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For God So Loved…

Mark 16:15

 

 

Usually, when we think of missions we think of the Great Commission. But missions didn’t begin with the Great Commission. Missions began with God. It first beat in His heart before it was ever breathed as the life sustaining force into His church.

 

Our God is Missions minded. If He were not, there would be no Christian mission. The Gospel He has given us is a Missions message. If it could not save every sinner, there would be no reason to take it to every nation. And the Great Commission is a Missions mandate. It identifies the local church as the center for world evangelism.

 

A strong Missions program rests on these three foundations:

 

I.      A Compassionate God

 

A.            The Description of God’s Love – John 3:16 [quote it with me]

 

1.         It is Extravagant - “God so loved”

 

a. It is a love so infinite that it is everlasting.

Jeremiah 31:3

    The Lord hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.

 

b. It is a love so incomprehensible that it passes knowledge.

Eph. 3:19

    And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

 

c. It is a love so indiscriminate that it would be given to the least worthy, sinners.

Romans 5:8

    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

2.         It is Exhaustive - “the world”

a. God is not willing that any should perish. II Peter 3:9

b. He would have all men to be saved. I Timothy 2:4

 

God so loved [extravagant] the world [exhaustive]…

3.         It is Expressive – “that He gave

 

Description…

B.     The Demonstration of God’s Love

 

1.         He promised a Savior to deal with the problem of sin.

God said to Satan in Genesis 3:15

    And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

 

a. This verse is often called the “protevangelium,” meaning the first pronouncement of the Gospel.

 

b. This promise was repeated and amplified throughout the Old Testament.  It rested upon the unconditional, sovereign “I will” of God.

 

c. All the acts of God in the Old Testament were performed with the fulfillment of this promise in mind.

 

2.         He provided a Savior to deal with the problem of sin.

 

a. When the plan of God was complete, God sent forth His Son to be mankind’s redeemer.

Galatians 4:4-5

    …God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, [5] To redeem them that were under the law…

 

b. According to the eternal purpose of God, Christ “died for our sins … was buried … and rose again the third day.” I Cor. 15:3-4

 

c. To the everlasting praise of God, salvation is now offered on the one [1] condition of faith in the finished work of Christ upon the Cross!

 

A Compassionate God…

II.    A Compelling Message

 

Romans 1:14-16

    I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. [15] So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. [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.

        Paul declares that he is indebted to God to give the world the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Having heard the greatest message in the world, He was compelled to share it with whomever he could. So great was this sense of obligation that Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:16, “Yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the Gospel!”

 

A.            It is a distinct message.

 

1.         Every major religion relies upon performance for salvation.

 

a. Hinduism preaches a fourfold path to salvation.

b. Buddhism leads its followers down an eightfold path to salvation.

c. The salvation offered by Islam rests upon Five Pillars.

d. In Catholicism, salvation is gained through fulfilling five sacraments.

 

But it’s not about performance…

2.         The Gospel centers upon a Person for salvation.

 

a. Jesus announced, “I am the Way …no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.” John 14:6

 

b. Peter declared, “There is none other name…whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

 

c. Paul said, “Through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins.” Acts 13:38

 

The Gospel finds its source, content, and meaning in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apart from Him, there is no salvation. Other messages tell men what they must DO to be saved; the Gospel tells men what has been DONE to save them.

 

A distinct message…

B.     It is a dynamic message. Romans 1:16-17

 

1.         The Gospel is a particular message.

 

a. There are many messages in the Bible, but only one of them qualifies as THE Gospel.

 

b. The facts of the Gospel are:

Christ died for our sins

He was buried

He rose again on the third day, having completed [by himself] all that was necessary to redeem mankind.

 

2.         The Gospel is a powerful message.

 

a. The Gospel is the ONE MESSAGE that has the power to save a man from the penalty of his sins.

 

b. The power of the Gospel is subject to the following limitations:

It cannot save until it first has been believed

It cannot be believed until it is first heard

It cannot be heard until it is first preached

It cannot be preached unless the church sends them.

 

A Compassionate God, A Compelling Message…

 

III.   A Commissioned People – Mark 16:15

 

A.            Every member involved  [our goal]

 

1.         Missions is imperative. “Go”

 

a. Multitudes are born and die whether or not anyone is prepared to reach them

b. If we do not evangelize our generation, this generation will not be evangelized at all.

 

2.         Missions is inclusive. “Ye”

[Who be “ye”?  Ye be me…ye be thee…ye be WE!]

 

a. No one is exempted from the responsibility to evangelize the lost.

b. Christ’s command means that you are either sent or you send, but you cannot remain uninvolved and be obedient to Jesus Christ.

[you can pray, you can give, you can go] But tithe first!

 

This message is not only about God’s Heart for Missions, but also our heart and doing our part!

 

Every member involved…

 

B.     Every man evangelized

1.         The domain of missions is “all the world.”

2.         The demand of missions is to preach to “every creature.”

 

God so loved…extravagant,

        the world…exhaustive,

                that He gave, expressive.

 

What will we give?  [pledge cards]

Will we go?

 

God is Missions minded.

        The Gospel is a Missions message.

                And the Great Commission is a Missions mandate.

 

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