Fresh Start: Getting Past The “Unusual” Hang-Ups
17 As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not bear false witness; do not defraud; honor your father and mother.” 20 He said to him, “Teacher, I have kept all these from my youth.” 21 Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions. 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!” 24 The disciples were astonished at his words. Again Jesus said to them, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God! 25 It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God.” 26 They were even more astonished, saying to one another, “Then who can be saved?” 27 Looking at them, Jesus said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God, because all things are possible with God.” 28 Peter began to tell him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
1. Everyone here has a desire to be a better follower of Jesus.
A. That’s why we are here.
1. We may have a hard time explaining exactly what we want, but we all want to be a better Christian.
2. We want to be better people.
3. We want to experience all that God has for us.
B. Along the way, we all have things that hang us up.
1. Our hang-ups are those actions, thoughts, or behaviors that keep us from growing as we are supposed to.
2. Early on in our Christian walk, our hang-ups are more obvious:
a. Your hang-up might be your addiction.
b. You might be engaged in some long-term sinful behavior and you know it isn’t what God wants you to do.
3. Maybe your hang-up is your past: You just can’t seem to outrun what you did years ago.
C. If so, you are in good company.
1. These are all usual hang-ups that we all have had to deal with.
2. It’s easier to look at the obvious sins and know what we need to fix.
3. But what if our hang-up is not so obvious and blatant?
4. That is where the story of this rich young ruler comes in.
2. The young ruler didn’t have the usual hang-ups.
A. He didn’t cheat or steal, he hadn’t killed someone, he hadn’t broken the “law”.
1. He was a good, solid, person.
2. In fact he looked to be the perfect example of the kind of disciples Jesus would want:
a. Rich, young, and successful.
b. But these very qualities led to a few hang-ups no one had told him about.
c. He didn’t need God.
B. To this point, following God hadn’t cost him anything.
1. The other disciples had given up homes, family, and careers.
2. This “rich, young ruler” didn’t have to sacrifice like that:
a. His wealth made it possible for him to be extremely religious without being fully devoted.
b. The American Church is wealthy enough that we can afford to be religious without being fully committed followers of Jesus.
C. Therefore, Jesus asked the young man to give up the “one” thing that would cost him.
1. Jesus recognized in this young man that the one thing that made him desirable in the world, his wealth, was the main thing that kept him from being a truly, devoted follower of Jesus.
2. Mark 10:21–22 (CSB)
21 Looking at him, Jesus loved him and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But he was dismayed by this demand, and he went away grieving, because he had many possessions.
3. Jesus asks this young man for a trade: his worldly wealth for treasure in heaven.
a. In other words, Jesus asked this young man to give up the one thing in this world that he loved the most.
b. In his wealth, the young man found:
c. As long as the young man found all of this in wealth, he would never find these things in Jesus.
d. As long as we find our safety, identity, direction, and meaning in anything other than Jesus, we will never find them in our relationship with Jesus.
D. Notice the young man’s response:
1. The young ruler “grieved” over Jesus’ words.
a. This means he was distressed and sorrowful.
b. This was not mere disappointment or frustration.
c. This was an internal response that shook the young man’s very internal world.
2. I can hear the internal conversation now:
a. Why did Jesus have to say that?
b. I was willing to do anything, but that.
c. It’s like the soundtrack of the old Meatloaf song, “I would do anything for love, but I won’t do that.”
3. Having heard Jesus’ request, the young man walk away from a life of discipleship and followership.
E. This is exactly what Jesus does to us.
1. Jesus looks into our life and he demands the one thing we don’t want to give up.
a. He doesn’t ask for the replaceable, the extra, or the outdated.
b. Jesus asks for that which we love the dearest and he makes that the condition of our discipleship.
2. If your identity and safety is found in money, then Jesus will challenge you in that area the most.
3. If your identity and delight is found in your family, then He asks you to trust him with your family. (We must never allow our family be the reason we don’t say a full YES to Jesus.)
F. Jesus’ motivation for asking is love.
1. “Looking at him, Jesus loved him…”
2. When God asks you to follow him, He is not asking out of anger, hatred, or any other motivation.
3. Jesus’ motivation is love.
a. For He knows that HE is asking you to exchange the temporary for the eternal.
b. Often we act like the kid who has a pocketful of pennies who won’t exchange it for 1, $5 bill.
c. We overestimate the value of what we have in our possession and we devalue what Jesus is offering us.
4. Jesus is calling many of you here, he is challenging you, he is pushing you out of your comfort zone.
a. And you think that God is being mean.
b. You think He is being unfair.
c. What you don’t realize is that Jesus’s greatest concern is for our salvation not for our comfort.
1. That is why the greatest Gift that Jesus has given us is the opportunity to follow Him in the now and in the future.
2. And that Gift has responsibilities.
3. God’s gifts have responsibilities.
A. The disciples were watching this interaction between Jesus and the Rich young ruler.
1. And they heard Jesus say that it is very difficult for a wealthy person to enter the kingdom of God.
2. If wealth and status couldn’t earn them the kingdom, then what could?
B. The answer is found in Jesus’ use of the word “child”.
1. Has anyone noticed how often Jesus used “child” to demonstrate his Kingdom?
2. Jesus refers to his disciples as children:
a. This refers to their present condition and to the previous passage.
b. Children are dependent upon someone else to provide for them.
C. If a rich person can’t buy or earn their way to heaven, then, how can they?
1. Only through the gift of God.
2. Being a child in the kingdom means that we receive the benefits of the kingdom as a gift.
3. We enter the kingdom of God as a gift.
4. We can’t earn it, buy it, or achieve it.
5. Our entrance into eternal life is completely dependent upon the Grace and Gift of God.
D. Yet, the kingdom of God has responsibility.
1. No illustration is perfect, but think of it like this:
a. If someone gave you a brand-new car, could you afford it?
b. Can you afford the taxes on its value?
c. Can you afford the insurance?
d. If it was a foreign car, could you afford the upkeep?
e. Although the car is a GIFT, the GIFT has responsibilities.
2. The kingdom of God is a gift with responsibilities.
a. Jesus was glad for the rich young ruler to enter the kingdom.
b. But the gift required discipleship on the part of the young ruler.
c. And for the young ruler, Jesus asked that he give up his wealth in order to receive the gift.
3. This seems like a paradox.
a. How can gifts also have “requirements”?
b. But the problem isn’t with God but with our modern-day culture.
1. Our culture wants “free”.
2. Free education and free opportunities.
3. Free from responsibility, free from work, free from effort, free from cost.
4. Millennials, listen up: Our parents and grandparents were right when they told us that there “is no such thing as a free lunch.”
a. Our salvation is a gift, but it wasn’t free.
b. Our healing is a gift, but it came at a terrible cost.
c. Entrance into the kingdom is a gift that has responsibility.
4. And the responsibility is to follow Jesus.
4. There is no such thing as different levels of discipleship.
Mark 10:28–31 (CSB)
28 Peter began to tell him, “Look, we have left everything and followed you.” 29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said, “there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for my sake and for the sake of the gospel, 30 who will not receive a hundred times more, now at this time—houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and fields, with persecutions—and eternal life in the age to come. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last first.”
A. The disciples were wondering if Jesus was going to set up a different set of requirements for this young ruler.
1. Peter, James, John and the rest had left everything in exchange for Jesus.
a. They had held nothing back.
b. They gave it all and risked it all for the opportunity to follow Jesus.
2. Now they were wondering if there could have been a less expensive option.
1. No one ever wants to spend more money than they have to for the same result.
2. We want the most we can get with the least cost.
3. One of the worst feelings in the world is to buy something only to find it on sale somewhere else.
3. Peter told Jesus, “Look, we have left it all for you. Was it necessary?
B. There is no such thing as a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level of discipleship.
1. God is an all or nothing kind of God.
a. You can’t hold back part of your life and expect the whole to be blessed.
b. You can’ be obedient in one area in your life and disobedient in others and expect to get the same result.
2. There cannot be different levels of cost and sacrifice.
a. Jesus demands either all of our life or none of it.
b. When we say “Yes” to Jesus, we are signing the dotted line of a blank-contract.
5. For many of us, it isn’t the “hard” stuff that is keeping us from following Jesus with all of our lives.
A. Many of us are like the rich young ruler.
1. We don’t steal.
2. We go to church.
3. We haven’t killed anybody lately.
4. We must be good in the Jesus department.
B. Sometimes, it is the good stuff that gets in the way of the great.
1. It is the pursuit of good dreams that get in the way of great dreams.
2. It Is the accumulation of “stuff” that keeps us from saying Yes to Jesus.
3. When our lives are too full of stuff, our yes’s become maybes and our maybes become no’s.
C. Sometimes our “hang-up” in giving our all to Jesus isn’t the “bad” stuff but the marginally good.
1. In high school, I was accepted to Central Bible College.
a. This was not only my dream, but it was the only school I applied for.
b. I knew I was called to be a pastor, and every good pastor must go to Central Bible College in order to make it.
c. This is what I believed.
2. I remember one day after graduating high school, riding with my dad to Poplar Bluff, that I fully realized that I was not meant to go to CBC.
a. I had applied for the loans, I had toured the campus, everything was getting ready to go.
b. But instead of being excited, I came to a different realization.
c. I remember, being in that car, telling my dad that I had changed my mind and that I wasn’t sure why, but God had different plans for me.
d. I feared his rejection or scorn, but instead he smiled and basically said he knew that but was waiting for me to figure it out.
3. For a time, I grieved.
a. I grieved missing out on my dream.
b. I grieved the loss of a dream I had worked for.
c. I grieved change and a sense of failure.
d. I grieved, that while many of my colleagues were going, that I would miss out.
e. I grieved, just like the rich young ruler, about what God was asking me to do.
4. That was 2004. 6 years later, I realized why God had changed my path.
a. Because if Julie and I had gone to CBC, and taken on the $60k+ in debt we would have, I would have missed out on what God had for me:
b. That was for me to pastor this church.
5. God’s plans for my life were so much more than the plans I had for my life. A. But, in that instance, I couldn’t have it both God’s way and my way. B. Both God and I wanted the same thing: to lead the local church by being a pastor.
c. But my plans were different than God’s plans.
D. Jesus and this rich young ruler both wanted the same end result:
1. They both wanted eternal life for the rich young ruler.
2. But the rich, young, ruler wanted eternal life without discipleship and followership.
3. You can’t follow Jesus without sacrifice.
4. You can’t follow Jesus and not be willing to walk away from it all.
E. In the kingdom of God, there is no such thing as an “unreasonable” sacrifice.
1. Paul talks about this in Romans 12:1 where he says for us to “present our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
2. Whatever God asks of you is reasonable.
a. Your life, your dreams, your finances, your family, your comfort.
b. Nothing, He asks of you is unreasonable.
c. Hard, yes. Painful, yes. Costly, yes. Unreasonable? Never.
3. Think about this: If the government of the United States can ask men, and women, to fight and die for their country, how can we refuse God’s asking of us for our lives?
F. On a positive note, look at what Jesus promised!
1. No one who has left it all for the sake of the gospel, will not be rewarded in this life and in the next.
2. I truly believe that God’s plans for me are greater than my plans for me.
3. And I know that God is a rewarder, and that no sacrifice goes unnoticed.
4. Whatever you do or sacrifice for Jesus here will be worth it all.
What is my Next-Step with Jesus?
A. As we pray here in a few moments, I want to give us a few minutes to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
1. Would you ask Jesus to show you what He is asking from you.
2. Then, as He drops that in your heart, would you pray for boldness to respond?
B. Many of us are being held back.
1. But it isn’t the usual hang-ups.
2. Many of us are being held up by the good when God is calling you to great.
3. This morning, let us ask Jesus to help us be fully committed followers and disciples.
Revealing Jesus (October 7, 2018)
10.7.18 (FP Service)
Mark 8:27–30 (NIV)
27 Jesus and his disciples went on to the villages around Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
28 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.”
29 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”
30 Jesus warned them not to tell anyone about him.
Matthew 16:13–20 (NIV)
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.
1. Around here we talk a lot about keeping Scripture in context.
- When we keep Scripture in context, we minimize our voices and opinion and we open up ourselves to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
- Almost all of us would agree that what we want is to hear from God.
- We want to know the truth and allow that truth to change us.
- The context of today’s passage is a long story of faith and struggle.
- Jesus miraculously fed thousands of people, and the disciples watched.
- They watched Jesus heal the blind and deaf, signs that Isaiah said would follow the Messiah, and yet the disciples still watched.
- They watched as regular, ordinary people, professed Jesus as their Lord, Savior, and Messiah and yet they still hadn’t been willing to say aloud who they believed Jesus was.
- In today’s passage, Jesus finally demands an answer to the question: Who is Jesus to you?
- The question that defines our lives and our eternities is the question, “Who is Jesus?”
- And the answer isn’t something we can fake.
- It isn’t enough to answer correctly, but we must sincerely believe that Jesus IS the Son of God.
- There will come a day when every person who ever lives must answer this question.
- There will come a day when we will be judged by this answer.
- This morning, we will look at the extraordinary beauty of this passage and what Jesus was doing.
- We are going to be challenged to reveal Jesus in the darkest of places.
2. The question takes place in Caesarea Philippi. (First Picture)
- I don’t believe Jesus did things by coincidence.
- He was purposeful on timing and places.
- Jesus utilized the surroundings of Caerea Philipp as the backdrop to the question He is asking.
- But Caesarea Philippi is a crazy place for Jesus to ask this question.
- This is not a holy place but a wicked place.
- Jesus chose a wicked and dark place to reveal Himself to the world.
- This is Jesus’ way.
- He takes common things, common people, and common places and makes them holy.
- Jesus takes the nastiest and the vilest and reveals himself there.
Let’s talk about the setting for a moment.
- Caesarea Philippi is an ancient, political city. (Second Slide)
- Caesarea Philippi is at the base of a mountain, and the journey Jesus took his disciples started at sea level and ended up thousands of feet above sea level.
- The Ancient Greeks built the early city and dedicated a shrine to the God “Pan and the Nymphs”. (Slide of Pan)
- During the early days of the Roman Empire, Philip named it Caesarea Philippi, to honor Caesar and himself.
- This is a weird setting for a proclamation of who Jesus is.
- You have a city dedicated to the god “Pan” with a great marble temple in his honor.
- The caves around the countryside were all dedicated to Pan.
- Pan was half-man and half-goat.
- He was the god of panic and lustful sex.
- His worship often led to crazed orgies, wild dancing, and more.
- It was from the mouth of these caves that the source of the Jordan river could be found, a river named Paneas, and inside the cave was a pagan shrine.
- This is the same water that John the Baptist baptized Jesus in, a river that got its start in an area dedicated to a mythical god.
- IF this wasn’t bad enough, this area was also dedicated to Caesar.
- Caesar demanded allegiance, and one of his royal titles was “king of kings” and “lord of lords”.
- This was Caesar’s territory, this was Pan’s territory, this was enemy territory!
- It was on the territory of the enemy that Jesus asked His disciples who they believed Jesus was.
- Your greatest profession of faith may not happen in a comfortable church building.
- Your greatest profession of faith may happen in your school, in your marriage, in your workplace.
- I believe Our greatest professions of faith happen when we are on enemy territory!
3. The Question: Who do people say that I am?
- The first question doesn’t require much effort.
- The disciples had heard all of the gossip.
- Some thought Jesus was John the Baptist.
- Others thought bigger and said Jesus was Elijah returning to usher in the Kingdom of God.
- Many others thought Jesus was just a teacher:
- Just a carpenter’s son.
- Just a man.
- How many people in our world would answer this question in the same way?
- For some, Jesus is a religious figure.
- For others, Jesus is a myth and legend like Santa Claus.
- For some in our community, Jesus is someone that their dad or grandma worshipped but he doesn’t do anything for them.
- And still, yet, there are people in our community and in our world who can’t answer the question because they have never HEARD the name of Jesus.
- They don’t know the Christmas story.
- They don’t know about a loving God who came to Earth to die for our sins.
- They know about their pagan gods, they know about their version of Pan, they know about the spirits in the trees and the spirits of their ancestors, but THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHO JESUS IS!
- Until the world can accurately answer this question of who Jesus is, we have work to do.
- Before Jesus left this Earth, He said in Matthew 24:14 (NIV)
14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.
- ALL nations, all people, and all the world will hear about Jesus and our job is to go and tell them.
4. We can’t testify of something we don’t believe.
- Remember, that Jesus’ disciples have been struggling a little bit.
- People were recognizing Jesus as the Messiah, but the disciples were a little hesitant.
- They seem to be riding the fence, caught between Jesus as Rabbi and Jesus as the Son of God.
- Jesus leads His disciples up the several thousand feet incline towards Caesarea Phillipi and leads them to the infamous cave of Pan.
- From Matthew and Luke, we get the picture that Jesus leads his disciples to a large cave.
- He sits them down and asks “Who do you say that I am?”
- The day has come, when the question is put forth in an undeniable way.
- Jesus doesn’t want to know what the gossip is, what the prevailing opinion says, or anything else.
- WHO DO YOU SAY THAT I AM?
- And Peter, under the leading of the Holy Spirit, says you are the Christ, the Son of God!!!!
- Matthew records Jesus telling Peter that this idea wasn’t from him but was revealed by the Holy Spirit.
- That’s because a declaration of faith must have supernatural beginnings.
- People don’t proclaim Jesus on their own.
- Our sinfulness fights this.
- Our minds are wrecked by sin and none of us are creative enough to profess Jesus as our Savior on our own.
- Jesus was bringing His disciples to a critical place in their spiritual journey:
- The place of the profession.
- The place of profession is the place where, with the Holy Spirit’s help, we see Jesus for who he really is.
- This day, Jesus led His disciples to this place.
- Today, if you are struggling with who Jesus is, you are in familiar territory.
- Every person who now believes in Jesus has been where you are.
- Wondering if Jesus is real, if Jesus is more than a historical figure if Jesus really is the Savior of the world.
- Some of us overcome that place in a matter of moments.
- Others wrestled for years.
- But if you want to get off that hump to the place where you can proudly and confidently say, “Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God”, then the Holy Spirit will help you do exactly that.
- We all need this supernatural moment because:
5. The profession of Faith is the rock of Christianity.
Matthew 16:18 (NIV)
18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
- Jesus tells Peter that He will use proclamations of faith like this to build His church.
- Jesus is building a church.
- He is building it not upon fancy buildings, creativity, or personality.
- The Church is being built upon the supernatural revealing and proclamation of Jesus.
- At the end of today’s service, we are going to ask you to commit to praying, sending, and giving to missions.
- When you give to missions, you are participating in the revealing of Jesus in our world.
- From the campuses of Universities to the Red-Light districts, and everywhere in-between, we are to go and be used by Jesus to build the church.
- We are to build the Church at the expense of enemy territory!
- What is at stake is more than money and budgets, but the very souls of people, communities, and nations.
- Paul said in Romans 8 that people can’t believe in someone they have never heard of and that we have a responsibility to GO and Tell the world about Jesus.
- Pastor, won’t it be hard? YES.
- Pastor, it will be expensive! Yes.
- Pastor, it will be costly. Yes.
- Pastor, we will face resistance, persecution, and loss. Yes!
- How can we confidently send and go into a world that is so dark, evil, and broken?
6. The Answer is that Jesus Promises the Success of His Mission.
- Jesus is the one who said He will build His church.
- We all have parts to play.
- We must be willing to do what God has called us to do.
- We must be willing, faithful, and obedient.
- We must be filled with the Spirit and the Word of God.
- But Jesus said HE would build His Church, and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it.
- Remember the setting of where this conversation is happening.
- Jesus and the disciples are at the mouth of a cave dedicated to the worship of “Pan”.
- They were in the heart of enemy territory.
- Not only that, the place Jesus had led them just so happened to be called, “the gates of Hades”.
- Let me share with you some background information from Ray Vander Laan:[i]
To the pagan mind, the cave at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld, where fertility gods lived during the winter. They committed detestable acts to worship these false gods.
Caesarea Philippi’s location was especially unique because it stood at the base of a cliff where spring water flowed. At one time, the water ran directly from the mouth of a cave set in the bottom of the cliff.
The pagans of Jesus’ day commonly believed that their fertility gods lived in the underworld during the winter and returned to earth each spring. They saw water as a symbol of the underworld and thought that their gods traveled to and from that world through caves.
To the pagan mind, then, the cave and spring water at Caesarea Philippi created a gate to the underworld. They believed that their city was literally at the gates of the underworld gates of hell. In order to entice the return of their god, Pan, each year, the people of Caesarea Philippi engaged in horrible deeds, including prostitution and sexual interaction between humans and goats.
When Jesus brought his disciples to the area, they must have been shocked. Caesarea Philippi was like a red-light district in their world and devout Jews would have avoided any contact with the despicable acts committed there.
It was a city of people eagerly knocking on the doors of hell.
- Jesus led his disciples to a place that, in the minds of the ancients, represented the entrance to Hell.
- Behind Jesus was a visible representation of all that was evil and wrong.
- Sexual sin, blood sacrifice, Greek gods, Roman gods, evil spirits, and demonic activity were represented in this cave.
- The hopelessness of humanity, the depravity of humanity, the lostness of humanity was symbolized here at Caesarea Phillippi.
- Our worst fears, our worst enemies, our worst nightmares were presented that day.
- And guess what?
- Jesus declared that none of those things will stand!
- We can go into the world and preach the Gospel because our biggest fears, enemies, and obstacles cannot stand up to the power of Jesus!
- Through Jesus, we will beat down the Gates of the enemy that has enslaved our world and our minds.
- There will be cost, there will be a sacrifice, and there will be blood.
- But the blood of Jesus has conquered death, hell, and the grave.
- It is time that the followers of Jesus stop complaining about how big and how tall the gates are protecting enemy territory, and it is time that we start tearing them down.
- Jesus told His disciples that nothing will stand up to his power.
- Darkness cannot stay, evil will not last, and Satan will not win as we REVEAL Jesus to our world.
7. We are seeing the Gates of Hell fall.
- I love hearing the stories and testimonies about what God is doing here in Licking, MO and Texas County.
- Lives are being changed.
- Good is happening.
- We have a long way to go and we are committed to doing whatever the Lord asks of us in order to see strongholds fall in our community.
- As a Church, We are committed to seeing the Gates of Hell fall wherever they are established.
- This weekend we have heard from those called to Vanuatu, to the University campus, to the Red-light districts, and many other places.
- And the story is the same: They are taking Jesus to the Gates of Hell and demanding them to fall.
- I want to be part of that!
- Every time I pray for a missionary and I give to missions, I am echoing the words of Ronald Reagan, “Tear Down This Wall”.
- But better than the words of President Reagan are the words of Jesus, and His promise that “The Gates of Hades WILL FALL”
- If you want to invest in something that is guaranteed to win, give to missions.
- Invest in people who are revealing Jesus in our world.
- God has called them, and He is calling us to help send them to the dark places and to give them the Light of Jesus.
- Today, I want to close this part of our service in two parts.
- First, I want us to take a few moments to pray and ask God to use us here in Licking, MO.
- Let us pray for the lost.
- Let us pray for the Spirit to fill us and equip us to speak to the enemy’s walls and see them fall.
- Let us pray for the Lord to use us, Licking A/G, to expand the Kingdom of God in the evilest of places.
- Then we are going to pray and ask the Lord what He will have us to give to missions this year.
- A faith moment where we, as individuals and families, covenant to believe and sacrifice so that those in enemy territory might know Jesus.
- Then we are going to fill out our faith-promise cards, and celebrate the largest commitment to missions in this church’s history.
[i] https://www.thattheworldmayknow.com/gates-of-hell-article Accessed 10/3/2018
Sunday Sermon 3/18/2018 Jesus loves me, but I forgot.
Check out this week’s sermon from Mark.