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Why Go?

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Most of you are aware that I am heading out this afternoon to go to DC, then flying out tomorrow morning to go to Zimbabwe.
While there, we are going to be sharing the gospel with people who don’t often have an opportunity to hear it.
We are going to work with some of the local believers and help them to grow in their walk with Christ, and we are going to try to encourage the pastors who live there in the ministry God has called them to.
We are working with an unreached people group called the Ndau.
Although they have the Bible in their language, less than two percent of the Ndau have a genuine relationship with Christ.
When we talked about loving our world a few months ago, I reminded you that they are part of the 4,364,650,345 who live where less than 2 out of every 100 people know Jesus.
Why is it this way? Why are there so many people out there who haven’t followed Jesus?
can give us some insight into this.
It is in the middle of a section where Paul is talking about how the Jews rejected Jesus. He has boiled it down to this: they were making it all about doing the right thing and living up to the right standards, and they were not willing to follow God in faith.
They wanted to trust that they could be good enough to get to heaven instead of allow God to save them through Jesus.
In the middle of that discussion, Paul explains for us some very crucial truths about why people haven’t followed Jesus.
For us this morning, we’re going to look at it in three different ways.
We’re going to rule out two possibilities for why people don’t follow Jesus, and we’re going to zero in on one major reason why they don’t.
Let’s be clear about this much as well: I doubt any of us would consciously make the arguments we are going to look at this morning. However, if you look at your priorities and really examine the thoughts and intentions of your heart, you may find hints of this.
In the process, we’re going to answer the question of “Why Go?”
Why do we focus so much time and energy on going to Zimbabwe? Why are people risking their lives to tell people in hostile areas about Jesus?
As you hear this, I am very intentionally pointing us towards the need to go outside of our culture and area to take the message of Jesus.
However, I don’t want you to think that’s all this means. The same truths apply here in the states. There are still people around you who don’t follow Jesus, and they need you to go to them as well.
So let’s get to the questions at hand…Why don’t these 4 billion unreached people follow Jesus?
As we look at 0, the first thing we notice is this:

1) The Gospel Isn’t Too Complicated.

Some messages are really complex.
In many religions, there are ornate ceremonies that you have to go through in order to join up.
Sometimes, there are massive pilgrimages you have to undertake before you can be a part.
Is that the case with Christianity? Is coming into a relationship with Christ complicated?
Not at all!
Look at .
Paul gives us a simple, straightforward explanation of what it takes: a belief in your heart that expresses itself in your words.
There isn’t much that could be simpler than that.
The simplicity of the gospel stands in stark contrast to the complexity of what the Jews had done with God’s Law.
Remember, God gave the Law to Israel to help them understand how to relate to Him.
They could never be saved by following it, though, because no one could live up to the standard!
That’s what Paul is pointing out in the first part of chapter 10...Look at verses 1-4.
They had an earnest zeal for God, but they wouldn’t acknowledge that they needed God’s righteousness.
Instead, they created their own, adding hundreds and hundreds of laws to what God had already given them.
I fear that many of us are in that same boat today.
Isn’t it weird how this works? We break a command of God, so we set up another one in our heart so we won’t break God’s anymore.
Inevitably, we fail at that!
Then, instead of turning to God and saying, “I can’t do this,” we keep trying to fix it by making more and more rules!
That’s not the truth of the gospel! The true message of God is this: You can’t, so Jesus did!
In other words, you cannot be righteous, and you can never live up to God’s standard.
Remember what God tells us through James?
“For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (, NASB95)
James 2:10 CSB
For whoever keeps the entire law, and yet stumbles at one point, is guilty of breaking it all.
There’s not a one of us in this room who is perfect and never falls, so we cannot be good enough to get into heaven.
There’s not a one of us in this room who is perfect and never falls, so we cannot be good enough to get into heaven.
The Gospel, then, the good news is that Jesus died for your sins because He knew you could never be good enough. God showed that the penalty had been paid by raising Jesus from the dead.
The way to be saved, then, isn’t through works; it’s through placing your trust in what Jesus has done for you.
That’s what Paul is saying in vv 9-10
Remember everything we have talked about regarding faith recently.
We have seen from Scripture that faith and belief aren’t simply matters of mental assent; instead, faith and belief mean trust!
So believing in your heart doesn’t just mean that you agree with some body of truth.
James told us that wasn’t it when he gave us this graphic example:
james 2:19
James 2:19 CSB
You believe that God is one. Good! Even the demons believe—and they shudder.
The demons know what is right and wrong, and they even believe it to an extent, but they are not willing to submit to it.
That’s why we believe that God raised Jesus from the dead, and then we acknowledge that He is, in fact, Lord.
“Lord” is a word that we don’t use often in our society today, but it is the idea of our leader; our boss.
So the message of the gospel is simple and straightforward: trust Jesus in your heart and live with Him in charge of your life.
Have you placed your trust in Jesus today? Have you surrendered your right to yourself and put Him in charge?
If not, this would be a great morning to do it.
We are leaving tomorrow to go tell the Ndau that they can be saved by what Jesus has done for them. It is a simple message that can transform lives.
So, then, the unreached people of the world aren’t still lost because the Gospel is too complicated to understand.
Maybe the issue is different…Perhaps it’s because the Gospel is only for a set group of people?
Paul addresses that issue next as we see that…

2) The Gospel Isn’t Too Exclusive.

Look at vv.11-13
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people around the world who believe that the Gospel isn’t for them.
Our friends Ryan and Kelley Day, who are serving with the IMB, have told me several times about this difficulty as they serve in Japan.
The Japanese people there say, “It’s fine for you to be a Christian because you are an American, but I am Japanese, and we are Buddhist or Shinto.”
There is a perception that Jesus is a god for people who live in the west, but that isn’t the case!
Look at what Paul said again…(v12)
There is no distinction in Scripture about race! The same Lord, Jesus, is Lord over all the earth, not just a part of it.
We saw this back in , where we saw that God tore down the dividing wall between Jews and Gentiles.
There are only two types of people in the eyes of God: those who are saved and those who are lost.
How dare we draw lines based off small genetic differences?!
In American society, we don’t look at the Gospel as exclusive because of race, but we do draw other lines.
We say, “Oh, I don’t need Jesus. I am strong enough that I don’t need the crutch of religion.”
Or maybe, and this is more to the point of this passage, you say, “God couldn’t save me because I am too worthless, or I have fallen too far, or I am too far gone.”
What does the text say?! God says, “Whoever believes” and “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved”!
That’s echoed in :
John 1:12–13 CSB
But to all who did receive him, he gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in his name, who were born, not of natural descent, or of the will of the flesh, or of the will of man, but of God.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (, NASB95)
This is the message we preach to every person in every part of the globe: You can be saved! Jesus died for you, whether you live in Christiansburg or New York City or Beijing or Azerbaijan or Beirut or in a village on the backside of Zimbabwe or on an island in Borneo!
The gospel isn’t an American invention; instead, it is the message of salvation for all the world!
It isn’t a message just for the rich of the world, and it isn’t a message just for the poor. There is no distinction; the entire world is just as lost and needs the Gospel just as desperately as we do.
If you’re here today, and for whatever reason, you believe that God couldn’t save you, hear it again: Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved!
Parents, that means God can still save your hard-hearted child.
He can still save that gruff boss and horribly rude neighbor.
Never give up on anyone. Charles Spurgeon, a great preacher of years past, said it this way:
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.” (C.H. Spurgeon)
Why don’t they accept it? Why does it look like Christianity is mainly an American thing?
It’s not because it’s too complicated, and it’s not because it is too exclusive.
Paul gives us one major reason this morning why such a large percentage of the world hasn’t followed Jesus:

3) They haven’t heard.

Look with me at verses 14-15
Did you see the progression?
To call on Him, you have to first believe that He exists.
says this:
“And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (, NASB95)
Hebrews 11:6 CSB
Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
How can you believe in what you have never heard of?
That’s why we must go! There is a lost and dying world out there who desperately needs to know Jesus, and they aren’t hearing about Him!
That’s why Jesus tells us,
Matthew 28:18–20 CSB
Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
““Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”” (, NASB95)
Go, because they haven’t heard!
Before you jump me, I understand that there is more to this than simply exposing people to the Gospel.
Keep reading in
Here’s what that tells me: Not everyone who hears will be saved, but you can’t be saved without hearing the word of Christ preached and proclaimed to you.
We are called to go; we are called to proclaim. How a person responds is between him and God.
That’s why, we as a church are looking into how God would have us reach out to the Ndau people of Zimbabwe, who right now are dying and going to hell and haven’t had the chance to hear!
That’s why you have prayed and given sacrificially to enable us to go and see what God is doing there.
That’s why Ryan, Kelley, and Selah Day have changed the course of their life to go tell the people of Japan about Jesus.
That’s why our church contributes to the International Mission Board, who helps people like our friends Ryan and Kelley and 4000 like them go to places where Jesus has not been named!
That’s why we challenge ourselves to tell everyone we meet about who Jesus is and what He has done.
That’s why I encourage you to talk to your server at a restaurant and your cashier in the store and your plumber and your teller and your kids and your parents and your friends and your family about Jesus.
It’s possible that they have grown up here and have never really heard all that Jesus has done for them.
Not only that, but the statistics tell us that in the US, someone has to hear the Gospel on average 7 times before they are willing to place their trust in Christ.
You may be number 6 in the list, but you are still commanded to go!
Why go? Because there is a lost and dying world all around us who desperately needs to hear that they can be found, and they can be saved!
After all, isn’t that what Jesus did for us?
He left the glory of heaven and came to us, taking on human flesh and dying a physical death so that we could be saved.
Our God is a missionary God! He doesn’t stay off in the distance; instead, he comes to us and walks with us, inviting us into a relationship with him.
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