Summary: A short sermonette given the day after our team of missionaries came back from Mexico. The three leaders gave a short talk, and this was at the end. This sermonette was taken from a sermon on SermonCentral.com.
Several years ago a large, new post office was built in Pittsburgh, at the cost of several million dollars. On the day of it’s opening, the Governor made a speech, TV cameras recorded, the bands played and the people cheered. It was quite a celebration.
But when the first man entered to mail a letter, to the embarrassment of everyone, there was no place to mail the letter. See, in the rush to hurry the project up, they had forgotten to install a slot to drop your outgoing letters in. It was a slight omission, but it negated the very reason for its existence.
That becomes a very serious warning for the American church!
When any church loses its passion to support missions, it walks away from the reason it exists in the first place.
A mission is not a sideline of the church! It is the lifeline of the church. There is an English Proverb, which fits well here:
For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For the want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For the want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For the want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For the want of the battle, the kingdom was lost.
All on account of just one lost nail! Now try to imagine what could be lost because of one lost soul.
An artist who wished to paint a picture of a “dead church” visited a sanctuary with beautiful stained-glass windows and a magnificent pipe organ. Every pew was filled, but the offering plate, lying in the vestibule, was marked “FOR MISSIONS” and was conspicuously empty. It was then that the artist knew he had his found his “dead church.”
When we take the word “commission” and drop off the first letter, we have the word, “omission.” A small change in spelling, leads to a big change in meaning. Let’s take a look at what the letter “C” stand for in the word COMMISSION?
1. “C” Stands for CONVICTION
Conviction that all men are lost and need a Redeemer.
‘All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet, the Lord laid on Him the guilt and sins of us all.
Conviction that Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer.
‘For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and people. He is the man, Christ Jesus.’
When we lose our conviction, we have turned the Great Commission into the Great Omission.
2. “C” Stands for CONCERN
Years ago, some missionaries were making an attempt to reach a remote tribe in Borneo with the Gospel of Christ. Traders in that same area criticized their efforts. “Why don’t you just leave these people alone; they are happy with their own religion; they don’t need another religion.” Happy? Bound by evil spirits, disease, drunkenness, polygamy, war, and hatred for all surrounding tribes.
It was the compassion of Christ in these missionaries that led them to bring the Gospel of Christ to these people. A short 3 years later, they had experienced a 100% conversion rate among the tribe, and within 5 years, that tribe had gone out and started converting other tribes. They had become missionaries for the Lord Jesus - all because another group of missionaries had compassion in their hearts for others.
There was a church in Gilbert, Arizona, that at one time, averaged over 500 in the morning service. Then they starting focusing on their needs and forgot about the need to follow the Great Commission. Within just a few short years, this church was empty and the building was sold to a private business.
We need to constantly be on our guard that we don’t focus on the wrong stuff. We have lost and found departments. We make inquiries over the radio for the whereabouts of a stray cat or dog, but what efforts do we put forth for lost souls?
We need to open our hearts to Jesus so that we feel the compassion towards others that He wants us to. We need to have the desire to reach outside this church and touch people for the kingdom of God.
I sometimes think that nobody should be allowed to hear the Gospel a second time until everyone has heard it the first time.
3. “C” Stand for CONSECRATION
In a skirmish between the British and French many years ago, a small battalion of British soldiers was holding out against the enemy. Their flag was knocked down by enemy fire. The soldiers cried out, “Put the flag back! Put the flag back!”
One soldier dared the line of fire, rushed out and put it back into its place, to the cheers of his comrades.