Mission

Mission

Scripture: 1 Peter 3:15, Matthew 28:19-20, Revelation 14:6-12
Date: 06/27/2009  Lesson: 13
The mission to preach the gospel to the whole world is at the heart of Christianity.

Evangelism by Ellen White

Evangelism by Ellen White
NOTE: If you have a Bible question for Pastor Doug Batchelor or the Amazing Facts Bible answer team, please submit it by clicking here. Due to staff size, we are unable to answer Bible questions posted in the comments.

Please note: Approved comments do not constitute an endorsement by the ministry of Amazing Facts or Pastor Doug Batchelor. This website allows dissenting comments and beliefs, but our comment sections are not a forum for ongoing debate. Please be civil to one another.


Good morning. Welcome and Happy Sabbath. I want to especially invite-- or welcome our visitors that are joining us. We checked earlier and there are people joining us from all across the United States this morning. A very special welcome to also our regular members here.

And a very special welcome to you that are joining us from across the country and around the world here on this Sabbath morning to study with us. Our first song we're gonna sing this morning is hymn number 516, "all the way my Savior leads me." And this comes as a request from brian, carmetta, Karen, joy, keisha and wenthon in the bahamas, marie in belize, brentnol and marilyn in the british virgin islands, jerome carlo in California, marielle and dennis in Canada, beryl in england, jim, dianne, jamie and buffy in florida, deonne, jacqueline, wilfred and Karen in grenada, salomi in ireland, shavanie, jennifer, anneice, norma and clinton in jamaica, joyann and beth in New York, joy in nigeria, jorgan in norway, robin, reggie, grace in the Philippines, herman in st. Lucia, henroy in Texas and snedia siafwa in zambia. Hymn number 516, and we'll sing all 3 verses. [Music] If you have a special song you would like to sing with us out of our hymnal on a coming Sabbath, I invite you to go to our website at saccentral.

org. And there you can click on the "contact us" link. And you can request any song in our hymnal. And we'd love to sing that with you on a coming Sabbath. Our next song is hymn number 246, "worthy, worthy is the lamb.

" And we'll be singing all three verses. This comes as a request from danica and nomagugu in australia, lane and John in england, carol in florida, jim, dianne, jamie and buffy in florida, the parson family in Maryland, ali and faith in North Carolina, shiferaw in the netherlands, charlette in the Philippines, and sharon in Washington. Hymn number 246. [Music] Let's pray. Our kind, Heavenly Father, we thank you so much for the opportunity and the privilege and the honor to come before you on your holy Sabbath day to worship you in a very special way.

You are worthy. You are holy. And we come before you humbled that you love us so much that you were willing to give up everything to die for us. We ask you to please be with Pastor Doug today as he brings us Your Words of wisdom and Your Words of comfort and joy and strength. Please help us to take them to heart and take them as we leave this place to be shining lights for you to a cold, dark world, to let them know that you are coming soon and that you want to and have redeemed them, if we will only give our lives to you.

Lord, keep us faithful to the very end. I pray these things in the name of Jesus because he is worthy. Amen. Our lesson study will be brought to us this morning by Pastor Doug Batchelor, senior pastor here at Sacramento central. Thank you very much to our singers, jessica and debbie, jolyne, appreciate it.

And I want to welcome each of you here at Sacramento central. And welcome our friends who are watching from all over the place. It's always fun to hear the names of the people from every corner of the globe who are studying with us for our Sabbath school time. We are right now in our last lesson in this quarterly dealing with "the Christian life." And we'll get to that in just a moment, but I just want to introduce what we will be studying in the next quarter. For our class here at Sacramento central, following the study today, we have some lessons we'll distribute, if you don't have one yet.

But we're going to look forward to studying the epistles of John. It's called, "loved and loving: John's epistles." And so I just wanted to announce that. For those who are here at the class today, you might be wondering, "Pastor Doug, that's not for another 3 or 4 weeks." It's because here at central church we study--we live in the future--we study 3 weeks in advance, so that we can get these Sabbath school studies edited, get the closed captioning imbedded and sent out to the various networks so it's broadcast on the same day the world church is studying the lesson. Today's lesson is the last one in "the Christian life." Before we get to that, I've been taking a little time at the beginning of each class. And of course we always have a free offer.

The free offer today is "the Holy Spirit; the need." This is a cd I believe. It's called, "the Holy Spirit; the need." It's offer--oh no, it's a book, I'm sorry--offer number 155. And we'll be happy to send that to anybody who calls the toll-free number. It's 866-788-3966. And we'll send you that just for asking.

We've been talking about the year of evangelism. And we're already getting some exciting reports of how the first half of this year--we're right now about half way through the year--the evangelistic statistics for baptism are above what they were at this time last year. The church is growing because we're actively involved in evangelism. Now the lesson today deals with missions, so I thought it's very appropriate that we talk about that. What do you think is, at least in North America, probably all the world, the most effective means of having people come into the church to accept Christ? Public evangelism, that is often connected with personal contact.

Public evangelism is one of the most successful ways-- well let me just, I'm gonna take a risk here. If we've got a free camera, those who are directing, prepare yourself. I'm not sure what the answer's gonna be. How many here, by show of hands, would say either you or your family came into the church as a result of some public evangelistic meeting? Let me see your hands? Oh okay. Well, that's a pretty good showing.

Be interesting to find out what all the other things were. I'm sure with some it was literature. Or it may have been a media broadcast. It might have been a call porter-- guess that's literature-- that came by the house. Or a family, personal contact that's studied.

But a lot of folks, as we just saw, came into the church 'cause they were invited to a public meeting. What do you think the best advertising is for a public evangelistic campaign? Personal contact. Somebody invited them. What do you think the second most-effective advertising technique is? A handbill, a mailer. That's right.

We've done this for Amazing Facts; we've got our black belt in public evangelism, so we've done--we got a team that are doing--we do scores and scores of evangelistic meetings every year. And so, you know, things sometimes, trends change. But we still find the most effective way to get people to come to a meeting, first of all somebody they knew encouraged and invited 'em. They often hand them a handbill. Or they received a flyer, a handbill in the mail.

We've tried different things. We've put them in newspaper sale things. We've had them hung on doorknobs. I mean there's a lot of ways to get the information about the meeting out. But just general mailing is the way.

And something else, if churches are listening now, and know a lot of churches are planning evangelistic meetings for this fall, you don't want the handbill going out too far in advance of your meeting. Just a few little tips here. I've learned the hard way. You send your handbill out three weeks ahead of the meeting, by the time your meeting's begun, they've forgotten about it. In America, people--we live in the age of fast food.

People think about what we're doing ten minutes from now. They don't think that far ahead. Usually if your meeting begins on a Friday night, or Saturday night, we have the handbill go out that Monday before the meetings begin. Why? If you have it go out a week or so before, people often bring it to church, their church and they'll show their pastor, and say, "what do you think?" And no pastor wants his church members going to a prophecy study at another church might be putting on. Sometimes unfortunately churches are a little exclusive that way.

And so we want people to be open about it. And we send them out on a Monday. Where should you start a public evangelistic meeting? Well, if your church has a good reputation in your community, start in your church. That's where you ultimately want them to come. If you're in a place where there's a little more resistance, or you might start in a neutral venue to begin.

Once they see you're normal and nice people and you're using the Bible, then you can transition into the church. And so that just depends from town to town. So just a few thoughts about public evangelism. Your handbill, it's important that it says on the handbill two or three times that these meetings are free. It's important in the handbill that you explain you have something for the children.

If you want young families to come to your meeting, let them know that you've got a safe program for the children. And that's how--sometimes we've had families come. And they said, "look, I'm just looking for anyone to watch my kids for an hour. I don't care what you're talking about! And so I'll come and sit if you'll just watch my kids." And so make sure that you mention that and they know that it's gonna be a safe program. Give clear directions in the handbill to where the meeting are-- tell the times and the days two or three times.

Do not print all of your subjects in advance, telling what days you're gonna talk about what subjects, 'cause some people will pick through. They'll say, "well, I'm not coming the first night, 'cause I just want to hear about the Mark of the beast. That's when I'll come." Tell them what subjects you're to cover, but don't tell 'em when. Say, "these meetings we'll talk about second coming of Jesus, the Mark of the beast, angels," and you know all these hot topics people--666, tell 'em. "We're gonna talk about all these things.

" Don't tell 'em when. Just one night at a time. Say, "now tomorrow, don't miss it because we're talking about such and such." Gotta keep people coming. And so there's a lot of very important psychology that goes into the planning of a good handbill. Best thing though is to give the handbills to the members and have the members then invite their friends.

And it's personal contact is the most successful means. So we've just been taking a little time each week, almost every week, in talking a little bit about some of the nuances of doing mission work and evangelism. Alright, "mission," that's our subject. We're on lesson 13 in our quarterly. We've been studying about "the Christian life.

" And based on a number of passages, we have a memory verse. And it's 1 Peter 3:15. I'd invite you to say this with me. In our lesson, it's in the new international version. Are you ready? "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, but do this with gentleness and respect.

" Now that kind of throws me, 'cause I've got it memorized in the King James version. But the idea is we should be prepared. "Be ready always to give an answer to anyone that asks the reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear." You want to be ready to explain why you believe what you believe. What's the best way to be prepared to share your faith? Huh, read your Bible. But I'll tell you what the best way is.

Get involved in Bible studies. If I've learned any Scripture, it's almost always been in the context of someone asking me what I believe, and I didn't know where the answer was. I had to find the answer. Then you remember the answer. If you just sit through an evangelistic series and you accept the message and you don't get involved in sharing it with other people, then you're gonna forget.

Quickest way--well, they say-- I forget what the statistics are, but this is rough. You remember 20% of what you hear. You remember 20-30% of what you hear and read. You remember 50% of what you hear, read and write down. Have you ever noticed when you write something down you remember more of it? You remember about 80% of what you hear, read, write down and speak.

If you share it with someone else, you'll really start to remember it. And so that's one reason, when we do evangelistic meetings, we almost always put a lesson in people's hands. We put--we use screens. I was using--the Revelation seminar, I put slides to the Revelation seminar years ago. And I'm talking 25-30 years ago.

And I found that those who accepted and understand the message, the percentages went up. You know there is a math that you can study in evangelism. Your opening-night, non-Christian attendance you should baptize 10% or 15% of that number. That's just a--now it varies depending on how big the community is, what state you might be in. If you're in the Bible belt, if you're overseas; it's much different.

So, but in North America, that's a statistic that gives you some idea. We found that if you use slides with the Scriptures to reinforce the Bibles in their hands, put Bibles in their hands, make them do a lesson. That means they go home at night. You present the subject. Let's say you're gonna talk about, "what does the Bible say happens when you die?" They go home at night; you give 'em a lesson on that.

After you've studied it, give them the lesson. They then do the lesson. They have reinforced now by seeing in their own Bible that this is biblical, 'cause they gotta fill in--in order to fill in the Scripture, they gotta read it in their Bible. And then you come back and I usually would review it or go over it again sometimes in Bible questions. And so they're getting everything auditory, hearing.

They're seeing it. They're reading it. And the retention of those truths is so much more. Now here's the best part of all. When they're done, they got a notebook that has all or 24 lessons.

They then can take that, that's been ingrained in them, the truth while it's fresh, send them out and get them involved in sharing Bible studies. You know who the best evangelists are? New converts are your best missionaries. After Philip finds Jesus, he immediately has to tell someone else. He goes and he tells nathaniel. After andrew finds Jesus, he immediately goes and he tells his brother.

When people learn something, they're excited and they want to pass it on. When they learn something exciting that's changed their life, they want to tell other people. You know something we've seen happen here at central church in the years that we've been here, which September will be years. Got a lot of new people that have come in through public evangelism during that time. They then have gone on and become soul-winners.

And in some cases, they're head-elders or pastoring churches now. We've got right here in Sacramento, someone who came into the church here. They came through a series of meetings. They went to school. And now they're pastoring a local church here in town.

And they're sharing. The new people are sometimes the most enthusiastic. Now, I envy people who have been raised in Christian families, that have that heritage. They don't have all the scars that you get in your mind from the corrupted thinking of the world if you grow up in that environment. And I envy that, what it would be like to grow up in a Christian home, where you regularly have family worship.

And you're not exposed to all the, you know, evil influences that you might have in a secular home. But there is sometimes an advantage--sometimes if people grow up in a nominal Christian home, they get just enough Christianity to inoculate them against the real thing. And you'll find that people who have been raised, they're second or third generation Christians, they're not as excited about the message growing up surrounded by it. They take it for granted. Whereas when people who are out there in the world thinking there's no purpose to life, and all of the sudden they learn the truth and the Gospel, they come alive and they're telling everybody.

And it's like, "how come the people in this church aren't more excited?" And that was my reaction. After I learned these things I was just like... You know. And I'd go to the church, and I'd just go, "wow! This is great! What are we gonna do? We gotta tell everybody! What's the plan?" Everybody was just sitting there, ya know. And it's like, "oh.

I don't know." You know, "what's wrong with everybody? Isn't this the most important message in the world? Isn't this the greatest news in the world?" And I was wondering why everybody was so blase about it. And that's the danger. I pray sometimes the Lord would just inject us with that new enthusiasm for the message, that we could rediscover it for ourselves and get excited about it. Everything I'm gonna study with you here dealing with mission quite frankly is not as valuable as what I'm saying right now. If we are reconverted, if we fall in love with Jesus, and we could be--find that first love again for the message, we could close the study right there.

Anything I teach you about mission will not be as effective as your being in love and enthusiastic about the message. If you've got that, all of the chastising that the pastor does, "you've gotta do mission work. Are you sharing your faith?" That's not gonna do it. That might work for a little while. You'll get out there and say, "oh, I've gotta do this.

I won't make it to heaven if I don't." Who are you thinking about? You're just thinking about yourself. The real reason to share your faith is 'cause you love the Lord. You love others. And you love yourself. But so often our approach to doing mission work is, "you're not doing what you ought to do.

" There are churches, that I won't name, that part of the criteria for them remaining members is they must go out at least once a week and knock on doors. And if they don't, you can't retain your membership, and certainly you're not saved. And so it's just--it's a responsibility as opposed to a love. It's kind of like an arranged marriage. You ever wonder how those dates are, when two parents get together two families and they say, "look, we're gonna have our son marry your daughter.

And we've set up a date for 'em. And they better love each other." Can you imagine how awkward that first date would be? "They've told us we're getting married whether we like it or not." It's a whole different approach when two people spot each other and they light up and say, "that's the person?" You don't have to tell them, "hey, it's time to call her." "It's time to call him. Gotta have relationship." When you love somebody, it's natural. You can't stop from doing it. You wanna tell.

You look for every opportunity in the conversation. Talk about Jesus. But I need to just explain some of the principles in the Bible about mission and how it is a responsibility. Some maybe just haven't thought about it. And--or we've slipped into the pattern that often happens in churches of just going along for the ride.

In the Bible, the word for mission; we talk about mission, it's from a-- that's a latin word, mission or missionary. It really, in the Bible, it's from "apostolo," which is--that's where you get the word "apostle." It means "to send out, one who is sent, one who is set apart." And by the way, you find that in the new testament about 130-- times, "apostolo," not just talking about the apostles. It talks about Jesus. Also, you know, Jesus is identified as the one sent by God. Jesus is a missionary from God.

He is the apostolo of God times in the new testament. Christ is talked about as--he had his 12 apostles, but Jesus is called the apostle of God. He was the sent of God. All of us are called to go out to others. Now is knowing about Jesus in salvation optional or is it crucial? I hear crucial.

Is it impossible to be saved unless you know about Jesus? Well? Is it possible to get to heaven without Jesus? Not possible to get to heaven without Jesus, but is it possible to get to heaven if you maybe haven't heard about Jesus? It's a rare exception, but it is possible. Are there going to be people maybe in some foreign land? I mean think about all the millions of people living in continents that never heard the name of Jesus for millennia. Were all of them ever born consigned to the lake of fire? Or does God tell us in Romans 1 there are some who through nature and through creation have learned something about the creator. They've walked in the light that God has caused to be shed on their path. Can God speak to people through angels? Has God communicated to some of these remote people through his angels? And so yes, there will be some who walked in all the light they had.

The Holy Spirit was in their heart. They have the love of God in their heart. They learned something about God, but they're rare exceptions. For the most part, how will they know unless they hear? And how will they hear unless one is sent. Preachers must be sent.

Let's look at some verses here that bear this truth out. I want to invite a couple of you to look up some verses. John 5:11-12. "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his son. He who has The Son has life; he who does not have The Son does not have life.

" But how important is it for people to have The Son? "He that has The Son has life; he that doesn't have The Son does not have life." Now as I said, there are some people who through the Holy Spirit, God--and keep in mind the Holy Spirit communicates Jesus. That's what Christ said. "He will teach you whatsoever things I have said." There are some people who have found Christ through the Spirit. And they will have life, who maybe didn't ever have a missionary come. Again, there are rare exceptions.

Alright, what's the next verse we got? What do you have, ray? Alright, let's hand you a microphone there. And someone I think I've given John 14:6. You got John 14:6? Do you have a microphone yet? Hold it up so--i gotta get the two of you together. Okay. Why don't you go ahead, ray.

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved." "No other name under heaven, given among men, by which we must be saved." Are you acquainted with the belief of universalism? The idea that, "well, God's gonna save everybody. It doesn't matter really what religion you're part of. All religions have elements of truth." Let me ask you is that true? Well, virtually all religions have some truth. But lies corrupt the truth they have. I mean, you know, there are a lot of religions that teach you should be gracious to the poor.

Is that true? You should be kind to the poor? Yeah. Does that mean because a religion or a church teaches that automatically they are the truth? Isn't it true that the devil likes to use deception? What is deception but the mixing of truth and error? And if you take perfectly good orange juice, and it's .% Good, pure, and you put in 1% strychnine, is it good orange juice? Well, it's got some good orange juice in it, but is it safe or is it deadly? And so this idea that the devil has made very popular that all rivers lead to the ocean. And your path--i mean I heard--I've heard some very famous people on tv say, "well, you know, it doesn't matter what you believe. All these religions have God, and they all lead to heaven." And that sounds really good. It's not true.

Like I said, there may be rare exceptions of people like naaman, who God spoke to him through a little maid. And he found the Lord. And but even they really, he had a missionary, didn't he? That little girl was a missionary in naaman's house. And Daniel was a missionary in Nebuchadnezzar's palace. And some of these pagans that found the Lord, they even had missionaries.

But there may be rare exceptions. A lot of people are not going to have eternal life unless we cooperate with God. Now you've got people like Paul who on the road to damascus, Jesus in person confronts him, and says, "Paul, you're on your way to destruction. You're persecuting me." And Paul's first encounter was a supernatural one without a missionary. But what was the next thing that happened? Paul said, "Lord, what do you want me to do?" This is acts 9.

He said, "go into the city and I'll send somebody to tell you what to do." He said, "I'll start you out. I'm going to do, you know, do something out of the norm and speak to you directly as supernatural vision. But then I'm gonna use a missionary. And he sends in ananias to Paul's house to tell him from then on what to do. He uses missionaries.

Have you heard stories before of missionaries that go to some foreign land and they meet tribes that have already had encounters with angels? He then sends a missionary to follow up the supernatural work that God had done through his spirit and through his angels. But he uses the missionaries. You see what I'm saying? So there's a lot of people out there who, except God's people get involved, will not hear. And it is crucial that we do get involved. I've got another verse here.

John 3:16. "For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him--" so how important is it for them to hear about Jesus? There is no other name. "He that has The Son has life. He that has not The Son has not life. Nor is there salvation in any other.

" I mean the Scriptures are so clear that people need to hear about Jesus. It's not just one of many options. Like you're going down the aisle in the supermarket and you look at all the different brands of cereal there. And you say, "well, cereal's cereal, it doesn't matter which one." And that's the way some people's approach is about Christianity; it's just one of many options. No, Jesus is the only way.

Christ said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." He's not one of the ways. He is the way. It's a definite article. Now, another reason for us to be involved in mission work-- and I just alluded to this-- is that we're not alone. Does the Christian church have missionaries that work with God? A rhetorical question.

Does the devil have missionaries? Are there some people that are missionaries for the devil and they don't even know it? Does the devil have a few missionaries or a lot of missionaries? How sad that the devil has so many willing missionaries. Does the devil pay his missionaries, or are they volunteers? Most of 'em are volunteers. And God's missionaries are often so unwilling. And they want to know, "well, what's in it for me." I mean I'll be talking about that in the sermon later. Peter says, "Lord, we've left everything and followed you.

What do we get? What's in it for us?" Of course that was before Peter's thorough conversion. But when you really love the Lord, our greatest joy is just knowing that he's pleased. In this Great Controversy between good and evil, spiritual beings are watching what's happening behind the scenes. Are God's angels watching when we're out sharing? Is the Lord looking down? Can we count on God cooperating with our efforts to do the greatest work in the world? Think about it. Nothing is more important to heaven than people being saved.

Angels sing. They rejoice when someone accepts Jesus. If you are involved in being a vehicle of helping another person find Jesus, you become the means of making angels sing. If you're visiting with somebody, and they don't know Christ, and in the course of the conversation you're praying and saying, "Lord, give me an opportunity. I want to find an opening.

" I mean let's face it. You know, you don't want to just go to every stranger up on the street and sort of take 'em by the tie and say, "follow me to church." You can't do it that way. You need to be graceful. You need to reach their minds and their hearts. So you're praying.

God can see the heart; you can't. And you're saying, "Lord, provide an opportunity." God with his angels will provide providential openings. God with his spirit in the conversation will provide openings. Heaven is anxious and eager. They are desperate to enable you to be successful as a missionary, because this is the most important work to them, right? And so if you say, "Lord, I'm willing to be used--" a prayer I invite you to pray every day.

"Lord, give me opportunity today to be a witness for Jesus, to speak for Christ, to lead others to Christ. And help me recognize those opportunities through your spirit when they come." So often it's at the end of the day we realize, "oh man, I had a great opportunity and I said nothing." Pray for those opportunities. If you pray that prayer, do you think God's gonna say, "you know, I'm busy right now. Don't trouble me with witnessing." Is God gonna say, "mission work? Ah, you know, I'm kind of tired of mission work." How interested is Jesus in people being saved? Did he tell us how interested he is? Did he show us how interested he is? If Christ is first in your life, how interested should you be? Is there anything more important than people--i mean we're gonna die if the Lord doesn't come first and you get translated. And the most important thing in this life is for people to find Christ.

Number one: that they find the Lord. Number two: that they help other people find the Lord. The whole purpose of life is summed up in-- it's like breathing. You inhale; you accept the Lord. You exhale; you share him.

Your heart is beating. It takes blood in; it pushes blood out. The Christian life is summed up in coming to God; the cross going this way, going for God; the cross going this way. That's the whole story. Everything else in life is secondary to those great themes of we are continually, every day, give yourself to God.

You come to God. And then you go for God. Great invitation. Jesus says, "come unto me." That's inhaling. Great commission, "go ye therefore.

" That's exhaling. That is the great purpose of life. It doesn't matter what your gifts are. It doesn't matter what your calling in life is. If you are a Christian--even if you're not a Christian, that's where you need to go.

Accepting God and going for God. Isn't that right? That doesn't mean everybody is a missionary, even that you traveled to some distant mission field. Everybody's a missionary. And it often starts right where you are, and we'll get to that in just a moment here. I was gonna read you some verses; Matthew 10:32-33.

And Jesus said, "therefore whoever confesses me before men, him will I confess before my father who is in heaven. But whoever denies me before men, him I will also deny before my father who is in heaven." Angels are interested, and they're listening. You know, when I read this verse here about if we confess God before men, God will confess our name before the angels in heaven, this is what you see happening in the book of job. Here God is saying in the presence of The Sons of God and the angels, "have you considered my servant job? There's none like him in the earth, an upright man, one that fears God and hates evil." And he's saying this in the presence of not only good angels, and the presence of the devil and bad angels. God is bragging about you.

Now if that's true, if angels are watching how the profess followers of God are behaving here, and God is cheering for us when we succeed, what's happening when we are indifferent to the lost? Who's angels are cheering? Instead of God saying, "have you considered my servant job?" The devil is going before the Lord, and he's pointing-- remember the devil pointing at the dirty garments of the high priest? And he points at the--he's the accuser of the brethren. He's pointing at the inconsistency and the hypocrisy of God's professed children. "They don't care about you. They don't care about the lost. Look at them.

They're so preoccupied with this world. Missionaries, ha!" That's what the devil's doing. Now am I making that up, or do you think that's true? I think the Bible bears that out that he's the accuser of the brethren. So, in our lives every day, we are giving either God's angels or the devil's angels an opportunity to rejoice. Who are you inspiring to rejoice? Is this real? Is this happening around us? It's absolutely real.

Peter 1:12, "to them it was revealed, not to themselves, but to us, that they were ministering the things that now have been reported to you through those who have preached the Gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things which angels desire to look into." Angels desire to look into these things. Alright, someone look up for me, please, 1 Corinthians 4:9, another--this is just another point. You got that David, microphone? You have the mic? Go ahead and read that for me. "For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men." Thank you very much. By the way, les, I'm sorry I called you David.

I told you I got glasses problem here. "We have been made a spectacle to the world, both angels and men." Now we kinda can tell the world's watching, but do you know angels are watching? Ephesians 3:9-10, "and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ; in the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places." What? Did you catch that? "To the intent now that the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in heavenly places." The church, that are us, through preaching the Gospel, is making known to principalities and powers in heavenly places. Angels desire to look into the things that are happening here on earth. Isn't that incredible? This world is a theater of the universe right now. This world is a stage on which the Great Controversy is being enacted.

And all of us, ready or not, you're actors in the drama. And our hearts are the battleground on which it is being fought. So we have a will to exercise every day to choose God and to do his will, or to choose to capitulate to the enemy. Revelation 14:6 and I'm gonna read through 12. You know this of course, the "three angels" message is a core belief in our church.

This is the last message that goes to the world before the end comes. Matter of fact, you read in Revelation 14, after these messages go to the world, it says, "I looked and behold one like The Son of man sat on the clouds." Jesus is seen coming in the clouds after these messages go to the world. Here it is Revelation 14:6, "then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel--" has the Gospel changed from the new testament to the old testament? The fundamentals of the Gospel are the same. We are saved by grace through faith. People in the old testament were not saved by works, and we're now saved by faith.

They were all saved by faith in the cross; we are all saved by faith in cross. They look forward to the cross. The lambs they sacrificed were all looking forward to the cross. Things are a little different now in that we are looking back at the cross and we know that it's true. But everyone is saved by grace.

We're saved by faith. And that's the everlasting Gospel. "To preach to those that dwell on the earth: to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people." Now this is very important. You realize when John wrote this, there was still a little bit of--you've heard of anti-semitism. I don't know what the word would be, anti-gentilism? But in the way that some people are anti-semitic, they're against the Jewish nation, there are some jews that were anti-gentile back in the time of Christ.

They thought that the gentiles were all dogs. They're all lost. They're all wicked. They're all pagans. And we are the chosen people.

And they had this very exclusive attitude. Jesus had to really work on 'em to get them to know, yes, during his life in the first /2 years, the Gospel was to go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. But from the time of stephen's stoning on, the Gospel was to go to "every nation, tribe, tongue and people." Now has the Lord retracted that since then? Or is it still true the Gospel is to go to every nation, tribe, tongue and people? I was reading somewhere here in the lesson where it was telling us about the places. Our church right now is working in over--i think there's like countries in the world, it changes every now and then-- but our church is working in over 200. There are several countries we do not have an official work in.

Some of those are north korea, saudi arabia, syria, yemen. And there's a number of other small countries with less than a million inhabitants. But we are right now going into all the world. And those countries where we don't have an official work, sometimes there's an unofficial work. Amazing Facts has a work going on in china, but we can't say much about it.

And here I am on tv talking about it. But a lot of ministries do, the chinese know that. There's a lot of mission work going on in china right now. And I'm praying for the day when they will officially open up their country to the free proclamation of religion and the Gospel. And you want to be ready when that happens.

Like in the 1990s, when the iron curtain fell, all of the sudden it's like the floodgates had broken. And missionaries from every denomination and all different religions that had not been allowed in russia, they came pouring in. It was like a dam had broken. And Karen and I were part of that wave. We went in '93, and we were the first to conduct meetings in this town, from our church anyway, in stavropol, ,000 people.

No, it was more than that. It was like 800,000 people. No, wait there's millions in stavropol. I forget, the region we were in had millions of people. And there had been no evangelistic meeting.

We had one of the first public meetings where we could advertise. And just a wave of people came in. And we weren't prepared for the need. And the call went out. I remember from the general conference they said, "we need pastors who are willing to go right now.

" And so everybody dropped everything. And pastors and layman went. And evangelistic materials were--it was like world war ii where they had to make 100 airplanes a day. I mean they were just cranking out evangelistic materials as fast as they could to put them in the hands of these missionaries, both pastors and untrained layman to go do a mission, evangelistic meeting. And just imagine what it'll be like when that happens in china.

And I believe it will happen. I'm getting off my subject a little bit, but this is important. You follow the track of the Gospel. It seems to follow the sun. Have you noticed that-- starts of course in Israel.

And it begins to spread through the roman empire, which was largely west of Israel. And it makes its way up through europe. Eventually it goes to rome there and they started moving the headquarters there. And then over the ages, it went on into germany. And it went to spain.

It went to France. And the Gospel then went to england, had a big revival there. And it crossed the ocean, wesley and whitfield came over here as missionaries first. A great revival there with jonathan edwards, the east coast. Moved to the west.

Has been making its way through the pacific, gone to africa. And you know, one of the big holdouts is the far east right now, china. And I think before Jesus comes, that the resistance, the walls are gonna drop, country with the biggest wall in the world, right? The walls are gonna drop and the Gospel is gonna go freely through that country. In india right now the Gospel is spreading widely. So these three angels messages, and you'll have to read them all there in Revelation 14.

I want to read from the book, "life sketches," page 429. "The angels are represented as flying in the midst of heaven, proclaiming to the world a message of warning and having a direct bearing upon the people in the last days of this earth's history. No one hears the voice of these angels, for they are a symbol to represent the people of God who are working in harmony with the universe of heaven, men and women enlightened by the Spirit of God and sanctified through the truth proclaim the three messages in their order." These messages are to be given in their order. Now I like to emphasize also at this point, it said, "men and women enlightened by the Spirit of God and sanctified through the truth." We've had a lot of evangelists connected with Amazing Facts. We have a team of full-time evangelists.

We have afcoe and evangelism training center where we have layman pastors and laymen come together and do specific evangelistic training. There's short program, long program. But something I've observed is there is no substitute for sincerity. And when they go out and they do evangelistic meetings, some are more trained and educated than others. Some are more eloquent than others.

Some are more dignified and refined than others. You know what I mean. Some people are very eloquent. They're very dignified. They dress right.

They move right. They're good public speakers. But when you stand back and you look at the success over time, two of the most important factors I've seen in successful mission work and evangelism: sincerity--they believe the message. They want to live the message. Their lives are holy-- and enthusiasm.

There is no substitute for sincerity and enthusiasm. And sometimes we have known some who have been a little rough around the edges, and their grammar is not right. And they may get--the tie knot is halfway down here. And they, you know, they just look a little bit rough and disheveled or something like that. But they just love the Lord.

And the people sense that. People also sense when you're a fraud. They sense when you're just trying to put on. And you're polished. And you like an audience to listen to you.

And let's face it; there are evangelists out there that are more interested in how they look than how God looks. But when people are really converted by the message, there's no substitute for that. People will sense that. You exude sincerity when you have it in your heart. That's what's gonna make the Gospel really take off is when people know that you're for real.

Mark 16:15, "and he said to them, 'go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.'" It's not even talking about "nation, tribe." It sounds like you're gonna preach to the cows and the lizards, "to every creature." By the way, here it's talking about people when it says "every creature." Some people say every creature is good, nothing should be refused, meaning you can eat anything. Well, that would mean you're eating the ones you're preaching to here. "Preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved." Now how important is preaching Christ here? "He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned," lost. "And these signs--" this is something that Matthew--mark says that Matthew doesn't say-- "these signs will follow those who believe: in my name they'll cast out devils; they'll speak with new tongues; they'll take up serpents.

" Now that doesn't mean you go around and take up serpents. Remember when Paul got bit by a serpent? It says he took it up, meaning it was fastened on him. Shook it off in the fire and he didn't die, if you get bit by a snake. Some of these churches that go out and grabbing snakes, that's not God's plan. "They'll take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will by no means hurt them," meaning some may try to poison you.

But God'll preserve your life. And I'm sure that happened too. "They'll lay hands on the sick, and they'll recover." So Christ, in the Gospel of Mark, he emphasizes the power and the signs and wonders that would follow the apostles. And by the way, with the exception of the poisoning, all of these other things were seen through the ministry of the apostles. I believe they'll be seen again in the end.

Alright, let's go ahead now with Matthew 28, verse-- what did I say--19-20? "Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father and of The Son and of the holy ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world." "Amen." Go everywhere and teach. Now is this a message that was just given to the apostles, the 12, or is this a message really for every believer? Every believer is given this great commission to go and to teach where all nations. Now I want you to notice also, what does it mean to teach? It comes from the Greek word, "matheteuo," which means, "to become a pupil, to disciple, to enroll as a scholar, to instruct." "Go ye therefore and teach." Now the reason I want to emphasize this is sometimes we just--it's all emotional, the Gospel. You've seen this. You'll see an evangelistic meeting where they just tell a heart-wrenching story, and say, "if you want to be saved, just come to the front.

" And I believe God saves people in those meetings, but it's not built on the foundation of instruction. The great commission is about teaching people. You are the sum total of what you've learned over your life. And so if you're gonna be a Christian, you gotta learn new things. The Bible says in Isaiah 1, "learn to do good; cease to do evil.

" That means if you're gonna cease to do evil, you need to learn to do good. There's instruction. And there's also a rush to baptize people before they're ready. You know, I read about the history of the Christian church and especially during the protestant reformation, a person really was scrutinized before they were baptized. I remember when I joined the church.

They paraded everyone getting baptized up on the front steps. And they'd read through all of the baptismal vows and you had to say in front of the witnesses of the church, "I believe it. I believe it. I believe it." You remember that? How many of you remember those days? They still do that in some churches. We go over those things here at central, every one of 'em with everybody.

Matter of fact, we go over them with people transferring in, which some people think that that's sort of an insult. But these days, I don't think it's a bad idea. We want to make sure when they transfer in here, we got a right to ask, "do you still believe the fundamentals?" And so anybody transferring in, we go over that with 'em. But we baptize so many people here. A lot of our services would be reading through the vows.

But it's important that people be taught, that they understand. Now what we do is we say, "baptize 'em and let's hope they understand later. Let's hope they can quit smoking later." No! Big mistake, 'cause it's the power of truth that gives them the victory. And that's something that they need up front. Now is all the teaching supposed to be before baptizing, or is there more teaching afterward? You notice Jesus said, "go ye therefore, teach all nations, baptizing them, teaching them.

" So there's teaching before, and there's teaching after. And many of you here are already baptized, but we're still learning, right? How many of you, yeah, have you found that you forget things if you don't continually study them. And so it's always good. And that's why it's so good for members to be involved in an evangelistic meeting. If your churches are sponsoring a meeting, say, "oh, I already know that stuff.

" You think you know it. If someone was to put you on the spot for the Scriptures, you'd start stumbling around. It's good for the members to go through an evangelistic meeting. And I know some meetings where maybe not too many were baptized, but the church had a revival, 'cause the members were hearing it. Some of them hadn't heard it in years and they had a revival of what the message was.

And so it's very healthy for a church to be through an evangelistic meeting. We do just about one a year here at central, or at least our plant church, Granite Bay. I'm running out of time. And I didn't get to all the verses. So what's new? Hey, you know, a good one is Matthew 8:1, "but you'll receive power when the Holy Spirit is come upon you, and you will be my witnesses.

" Starting in Jerusalem, Judea, samaria, the uttermost parts of the earth. We need that power, right, of the Holy Spirit. We're out of time, friends. I apologize. We do want to remind you if you missed it; we have a free offer.

It's a book, "the Holy Spirit: the need." Offer number 155, call and ask for it. We'll send it you. That number is 866-788-3966. God bless you, until we meet again next Sabbath.

Name:

Email:

Prayer Request:


Share a Prayer Request
Name:

Email:

Bible Question:


Ask a Bible Question

Back To Top