Texts  (1) Judges 5:16 (2) Luke 10:1-12.

1    BIBLE  READING:   Judges 5:16

“Why did you sit among the sheepfolds ,To hear the pipings for flocks? The divisions of Reuben have great searching of “heart”

The Message Judges 5:16

But in Reuben’s divisions there was much second-guessing. Why all those campfire discussions? Diverted and distracted,

Reuben’s divisions couldn’t make up their mind.

2   GOSPEL READING   Luke 10:1-12  (NKJV) 

After these things the Lord appointed [a]seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; therefore, pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest.

Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.

Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the labourer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house.

Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them,

‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But whatever city you enter, and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, 11 ‘The very dust of your city which cling to  [b]us we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.’ 12 [c]But I say to you that it will be more tolerable in that Day for Sodom than for that city.

3  REFLECTION on Bible passage in Judges 5:16

From our text in Judges 5:16, we see Deborah in this great engagement observing who stood neuter and did not side with Israelis as  might have been expected. It is strange to find how many, even of those who were called Israelites basely deserted this glorious cause and declined to appear.

Reuben, not only for their division by the river Jordan, which needed not to have hindered them had their hearts been there but for his sitting stilled alienation of mind from his brothers.

Reuben abode among the sheepfold, a warmer and safer place than the camp, pretending they could not conveniently leave the sheep they tended, he loved to hear the bleating of the flocks, the music the sheep makes. These, Reuben preferred before the martial drum and trumpet.

This can be summarised as ,fear of trouble , love of ease, affection for worldly business which keep many from doing their duty as God intended.

By inference narrow, selfish spirits care not what becomes of the interest of God’s church, so they can but get, keep, and save money. It is a lack of commitment.

4  REFLECTION on Bible passage in Luke 10:1-12

The introductory phase, After these things’’ ties this episode to what immediately precedes and so the passage functions as an application of the conditions for discipleship set out in 9:57-62.

Luke was written 70AD 20-30-40 years  after Jesus ascended to heaven. Those who heard Him  the first witnesses were dying out so the necessity to write and preserve His sayings for future generation that comes afterwards.

Lu 1:4 shows Luke wrote for Christians and Gentile world when the Roman empire looked pluralistic many races religion just like the world we live in today Lu 1:1 gave reason for writing  to give Christians security and assurance because three was no security. It looked like God had failed the Jews. Main message of Jesus was the Kingdom of God. When was it to happen?

Next day probably.

But it didn’t look like things were getting better but worse. Do we have our hopes placed right on Jesus or is He going to let us down as He did the Jews ? that was what the gentiles thought.

Luke takes the sayings of Jesus and the doings of Jesus picking which appeals to him, to give reassurance and hope about the christian life. He encouraged them to look at Mission with God and start going to the end of the earth with mission for God.

Lu 10:1-10 how to do mission in a plurality society and how that can be adapted to us today.

in verse 1, what is the significance of 70? could it be because the Jews believe there are 70 nations in the world? Or the 70 Elders of Moses? as  Forerunner like John the Baptist.

2 by 2 ? 2 are better than one? mission is better done together,  protection? security and safety?  praying together? support group? accountability? married couples?

will  they  reach 35 cities ? nations?

can 2 reach a city?  Can 2 people have an  Impact on a community? The key is in developing relationship.

some say what can a church of 15 do?

In verse 2,  to every place  where He has to go. A farmer that has planted all year, why would he miss the harvest? Jesus is seeing what others cannot see.

Where were the towns and the places He has to go located on this trip from Galilee to Judea? That was some terrible tough place like Samaria. eg  Morocco 32m over 99% muslims yet the harvest is vast, but are workers few!

Verse 3  following Jesus means taking up the instrument of execution and offers us no guarantees of comfort or ease but be smart.

verse 4 Be dependent on me says Jesus. Don’t list what you will take on a long hike. No time to greet.Their greetings is more involved and He knew to which town he was sending them and the urgency.

verse 5 your mission is urgent

verse 6 a son of peace will receive them

verse 7 wages for them food and water he taught them dependence and His faithfulness.

verse 8 those who receive them have Peace and healing.

verse 9 heal the sick JESUS proclaiming the Kingdom of God and healing. His deeds were picturing His reign

Jesus’s  works make His Words visible.

luke has 2 themes:

Luke’s theme of acceptance /rejection. if you accept the people Jesus sent , if you accept the message ,  then you accept Jesus.  if you reject the messenger, you’ve rejected Jesus.

Luke’s theme of possession and hospitality

If you share your possessions and offer hospitality, you are one of us. you have come into the kingdom of God.

He told them the  harvest? (old testament metaphors ) is plentiful ingathering?

is the harvest around you big or small? have u ever thought about the harvest around you being very small? sometimes we christians say

 ‘no one wants to hear the gospel?’ Thats a mistake today. where were they headed?

 these ones were heading towards Samaria unfriendly territory  and  yet  Jesus said the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few  so we expect Jesus to ask them to pray for what? 

more workers? Right?  ask for more workers? No ! 

He says ….ask The Lord of the harvest therefore to  to send more workers into the field.

 but the big problem here  is that the workers are not going into the field

Can you imagine a local community where the crops are not coming in, what shall we do? oh  ‘some new stained glass windows’  will bring some crops in!

‘if we change the music we play we’ll get some crops in’

‘no if we improve the bathrooms, toilets ,we’ll get some crops into the barns.’

‘ If we improve the preaching here we’ll get more’ so let’s pray and do some meetings change things around . have committee meetings , initiate programmes and lots of activities, and surely the harvest will come into the barn and we better put a big lighted sign board out so they can find us.

Sarcasm? But it brings out the point. What happens in churches?

How do churches get the harvest to come to them?

They want to do all these things to get people to come.

The way Luke cast Jesus methodology is You go to them. Don’t attract them  to you

You go to them and meet them where they are and see what the Lord would do.

Go where God is already working.

Shalom Peace to this house.

if you say peace and they shut the door just go away.

workers deserve his wages. don’t be afraid to take money from others to do gospel work.  Find the man of peace how? pray seek? fast and you’ll find.

Paul went to Philippi found Lydia who  sold purple  (ie very rich) and the Lord has prepared her heart to receive Paul’s message.

then the jailer, come to my house, I’ll introduce you to all government officials.

How do 2 people have impact on a community?  It is by establishing  relationships .

Relationship is the vehicle of the gospel and the best relationship is with a person of peace in that community and that peace will network you with other people. But if you are welcome,  it means God is there. no matter how many times you are turned off find out who wants peace and go there.What was Sodom’s problem?    Sodom problem homo.?

 that’s  missing  the point it is to be hospitable.

now what’s the key for a small church ? 1) find a person of peace

what was the mission of the 70? ………    To prepare cities to receive Jesus when he came,We are on a mission from God too, to prepare our  neighbourhood and communities to be ready to receive Jesus when He comes.

 Go forth into the Harvest and may you be blessed of God as you find and discern your person of peace. as you journey with Jesus on a mission from God, the mission of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit

  Our Theme: Church Ministry : Maintenance or Mission?

 5   From the Theme, What is Church Ministry?

In Christianity, ministry is an activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their faith, the prototype being ‘The Great Commission.’

The New Testament church is sometimes translated assembly which comes from the Greek EKKLESIA which means ‘’called out’’ from the world to be His own and assemble together in His Name. The primary meaning of church refers to all christian believer everywhere irrespective of denominations and doctrinal differences  All persons who generally place their faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord are members of the church also called the body of Christ over which He is the head ( Ephesians 1:22&23). Also the church refers to local congregation of believers . There is only one true  church made up of many individual churches.

We can ask, Is the church an organisation or an organism? It is the united fellowship of all christians with their God —— the wondrous union of Christ’s Spirit indwelling the hearts of all true believers who reproduce themselves in obedience to the Lord’s command and are to:

  • To proclaim the gospel through out the world (Mark 16:15, Luke 10:1-9)  ( Evangelism)  and to make disciples of ( Discipleship ) (Mathew 28:19-20,) . This is  referred to as the ‘Great Commission.’  

(2) The church  is the  continuation of Christ’s  earthly ministry saving lost souls (Matt 18:11) and  doing greater works ( John14:12 ) healing the sick and announcing the arrival of the Kingdom of God (Lu 10:9,)  (Matt 10:8 )

He imparted this same objective to his disciples ( Mathew 4:19)

( Luke 4:18-19) (2 cor 5:18)  It is the purpose of every believer, not only pastors and clergymen, to bring souls to the kingdom.

 ( 3.) To serve as a community of worship and fellowship,

to manifest the presence of Jesus and His love. ( Matthew 18:20), Rev 4:11, John 4:23, Mark 12:30-31

( 4 )  To mature believers and prepare them to perform the work of the ministry (Ephesians  4:11-12), Hebrew (10:24-25)

( 5. ) To represent the kingdom of God ( Mathew 5:13-14,16).

6.   What  then is the  mission or goal  or purpose  of the church?  

Through out history, virtually  every christian leader has proclaimed that THE GREAT COMMISSION is the purpose of the church

however , churches everywhere seem to to be saying ‘who am I to make disciples ?’’ I’d rather ….

  • preach sermons to my church
  • teach Sunday school classes
  • lead Sunday evening services

knowing full well that these activities do not produce disciples

you may ask  ‘what do you mean? these activities aren’t making disciple? No they are not.

from survey of over 1000 evangelical churches in the US it took one pastor and 100 church members one full year to win only 1.66 persons to Christ and their church. 66% of the members haven’t changed one disciple-making habit to be more Christ like  in over 5 years.

How do you think this is like in your country?  in your church?

the purpose of the church is to finish the Great Commission.

How do you know?

Because they are Jesus’ last words ,the NT repeats these words  in some form five times in the NT

we must distinguish purpose from ingredient.

for bakers                For churches

flour                            Evangelism

sugar                          fellowship

MAKE COOKIES        MAKE DISCIPLES

mix in 2 eggs               teach and equip the saints

bake at 400 degree    Be an example of holiness

Each list has five commands but one is the purpose.

there are 4 irrefutable elements of the Gt Commission

A . it is intended as a life style Matt 28:19 , therefore Go, where ever you are the Gt Commission was intended to be a lifestyle for every christian. Matt 4:19

B . we must understand that the Gt Commission includes evangelism

C . the Great commission includes building Christians all the way to maturity.

D .The Great Commission includes reaching the Entire world.

we must never settle for Status Quo if the timing is wrong in our churches , then we might as well simply close the door of our church . We have no other purpose.

JESUS PROMISED THAT THE GREAT COMMISSION WOULD BE FINISHED MATTHEW 24:14.

The 12 Apostles themselves set out to finish most got martyred in the process…

Paul states that he actually did finish in a definite area.  Paul did finish laying the foundation for completing the Great Commission from Jerusalem all the way to the  Adriatic Sea Rom 15:18-24 and where ever he went ,taught all he possibly could. Col 1:28-29

WHAT DOES FINISHING THE GREAT COMMISSION LOOK LIKE?

  • Every neighbourhood is saturated with disciple making churches
  • Every person has personally invited to receive Christ
  • Every willing convert is nurtured in an ongoing disciple-making process and commitment is an indispensable ingredient .

Church Ministry: Maintenance or Mission  

7.   What is  maintenance in church ministry?

  Maintenance

This refers to an institutionalised Church that has the focus on Preaching and general monitoring of people and facilities, and have  other peculiarities In the choice of its leadership as the same people rotate to new Positions by nomination into a Power-Board/Committee/Tenure.

Personal Spiritual growth is mainly Sunday school and fellowship group. Root values -Traditional : Relational Caste System.Valuing old structures above making disciple inhibits disciple making. 

  • Worship service attendance, Sunday school attendance and success of programs and activities are common priority.
  • The beauty of the building and grounds are of importance. They also engage in giving to general funds and giving  to missions.
  • Their congregation is composed  mainly of elderly people with no appreciable  numerical growth over years but with two main events: burying and marrying  and occasionally socials and celebrations.
  • When discussing something new, Parishioners do not welcome  changes -: ‘’this is the way we have always done it.’’  ‘’This is our tradition.’’     Mark 7:7-9.  ‘’Sacred Cows’’ Mark 7:7-9  (NKJV)

‘And in vain they worship Me,

Teaching as doctrines, the commandments of men.’laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men—]the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.”He said to them, “All too well you [b]reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition.

In Judges 5:16 Reuben was comfortable in a familial place, and didn’t want to face any danger or go to war.   Just remaining status quo unconcerned .This can be likened to a church in Maintenance.  Yet maintenance , by definition, is upkeep, support, to keep in a certain condition or position of efficiency and good repair.church maintenance can be looked upon as church administration, taking care of details, picking up  film projectors, setting up chairs, planning workshops, providing tools and keeping them in good working order which is the pastors responsibility,

establishment of small groups for Bible study , prayer meeting. Maintenance therefore isn’t futility. Maintenance paves way for  ministry. Maintenance supports Missions as a home base is required for funding and well being. But that is not the purpose of the church. It is an ingredient in the goal and purpose of the church.

 8.  What is missions?

’Missions’’ is that part of the ‘’mission’’ (goal or purpose) of the church which sends out specially -selected and spiritually mature christians.

  •  To lost people:-to evangelise and disciple and-to establish local churches.
  • To saved people:-        to encourage and strengthen existing churches-and to equip and train pastors and church leaders for the work of ministry———

All believers are to be witnesses for Christ, but not all are called or directed to be missionaries in the technical sense. Even so, one could be logically argue that every witnessing christian is a missionary -at least a ‘’sent one’’ in the sense of being an ‘’ambassador for christ’’ in the world. 2Cor.5:16-21, John 17:13-21

‘’Church planting’’ is an integral part of missions. Act 11:19-27

Acts 11:19-27 New International Version (NIV)

The Church in Antioch

19 Now those who had been scattered by the persecution that broke out when Stephen was killed traveled as far as Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch, spreading the word only among Jews. 20 Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. 21 The Lord’s hand was with them, and a great number of people believed and turned to the Lord.

22 News of this reached the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he arrived and saw what the grace of God had done, he was glad and encouraged them all to remain true to the Lord with all their hearts. 24 He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.

25 Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.

27 During this time some prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch.

        Missions is the the heartbeat of both God and the local church

Missions then is the church sending out believers to:

        (1) Evangelise the lost everywhere

        (2) Encourage and strengthen new believers.

        (3) Establish churches and train leaders.

        (4) Equip those churches to continue the missions-reproduction                      process 

    In Matthew’s account of the same event  as our text in Luke, He sent them out  and said to them; As you go. preach, saying , ‘’The kingdom of heaven is at hand,’’ heal  the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, cast out demons,.

This means you Peter, heal the sick, you Ade,, heal the sick, you Toyin heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the leper.

9 .. What are the Biblical basis for missions?

  •  God’s commitment- to missions is made very obvious from Genesis to Revelation. 

In Genesis

Through Noah ( Ge 6-8 )and (2 Pet 2-5) also through Abraham  (Ge 12:1-3) and (Gal 3:10-18) God called Noah  to preach the gospel to the lost, pictured salvation by grace through the Ark, and then called Abraham to be his instrument through whom salvation would become available to all in christ.

 In the law

 through Moses and the passover Ex 12;1-51

( see 1 Cor 5:7 and Hebrews 11:28, Ex 9:13-16 In delivering and redeeming Israel, God pictured spiritual salvation by faith.

In Revelation

Rev.5:9-10 Rev: 14:6-7 Rev. 21:22-27

At the end, it is evident that some people from all nations will have been saved.

 In christ

Christ Himself is the real subject of the scriptures which bear witness to Him. it is His Gospel that must be preached Luke 10:1-12, 24:25-27, 44

Acts 8:26-38Indeed, it is God’s desire that His name be made known among all the nations (Jews and Gentiles alike) so that men everywhere might  know Him and be saved..

God is so committed that he gave five versions of the Great Commission in the scriptures.

passage                Command              Missions              focus

                                                             Emphasis

Mt. 28:18-20 make disciples of all nations purpose going, baptising, teaching to obey
Mk. 16:15, 19-22 preach good news go into all world preaching to all people confirming signs
Lk.24:46-49 as witness proclaims repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations personal witnessing to the message
Jn. 17:13-20 Jn. 20:21-23 i am sending you into but not of the world personal representative of christ
Ac. 1:8 be my witnesses in jerusalem, judea, samaria end of the earth power of the Holyspirit for enablement

It is God’s purpose to use God’s people to proclaim God’s plan of salvation in God’s power to lost people everywhere.

10.     Brief overview of history of missions

  1. Acts- the New Testament period

Acts covers a period of about 30years (33 A.D-62 AD.) from the resurrection of christ to Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome. this short but very productive period provided the church with its biblical foundation for effective missions.

In  Acts we see the beginning of fulfilment of all 5 versions of the Great commission.

Chapter                            Activity                                      From

Acts 14                             Making disciples of all nations    (Matthew)

                                        baptising

                                        teaching

Acts 13                             preaching gospel                               (Mark)

                                        w/confirming signs

                                        to every one

Acts 24                             personal witnessing to                       (Luke)

                                        the message to all nations

Acts 3                               personal representatives of                (John)

                                        christ to the world

Acts 6                               power of Holy spirit for                       ( Acts)

                                        witnessing

        And the church in Acts chapters 1-7 was characterised by

  • Prayer, power, Preaching the Gospel boldly Purging from sin Proclamation of the truth, from place to place, and Persecution.
  • Missions was an essential part of the early church because it knew its mission!!!
  • Acts 1 The Promise Acts 1:8
  • Acts 2 Promise Fulfilled Acts 2: 2-4.
  • Acts 3 Promise Manifested.  Acts 3:1-8 Without Acts 2, There will be no Acts 3.
  • Those first years of Early Church were examples for the acts of the church till the return of Christ.
  • without the supernatural, christianity is just a religions ritual, a philosophy. But biblical Christianity is Jesus living in us and manifesting Himself through us.
  • all else is ecclesiastical symbolism, rituals, creeds, dogmas, ceremonies.
  • Religious theology without the supernatural will never produce biblical results and will never win unbelievers to Christ.
  • Jesus attracted the multitude by miracles, Matt 12;15; 14;35-36;  and where ever miracles are wrought in His name today ,  Lu5:15,Jn 6:2. crowds continue to be attracted.
  • A SUMMARY of what happened in the Acts.They started at home with  evangelism to the Jews and foreigners in  their mist
  • Acts 2, preached the Gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit, unstoppable by persecution but rather the persecution caused a scattering and furthering of the gospel Acts 7-8. They are directed by the Holy Spirit and planted the mother church  at Antioch and many other churches.
  • What is the end result of Missions?
  • missions as ministry of the church capitulate from pulpit of a local church community to the platforms of global mass miracle evangelism.
  • 11. Basic principles of biblical missions
  • Means——prayer and power of the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8, Luke 24;46-49
  • Message—-Rom 10;6-17,  preach the gospel Mk 16;15, proclaim truth with emphasis on obedience. Matt 28;20
  • Method;

 Matt 28;19

A Life style  accomplished through multiplication. 2 Timothy 2;1-2

the purpose of God isGod in response to prayers will send forth missionaries into His own harvest

  1 Peter1:23 Jesus in Mk 4:14, Lu 8:11 said the seed is the word of God which is Spirit and life. ( Jn 6:63 )                                     

 JESUS SAID —— THIS GOOD NEWS SHALL BE PROCLAIMED WITH EVIDENCE TO ALL NATIONS OF THE WORLD , THEN THE END COME. MATT 24:14.                                                                          

12.  History of missions

.Major historical periods of missions activity

Following ACTS was slow.

  • 100AD-500AD

saw the establishment of the universal Catholic church with no missions activity

  • 1200-1800AD

Exploration and colonialism served as tools to carry Christianity to India. The protestant reformation put scriptures into the hands of the people again.

  • 1800-1946AD

the great century of Christian missionary activity.

  • 1946-date .

Christian missionary activity came between 1800 an 1900 as a late developing result of Protestant Reformation

13.  A Case study:    When T.L. Osborn and Daisy Osborn went on a missionary journey to India when they were young in 1945,.They were unable to convince the people of ancient , Eastern religion about the power of the  gospel because the people challenged them about  how the  Holy Bible , the word of God ( black trimmed in gold) could be better than what they had  the   Holy Quran with gold trimming also written on it the word of God! They were asked to prove that their own black book  the BIBLE, was superior to the Quran. All the theology they knew could not prove it.  They were unable to succeed in India. They realised that something was missing they needed that same divine approval  that God gave Christ  ( In Acts 2:22 Jesus was attested by God among people  by miracles and wonders and signs , which God did by Him in the midst of people .)

 They had seen the masses lost in empty religion and it was obvious to them that if the people  could hear Christ’s gospel, and see it confirmed by miracles as resulted when the disciples went forth Mk 16:20., Millions of them would embrace His gospel and become His disciples.

They later  discovered why they were unable to succeed. They wrote:

  • ‘’Although we spent hours on our knees, our manner of prayer did not harmonise with biblical truths’’, 
  • ‘’for over a year we struggled to reformer  our thinking and our attitude about prayer.’’

(the same truth revealed to John G Lake and Curry Blake see DHT manual)

  • As the Lord appeared to them individually, they began to discover  in the scriptures the blessings that Christ had provided through his death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.
  • they became aware of satan’s defeat by Christ and they learnt about God’s promises to confirm His Word by miracles. They wrote:
  • ‘’As we discovered redemptive truths we realised that our way of PRAYING did not correspond with Gods love-plan for people, we were pleading for Him to do things that He was already passionate to do.
  • Language becomes routine automated. It flows from our lips almost without thought . We were pouring out supplication to God with automated phrases verbalising   empty traditional prayer concepts that were not in accord with the truth of redemption.
  • we struggled with our miserable automated verbosity for over a year but by persistence we finally conformed our prayer vocabulary  to Gods redemptive provisions’’

They discovered their place in Christ and relationship with the Father.

  •  ‘’Without miracles’’ they said, ‘’we offered little more than a christian philosophy’’
  •  EVEN THE MASSES GLADLY FOLLOWED CHRIST WHEN THEY CAN SEE  HIM CONFIRM HIS WORD WITH SIGNS AND MIRACLES.
  • REGARDLESS OF WHAT THE RELIGIOUS ACADEMICIANS  MAY TEACH, THE UNDENIABLE FACT REMAINS THAT THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THE DEMONSTRATION OF THE  SPIRIT AND OF POWER 1 COR 2:4
  • A CRIPPLE THAT IS INSTANTLY HEALED HAS A TESTIMONY THAT IS MORE CONVINCING THAN A THOUSAND SERMONS.

AS HE IS SO ARE WE IN THIS WORLD.  1 John 4:17

JESUS CAME PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD MK 1 :14 AND HE TOLD HIS FOLLOWERS TO DO SAME TO ALL THE WORLD MK 16:15

SAYING  THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND MATT 10:7

Why did He say that?

WE ARE AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST 2 COR 5:20. ; AND CO

LABOURERS  1 COR 3:9 JESUS SAID AS THE FATHER HAS SENT ME SO HAVE I SENT YOU.  JN 20:21; 17:18

In FEB 1960 T L Osborn returned to INDIA where he recorded recorded his PREVIOUS FAILURE In the same country 14 years earlier.

But now an OLD HINDU HOLY MAN RECEIVED A POWERFUL GOSPEL MESSAGE WITH demonstration of Spirit and power with  MULTIPLE MIRACLES AND HEALINGS WHEREAS 14 YEARS PREVIOUS THEY LEFT INDIA BECAUSE THEY WERE INCAPABLE OF CONVINCING THE HINDUS AND MUSLIMS THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, NOW THEY COME IN THE THE POWER OF THE HOLY GHOST. THEY HAD DISCOVERED FROM THE BIBLE :

 The two wrong ways not to pray

( Prayers that God will not answer.)

  • Beseeching Him for what He has provided
  • and begging Him to do so many things  that He had commissioned us to do.

They started seeng healing which  was a sign Lu10:8-9

Healing like Jesus Jn14:12

OUR RESPONSIBILITY is:

‘’Never ask God to do what He has told you to do’’

‘’Never ask God to do what He has already Done’’

In six decades , witnessed to more than a hundred nations of the world. They have only acted on the written word of God.

They reached and led to Christ more non-christian nation and the witnessed great healing. they have sponsored 300, 000 national preachers as full time missionaries in villages that had no gospel and they have built thousands of new churches in previously unevangelised areas.

14.  Lets turn to ourselves :   with the world population of over 9 billion, if each of us  are committed enough to Obey God’s word and tap into the miraculous ability we have been given Acts1:8,

Jn 14:12 then obediently minister that the Kingdom of God is at hand and healing  is a sign of that fact  as we are instructed to do in Lu 10:8-9  then each one  of us will lead one more person to the Lord, the entire world would have been evangelised  and disci-plied in a few years.

why has the church failed to fulfil the Great Commission in 2000 years?

What is our role? Make disciples . What are we to do now?

Learn from the failures of others and  Kill the sacred cows and forbid the tradition of men.

15,  The Current State of the Church.

‘’where have we gone wrong?’’ ask the author of ‘growing a healthy church’ in the global body of Christ-today, it is rare to find true  multiplying ministries .

 Many bodies are growing through addition but many churches have plateaued or decline in attendance

About two- thirds of the growing churches  increase solely by transfer growth from the dead and dying  churches rather than by assimilating new converts.

Majority of church members have been taught theological traditions concerning miracles and physical healings.

They have been influenced to believe that sickness may be God’s blessings in disguise; that it may teach humility and patience, it may be God’s chastisement and will bring glory to God.

But very few of those people can quote a single biblical verse that promises physical healing.

If the promises of God  for biblical healings and miracles is not taught :

Faith will not be birthed in the hearts of people Rom 10:17

The fulfilment  of these promises will not be manifested. Rom 10:14, John 8:32. If there is no faith for miracles ,they will not be experienced.Matt 13:58.

John said , a great multitude followed Jesus because they saw his miracles which He did on them that were diseased , Jn 6:2, and that many believed in His name when they saw the miracles which He did. Jn2:23, Acts 2:22.

When miracles are manifested, unbelievers are drawn to hear the gospel and are persuaded to believe on Christ.

Many people including some clergy believe that the age of miracles has passed.  So does God/Christ mean what He said?  From scriptures , we read:—

God is a Healer Ex15:26, and He  does not change  Mal 3:6.

Jesus Christ healed the sick , Matt 9:35, Mk 6:55-56, Ac10:38.,

Jesus commanded His disciples to heal the sick.Matt 10:1-8;

Lu 10:1,8-9 and His disciples today are same Jn 8:31

Miracles of healing were manifested in the early church following the promise of power and the Holy Spirit in Acts 1:8 which was fulfilled in Acts 2:2 and demonstrated in Acts 3:6-7. And the true church has never changed. It is to continue till the end of age Matt 28:20 because

( Many ministries are experiencing such miracles today. I know a lot of people here today have testimonies.) Jesus commissioned ALL BELIEVERS among all nations until the end of the age , to lay hands-on the sick, and they shall recover,

Mk 16:15-18, Jn 14:12. Heb 13:8

16.  Reasons the church has failed in missions.

  • BY LACK OF UNDERSTANDING CONCERNING THE MISSION.

By being disobedient to the Great Commission

  • By concentrating on evangelism to the neglect of discipleship

(i.e….making converts not disciples)

  • By the missionaries doing all the work of ministry and not involving and equipping nationals.
  • By concentrating on buildings, facilities, equipments instead of relationships, building up people and training leaders in the power of the Holy Spirit.
  • By emphasising numerical growth instead of spiritual growth

and so many other reasons.

Conclusion

Looking at the Current state of the church, In the global body of Christ today, it is rare to find true, ‘’multiplying’’ ministries . Not surprisingly because church structures today reflect the lives of church leaders who have grown up in these types of churches and very few believers have experienced the discipleship and evangelism that Jesus modelled.

But  our example and focus is Jesus.  

What did Jesus do?

When Jesus’ life is studied chronologically, His strategy for creating a movement of multiplication we will observe that   -He balanced the priorities of seeking the lost ,establishing believers , and training workers .   HIS FOCUS WAS ON THE KINGDOM OF GOD.

What did Jesus tell us to do? and How did He tell us to do it?

   Matt 28:18-20 .GO TO ALL NATIONS WITH THE AUTHORITY I HAVE GIVEN YOU AS A LABOURER EVANGELISING.YOUR FIRST PRODUCT IS A CONVERT. ESTABLISHING YOUR CONVERT TO MAKE HIM COMMITTED AND LIVE IN OBEDIENCE  ALLOWING JESUS AND HIS WORD IN THE CENTRE OF HIS LIFE A DISCIPLE IS YOUR FINAL PRODUCT WHICH YOU EQUIPPING TO BECOME A LABOURER  GT. COMMISSION EXPORTING HIM OUT TO THE NATION OF THE WORLD.

 His  aims:  baptising them into the Trinity and loving God and one another which is by obeying …….The Great Commandment.

Christianity is about Loving Relationships.  loving them enough to show them the way of salvation as God doesn’t want any to perish. It is His goodness that leads men to repentance. Rom 2:4.

He called them, He taught them, He equipped them, Sent them forth with power to go and tell that the Kingdom of God is at hand!

He told them to demonstrate the Kingdom.Let people see what the kingdom is like  in Luke 10 and Matt10 because word is cheap. Make it practical real when you understand purpose and realise that:

  • A mission statement determines ‘what we are’ -our Identity IN CHRIST
  • A vision statement determines ‘what we do’ IN HIM
  • A philosophy of ministry determines ‘how we do it’ using all His energy that works in us mightily.
  • Then we get same result , for as He is in this world so are we.
  • 1 Jn 4;17
  • ‘’An Illustration about The Kingdom Of God’’

Let us ask the Holy Spirit right now,

Church Ministry: Maintenance or Mission? What did He say?

Like Making a cake every other activities are ingredients, Jesus’ calling is for Mission and it is urgent.