Imagine your church….Not the building, the parking lot, the activities or programs. Just the people.
Whether there are 50, 100, 500, 5000.Imagine people living in a world of sin and rebellion, suffering and pain. A world where over three billion men, women, and children survive on less than two dollars a day, and a billion of those people live in absolute poverty, where millions are starving and dying of preventable diseases. A world where billions of people are engrossed in false religions, and around two billion of them have never even heard the gospel. They are all literally billions of people on a road that leads to eternal hell-suffering that will never, ever, ever end.
But you and the people in your church have been transformed by the gospel of Christ.
You know that Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave to save people from their sins.
You know that He alone can satisfy people’s souls.
Your will abandoned to His ways, longs to be His witness throughout the world.God has banded you together as brothers and sisters in a local church with a global commission: (Matthew 28) make disciples of all nations.God has filled every single one of you with the power of His own Spirit to enable each of you individually and all of you collectively to reach the world with the gospel.
If you had nothing but people-no buildings, no programs, no staff, and no activities and you were charged to spread the gospel to the whole world…
Where would you begin?
Would you start by pooling your money together so that you could spend millions of dollars on a building to meet in?
Would you get the best speaker, the greatest musicians, and the most talented staff in order to organize presentations and programs that appeal to your families and children?
Would you devote your resources to what is most comfortable, most entertaining, and most pleasing to you?
If we really believed God’s word and were honestly looking at God’s world, I don’t think we would do these things.If we recognized that there are billions of people without the gospel, millions of people starving without food and water, we would probably not say
“Lets spend millions of dollars building a house of worship.”
In fact the Bible does not tell us to build houses of worship.
Instead the Bible says that we as God’s people are the houses of worship.
It never tells us to build a place for people to come to us; instead, the New Testament commands us to give our lives going to people.
If we really believed the Bible we wouldn’t limit ministry to a team of ministers who lead the church. Instead since every single person in the church is equipped by the Spirit of God for the purpose of ministry, we would all go.
Every single one of us.
We would scatter as rapidly as possible to make the gospel known to as many as possible.
It would be difficult.
So even as we scattered, we would come together periodically, the purpose being not to sit in a class, or enjoy a show, but to share our lives-to share the hurts and joys we are experiencing as we spend our lives spreading the gospel to the ends of the earth
Encouraging one another
Teaching one another
Worship with one another
Giving to one another
Sacrificing for one another
And then we would scatter again to make the gospel of Jesus known to more people.
We would do this week after week and year after year, and we would not stop until the Good News of Jesus spread from our houses to our communities to our cities to the nations.
This is a portrait of the church in its inception. Twelve men responded to a life-changing invitation:
“Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men”
They watched Jesus, listened to Him, learned how to love, teach, and serve others the way He did.
Then came the moment when they saw Him die on a cross for their sins, rise three days later and then command them from a mountainside to
“Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Not long after they gathered together in a small group, about 120 in all and waited.
True to His promise Jesus sent His Spirit to every one of them, and immediately they began proclaiming the gospel.
In the days to come, they scattered from Jerusalem, to Judea to Samaria to the ends of the earth, and within one generation, they grew to over four hundred times the size they were when they started..
No extravagant buildings
No entertaining programs
But the spread of the gospel in the book of Acts took place primarily because ordinary people empowered by an extraordinary presence were proclaiming the gospel everywhere they went.
The Good News of Jesus spread not through extravagant preachers, but through everyday people whose lives had been transformed by the power of Christ.
House to house, in the marketplace and shops along travel routes, leading people to faith in Jesus on a daily basis.
Followers of Jesus were fishing for men and women.
Disciples were making disciples.
The great commission was not a choice for them to consider, but a command for them to obey.
And though they faced untold and unthinkable persecution, hey experienced unimaginable joy as they joined Jesus in the advancement of His kingdom.
I want to be part of a movement like that.
From the book Follow Me by David Platt
I believe this is what the Lord Jesus is calling all of us to.
Not religion, not entertainment, not more and better programs, bigger extravagant buildings, but calling us to be the church.
Self-denying, Spirit empowered disciples of Jesus. Willing to give all to be fishers of men, and spread the Good News to the ends of the earth.
Are you ready?