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Good News for All Nations

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National Cereal Day - do you pour the milk first or second?
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Honey Nut Cheerios' flavor actually comes from crushed up peach & apricot pits!
2. "They’re Grrrr-eat!"
The voice of “Tony the Tiger” is also the voice of "You're a Mean One Mr. Grinch."
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4. There is as much sugar in a serving of “Honey Smacks” cereal as there is in a Dunkin’ Donuts glazed donut.
5. The only original marshmallow from Lucky Charms is the heart shape. All the others were added later.

Intro

Last time in Multiply we talked about the Holy Spirit, and how it was to power us to carry out God’s plan of salvation to the world.
Power Drill vs. Screw Driver
And that Holy Spirit, the same one that is inside of you as a believer, is not just meant to be enjoyed by yourself. That Holy Spirit is meant to spur you into action for Jesus Christ
Motorcycle Illustration
Is the Holy Spirit for you, to help sanctify you, absolutely, but…that power is to be used in a big big way.

Not Just Me

But, in order to have the Holy Spirit, you have to have asked Jesus to be your personal Lord & Savior.
That’s a common phrase amongst Christian groups isn’t it?
And what it means is exactly what it says, “Is Jesus Christ your personal, real Savior from your sin”?
And He needs to be, there is no more important decision you will ever make than that one.
And you have to make it, you won’t be saved because your parents are saved, or because you come to church, or because you even live in a “Christian” nation
However, just because that decision has to be made on a personal basis, does not mean that you are to then live your life in a pattern of individualism or introvertedness!
When we are saved, we become members of the God’s church, and that takes the shape and form of individual churches around the world.
And becoming part of a church is vital!
There are many people who don’t view church as important, and it’s a terrible tragedy, because when you stop and look at the NT church, what do you find?
You find that the church, the global church’s ultimate aim is to be a bunch of individuals gathered together under the name of Jesus to do what?
To do His Will
Great Commission!!!!!
, “ And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation,”
, “ 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
The church is to be as anti-individualized as anything, because our mission is to go and share the good news with people of all nations!
And that’s what you see happening from the book of Acts all the way through the NT

Not a New Plan

However, as you read the NT, it is easy to think or fall into this way of thinking that God all of the sudden decided this was His new plan, that He would use the church to further His kingdom
But that has always been His plan
If you remember back to the OT with me, and we talked about this extensively, but in
, God is speaking to Abraham, and God says what?
17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
17 The Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?
This has always been God’s plan, that through Abraham’s line, God would bless all the nations
Or how about , “ he says: “It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
See, even in the OT, thousands of years before Jesus, and even more thousands of years before us, God’s plan has always been that he would bless the nations through the work of His faithful servants who had been declared redeemed by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross!
God isn’t reactive
I think we, myself included, sometimes fall into this idea that God is a reactive God, meaning He just decides things based on what is happening around us....but that’s just not true.
tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.
1. God’s plans don’t fail or change
Which should give us confidence and hope as believers
And it should also embolden us to come alongside as the NT church and fulfill His mission, because it won’t change!!!!

Not Just for Jews

Through Acts and then into the following books in the NT, you start picking up on the idea that the Jewish Christians, some of them were guilty of thinking and assuming that God’s plans centered on the Jewish race only, and no one else.
And as you read the NT, the whole Jew/Gentile thing is what that is referring to
That’s why you can read NT passages, like , “ 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
They assumed Jesus was just for them, and there are passages where Jesus does say he came for the Israelites
, “ 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But even in that passage Jesus declared the Canaanite woman to have faith.
The goal always was and always will be what says, to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, with no bias towards certain races.
We see this played out perfectly for us in the life of Paul
You all know of Paul, wrote much of the NT, considered to be quite the theologian, but I tell you, Paul was a missionary. And God set him apart for that very purpose
In , God says to Ananias about Paul, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. 16 For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.
In , Paul says this about himself, “Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, 5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
And in chapter 13 we can read about Paul & Barnabas becoming the first missionaries and carrying the gospel to the ends of the earth!
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
God’s mission was always for the gospel to spread, and we, today, as the local church, this is to be our number 1 mission!!!!

Not Just a Church

See, we aren’t just to be a church that is a church for church sake
Pattern: come to church, sit down, sing, announcements, prayer, sing, prayer, offering, sing, message, prayer, sing, prayer, sunday school, snack, prayer, message, prayer and then leave.
That is not why the church exists.
Those things are functions of the church, yes, and all important, except maybe the snack.....
The church exists as you look at it through the whole NT, to further the declaration of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
,  “You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. 14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
The church was to meant to be a missionary in the world, and you were meant to be part of that
But, many churches and people, and possibly ours, have lost this fervor for declaring the Gospel.
We are sitting here with the power of the Holy Spirit inside of us, and we choose not to do anything with it!
Power Drill vs.
Like me and my motorcycle
And remember, the church is made up of individuals who have received the Lord as their personal Savior, who then join together with other believers for what purpose?
To spread the Gospel
Jesus’ command in was essentially the marching orders of the church
GO
However, as you are all well aware, we live in a world and in a culture where the popular statement is, “Don’t push your beliefs on other people”
Well, I hate to tell you, but God says to that statement, I don’t care!
As individuals, as churches, we are to carry His truth into a dark world. We are to be the light on the hill, letting our light shine to the glory of God our father
That is the NT in a nutshell,
churches forming to declare the good news
were they perfect, far from it.
But God’s design was for churches to spread the good news, and we do that by individually taking up the mission of Jesus Christ, and collectively by taking up the mission of Jesus Christ
We do that by supporting missionaries who are forging inroads towards the unreached people groups.
If you read the NT, this is what you see happening

Not the End

Which brings you to Revelation, the final book of the Bible, the book that intrigues many of us, why?
Because we want to know what is going to happen, we’re just hard wired that way.
And Revelation makes it very clear to us what will happen in
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
God wins, notice the language, there are people too great to number from every nation, tribe, peoples and languages, worshiping Jesus Christ our Savior
Guys, this should give you great confidence and embolden you to carry out God’s mission for you as a believer on earth, because He’s already won
God is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow....
His victory is secure
March Madness Example - betting on the known winner

Closing

Next week we will finish up with looking at the end more in depth. What Jesus will be like, what the new Heaven and earth, etc.....
But ask yourself this:
How am I contributing to the spreading of the Gospel?
Are you? What about those people’s names you wrote down....
Because let me be honest with you, even if me and the other Pastor’s made this our church’s primary goal, like we set up programs, had classes, etc.....it won’t work unless we as individuals take our responsibility seriously!
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