Summary: The mission to reach the lost. Fifth message in Rick warren’s series on Life purpose.
You Were Made for a Mission
Intro: You were made for a mission. It is the fifth purpose for which God created you. What is your mission? It is to share the good news of Jesus.
Jesus said, "As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world." (JN 17:18)
Jesus said, "As the Father has sent me, I am sending you." (JN 20:21)
Paul said, "If only I may finish the race and complete the task to Lord Jesus has given me - the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace." (Acts 20:24)
There is a word for sharing the Good News. The word is "evangelism." The Greek word means "proclaim good news." God wants us to pass on to others what we know and have experienced. A witness is somebody who just tells what he has seen and experienced. Nobody can be a better witness of what God has done in your life than you, because you are the authority, the expert, on your life. We don’t have to be the defense attorney, defending or arguing for the truth of God. We don’t have to be the prosecutor, convincing anyone of their sin. We are just witnesses. "His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known . . . according to his eternal purposes." (Eph. 3:10-11) Here’s the amazing part: God has chosen us to complete the mission. God has put the future of reaching the world in our hands. He’s called us to be history makers! So where do we start and where do we go to be history makers? Let us look at three things from Acts 1:8. "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
1. YOU MUST TAKE TIME TO SHARE WITH THOSE IN YOUR WORLD.
Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem." When Jesus told this to his followers, they were in Jerusalem. Here’s the principle; start at home. Start with the people closest to you. Jesus once healed a demon possessed man and said, "’Go back home and tell people how much God has done for you.’ So the man went all over town telling how much Jesus had done for him." (LK 8:39) So where are you to start? Right at home, in your own neighborhood. Go to your friends, your family, your coworkers, your neighbors, the person who delivers the paper, or the clerk in the store. People all around us are interested in spiritual things. They are spiritually hungry. George Gallup did a survey, discovered that 65 million Americans have no church home, but 34 million of them said they would attend if somebody would just invite them! Over half of the 700 unchurched in our community are just waiting for an invitation! Another Gallup poll said teens would rather talk about God than sex, drugs or music. Opportunities to share the Good News really are all around you. Invite them to church. God wants to use you. He wants you to fulfill your purpose of mission and evangelism. That’s why he didn’t take you to heaven the moment you were saved. He has you here for a reason. Once you get to heaven you can no longer tell the good news to unbelievers. You can sing in heaven, fellowship in heaven, serve God in heaven, and rest in heaven. But you can’t tell people who don’t know it, the Good News about God’s love. That’s why you are still alive.
Jesus said, "Follow Me, and I’ll make you a fisher of men." If you’re failing to fish could we say you’re not following? "The Lord is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance." (2 Peter 3:9) Is anybody going to be in heaven because of you? When you get to heaven, is anybody going to say thank you, thank you for telling me the Good News? You knew it and you shared that news with me.
2. I MUST TAKE TIME TO DARE TO REACH BEYOND MY WORLD.
Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses in all Judea and Samaria." Judea was the community in which they lived. Samaria was the nearest neighbor. But that nearest neighbor was a despised neighbor. His love demands that we move beyond our comfort zone, even to people that we don’t know or don’t like. He doesn’t want anybody left behind. That’s why you are to bring friends. God is passionate about lost people. We have the best news in the world. We have to share it with people from different backgrounds, different education, and different economics. Our mission has eternal consequences, heaven and hell. The bible is very clear that there are only two choices we can make and they end us up in heaven or hell. There are no other choices. We must be willing to risk anything to get the message out. If you had the cure for aids, or for cancer, would you do your best to make sure everybody who needed it knew? It would be wrong to keep it a secret. But you have something even more important than that, you know the way to eternal life. People in our own community have been terribly wounded by the curse of this world. They are grappling with the consequences of sin and disobedience. We can either curse them or bless them. Christians are called to build bridges, not walls. You can’t spell "God" without seeing the word "go." You can’t spell "Good News" without "go." You can’t spell "gospel" without "go." You have to go! I have become all things to all men so that by all means I may win some." (1 CO 9:22) Jesus would help the loser. He went to the leper, the unwed mother, the convict, the children from homes without Christ.