Missions and Christmas

Title: Missions and Christmas

Bible Book: Selected Passages

Author: John Bisagno

Subject: Christmas; Missions



God does not let us off the hook in regard to His call for us to be missionaries. He certainly does not let us off the hook if He has called us into full time missions' service. If God has ever called you to missions He is still calling. The gifts and callings of God are without repentance. Once He calls you. He is still calling you. If ever you knew you were suppose to go and now you are doing something else. You are still suppose to go. No matter who you are and what you do there is a way you can go. There is a place for you somewhere. Anything you do here you can do for the Lord in Korea, Tanzania or Indonesia or somewhere else.

This sermon is not to intimidate or make you guilty. It is to encourage you and to free you from a quiet bondage to the consistent feeling of that I have not done what God wanted me to do. You will be very happy when you get completely in God's will. We need to ask God if He still wants us to answer his call - perhaps a call that came to many years ago to serve the Lord - As a missionary, or as a pastor or anything in full time Christian service? There are sixteen million of us called Southern Baptist. About half a million of us in our life have publicly surrendered for full time Christian ministry. But that is sixteen million now. That is out of sixteen million that have been more and less than that, different ones come and go through the years. It may be a total of thirty million the last thirty years. Out of that number that is for full time ministry only about one hundred twenty thousand are in it today. Only five thousand are on the foreign mission field. 95% of all the full time Christian workers in the world with all agencies and denominations are here in America serving 5% of the world. 5% of all the people on earth in full time Christian ministry are with the other 95%.

There are countries as big as Texas with three times the populations that have only five or six full time Christian workers. With this unbalance are we all do God's will? It is never to late! Most everyone is called. Not very many, however, go. There is a small amount that say they will go into full time ministry actually do so. We need to reexamine God's will for our lives. Three things that will freshen God's call on your life and make it more easy, perhaps, to become focus on the issue; "Does God still want me to go?"

I. People Really Are Lost

That is the heart of the Christian mission thrust. Do we or do we not, truly accept that really believe it. Because Bible faith is always acted out of response, it is not enough to say oh yes, I believe it. But do nothing about it. The whole book of James was written to say, if we don't validate what we say we believe with what we do. Then what we believe we say we believe we don't believe. We have got to get hold of the fact that there are people really lost or not. Every once in awhile some new crazy liberal or way right wing theology comes bouncing off the walls. One of the latest theological jags that has risen again and that is that people are not really lost until they hear the gospel and reject it. And having rejected the opportunity to respond they now become lost. In a logical conclusion this is what you have. Therefore, we would be better if we never sent a missionary and told anybody about the gospel. Then they would be saved because of their ignorance. How do you harmonize that with Jesus requirement to take the gospel to everybody in the whole world. Knowing full well that may are going to reject it and thereby we are making people who are going to be okay now be lost by his obedience.

If you have a fraud theological premises at it's base then it's extremities it becomes ludicrous. Jesus wants us to understand that people are really lost. In Romans 1:18 this is addressed and every other important. The issue is, are people who have never heard the gospel still lost. With or without having heard or having a witness, or having a preacher, are they still lost?

The problem with the lost world is that they don't have the truth it is that they have the truth but they process it in unrighteous. That is that their sin keeps them from responding to the truth. What truth do they have without the gospel? Romans 1:19-20 How has he revealed the reality and character of God without the gospel? No man can look up and see the heavens and the power and sense and not be in his own heart that there is something, somewhere beyond all of this to which I am responsible. There is not one culture, not one person in the world in the most primitive jungle situation that does not make gods with his hands. Self-incrimination, harming himself, walking on fire or something, do something to make himself suffer to appeal to the mercy of that god.

Where do men get the sense that there is something wrong, I am responsible to somebody or some thing somewhere? They get it from the internal inherit, internal witness that comes to them in their conscious by having looked up and seen the awesome power and display of God. The problem is not that they don't have any truth. It is that they don't live up to the truth that they have. The problem is that they hold the truth. They possess the truth that I am responsible to somebody, something somewhere, but they hold it in unrighteousness. They possess it in sin and they will not give up their sin to respond to the truth.

What happens when you do? God give you more truth. A Baptist missionary told a story about a matriarchal society. A tribe of South American Indians that had a queen. This woman was woman who hungered for God. She had seen the stars and looked at the skies everyday and in her spirit she knew there had to be more. Different kinds of missionaries began coming through telling her this story and that idea and this theology and that religion. She said in her heart; Oh God whoever you are let me know which of these people are right. Who are telling the truth about you. She said that God spoke to her heart and said that all of these people come and go but one day some people will come with a message and they will build huts and establish homes. They will settle down and stay and actually live among your people. Those are the ones you are to believe. Within two years two families of Southern Baptist missionaries came, built homes and settled down and stayed. Because of that she believed in Jesus Christ. Because of that 76% of these Indians are now believers. They are now sending out more missionaries to Brazil themselves than countries over the world. When God is ready to make a person know that he is lost he has a way to do it.

II. God Has Prepared Every Heart

John 1:1-9 Jesus is the Light of the world and the Light of the world illuminates every person who has ever been born. This is why people have a tendency toward spiritual things. That is why they build idols. For two reasons: 1) because of the witness from without and nature and 2) the eternal witness.

Men are incurably religious. They feel that there is something they are responsible. We are born with a sense of awareness that there is something out there. John tells us that that Light is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is making every person in the world aware along with what is in nature that there is something more. They hunger to fill their heart. They try to fill their God shaped void with many things.

We all go through life and come down to the end and say that I am still not satisfied. A German philosopher once said: If there is no God why is it that no man every finds any peace unless he finds it in God. Because of that something in there cannot be satisfied. They don't know what it is. So what they need is for someone to come along and say that this is what you are looking for. Here is the answer to that spiritual appetite and void inside you. It is not something. It is somebody! It is a man named Jesus Christ. He sends us as a witness to tell people what the light is.

III. You Can Know God's Will

In Going John 7:15 If any man is willing to do God's will he shall know of the doctrine. If he is not willing to do it he will never know. The problem with us is not so much knowing God's will it's doing God's will. You don't say, tell me what you want to do and then I'll pass judgment to see if I am willing to do it. You have to be willing to do whatever his will is in advance. He may not want you to go to the mission field. But you will never know until you are willing to know. So if your attitude is that you really don't want to know because I might have to go to Africa. However, if you are will to know, then alone you can know. If may be that I don't want you to go. I want to use you here. You will be so blessed and so happy once in the will of God. Charles Spurgeon said concerning how to know God's will: 1) Ability, 2) Opportunity, 3) Opinion of others (get their advise), 4) Blessing of God upon you as you start to move toward the ministry, 5) Desire.

Somewhere in this world there is the opportunity for you to do what you earnestly want to do. If the passion is there the call is there. You may become president, but you will never be happy. You will never be fulfilled in the White House if God wants you to be in the back streets.

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