Sunday, April 9, 2017

Connect 2017--Skip Heitzig--Misson Possible Part 2

I met a new hero yesterday—Pastor Mark from Texas—his faithful church of 25-30 people collected 5,400 shoeboxes. I’m thankful for his work and the work of y’all.

My original hero is Billy Graham. In 197? I was watching on TV and during the invitation thinking “I’m glad I’m not there or I’d have to walk down in front of all those people.”  Then Dr. Graham turned and said, “If you’re watching by television” and I knew I had to respond.

This morning I want to talk again about our mission.  You’re on mission for God.  Matthew 28:18-20 is our mission. 

A few years ago I was in Spokane, WA and saw a sign for Southwest Airlines that said, “Buckle up, you’re going on an adventure,” and I thought that should be the motto for every Christian.  God’s mission is the greatest adventure on earth.  It’s something that is missing from too many Christian lives.

That’s how Paul began his journey. He asked, “What do you want me to do, Lord?” and that’s how he began.  George Muller cared for thousands of orphans and educated over 120,000 children— said “90% of life’s difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the will of God, whatever it may be.”

Yesterday we talked about why our mission is global and today we’ll talk about how it is possible.  Our mission is not impossible.  How can it be possible?  You mentioned yesterday how many unbelievers there are in the world and that sounds impossible.  It is possible when three things happen.

--When followers become fishers – Jesus gave a command to GO based on His absolute authority.  Jesus has authority to command his followers to be fishers simply because he died for the fish.  Everything you need God has made sure you have.  John 14:12 –“He who believes in me the works that I do he will do also and greater works than these…”  Does that mean we’ll do greater miracles?  No, I believe He is speaking of spiritual healing. Jesus’ ministry was confined to the nation of Israel. But within 30 years of Jesus’ death the gospel spread around the known world.  Greater works were being done.  More people were saved in the first 3 months after Jesus ascended than in His own ministry.  On Pentecost alone 3,000 souls were added.  The key is in Acts 1:1 – Jesus continue His work in us.

--When followers become focused – This conference refocuses what we’re to be about.  In Acts 1:9-11 they saw Jesus taken up into heaven but were promises He would return in the same manner.  Disciples are looking up but they angels told them to look AROUND.  A few verses back Jesus tells them He will fill them with His Spirit.  As soon as Jesus says that, the disciples ask if He’d restore the Kingdom to Israel.  They get distracted.  Satan loves to distract us from the task at hand – “spiritual spam”.   The American work force wastes millions of hours deleting spam.  The most paramount issue is how can a sinner be made right with a holy God and enter into eternal heaven.  That’s the only important issue.  Like Christian in “Pilgrim’s Progress” we need to plug our ears and run straight ahead calling, “Life, Life, Eternal Life.”

--When followers become filled – Acts 1:8 promises the Holy Spirit.  This task we’re called to is a spiritual endeavor.  How did these simple disciples make a dent at all in the Pagan world?  When Jesus tells them to GO He first tells them to WAIT until them are filled with power from on high.  You need the right equipment to do the task.  That is the filling of the Holy Spirit.  Best chain saw – most expensive – came back exhausted the next day complaining and the clerk turned it on!  Every day believers are trying to do the work of God in the energy of the flesh.   There was once a brave captain whose sword was dreaded by all his enemies. The king demanded to see the sword and couldn’t see anything unusual in it.  The captain said, “You have only examined the sword not the arm who holds it.”  It’s a mystery when we see God using so many people.  We can’t figure it out.  But there’s a great, mighty Hand behind those God uses.

Your mission is the Great Commission and it’s possible.  Coca Cola has a goal – for all 7.5 billion people in the world to taste their product.  97% of the world has heard, 72% has seen a can, and 51% of everyone on earth has tasted Coca Cola and they’ve only been around 100 years.  Thing go better with Coke but things go a lot better with Jesus Christ.

Parable:  A group existed that called themselves fishermen.  There were many fish and they were hungry.  The fishermen met in meetings and talked about the abundance of fish and how to fish.  They talked about how everyone should fish and they organized a board and hired staff to define fishing, to defend fishing.   But no one fished.  Expensive training centers were built to teach fishing. Many graduated and were given fishing licenses and were sent to do full-time fishing.  BUT like the fishermen back home they never fished.  After one meeting on the necessity of meeting one man left the meeting and went fishing.  He was honored for his catch and scheduled to attend meetings to tell of his experience.  So he stopped fishing.  Many survived the ridicule of those who criticized their clubs.  Imagine how hurt some of the fishermen were when someone suggested those who did not catch fish really weren’t fishermen.  Is a person a fisherman if he never catches a fish?  Is one following if he is not fishing?

The mission we have is global and it’s possible.  We are hearing stories of the work being multiplied globally and it encourages us to say “Send me” and “What’s next?”

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