The Call, or a command? PDF Print E-mail

                                            

This is the word of God. Everything that is written therein is from God and is true. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God,  that He willingly went to the cross to die for the sins of the world. I believe that the great commission is a command from Jesus to his disciples. I believe that everyone that claims to be a Christian is also a disciple, that he canít be your Savior if he is not your Lord. Iím going to share some things with you that might make you a little uncomfortable. Iím going to share the things that I believe. The things that I believe are all found in the bible, taken in context, so if you feel uncomfortable itís not my fault. Remember this one point. The Holy Spirit brings conviction that brings about change. The devil brings condemnation which causes division and destruction. Some people canít tell the difference.I believe what I believe because I have studied my bible. Because I can see in the bible the heart of God. I love God. I want to share the truths that I have found with you.             I believe that if we are lukewarm, or disobedient, that we might not make it into heaven.Matthew 7:21 Not everyone that calls me Lord will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Wow! Does that make you think? Does he mean what he says in that verse?

My question at this time would be, does everyone here acknowledge that we are disciples of Jesus Christ? That the great commission is a command from Jesus to his disciples? If we are his disciples, and the great commission is a command, would there be any reason or excuse for not obeying that command?

So what is this Christian thing all about? Why did Christ have to come? Why did he have to suffer and die on the cross? Just how serious is this whole thing. Is hell a real place? Do we have to receive Jesus in order to avoid going there? Is the world without Jesus headed to hell? Do you think that Jesus died for us so that we could attend church, go to bible studies and do pot lucks? What is Gods purpose in all of this? What should our purpose be?

Iíve recently been told that my approach to this whole thing is a little too hard. Itís not the first time Iíve been told that. But I think that Jesus approach was just as hard as mine. He commanded, not suggested, that we lay down our lives, take up the cross and follow after him. Mark 8:34

John the Baptist, a forerunner to Christ came preaching repentance. He was laying the ground work, telling them to repent and announcing the coming of the Messiah.

   Mt 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

 12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

John was a hard line, no nonsense preacher of repentance sent from God. He didnít pretend to be anybody. He preached the gospel because thatís what he had been told to do.

Jesus came to him to be baptized, (fulfilling the Jewish cleansing as he entered into ministry} Then went into the wilderness for 40 days to fast and be tempted. He set an example for us. Everything he did was an example to us.

He was baptized and told us to be baptized.

He fasted and told us to fast.

When he was tempted, he used the word to answer the devil, giving us an example.

We are followers of Jesus are we not?

After the wilderness, it says from that time Jesus began to preach and to say, Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand Matt 4:17

From the very beginning, the purpose of Christ coming was to free the world from the bondages of sin. He began the work of his ministry, the first work, by telling people to repent of their sins. Jesus was going to die for the sins of the world. But that dying would be of no effect if there was no repentance.

When we witness, we use the 10 commandments, to make people aware of their sins. Galatians 3:24 says Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

Psalms 17:9 the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul, the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple.

Again, I ask you to think, what is the purpose of this whole thing. Why did Christ have to come, to die, to suffer. Why did he spend 3 Ĺ years teaching and making disciples. Why not go straight to the cross, do the work and take all the saved people straight to heaven?

I believe, that from the beginning, God desired to have fellowship with mankind. He receives Glory when we willfully come to him. You can tell him that you love him, you can show him you love him by obeying him.

Mt 22:37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

 38 This is the first and great commandment.

 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

If your neighbor is in sin and going to hell, and you fail to warn him, then you are proving 2 things. One, you donít love your neighbor, and since God loves that neighbor, youíre showing a lack of love for God. You may love him, but it would appear that you donít love him enough to obey him.

Jesus spent 3 Ĺ years teaching and healing. He was proving himself to be God manifest in the flesh

1Ti 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The disciples had to know that he wasnít just another good teacher. Many had already come, claiming to be sent by God, and had passed on with out leaving a mark. They had to know with out a doubt, that he was God. Even after 3 Ĺ years of convincing, when they took Jesus prisoner, the disciples fled in fear. Their hopes were dashed. When he was crucified they were confused and fearful. Everything they had lived for, everything they believed had just been taken from them. But then, the unthinkable happened. He proved himself to be God in a way that nobody expected. He did something that no man had ever done, something that only God could do. He rose from the dead. Do you realize, that the same disciples that had hid in fear, even Peter who had denied Jesus 3 times, now boldly proclaimed the gospel and eventually died as martyrs.

He proved himself to be God, then, he commanded them, as God, to go into all the world and preach the gospel. God has commanded you to go. God has commanded you.

The great commission is given two different ways.

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

The first is a command to preach the gospel

Mt 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

The second is a command to make disciples

You cannot disciple someone if they are not saved. We preach the gospel, then we make disciples. We train them to do the work of the ministry.

Which leads us back to one of my original questions, are you a disciple? Are you? Or are you simply someone that attends church every Sunday, living your life for your self, ignoring the commands of Jesus.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine your self to see if you are of the faith, prove your own self. Know ye not how that Christ Jesus is in you, accept ye be reprobate?

I believe that we have reinvented Christianity. We no longer follow the Jesus of the bible. We come to church, attend bible studies. Our ministry is some job in the church, ushering or nursery. We look good and sound good. Nice people doing nice things.

Oswald Chambers said, we busy ourselves with countless church activities, while the real work of the Lord, that of seeking and saving the lost, remains mostly undone.

Do you think this is too hard of a saying? There was a time, when Jesus told his disciples that they would have to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood. He was telling them that it would cost them dearly to follow him. The bible says that most of his followers left him at this time. Jesus turned to the twelve and ask, will you also leave me? Peter said, how can we Lord, you have the words of life.

If you knew that it was going to cost you to be a Christian, would you still follow Christ?

We are so blessed in America. Christianity has become a social club. But when persecution comes, which it will some day, what will you do then? If youíre not willing to follow him and obey him now, what will happen when youíre told not to talk about Jesus publically? When youíre told that you canít talk out against homosexuality, or abortion. When they tell you to get rid of your bibles because they teach intolerance.

I believe that that day is coming. The world is full of darkness, and that darkness is increasing every day.

Lets get back to the great commission. This is a command from Jesus. On the cross, he said these words, it is finished. That means that he had accomplished the task. He had died for our sins. Then he rose from the dead and commanded the disciples to go into all the world and spread the message.

Ro 10:13 for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? As it is written, how beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

People get saved when they hear the gospel message.

Ro 1:16 ∂ For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

I think that we have established the reason that Christ came. We have established that we have to be disciples in order to be saved. I think that we have established that the great commission is a command. It is a command because after all that Christ did the message has to be spoken in order for people to get saved.

Ac 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.                                                                                 There was a time in Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power, to tred on serpents scorpions and over all the power of the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

At that point he empowered them for service. But in Acts he filled them with the Holy Ghost to be witnesses. They were still empowered Over the enemy, but now they had a new power. We have that same empowering.

Acts 5:32 We are witness also of these things as is the Holy Ghost, who is given to those that obey God.

No power in your walk? Maybe thatís because youíre not obeying God. Maybe you need to show your belief by your actions.

John 14:12-13 Verily, verily I say, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the Father. And whatsoever ye ask of the Father in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every [branch] that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Matt 15:13; 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. John 13:10; 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.1  6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

Luke 6:46 Why call ye me Lord, Lord and do not the things that I say?

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. And he that loveth me shall be loved by the Father. And I will love him and manifest myself unto him.

Todays gospel seems to be more of a me centered gospel. What do I get out of it. Bless me Lord, bless me and my family.

But the gospel of Jesus time was a other centered gospel. Jesus said he didnít come to be served, but to serve.

Mark 1043 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: 1Pet 5:3; 44 And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. 45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

The early church saw great persecution. To name the name of Christ, to be publically baptized would mean that you were giving up everything in life. These first early believers were Jews. They had to be willing to give up their families, there trades, their possessions. They were fed to the lions, covered in pitch and lit up like torches. How much would you have to believe in order to go through that kind of persecution.

How much do you believe? Are you not willing to suffer a little persecution for your faith. Can you get out of your comfort zone and learn to witness. Learn to proclaim the gospel. Do you really believe that those that donít have Jesus are going to hell? If you knew that your neighbors house was on fire and they were asleep in the house, would you bang on their door to wake them up?

Eze 33:8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

I can do no more than to ask you to take this whole thing very personal.  When 2 Corinthians 13:5 says that we are to examine ourselves. I think it means I need to look to se what kind of fruit am I bearing for the Kingdom. At the end of the day, I ask my self. How many people have I witnessed to today? How many people have I prayed for? How many have I influenced toward God? Am I salt, light. What is the fruit that I have produced.

Rev 3:19 As many as I love I rebuke and chasten. Be zealous therefore and repent. Let that be the final thought.

 I am here because the Holy Spirit spoke to our pastor. He called me and ask me to speak at the menís breakfast. I believe that pastor Art and I have the same heart, the same passion for the lost. I believe itís time for the church to wake up. Every one of you, every one that names the name of Christ should be an active soul winner. I believe that we need to come together in mind and in purpose. Every time the pastor stands in front of you I hear him exhorting you to go out. Itís time that we began to do just that. Unless you are physically unable to go, then you need to go. I donít mean go out completely out of your comfort zone. I mean begin learning the methods that we will be teaching you here on Sundays, Saturdays and when ever else we provide training.

I pray right now, Father in the name of Jesus, touch every heart in this sanctuary. Begin a new work, let them feel your heart. Stir them up Lord and give them a compassion for the lost. Father, we need for every man, woman and child here to see them selves as soul winners. I pray that you have your will with us tonight father. We Love You. In Jesus name, Amen


 
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