1. It is probably the most well known Bible verse in the world. It has probably been preached on more by the greatest evangelist of modern times, Billy Graham, than any other single verse. Of course, I am referring to John 3:16. There may be some of you who do not know it, so here is what it says,
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16, NASB)
2. I want you particularly to pay attention to three key words in this verse, because these three words actually form the basis of everything we are going to be talking about over the next two weeks. The first is the word "God". The second is the word "loved" and the third is the word "world." If you want to know why God is a mission-minded God and if you want to know why we ought to be a mission-minded church and if you want to know why every Christian should be a mission minded Christian, it is summed up in those three words.
3. If we love God, then we will love what God loves and God loves the world. God loves everyone in this world whether they love Him back or not. The reason why we are going to be putting such a strong emphasis on the word "mission" over the next two weeks is very simple. If God loved this world enough to give His Son, we ought to love this world enough to give ourselves.
4. As I have said to you before, God wants you to have a ministry in the church, but He also wants you to have a mission in the world. The difference is ministry is serving Christ primarily for believers; mission is sharing Christ with unbelievers. In fact, the ultimate goal of a church is to make disciples and the ultimate result of a disciple is a follower of Christ who agrees to be a missionary.
5. I know many of you are sitting there right now thinking exactly what I would have thought many years ago, "Me-A-Missionary?" The reason why evangelism and missions must be in your heart is because it was in the heart of Jesus. The last words that Jesus ever said before He ascended to heaven were these words,
"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth." (Acts 1:8, NASB)
When Jesus Christ left this earth He had missions on his mind. Think about it this way. Jesus came as a missionary from heaven so that He might make us missionaries for heaven. Please don't let that word "missionary" scare you. As you are going to see this morning, being a missionary does not mean that you have to give up your job. It doesn't mean you have to be seminary trained. It doesn't even mean that you have to have mission experience.
6. A question was recently asked in a survey of 1000 church attenders that shows why what I am going to talk about today is so unbelievably important. On ...
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