission and vision involves "All-In Discipleship." This can only occur when we realize we are IN the world but not OF the world. In fact, the world is in a serious battle with God, His Son, His Spirit, and His people.
1. A Challenge in Preaching Every Week – the Needs of Each Member
a. “Feed me,” – I am hungering to hear from God.
b. “Minister to Me,” – I am hurting because of:
*Illness in my family
*Illness I am facing
*Death in my family or a friend
c. “Help me feel forgiven,” – I messed up and need God.
d. “Humor me,” – I’m not ready to commit.
e. “Entertain me,” – I need a warm fuzzy.
f. “Leave me alone,” – I don’t want care about you are saying.
2. As Disciples of Jesus we find ourselves in various places at various times. I am convinced that most of us are here to find God; to encounter Him in a unique way, and not merely to be entertained or even to get practical applications for life situations.
3. Our Mission and Vision Includes “All-In Discipleship” – John 17.14-19
14 I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.
a. All-In Discipleship involves: Being IN the World
b. All-In Discipleship involves: Not Being OF the World
I. All-In Discipleship Involves Being In the World
A. We Can Deal with the World by:
1. Running Away – Monasteries and Church Buildings
2. Camouflaging Our Christianity – Blending-in Christianity
B. The World is Hard
1. We Don’t Get a Pass – No Bubble of Exception
a. Struggle with Temptation – even more attacks
b. Illness is still real – James 5.14
c. Death is still real
d. Life’s challenges are still real
e. We do have supernatural help!
2. World is in Conflict with the Kingdom of God – John 15.18-20
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
C. God’s Response to the World – John 3.16; Incarnation
D. In Light of God’s Actions and Our Call to Discipleship. . .
1. We Don’t Run from the World
2. We Run TO IT with Good News – Luke 2.10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
II. All-In Discipleship Involves Not Being Of the World
A. The Challenge – Be Here and Be Distinct
1. It is always the same challenge for God’s people
b. Moses and Israel – Exodus 33.16 Is it not in your going with us, so that we are distinct, I and your people, from every other people on the face of the earth?”
c. The cycle in Judges
d. Us – Be Holy for I am Holy (1 Peter 1.16)
2. When we choose to follow Jesus we are choosing to imitate/look like Him in our world
Some time ago, the New York Times reported a study showing that couples who are happily married for long periods really do begin to look alike. Even if the man and woman bore no resemblance at their wedding, they showed marked resemblances later in life. Moreover, the more marital happiness a couple reported, the greater the increase in facial resemblance. The change is apparently due to decades of shared emotions and similar lifestyles.
As time goes by, Christians should increasingly resemble Jesus. After all, we’re the bride of Christ, and we share His emotions and lifestyle. Romans 8:29 says that God enables us to be “conformed to the image of His Son,”
And according to 2 Corinthians 3:18, by the Holy Spirit beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.
B. The Challenge – Be Distinct by the Word of God – John 17.17-19
17 Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. 18 As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.