Summary: Christians quickly lose their desire to reach the lost; it's a fire that must be constantly rekindled. Paul's burning zeal was answered by the vision of a Man from Macedonia, calling for help. This vision had 3 effects on the Apostle Paul.
VISION FOR THE REGIONS BEYOND
2 Cor. 10:15-16; Acts 16:9-10
1. Some years ago, Israel's Finance Minister was ordered by the Prime Minister to continue to fund the Israel Defense Force without raising taxes. Cash was running low after years of struggle.
2. In desperation, the Finance Minister went to the International Monetary Fund and asked for a loan. Naturally, they asked him for some collateral. Inspired, he offered them the Star of David symbol.
3. The IMF looked at it and said to him, "OK, we'll lend you $1m for it." "But it’s priceless!" the Finance Minister protested. "It’s been the symbol of my race for thousands of years and is entirely unique. Don't you know who I am? I am the Finance Minister of Israel."
4. The IMF replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."
“Our hope is that, as your faith continues to grow, our sphere of activity among you will greatly expand, 16 so that we can preach the gospel in the regions beyond you. 2 Cor. 10:14-16.
“9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.” Acts 16:9-10
1. “Praying Hyde,” a missionary in India, prayed, “Father, give me these souls, or I die.” Hyde had an insatiable desire to reach people for the kingdom of God.
2. Once we find Christ in salvation, too many of us lose our zeal to share Christ with others. We get comfortable hanging around with other Christians instead of looking for ways to share Christ with those without Him.
3. Friends, we must always have a vision of the harvest fields. We must regularly rekindle in our hearts a burden for the lost: who aren’t in God’s family; who haven’t experience. God’s grace; who don’t have eternal life.
4. I would like for us to look at three things in our text that I hope will stir our hearts about those who need the saving story of the Savior.
5. The title of this message is “Vision for the Regions Beyond.” We’re looking at Paul’s passion and an outstanding example of its fulfillment.
I. FIRST, WE SEE THE VISION
“And a vision appeared to Paul in the night…” Acts 16:9
A. THE NEED FOR A VISION
1. Paul had a supernatural vision of a man beckoning, “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” We need a vision today -- a mission, a goal, a direction for our church and for our lives.
2. Proverbs 29:18 says “Where there is no vision, the people perish…”
3. God’s people move when they get a vision—but they are absorbed into their culture when they don’t have a vision—when they don’t clearly see God’s mission and their part in it.
4. Why is this church here – as a people of God? Why are you here? What’s your mission? Why did God leave you here on this earth?
5. If we can’t answer those questions, then we lack vision and are destined to wander aimlessly in this life.
6. VIDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHZiR7qCwSE
B. EVERY CHRISTIAN HAS THE GREAT COMMISSION
1. Five times in his remaining days on earth, Jesus gave some form of the Great Commission (in all 4 Gospels, Acts):
a. Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…”
b. Mark 16:15, And he said unto them, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”
c. Luke 24:46-47, “And [Jesus] said unto them…that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.”
d. John 20:21, “Then said Jesus to them…as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.”
e. Acts 1:8, “But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
2. He said the same thing 5 DIFFERENT TIMES. Now, whenever God speaks once, we should listen.
3. God has called you and me, and this church collectively, to share the Gospel of Christ and send the Gospel of Christ to every corner of the earth, so that people can come to faith in Christ and be baptized and discipled and brought to spiritual maturity so that they too can carry on the mission of the church.