Faithlife Sermons

Urgent Mission

Who is Jesus? Man of Mystery  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  42:51
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MAIN POINT: Jesus calls me to follow because someone’s life depends on it.

ME: I’ve spent too much of my Christian life worrying about being good.

Most of my Christian life has been about working really hard to be a good, moral person
Stop doing that — start doing this
Don’t say that anymore — say this instead
Don’t think that — why did you think that?
Don’t get me wrong — there were and still are things that need to change in my life — following Jesus will change you
But I’ve learned something over the years — you don’t have to be a Christian to be a good person
Give me the right education — a focused discipline — a strong will power and I promise you I can be a good person
I’ve actually met some really good people — and to my surprise they weren’t Jesus followers
Things definitely need to change in me — that is a fact
The problem is I lived as though the goal or mission of Jesus is my morality — that Jesus calls me to be good

WE: I suppose I am not the only one who thinks Christianity is all about the do’s and the don’ts; you too are working really hard to be good

Perhaps you once tried to follow Jesus — failed at too many turns and just gave up
Perhaps you are about to give up — I’ve too many say, “I just can’t do it — I’m not good enough”
Maybe you have a negative view of Christianity because your only experience is with people who were all about the morality — in a legalistic way — they even broke the law of love by judging others who weren’t living up to their standards
Or you are just tired — you’ve spent years — decades trying to be good and all you have is regrets because the failures are what you remember — you feel like a bad Christian as though there was such a thing
Consider this with me today...
What if Jesus doesn’t call us to be good? Instead, He calls us to be holy?
Wait Tony! Aren’t those the same thing?
Well — not really — unfortunately to many in the church have equated them as the same — this is why some churches think holiness is about hair, jewelry, movies, dancing — it is not
Quote
Being holy is about being set apart for a higher purpose — to be used for God’s purpose
We are now in that time in history where Jesus is calling all who will come to the banquet table — and he calls us to follow him and learn from Him and join Him is saving lives
Jesus calls us to follow because someone’s life depends on it

BIBLE: The Bible teaches us that Jesus calls us to follow so we can learn from Him how to save others from the power of darkness

Mark 1:14–15 TNIV
14 After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. 15 “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
John’s time was up — he had prepared the way — Jesus begins his ministry
Jesus was proclaiming the “good news of/about God”
“The time has come/fulfilled” —
Show image explaining eternity and time
Jesus is the dawning of a new age — an age marked with urgency — why? It is the last age of history — the last days
What is next? Judgment — eternity — consummation of all things under God
This age will be the most climactic and decisive age in history

Jesus’ message implies a few things...

The coming of God’s reign and rule must be shared — The coming near of God’s kingdom isn’t alway obvious — it must be proclaimed
The benefits of God’s saving and ruling actions happen when I repent — In order to benefit from God’s coming to save and rule I must turn around or turn back — repent
Each person must respond individually — the kingdom is coming but without faith I cannot benefit from it
This is exactly what we see in the next section as Jesus calls his first disciples...
Mark 1:16 TNIV
16 As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.
Simon and Andrew were poor fishermen — no boat — no hired help
More than likely they stood knee to waist deep and cast their nets — they caught the small ones — got to go out deep with a boat to catch the really big ones
Mark 1:17 TNIV
17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Jesus calls them to follow — to consider another purpose other than fishing for fish
They are called to break ties with their old way of life
But they are also called to take up a new way of life — one that is similar to their old way
You might say Jesus calls them to re-purpose their way of live
Jesus calls them to total dedication to a new mission — one that he is beginning — they aren’t fishers of men yet but Jesus invites them to follow and he will “make” them so
Mark 1:18 TNIV
18 At once they left their nets and followed him.
Immediately — this is surprising to mewhat was it about Jesus and His call that would cause them to leave everything with such urgency
I think it is the metaphor Jesus uses to call them — the “casting” (pun intended) of a vision greater than just fishing for fish — a call greater than any other call they had received — and it wasn’t a call to just be a good person — it was more
“I will send you out to fish for people” is a strong metaphor and one that would have moved these Galilean men
Quick OT survey reveals that fishing was a common analogy used by the prophets — in the OT this analogy was almost always used as a metaphor to speak about judgment
Jesus calls these men to join him — to be a part of His mission to rescue people from the Judgment that is coming — Jesus ushered in the last days and the mission is urgent because there are people who need rescued from what is coming
The OT also spoke about the water or the sea as a symbol of evil or loss — definitely chaos
From such waters people need to be rescued
So picture this — with the sea as a background — Jesus calls these two men to become fishers of men — to fish out people from the the sea of chaos — to rescue them from the kingdom of darkness
It is this background and metaphor that these men answered the call — urgently — at once — immediately they said “when do we leave”
Mark 1:19–20 TNIV
19 When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. 20 Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.
James and John had a bigger operation — they have a boat and hired men
Mark wants us to see the urgency with which they followed — they left their father in the boat
Peter — Andrew — James — and John all walked away from their way of life to join Jesus in a new way of life

YOU: So as a follower of Jesus, you have to ask yourself, “Is there an urgency in my life to go fishing for people?” If not, why?

Eating at a restaurant in Sterling, IL — man began to choke — amazing how quickly people (minding their own business trying to enjoy their meal) jumped up to rescue the man choking
When a child is having trouble swimming in a pool — every drops what they are doing and jumps in to rescue the troubled child
Getting a call from Kyle that Lauren rolled her car — I jumped up — dropped everything and ran
When someone senses the urgency to save a life — they will drop everything because saving that life becomes the most important thing
What if everyone in the restaurant stayed in their seats and said, “I’m not choking — my food might get cold and it cost me $20 — they should slow down and chew better — serves him right — got himself into that trouble he needs to get himself out — what’s the urgency”
It’s not me in the pool drowning — maybe they should have been more careful — I’ll ruin my new outfit or get my hair wet
That night Lauren had an accident — we called here a couple of hours before and told her the snow was coming down good and she needed to head home — she argued with us — do you think the first thing I thought was — “serves her right — if she would have listened she wouldn’t be in this trouble” -
No because rescuing her was more urgent than judging her
Here is what you have to ask yourself this morning — “Am I following Jesus to be a better person or am I following Jesus to help with His mission?”
Want to know what I think — and I think this because it can be me?
I think we would rather work at being good than being holy — being good seems easier than being set apart — I’m in control of my behavior but set apart mean Jesus is calling the shots — being good might make me uncomfortable but being holy will cost me my life - We are too attached to our own lives — imagine what these disciples walked away from so they could follow Jesus

Jesus is calling you to follow because someone’s life depends on it.

Will you answer the call?
Will you drop your nets and follow — that means will you repent — turn away from all you thought important and begin to see that all of life is about rescuing others from judgment — the powers of darkness
Will you walk away from dreams and personal wants to join the mission?
Will you open your time, talents, and treasure to the mission of God to seek and save the lost
This is a radical change — it was radical for these men
But imagine what might happen if we all answer the callnot to just be good but to be set apart for a higher purpose than just going to work — making money — buying things — saving for retirement — being happy
What if you could begin to see your family — your work — your money — your time — your recreation — your homes as a way to invite those who are far from God to come close to God
Imagine how you might change — your family might change — your neighborhood — your community — your world
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