Summary: If we were going to compose a mission statement for our congregation, what do you suppose it should say? What is our mission?
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
CENTRAL CHRISTIAN, BROWNSVILLE, TX
If we were going to compose a mission statement for Central Christian Church, what do you suppose it should say? What is our mission?
Well, let me suggest that the mission of the church is very simple. Our mission is to reach a lost world with the saving message of Jesus Christ, & then to teach them so that they will be mature in their faith.
That’s our mission. That’s why we have been called into existence. But it’s so easy to get sidetracked, to start thinking that our mission is something other than what it really is. And instead, spend all our energy building buildings, championing causes, speaking out on social issues, or supporting political candidates.
So it vital for us to focus on what is important. The mission of Central Christian Church is to reach a lost world with the saving message of Jesus Christ, & then to help them mature in their Christian life.
Prop. With that in mind, lets look at the first 11 verses of chapter 1 of the book of Acts. And as we look at those 11 verses, I want us to consider the reason, the resource, & finally, the responsibility of the mission.
I. THE REASON FOR THE MISSION
A. First of all - the reason for the mission. Acts 1:1 begins with these words, "In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do & to teach until the day He was taken up into heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles He had chosen."
Luke says, "In my former book, the gospel of Luke, I was telling you about Jesus Christ. Now, I’m continuing the story."
The book of Acts is the continuing story of the ministry of Jesus Christ as He ministers through His church, which is His body - & through those of us who are members of His church. So the reason for our mission is Jesus.
B. Now there are a lot of people today saying that it really doesn’t matter what you believe. You can believe anything you want because it really doesn’t make any difference what you believe.
I disagree with that, because I think that belief determines behavior. What you believe is acted out in your life.
ILL. A few years ago teenagers stood up in churches throughout our country because they had signed "True Love Waits" cards, promising that they would remain sexually pure until marriage. Oftentimes these young people were given standing ovations by the people of their congregations.
Some of the mothers of teenage daughters who had made that commitment said that was one of the most moving things they had ever seen.
Furthermore, they said that when young men came to date their teenage daughters they were going to require them to show one of those cards first.
Why? Because they know that what you believe determines what you are & how you act. If you think that a girl is just a toy or an object to be used, then you will not be welcome in those homes. But if you believe that sex is something special to be saved for marriage, then you’re the kind of boy they welcome. What we believe affects the way we act.
That is why Paul wrote, "Watch your life & your doctrine carefully."
C. So what do we believe about Jesus? Well, I don’t want to be presumptuous.
So let me tell you what I believe about Jesus, & I hope that what I believe about Jesus is what you believe about Jesus, too.
I believe that Jesus is a literal person, God in the flesh. I believe that He was born of a virgin. I believe that He performed real miracles, that He fed the multitudes, healed the lame & blind, & even raised the dead back to life again. And I believe that all of these miracles were for a purpose - to prove that Jesus is indeed God’s Son.
I believe that He taught the truth. I believe that we will never find a better system of ethics than that presented in the Sermon on the Mount. And if we want to do away with prejudice, & see people live together in peace, we must go back to the Sermon on the Mount, & learn those basic lessons.
I’m convinced that until the hearts of men & women have been changed, & we follow His teachings, we won’t have racial harmony in our world today.
I believe that He left all the riches of heaven, & experienced all the things we experience in this world - hatred, ridicule, rejection, & death..
I believe He died, not just a martyr’s death, but a vicarious death. Which means that when He died, He paid the debt for all my sins.