THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 1-6-02
LESSON TITLE: MISSION OF THE LORD'S CHURCH
Happy New Year and welcome to our first program of 2002! We are excited to have you with us today for the Living Word Program. What a wondrous Lord's Day morning it is.
As always it is an honor and privilege to have you with us. We are thankful you have chosen to join us as we commit this time to the things of God.
It is our hope and prayer this morning that we may each participate and do our part to make this time acceptable before Him and according to His Word. Now let's begin by talking to God through prayer!
In life, there is only one worthwhile place we can turn for protection and guidance. With God we can find the comfort and peace in life that we desire. He is there to provide all things and to show us the way. This morning, let's begin with a song that reminds us that our God is always there and He will care for us. Won't you join in with the congregation as we sing together, "God Be With You."
(SONG # 1)
There are many important things which we could focus on at the beginning of a new year. Isn't it wonderful to have the opportunity to study God's Word whenever we want and to do His will according to how He has taught us.
In this new year, I hope we will take advantage of every day and strive to live more and more as God would have us to. Saying only those things which are for good and to His glory and doing only those things which are proper in His sight.
As I think about these things I am continually reminded of how important it is to show forth our Lord in everything we do. We must be examples before this world and let all see Jesus in us. In fact, this is exactly what Paul was talking about in 1 Timothy 4:12. There he told Timothy, "...be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity." The question is, "are we being that type of example in our daily lives.
In the society which we live today we have more the "dog eat dog attitude," or "what's in it for me." How hard it is to always say what is good and do what is right. However, we must realize that if we want God to be pleased with us, we must always, "do to others as we want them to do to us," Matthew 7:12.
But how far must we go? What about those we don't like or those who we consider to be our enemies? Read with me what Solomon said in Proverbs 24:17, there it says, "Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, And do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles." The wisest man who ever lived said that we are to feel the hurt of our enemy and empathize with his problems in life. Even Jesus proclaimed this same idea when He said, "I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you," Matthew 5:44. God says we are to be lovers of all men, no matter who they are or what they have done to us.
So my encouragement is that we all realize that we must love and do good to all men, because by doing so they see that we are better than they. Why, because Christ being in us! Jesus says to hate the sin, not the sinner! Are you showing forth Jesus in everything you do and say.
Today we have a guest speaker with us who is the minister for the Hollister Church of Christ in Hollister, Missouri. We are happy to have brother Charles White with us to lead us in our lesson thoughts of the morning.
Our specific topic today will be the "Mission of the Lord's Church." This is our next lesson in the series concerning the Lord's Church. So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together brother White will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn is, "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah!"
(SONG # 2)
Speaker: Charles White
The church we read about in the Bible is the church that Jesus brought into existence. It's mission is the evangelization of the world. That's the same mission that our Lord Jesus Christ Himself had. He said in Luke 19, verse 10, "The son of man has come to seek and to save that which is lost."
Before He ascended to heaven, following His resurrection, He gave what we call the Great Commission to His apostles. Matthew's account is found in Matthew chapter 28 beginning in verse 18. The Lord said, "All power or authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world."
In Mark's account in Mark chapter 16 beginning at verse 15, he said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. He that believeth not shall be damned."
Luke gives us two instances of Jesus giving His final commandment to His apostles. Luke chapter 24 verses 46 and 47 and Acts chapter 1, verses 6 through 8. In the first passage, he said, "Thus it is written and thus it behooved Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day, and that repentance and remission of sin should be preached in His name among all nations beginning at Jerusalem." In the second, the apostles in a last ditch effort to try to understand the nature of Jesus' mission expecting that He had come to earth to establish a kingdom on earth said, "Lord will thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?" And He said unto them, "It is not given to you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power, but you shall receive power after that the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and to the uttermost part of the earth."
The reason for Jesus giving what we call the Great Commission is the fact that the whole world was lost, estranged from God because of sin. One of the most familiar verses in all the Bible, Paul in Romans 3, verse 23 said, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God."
We remember the beautiful John 3:16 tells us that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." John later in 1 John chapter 4, verse 14 will say, "We have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world."
In Matthew chapter 16 beginning at verse 13, we learn that when Jesus was in the coast of Cesarea Phillippi or the regions of Cesarea Phillippi, He asked His disciples saying, "Whom do men say that I, the son of man, am?" They said, "Some say that thou are John the Baptist. Some, Elijah. Others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets." But He asked them, "Who say ye that I am?" Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Jesus responded by saying, "Blessed art thou Simon Barjonah for flesh hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven, and I say also unto thee that thou art Peter and upon this rock, I will build my church and the gates of Hell or the gates of Hades will not prevail against it and I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth, shall be bound in heaven, and whatsoever thou shall lose on earth, shall be loosed in heaven." The truth that Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God, is the great foundation truth in which the church which we read about in our New Testaments was established.
In the long ago, Isaiah had prophesied concerning the establishment of the church in Isaiah chapter 2 beginning at verse 2. He said, "It shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains and shall be exalted above the hills and all nations shall flow unto it and many people shall go and say, 'Come ye. Let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob and He will teach us of His ways and we will walk in His paths for out of Zion shall go forth the law and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.'"
In Acts chapter 2, we have the fulfillment of the promise that Jesus had made to His apostles that leaving them He would send them a comforter, the Holy Spirit. He promised that the Spirit will guide you into all truth for He will not speak of Himself but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak and He will show you things to come." He promised also that "He will bring all things to your remembrance whatsoever I have said unto you."
In chapter 2 then of the book of Acts, we have this, the account of the establishment of the church of which Isaiah had prophesied, the house of the Lord or the family of God. And the Bible says in verse 1 of chapter 2, "when the day of Pentecost, the Jewish feast would come, the apostles were all gathered together in one place and suddenly there came a sign from heaven as a rushing mighty wind and it filled all the house where they were sitting and there appeared unto them cloven tongues like a fire and it sat upon each of them and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance." The next verse says "there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men out of every nation under heaven." Luke goes on to enumerate some of the places from over the face of the earth from which these people had come to Jerusalem.
The apostle Peter stands up then among the apostles and begins declaring the good news story of Jesus, what we call the gospel and it is that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and that He was buried and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures. Here is what he said. "You men of Israel, hear these words. Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs which God did by him in the midst of you as you yourselves also know, Him being delivered by the determine of counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken and by wicked hands have crucified and slain whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death because it was not possibly that He should be holden of it. Men and brethren, let me freely speak of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried and is ...(Could not understand transcription) with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to Him that of the fruit of the loins according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His throne. He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ that His soul, Jesus' soul, was not left in Hades, neither His flesh did see corruption. This Jesus which God raised up, where if we all are witnesses, therefore," he said, "God exalted and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He had shed forth this which you now see and hear. For David has not ascended into the heavens, but He said Himself, the Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou on my right hand until I make thy folds thy footstool. Therefore he said, Let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified both Lord and Christ." Luke says "when they heard this they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, 'men and brethren what shall we do?' Peter said unto them, 'repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit for the promise is unto you and to your children and to all that are far off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.' And with many other words he says that he testified and resorts saying, 'Save yourself from this untoward generation.' Then they that gladly received his word, the Bible says, were baptized and the same day they were added unto them about three thousand souls." Verse 47 says, "They continued praising God and having favor with all the people and the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." From this point on with the establishment of the church, it begins the process, the work of evangelizing the world.
The Bible says in Acts chapter 6 verse 7 for example that "The word of God increased and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly. The great company of the priest became obedient to the faith."
In the 7th chapter of Acts we read of the death of Stephen, the first to suffer martyrdom for the cause of Christ. In chapter 8, in the immediate aftermath of Stephen's death, the enemies of Jesus waged persecution, intense persecution against the church so that the disciples were scattered in every direction. But the Bible says, "They that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word." The next verse gives us a specific. Phillip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ unto them and the Bible says in verse 12 "when they believed Phillip preaching the things concerning the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized both men and women." Beginning with verse 26 and continuing through 39, we have the account of the conversion of the queen's treasurer from the land of Ethiopia. He was lead to Christ by the same Phillip. Chapters 9:22 and 26, we have three accounts of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus who would be the great apostle Paul, baptized in Damascus by one Ananias, a disciple of the Lord. IN chapter 10, we have the first account of the conversion of non-Jews, of Gentiles. As Simon Peter goes to the house of the Roman army officer by the name of Cornelius in the city of Cesarea and baptizes both he and his family and their relatives and dear friends. In chapter 16, we have the conversion through the preaching of Paul and Silas of a woman by the name of Lydia who was a seller of the color of purple in the city of Phyatira. Later in that chapter, Paul and Silas had been unjustly charged and thrown into prison and they are able to convert the jailer. The Bible says that "he asked them, 'Sirs, what must I do to be saved?' and they said, 'Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thy house.' And the Bible says they spake unto him the word of the Lord and to all that were in his house and he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes and was baptized, he and all his straightway or immediately."
In Acts chapter 18, we have the apostle Paul preaching the gospel in the city of Corinth in Greece. The Bible says "as he preached the gospel, many of the Corinthians hearing believed and were baptized." And so it goes throughout the New Testament as men and women of God taught and preached the word of God to people who were lost in sin that they might be saved. Ultimately the Bible says that we have this treasure, or the gospel, the power of God unto salvation. We have this treasure in earthen vessels, or in men. God has ordained that saved people preach the unsearchable riches of Christ to the unsaved. That is the mission of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
(SONG # 3 - "He Keeps Me Singing!")
Again, let me thank you for choosing to be with us this morning. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.
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Thanks be to God for the clear mission He has laid out for us as His followers. May we always do our best and accomplish all we can to achieve that which He requires of us.