Summary: Why did Jesus leave the church behind. We can worship Him and learn about him in heaven but there is one thing we can't do in heaven.
For those of you who have kids and can remember leaving their children alone, whether it was for an hour, an evening or a day you understand that the most important thing that you wanted to them to remember were your last words.
“I love you, remember your homework”, “I love you don’t forget to do the dishes and clean your room.” “I love you, remember no parties and don’t burn the house down.”
Jesus’ last words to his kids, the apostles were read for us earlier.
Now just a word of warning, don’t go looking for that particular conversation in your Scriptures cause you won’t find it. At least you won’t find it exactly like that because that is a compilation of the recollections of those who heard Jesus’ last statement. Just as each of you will walk away from the sermon this morning remembering certain things I said each of those at the ascension of Christ remembered what to them appeared to be the most important parts of Christ’s last class with them. Those fragments by the way are found in Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-19, Luke 24:47-49 and Acts 1:8-9.
This is week six of our Red Letter Summer series where we are looking at those words that are written in Red in the Bible. And those Red Letter Words are the words of Jesus.
Two weeks ago we looked at the first Red Letters in the book of John and these are the last Red Letters words in Matthew, Mark and Luke.
It is out of this particular conversation that Matthew gleaned what we call the great commission, now I know that for those of you in sales your idea of a great commission is 25% of the gross and while that is “a” great commission it is not “the” Great Commission.
This is in reality the mission statement of the early church. You know what a mission statement is right? It is when you have boiled the purpose of your life or the life of your church down to a concise statement of purpose. At Cornerstone we can tell you that Cornerstone Wesleyan Church exist to reach pre-Christians through dynamic worship and relevant preaching, bringing them to a life expanding relationship with Jesus Christ and guiding them into a practical holiness as evidenced through the fruit of the Spirit. That is our mission statement, the short version is Cornerstone Wesleyan Church exist to reach pre-Christians, the even shorter version is We are here to help de-populate hell. The mission statement of Christianity is this “Christianity exists to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything that Jesus commanded.”
That my friends is why Christians are left in the world, to fulfil that mission statement. You see if Cornerstone Wesleyan Church does not reach pre-Christians through dynamic worship and relevant preaching, bringing them to a life expanding relationship with Jesus Christ and guiding them into a practical holiness as evidenced through the fruit of the Spirit, then we have failed to do what we set out to do.
Our mission statement does not say that Cornerstone exist to provide Wesleyans with a place to worship in Hammonds Plains, nor does it say that we exist to have this beautiful building or that we exist to do what other churches in the area are already doing or that we exist so that our people can have a pastor call on them when they are feeling in need of company.
The reason that we are here, our passion, the all-consuming reason we exist should be to reach pre-Christians through dynamic worship and relevant preaching, bringing them to a life expanding relationship with Jesus Christ and guiding them into a practical holiness as evidenced through the fruit of the Spirit. That is why we are here and if we don’t accomplish that, then we have blown it and might as well turn this building into a furniture store or a car dealership.
I have said that to say this: The greatest measure of our success is how well we fulfil our mission statement. And a mission statement is really just your vision set down on paper. And just a word to the wise here, the vision has to be from God. Too often churches use vision in much the same way that a drunk uses a lamp post, more for support then for illumination.
A vision or mission statement is not for the express purpose of supporting what we are doing now, instead it is a reflection of what God wants us to be doing and sometimes there is a difference. Our measure of success will be whether or not we are fulfilling our mission statement.
But it’s more than that for you and for us because along with the mission statement that we have for our church is Christianity’s mission statement which was laid down by our Lord, Jesus Christ in His last public address to his followers: “Christianity exists to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded.”