Volume. XXV, No. 39
Sunday, 27 March 2011


Missions - Part 2


The Priority of Evangelism and Missions

Each local church is a miniature expression of the church universal where the body of believers is united as one in Christ Jesus (Gal 3:28). The church universal is called to 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. (Matt 28:19-20) What the church universal is called by Christ to do, we are called to do as a local church. Therefore we must call ourselves to account again and again in all three aspects of life: Are we growing in the truth and spirit of our worship? Are we growing in the Biblical understanding of our teaching and edification? And are we growing in the courage and clarity and passion of our evangelism and missions? In chapter 15 of Luke, we have the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin and the prodigal son in the wider context of what comes before in chapter 14. These chapters are full of inspiration and guidance for our commitment to reach out to others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. There are three points we can learn from Luke 14 with regard to the importance of evangelism and missions.

God's Invitation to All People

According to the ‘parable of the great banquet’ in Luke 14:15–24, we read that God\'s invitation to the banquet is sent through the church indiscriminately to all people regardless of their ethnic, social and cultural origins and backgrounds. In the parable, we read that Jesus is at a banquet and one of the people sitting near him says, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God." (v.15) Our Lord takes the opportunity to tell a parable about God\'s invitation to all people to the kingdom of God.

Where do we see God’s invitation to His kingdom sent out through his servant to all indiscriminately? We read in Luke 14:23: "Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled." We do not know who will come into God’s kingdom and sit at the banquet. Our job is to invite people to come in! Until Jesus comes back, we may assume that the banquet hall is not full, but God has planned before the foundation of the world to fill it. Our Lord said, “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” (Matt 24:14) So the Great Commission that lies upon the church even now is to go out, without any favouritism or discrimination to colour or class or creed, and "compel" them as it would to come in—that is, to be urgent in our invitations and persuasions! It is also through active involvement in domestic and foreign mission work. Although some will start to make excuses and throw away their invitation and go off to their real estate (Luke 14:18) and cows (Luke 14:19) and spouses (Luke 14:20), yet we must not be discouraged or disillusioned. We must go out to find the poor and maimed and blind and lame! Beat the hedges or look under the bridges! God will have his banquet hall full for it is He that makes them to come (John 6:44, 65)! If God\'s invitation to the banquet is sent through the church indiscriminately to all people, the church should not be idle or be occupied with their own temporal business but to go out to bring the gospel to all people!

Partaking of God's Table

To enjoy the rare tastes of God\'s table, one must stop stuffing his stomach with ‘junk food’. If one goes to eat at KFC just before the banquet, the banquet dinner will not sound attractive when someone calls him with an invitation for a banquet. Some preferred land to God. Some preferred cows to God. And some preferred wives to God. And none of them will be at the eternal banquet, Jesus says. To make this point clear Jesus tells two more parables in Luke 14:25–33. We\'ve seen that the invitation goes out indiscriminately to all. Then in verse 25 crowds start to respond. "And there went great multitudes with him…" But Jesus clarifies a few things before they get very far with their excitement. He says in effect, "To enjoy the table of God, you must stop stuffing yourself with junk food."

The point of the two parables (Luke 14:15-24 and Luke 25-33) is surely something like this: The banquet hall is huge! The food is sumptuous and heavenly! The invitation to come is sent to all! But the entrance requirement is that one must be more hungry for what God serves than for what the world serves—more hungry for God than for mother or father or spouse or child or siblings or his own earthly life. Anybody who comes to the feast of God with a ‘double cheese burger’ or a chocolate bar in his back pocket will be turned away, not literally of course. It means that one must have a thirsty soul like the woman at the well (John 4). Our Lord says, "Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33) To enjoy the rare tastes of God’s table, one must stop stuffing his stomach with junk food. The taste buds of his soul must be born again. Yet only the Holy Spirit is able to make that happen (John 3:3) and make him spiritually thirsty of the gospel. Naturally man will not be interested in the things of God (Rom 3:11). Although the invitation is opened, but without the grace of God and the effectual call of the Spirit, no man would come to him athirst.

Those Having Ears Let Him Hear

When the Spirit of God effectually calls a person and regenerates him (Tit 3:5), even the greedy who lived for money and lust will accept the radical demands of God\'s invitation — his mind and knowledge will be renewed (Eph 4:23; Col 3:10). We see this in the way Luke makes the transition from chapter 14 to chapter 15. Our Lord said, “34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35 It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” Then he said in Luke 15:1: “Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him.” Christians are called to be the salt of the earth — the divine flavour of the world for they have already experienced the renewal of the taste buds of our souls through the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5) that cause them to renounce all that we have in order to eat the feast of God. Yet, there is a need to constantly examine whether if we are ‘salty’ enough. What are the ‘salty’ people? Salty people are people who have experienced such a radical and spiritually revolution in their desires that they crave the kingdom banquet of God\'s righteousness more than the temporary tastes of money or family or praise or power or scholarships or friends or anything. They will also have a genuine burden and desire to reach out to the lost and dying in the world through evangelistic outreach and domestic and foreign mission work. True. Not everybody is willing to renounce all that he has to enter the banquet of God at the invitation. Some will go away to their land, some to their oxen, some to their wives. But some will be willing — namely, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear." "He that hath ears to hear" Jesus says in verse 35, "let him hear." If one has never experienced a new birth that causes him or her to hunger more for the righteousness of God than for the rewards of the world, then every time he hears the Word of God, he ought to be praying with all his heart that God would give him ears to hear and not leave him spiritually deaf or uninterested in the Word of God. But there is encouraging news for all of us in this passage! Look at those who have accepted the invitation of Jesus and are now eating with him and hearing him (Luke 15:1a). Right after the saying ‘He that hath ears to hear, let him hear,’ we read, "Then drew near unto him all the publicans and sinners for to hear him." (Luke 15:1b) Tax collectors — the lovers of money — and sinners — which usually included prostitutes—were coming, and hearing, and as verse 2 says “eateth with them” (15:2) including Jesus. What a wonderful and marvellous transformation!

Conclusion

The banquet of the kingdom has already begun, and even those who had devoted their lives to greed, power and money have been given ears to hear and are welcome into the fellowship of Jesus. However, the gospel work cannot be done with man’s strength or power (Acts 1:8; Matt 28:18). The Spirit of the Triune God must energise the people of God. God’s people must be united in one spirit before they can serve the King to the advancement of His kingdom. The hearts of people to whom the gospel is preached must be regenerated first before they can come to Jesus Christ! May God grant us the burden to evangelise the lost through domestic and foreign mission work!

Ps Weng

 


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

Announcements
*Kitchen Rosters: Team Leader: Bro Daniel Volvricht. Next Lord’s Day: Team Leader: Bro Raymond Ang.
*Gospel Rally this evening. Please invite your family & friends.
*Summer daylight saving ends Next Lord’s Day.
*Biblical Counselling Workshop resumes next Lord’s Day.
*Hope Bookstore New Opening Hrs: 12:30 - 1:45 pm.
*Today’s Fellowship Lunch is catered. $5 per person. Children under 5 yrs old FREE.
*RPG & Daily Manna for Apr-Jun available on the literature table. Donation $1 per copy appreciated.
*Deepest Sympathy: Sis Wen Min Lau on the home-going of her maternal grandmother; & Sis Maybelline Tan of her cousin.

Looking Ahead
* Easter Family Bible Camp, 22-25 April.
*25th Anniversary Service, 29 May.
 
Praise & Thanksgiving
1. Journey mercies: Rev George van Buuren; Bro Joseph & Sis Chrisanthi  Selvanayagam & family; Bro Peter & Sis Mary Ting & family; Mr Clarence & Mrs Amy Ang (Adl); Bros Youwen Yeap & Simon Yeo; Sis Peng Ha Yeo (Adl); Bro Jason & Sis Tabitha Tan; Mr Lawrence & Mrs Linda Tan (Syd/Adl); Dn Mark & Mrs Helen Heah (S’pore); & safety for other travellers.
2. Church activities - over the past week.
3. Session Meeting last Lord’s Day.
4. Working Bees - those who came to help.
5. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
6. Discharge from hosp: Sis Susan Varadi

Prayer Items
1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Preacher Zhang, Dn Yaw Chiew Tan; Bros Colin Creaser;  Elton Law, & Len Pearson; Mr Swee Liang Ng; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Auntie Oei; Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth, Myung Ki, Choon Fong Lee (KL), Gillian Ong (Bris), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Margaret Pearson, Irena Kurek-Braden & Susan Varadi; & others in affliction.
2. Cambodia Missions - Khmer pastors & families.
3. Laos Missions - Bro Surish Dharmalingam & Ministry
4. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa (Filadelfia Church).
5. iSketch&Tell Studio - Pr H S Lim & ministry.
6. IBPFM (USA) - Rev K Coleman, Board & Missionaries around the world.
7. Ministry in London - Ps & Sis Ki.
8. Presbyterian Missionary Union - Missionaries.
9. Ps & Sis  Weng - ministry in Hope BPC.
10. Hopefuls in S’pore; In Kuching: Teo family.
11. Journey mercies: Mr Lawrence & Mrs Linda Tan (S’pore); Bro John (Per) & Sis Josephine Wong & Stephen (Adl); & others who are travelling.
12. Job - Bro Raymond Ang; Sisters Clara Sim & Corinne Teng.
13. The Horenung’s ministry in The Philippines.
14. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin & Korean.
15. God’s comfort -  Sisters Wen Min Lau & Maybelline Tan; & others in grief.
16.  Street-Evangelism - Protection of participants & Salvation of those who received Gospel tracts.  
17. Disasters in Japan & New Zealand - victims & families. Repentance & Salvation of people there.
18. Sunday School teachers - help with preparation
19. Gospel Rally this evening - Speaker: Bro Jason Tan; organisers, participants & Salvation of souls.

 

 

 

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PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063