This message was preached by Colin D Cruz at Word Of Grace church, Pune on the 5th of Feb 2012. This is a summary of the message. If you would like to listen to the AUDIO version please click here.
We read horrifying news in the newspapers etc. Last week there was an article of how on a cook show in Holland the two people cooked and ate each other’s flesh!! There are all kinds of evil and atrocities happening all over the world.
How can the world be transformed from evil to good? What can heal a wounded heart. What can change the human soul? Only the power and love of Jesus. Only Jesus can forgive sin, heal souls and change them one life at a time.
Gladly Staines husband and sons were burnt alive. What was her response? I forgive them. The future of India does not rest with the government but with the local church. With churches filled with the power of God . We will be able to change things. How do you get reconciliation between a husband and wife who have divorced two communities at enmity with one another, two warring communities? Only Jesus.
TEXT:Proverbs 29:18 Where there is no revelation , people cast off restraint.
What do we gather of on a Sunday? I will paint in broad brush strokes a picture of what the purpose of the church ought to be. Jesus determines the vision and purpose of church.
1 Matt 28:18-20 The Great Commission. This is the purpose of the church. This is the heart beat of Jesus – to save the lost.
2. Matt 22:36-40. The Great Commandment. Love the Lord your God..”
We can break it down into five things.
We can break it down into five things.
1. Mission- the purpose of the church is to proclaim the goodness of the Lord Jesus . Jesus is offering amnesty and there is a cut off date i.e his return. If you accept Him as your saviour your sins will be forgiven. But once He returns you will be eternally punished of you have not done that.
2. Membership – till you are baptised you are not committed. You can talk about joining the army but till you wear the uniform you are not in the army. Baptism puts you into fellowship with other believers. It’s a question of are you the hen or the pig, the egg or the bacon The Hen is involved: she lays an egg and walks off .The Pig is committed – he lays down his life for you to have bacon.
3. Maturity- Discipleship. “Teaching them to obey...”Babies are great but if they do not grow up there is a problem, what was a joy will become a tragedy. We need to grow in the knowledge and grace of our Lord and saviour. We all grow in stages from infants to children then teens, adults and then parents.
4. Magnification. Matt22:36-40 we are created to worship God. We should be involved in worship – it’s not just singing songs- even washing the dishes is an act of worship if done unto the Lord. So whatever it is you do, do it as unto the Lord.
5. Ministry and serving. Love your neighbour s your self. The church is a community where each one is loving each other. Each one of us has been given gifts by the Lord – they need to be nurtured and then deployed.
Rom 8:29 We are predestined to be conformed into the likeness of His son. The church is the environment where that will happen. As we interact we will sin and cause sin but we gently put it right and help each other to put it right because we want to be more like him.
Matt5:25-35 Part of our serving also involves works among the poor. Gal 2:10 Jesus wants us to remember the poor.
Part of our vision is t be a blessing to the poor.
Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your lives. What will you do with it? There is a whole nation that doesn’t know Jesus and are suffering. Are you willing to invest your life for the kingdom? The church comes first and the rest will follow. Matt 19:29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life.
The Apostles’ we willing to die for their faith and they did,. ARE you?
Are you involved or committed ?It’s a sacrifice but in comparison with Eternity it’s worth it.
We can’t do this alone we need each other. We need Jesus to help us.