It's Time to Go

Bible Book: John  20 : 21
Subject: Missions
Introduction

Tonight we come to commission a missionary team from our own fellowship to Romania. Romania was a part of the Soviet Communist bloc until the revolution of 1989. Romania was the last of the satellites of the old Stalinist regime to turn to democracy. In 1990 they overthrew the evil leader of their nation and executed he and his wife. The country is made up of about 23 million human souls, most of them very poor. Communism robbed these people of their opportunities and largely cut them off from the rest of the world. Today the doors are open but the nation is far behind much of the world in economic opportunity.

The greatest tragedy for Romania is spiritual. Atheistic Communism ripped the soul out of this great nation. Since the fall of the wall in Berlin, Christians have been seeking to get into the country with the message of the love of Christ and they have been succeeding ever so slowly. The Macedonian Call has come all the way to America, to Georgia, to Lilburn, and specifically to The Church That Loves. In a few days, over 30 people from our fellowship will make the long journey to Romania to simply and clearly share the love of Jesus Christ. Tonight we have come to commission those who have felt the leadership of the Lord to make this great missionary journey.

The question is, why should we go to a place so far away to witness? I want to answer that question tonight we three facts.

I. We Should Go Out For God Because We Have Been Called Out By God

In 1 Peter 2:9 we read, "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light." Yes, Jesus called us out of darkness, and thus we should be willing to go wherever the darkness still reigns that others might be called out.

He called us from a mighty long way!

He called us out of darkness and into light.

He called us out of sin and into His righteousness.

He called us out of the kingdom of the devil and into the Kingdom of God.

He called us out of emptiness and into fullness.

He called us out of conflict and into peace.

He called us out death and into life.

Yes, He has called us from a mighty long way, and we should be willing to aid in the work of calling out others whom He loves. After all, our Lord loves them in the same way that He loves us.

The following incident really happened many years ago in a deacon's meeting. The pastor asked, "Did you notice that the new doctor in town was in the service again Sunday? Let's really go after him. With all his influence, think of what he could do for the cause of Christ and for our church."

Later in the same meeting, the men were talking about brings kids to church on buses from the inner city to the midweek children's program. "What about follow up in the homes," someone asked? "Don't work on it too hard," another answered, "You know how those people are. They'll keep the benevolent fund empty." No decision about follow up was made.

May the Lord help us to know that every soul, rich and poor, noble and ignoble, is equally important in the plan of salvation.

II. We Should Go Out For God Because We Will Be Taken Out By God

We read in 1 Thessalonians 4:17, "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever"

One day Jesus is going to return. He is coming in the clouds to get His church out of this sin-cursed world. He will take the church, with its soul winning mission out of this world. Till that happens, we are to be about the business of going into "all the world."

When He comes, we will give an account for our witness. We should be busy completing the work of reaching the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We do not want to face the Lord empty handed!

Also, when He comes, those who have been saved, will be present in heaven to praise the Son of God. We should lead them to Christ for Christ’s sake. The English preacher and theologian Andrew Fuller went back to his hometown to collect money for foreign missions. One of his contacts was an old friend. When presented with the need, the man said, "Well, Andrew, seeing it's you, I'll give you five dollars."

"No," said Fuller, I can't take your money for my cause, seeing it is for me," and he handed the money back. The man saw his point. "Andrew, you are right. Here's ten dollars, seeing it is for Jesus Christ."

Someone has said, Let us remember, it is not the amount we give toward helping the Lord's work; it is the motive He looks at." Let us give for the glory of Jesus!!!

III. We Should Go Out For God Because We Have Been Sent Out By God

We are sent by our Lord into a world that needs Him. Several times in John 17 our Lord mentions the fact that we are sent! The Lord made it crystal clear that we are not simply to gather in His name but we are to scatter in His name! We are to go and take His message of love and salvation to this world.

The Lord never told us that this task would be a cake walk; in fact, He assured us that it would be difficult. He made it clear in Luke 10:3 when He said, "Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves." Yet, He promised to be with us. He promised to give His servants the words to say. He promised to bring forth the harvest if the seeds were planted. He promised that His Word would not return unto Him void. He sent us, but He promised us victory!

One way He assures us of victory is through the infilling of His Holy Spirit. This is a motivation to go out for Him. The Spirit of God gives us the words to say (Luke 12:11,12), convicts us, and our listeners of sin (John 16:8), converts a hard heart (John 6:44), sustains us in the difficult times (John 14:26,27), gives focus and substance to our prayers (Romans 8:26), gives us the abilities to do what He has called us to do (I Corinthians 12:7), gives us the Christ-like qualities that demonstrate His grace (Ephesians 5:22-23). Whatever we need to obey and fulfill His calling is made available through the Holy Spirit.

Conclusion

I read a story the other day I want to relate to you. I am not sure about the background of the story but it touched me. It seems that young ladies had been told at a certain Baptist college not to walk alone at night because of a possibility of sexual assault. One night a young college girl was late getting to her dorm and decided to take a short cut and walk alone through the designated area. As she walked along the way, a large man stepped out from behind some trees. She stopped in her tracks. Her heart was pounding. She began to say out loud, "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"

The man walked right by her and she hurried to her dorm room. The next day she learned that a woman had been attacked and anyone with information should report to the police. She went to the station, told them what had happened and they asked her to identify the man. She did so, and it was the man who had attacked the other lady. When the man was asked why he did not attack the college girl, he replied, "Are you kidding me, I wasn’t going to get into a fight with that big guy walking with her." The college girl was startled. She had been all alone. The only explanation was that God put an angel with her that night.

Yes, He can give His angels charge over you. He can protect you going and your coming. Tonight as we commission these who are going, we are going to pray for just such a protection upon everyone of them. We are going to pray that God’s hand will rest on them, that they will be used mightily in His service, and that they will return to the loving arms of their families when the journey is over.

I'm going to ask all of those going on this mission trip to join me, the deacons and staff, here at the front of our church. Let's make a commitment to be faithful in this work. Let those of us who remain here make a commitment to pray for these who are going. And, let's make a commitment to trust God to bring forth fruit from the harvest field for His glory and honor!