Points Covered: A powerful sermon to motivate congregation to partake in the Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Introduction: Today as we have the mission Sunday, it is my prayer that every one of you at city harvest be filled with the heart of God for missions.
What is Mission? Mission is the endeavor of the believers and the church of Jesus to reach out across geographical and cultural boundaries by sending missionaries to evangelize people who have never heard or who have little opportunity to hear the saving gospel.
City Harvest Mission Statement: “Our Vision and Mission is to bring the unreached to Jesus Christ through evangelism, lead them to worship the Almighty God, make them true disciples of Christ with due fellowship with the body of Christ, and cater to the needs of the society through humanitarian services.”
1. The reason for the mission.
a. Jesus commanded it. See the command of Jesus before his ascension. Matthew 28:18-20 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
b. Jesus started it.
Acts 1:1-2 1In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.
The book of Acts is the continuing story of the ministry of Jesus Christ as He ministers through His church, which is His body – & through those of us who are members of His church. So the reason for our mission is Jesus.
2. The resource for the mission.
Acts 1:4-5 4On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”
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.
Holy Spirit is the resource given to us to fulfill the mission: Teach the gospel, baptize, and make disciples.
3. Five components of Missions.
a. Somebody has to go.
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations. Jesus told us to “go into all the world.”
Where are we to go? Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem.. Mission starts with Jerusalem. I tell you everyone has got this mandate to go. All of us are called to be missionaries in Jerusalem. Every day we come across people in the park, bus stand, office, neighborhood, relatives and friends. You are to go with the gospel to them. I have given you 5 tracts each, let’s reach at least 5 people with the gospel of Jesus Christ this month.
Now as we are reaching out our Jerusalem, we are to also reach out: 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.
How is it possible? As we are involved in missions in preaching the Gospel in Bangalore, we are also to simultaneously partake in Missions across our state, nation and the world. That happens with partnership. That is where I am going to give you an opportunity.
b. Somebody has to the send.
i. The Church.
ii. The Holy Spirit.
Acts 13:1-3 1Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
c. Somebody has to give.
i. Regularly support missions.
1 Corinthians 16:1-3 1Now about the collection for the Lord’s people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. 2On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. 3Then, when I arrive, I will give letters of introduction to the men you approve and send them with your gift to Jerusalem.
ii. It was a sacrificial gift.
2 Corinthians 8:1-5 1And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. 2In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. 3For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, 4they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. 5And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.
d. Somebody has to pray.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 1As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. 2And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. 3But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.
Pray for us. Pray for the missions of City Harvest. Pray for the worldwide missions. Protection from those who oppose the Gospel. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Pray continually.
e. Somebody has to care.
Luke 4:17-19 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written: 18“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, 19to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
James 1:27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
Matthew 25:41-46 41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
Conclusion: 2 Kings 6 & 7 has an amazing story. King Benhadad of Aramea is besieging the city of Samaria, & the people there are starving. The Bible says that a donkey’s head was selling for 80 shekels of silver, seed pods for 5 shekels. Some people were so hungry & desperate that they were killing & eating their own children. It’s a terrible situation.
Chapter 7 tells us that there are 4 lepers at the city gates who are trying to deal with their situation. They’re saying, “We’re going to die. All of us are going to die.” Finally, they decided to surrender. “The enemy might kill us,” they reasoned, “but we would die anyway. So it doesn’t make any difference. Or, they might take us as prisoners. If they do that then we’ll get something to eat, & we’ll be better off than we are now.”
So they go into the camp of the Aramean army to surrender. But in the meantime, the Bible tells us that God had caused Benhadad & all of his army to hear the sound of hoofbeats & the rolling chariots of a mighty army coming. Frightened, they reasoned that Israel had signed a treaty with Egypt & that the Egyptian army was coming to Israel’s aid.
Fleeing for their lives, they left behind tables full of food, plenty of food. These 4 lepers walk into the enemy camp to surrender, & nobody is there. They go into the tents of the enemy & see tables full of food. They are starving, so they begin to gorge themselves. Then they find silver & gold & fine clothing & start carrying it away & hiding it. Then suddenly they did something amazing. 2 Kings 7:9 Then they said to each other, “What we’re doing is not right. This is a day of good news and we are keeping it to ourselves. If we wait until daylight, punishment will overtake us. Let’s go at once and report this to the royal palace.”
So they run back to the city & tell the people the good news. But at first the people are suspicious. It’s too good to be true. So they send spies to investigate, & they find that sure enough the enemy is gone & there is food enough for everyone. So the starving people come & they’re fed & they’re satisfied. That is a picture of our world, isn’t it? We come to God’s house & we’re fed. We can turn on the radio or TV & listen to Christian sermons & teaching almost any time you want.
But isn’t it sad that you & I are eating so much & the rest of the world is going hungry? It’s the day of Good News & it’s wrong for us to keep it to ourselves. The mission of the church is to take it to the world.
That’s what we have come to remember today – that we have a mission. God has called us, & God will give us the resources to fulfill the mission. And now that we realize we have a responsibility, it is up to us. What are we going to do with the great commission God has given?
Illustration: Tony Campolo tells of being invited to speak at a ladies meeting. There were 300 women there. Before he spoke the president of the organization read a letter from a missionary. It was a very moving letter.
In the letter the missionary expressed a need for $4,000 to take care of an emergency that had cropped up. So the president of the organization said, “We need to pray that God will provide the resources to meet the need of this missionary. Bro. Campolo will you please pray for us?”
Tony Campolo, who is very outspoken said, “No.” Startled, she said, “I beg your pardon.”
He said, “No, I won’t pray for that.” He said, “I believe that God has already provided the resources & that all we need to do is give. Tell you what I’m going to do. I’m going to step up to this table & give every bit of cash I have in my pocket. And if all of you will do the same thing, I think God has already provided the resources.” The president of the organization chuckled a little bit & said, “Well, I guess we get the point. He is trying to teach us that we all need to give sacrificially.”
He said, “No, that is not what I am trying to teach you. I’m trying to teach you that God has already provided for this missionary. All we need to do is give it. Here, I’m going to put down all of my money I have with me.”
He wrote, “I only had $15 in my pocket so I wasn’t too worried about that.” So he put down his $15 & then looked at the president of the organization. Reluctantly, she opened her purse & took out all of her money, which was about $40, & put it on the table. One by one the rest of the ladies filed by & put their money on the table, too. When the money was counted they had collected more than $4,000.”
Tony Campolo said, “Now, here’s the lesson. God always supplies for our needs, & he supplied for this missionary, too. The only problem was we were keeping it for ourselves. Now let’s pray & thank God for His provision.”
Will you be the one to go?
Will you be the one to send?
Will you be the one to give?
Will you be the one to pray?
Will you be the one to show compassion?