You read this verse and it looks like Mission Impossible!
Good morning, Mr. Phelps!…your mission, should you choose to accept it…
Just before Jesus returned to heaven He charged us to do something which seems impossible…one of the most amazing verses in the Bible.
He that believeth…the works I do shall he do also
(that’s amazing enough)
…and greater works than these shall he do…
(not only equal His works, but exceed them!)
Sounds like mission impossible! And yet, our God, who cannot lie, has said it…
…so, how can we bring ourselves into obedience to this verse? How can we make it a reality, w/out explaining it away? / watering it down? / twisting the meaning?
Let me tell you precisely how we can fulfil that verse:
We need 4 things:
1.Get a vision for an Expanded Program
What did Jesus mean by “greater works”?
He fed 5,000 people w/ a lad’s lunch/walked on water
Joke—methodist/presbyterian/baptist preachers fishing:
Methodist: forgot worms…walked on water to shore, back to boat! (Baptist said: what faith!)/Presbyterian forgot lunch...trotted across the water (Baptist: That's incredible...I'm in the presence of greatness, but I believe I have faith, too!) He needed the restroom, but stepped out of boat, sunk to bottom!
Methodist looked at Presbyterian and said, “Should we tell him where the rocks are?”!
Will we walk on water? Raise the dead? (how do you top that?)
No, Jesus did not say we’d work greater miracles than He, but that we’d do greater works!
What are the greater works?
Jn. 5:20, 21, 24, 25
Greater than raising someone physically is to raise them spiritually. (greater than physical life is eternal life)
The greater work is salvation…seeing people pass from spiritual death unto spiritual life.
Back to Jn. 4:34—not talking about miracles, but work.
Jesus’ primary work was not walking on water, healing people physically, raising from dead…though He did all of those things.
The primary work Jesus did was to seek and save that which was lost.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
The work of Jesus was to see sinners saved…
…and then He says we will do that too!
But how can we do a greater work than that?
I don’t believe it’s talking about quality, but quantity!
Think about it: More were converted in one day at Pentecost than during the entire earthly ministry of Jesus Christ.
Look at Jn. 4:35 – “white unto harvest”
Is He talking about a physical harvest of wheat or a spiritual harvest of souls? A harvest of souls! We need to pray for another Great Awakening!
We can do a greater work than He did, because we’re building upon what He started!
1 The former treatise (what other book did Luke write? Luke!) have I made, O Theophilus, (the awfullest name I ever hoid!) of all that Jesus began both to do and teach…
Jesus BEGAN a work that we are supposed to bring to completion. He BEGAN it in His earthly body, and He will CONTINUE it thru His spiritual body (us!)
Jesus says, You are going to reap in fields that have already been cultivated and you are going to do a greater work than I did! You will have the privilege of harvesting multiplied millions of souls!
The fields are white and ready to harvest!
And the darker our world gets, the brighter our light can shine!
To do the greater work that Jesus spoke of we need an expanded vision…of our community, and also around the world!
We need to get a world-wide vision of how to get the gospel to those in other lands!
Jn. 14:12 will not be accomplished by merely focusing on our community. It’s mission impossible to reach the world unless we have a plan of how to reach outside of our city limits!
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.
1.We need an expanded program
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
How precious a verse! But we should continue to the next verse...
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?
There’s only one way to see the gospel taken to other lands, we have to send missionaries…and what does it take to send them? Money!
It’s God’s plan that God’s people in His church provide the means to send missionaries…that’s why we have a program called faith-promise missions.
This month we mark our card indicating how much we’ll contribute over and above the tithe to promote world-wide missions.
We need an expanded program
We have to pay an expected price
Right after our text in v. 12 says that we’ll do greater works, v. 13-14 says He promises to do it thru us!
It applies to our witness here and our giving around the world. When we ask something according to God's will...something which we KNOW is God's will, God promises to make it happen. Why wouldn't we take this amazing promise all the way to the bank?
And, it’s all for an…
This is what we’re all about…bringing glory to God by seeing people saved! There's a life worth living. There's a purpose worth committing yourself to. It's bigger than our selves and our problems. God didn't leave us here just to work a job and make money to pay bills and taxes. We're here to keep people out of hell and finish His work on earth...and in so doing we bring great glory to our Father in heaven!
Jesus limited His presence to the location of His physical, earthly body. The Holy Spirit is omnipresent (Christ in you)
It’s better to have the Holy Spirit than that Jesus remain here.
Now let’s talk about the Extra-Mile principle:
41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.
When Jesus said this, Israel was a province of the Roman Empire.
At any time, a Roman could pass thru that province, and could force a Jew to carry his baggage for 1 mile…that was Roman law…Jesus said to voluntarily go further!
God loves that attitude: in our service—go the extra mile
Plenty of people will just do the minimum…enough to get by. But we need people who will make missions one of the most dominant priorities in their life. I promise it will do more for you than anything. We need those who have already been involved to step up and go the extra mile. Stretch and grow in faith! It's the only investment you can make today w/ guaranteed results, and the only investment w/ eternal results! I'm praying God also leads some to make missions their main thing.
Why go the extra mile?
I still believe that the lost go to hell for eternity, and that Jesus is not just a good way to heaven / best way / but, the only way!
The world has a deadly virus, we have the cure, and yet untold millions are still untold! We need to go the extra mile because there’s a great need!
How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?
What a wonderful salvation!
While every other religion in the world is trying to give man a boost from beneath, Jesus Christ offers a birth from above!
Other religions are man trying to reach God…Christianity is God reaching down to mankind!
Ill.—ever heard a testimony of someone who regretted salvation? (no, you hear, “I wish I’d been saved sooner”)
All 4 gospels contain it, as Jesus left this world it all came down to a point:
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
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature
47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things.
Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
We have a great commission, we preach a great salvation, we face a great need…
…and yet none of those are the main reason we need to go the extra mile and be involved in world-wide missions.
Here’s the #1 reason:
If you don’t understand that, then nothing else will make sense.
But if you get a hold of that, it will all make sense.
Ill.—like a huge mathematical equation which begins w/ 2+2...if you miss 2+2, none of the rest of the equation will make sense.
If you give to missions because I say you should, you’ve missed the point. [Or because of guilt]
The best reason you can get involved in worldwide missions is because God gets great glory from it…it’s the greater works of Jn. 14:12!
“But, I thought the purpose of missions conference was to raise more money for missionaries!”
That’s not the ultimate purpose…that’s just a means to an end…the goal is to bring glory to God by doing the greater works!
I’m convinced some pastors promote missions to teach their people to sacrifice and be unselfish. That’s a wonderful by-product that will go along w/ missions, but it’s not the purpose!
So don’t miss the point…don’t miss 2+2--nothing else will make sense.
We have a great commission, we preach a great salvation, we face a great need…and we serve a great God!
The key is total involvement:
Give missions an equal portion as the cable company, the internet provider, or what you spend on your dog, and your church’s involvement in the greater works will triple!
Even if it’s just $1 a week…the amount is not as important as the percentage of involvement…100%! God will get great glory. And you’ll have to think about missions each week when you write your check…say a prayer for one of them at that time too!
You might pledge $10 a week, and that’s great, but if you also teach your child to give 25 cents a week, then God gets twice the glory!
…and if God leads some to go the extra mile, it's gonna be awesome!
Pledge cards / no name
[blanket the altar, ask God to hold you to it!]
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