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Focused on the Gospel – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz
The Truth Network Radio
February 4, 2022 3:55 pm

Focused on the Gospel – Part 1

Living in the Light / Anne Graham Lotz

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Here's and grandma's house scare.

I wonder if like me you need an enlarged heart for the gospel. Thank you for joining us for living in the light with and grandma today and will be taking us to Romans chapter 1 for her insightful message titled focus on the gospel will be reviewing the three unique and important characteristics of needing a large heart for the gospel. This is a hard she has long yearned for, and wants you to as well to take a listen. I was and with today's message. 11. We all can tell you where we were.

I was at home and my daughter called turn on the TV and got to see the first plane) and the second plane. I watched it hit and then the first tower imploded in the second and I remember putting my hand over my face and wanting to cry out, let me know God, know you want to stop it because I knew I was watching on my television screen people stepping into eternity and wondered. Are they stepping into eternity, but they're not ready to meet God and are they not ready to meet God because people like me haven't shared the gospel with the impact of 9/11 on me was that I fell on my knees and made a recommitment to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and then we fast-forward to Afghanistan and you've seen the pictures coming out of Afghanistan in one picture that's almost as indelibly impressed on my mind as the trade towers coming down with that picture of the hundreds of people running across the tarmac, clinging to the evacuation plan climbing into the wheel wells. When the plane took off the people were dropping down to their desk and I thought that's a picture people desperate to be say and then it's like the spirit just whispered and their people all over the world who are desperate to be say, not just physical salvation but spiritual salvation so I got on my knees again and I recommitted my recommitment to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Years ago I was teaching my Bible class I wasn't traveling I wasn't on the roads. I wasn't out there. You know I got a call from the missions organization a great one actually international and they asked if I would give the keynote address at their annual convention and it was such a random invitation.

I asked him why did you ask me, and they said well we know you have a heart for the gospel and when I hung up the phone. Thought about that. They don't know me what they say I have a heart for the gospel and then I thought, you know, it's because I'm Billy Graham's daughter and that put me on Mondays and so I asked the Lord to show me if I had a heart for the gospel and what he showed me is that yes I have a heart for the gospel, but it was too small and so I prayed that he would enlarge my heart for the gospel and I believe his answer that prayer to the point that now when the secular press tries to describe me. They describe me as an evangelist and I'm not. I've asked the Lord to give me that gift, but is withheld it from me, but I think what they're saying is answer that prayer that God has given me an enlarged heart for the gospel.

So what I want to ask you. I wonder if like me you need an enlarged heart for the gospel.

So if you have your Bible on your phone, your tablet, you have a hard copy like I do.

Romans chapter 1 the first 17 verses is the text for this message and their three characteristics of a heart for the gospel that I see in this text, and I'll take them one by one dog given to you heart for the gospel is conscious of God's call convinced of God's compassion confident in God's cross. The first of all heart for the gospel is conscious of God's call for times in the first seven verses, Paul refers to calling and he says in verse one Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and he describes himself as a servant, which is a beautiful picture because a servant is someone who is obedient to his master's voice and attended to his masters at every desire and submissive to his masters will doing his masters work is a beautiful picture of being call the Jews in verse six says you also are called in our first calling. Can I just lay it down our first calling is to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ to put our faith in him to serve him to obey him to love him to get to know him to bring him glory.

Years ago I went to Isaiah 6 experience were for seven days.

God is right me through the coals. You know convicted me of sin after sin of the sin in my life. I didn't know I had and I was in ministry and when he finished, and let me know he was finished, I felt just wiped out spiritually depleted, but I also had this huge sense of unworthiness.

How can I go back into ministry. When I just gone through this experience. So I asked the Lord for recall and he took me to first Corinthians 1. Nine and I put my name in it so and you're called to fellowship with Jesus Christ and I thought you know I can do that. I love the spent time with them a love to hear his voice and want to be obedient to his word. I want to be surrendered to his will and and I knew my first calling was to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So this just make that clear were called to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ for the purpose of making him known for sharing the gospel and Paul says in verse one Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, set apart for the gospel of God.

He knew what his mission was. It was to present the gospel and if you gave Paul a chance to tell you his testimony on know you know it, but Pharisee of the Pharisees zealous for the law and was right there when Stephen was stoned that holding the cloaks of those who were stoning him and and then he was so enraged and so filled with zeal and what he felt like was the protection of God's holiness in his name that he went out and he began to persecute Christians he drag them out of their homes and put them in prison and many are there are some Christians up in Damascus. He got the letters from the authorities to go up to Damascus and arrest the Christians there and on the Damascus Road brilliant white light and you heard a voice out of heaven saying this is acts 26 Saul sign, you know solace Paul before conversion same guy Saul self why do you persecute me. Then I asked who are you, Lord, I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. The Lord replied not get up stand on your feet have appeared you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness so so look at that last race appoint you as a servant called the Jesus first dry and then as a witness for the purpose of sharing the gospel and making him known. So this is not point the moment.

Paul was converted he was call you converted then you're been called story of the old missionary who came home on furlough and he was standing in front of the congregation that it sent him out and supported them in. He was giving a report on what he been doing and then he said, you know, I've never been called to share the gospel as his collective gasp that goes up in order we been supporting you for you none and then is I haven't been called just commanded like the rest of you, and I think a call of God becomes a command when we hear the call with our name on it happen for me in 1974, husband and I went to Lausanne Switzerland for the International Congress on world evangelism and we heard speaker after speaker to speaker. It was a great Congress and we came home and my reaction was, you know, that was a lot of money, a lot of effort a lot of time a lot of organization put into something that would not be necessary, at least in United States. If people like me were sharing the gospel with our neighbors and I had never shared the gospel with my neighbors. So before I lost my nerve.

I picked up the phone a call my neighbors on Vibram for coffee. I came into the house and we talked about nothing for an hour because I'm just trying to work up the nerve to share the gospel in. Finally, I didn't even make a transition. I just blurted out. Why ask them to my house for coffee and share the gospel and one of them got up and hit the door. She just ran out of and the others start talking about baptism in the churches they went to.

And you know all that and I just made such a mess of it, but cannot tell you within two years, every single one of my neighbors came to faith in Jesus Christ. Two of them went on to become Christian leaders in the community so when have you heard God's call with your name on becomes a command going to all the world world between your own 2 feet.

Share the gospel of Jesus Christ.

So are you conscious of God's call always conscious of God's call. He knew what his mission was. It was to share the gospel.

He knew what his message was all, let's be clear.

Verse one verse two verse nine verse 15 verse 16 verse 17 is God's gospel. That's the message and he promised that he said in verse two the gospel he promised beforehand. You remember back in Genesis 315. I'm going to send the seed of a woman who will crush the serpent said bring you back into right relationship with their Creator is my paraphrase in all the way through the Old Testament going to send a prophet like you said to Moses, will deliver you, not from slavery but from sin go on to have Isaiah 53 that incredible passage that by his stripes we would be healed and all that was promised in the Old Testament through the prophets, Jeremiah 3131.

This is an interesting one to share with Jews when God said I'm going to give you a new covenant in Jesus the night he was betrayed, he took the cup, representing his blood.

He said this is the blood of the new covenant, God promised Jeremiah Saar message is the gospel and he promised it in verse two provided through his son in verse three, and then he proved it when he raised Jesus from the dead. In verse four Saar message is not. Politics is not programs is not philosophy is not prosperity is not equity is not equality because, listen to me you can solve the racial problem you can eliminate nuclear weapons.

You can reverse global warming. You can feed the hungry and house the homeless and clothe the naked, and eliminate abortion on demand, and redistribute wealth of the rich are so rich and the poor are so poor and listen to me, they will all go to hell and I just tell you where message is the gospel of Jesus Christ. So what is the gospel which I had time to go into it in depth, but you know it. I hope we never get over the wonder of it. John 316 that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him would not perish, he would not go to hell, but should have everlasting life in Jesus. I am the way the truth and the life. No one will listen to me. No one note you know Gentile, no Baptists, no Buddhas, no Methodists, no Muslim no one no agnostic, no atheists, no theologian, no one will come to the father except they come through me.

Acts 412 is no other name given under heaven among men. Were you be saved just to name Jesus. So in our tensile culture. In this woke society in which reliving you and I have to be guarded against compromising watering down the gospel of Jesus Christ. Not wanting to offend people. We want to be tolerant.

We want to be inclusive to the point that we have to be careful that were not speaking the truth boldly so don't let the enemy intimidate you and the sounds or even to holding back. We share the gospel with love. Certainly with cultural sensitivity with appreciation for the other person is coming from, but our message is the gospel so hard for the gospel is conscious of God's call to the person of Jesus Christ for the purpose of sharing the gospel. We know the mission is to share the gospel. We know the messages the gospel okay second characteristic heart for the gospel is convinced of God's compassion for God so loved the world this wrap your mind around. So if I can give you a big picture and all use a baseball game and simplistic, I guess, but it's the truth right so when a batter gets up to bat a baseball game of the pitcher throws in the ball and he swings the bat if he misses that strike one. Okay. And then he gets a second chance to the batter gets up to the plate and the pitcher throws in the ball he swings the bat.

He misses the second time that strike to so he gets 1/3 chance in the pitcher throws in the ball he swings the bat. He misses that strike three and another other factors in there, but three strikes and you're out right. So let me apply that the Genesis 1 to 11 the world of humanity, represented by Adam and Eve were created to know God, to fellowship with God to enjoy God to serve with God and the world of humanity, represented by Adam and Eve said we don't want what God wants.

We want what we want more than what he wants and they disobeyed God that was strike one.

He removed them from the garden.

So God gave them a second chance in Genesis chapter 6 and in Genesis chapter 6 God announced to the whole world.

I'm going to send judgment on the whole world because your thoughts and words are only evil all the time but nobody paid any attention was like nobody was except one man know who was, and God save the human race through no one but the world of humanity was destroyed in that flood that was strike to suddenly come to the third strike and in Genesis 1011 rev. The Tower of Babel the world. If humanity gathered at the plain of Shinar building tower that would reach to heaven. In essence saying were not going to come to God the way he said we can work our own way and they have and we can build our own religious system. When you come for our own good works and philosophies and needs that was strike three and God confused their languages scatter them out all over the world and it's really sore today. By the way, the descendents of those who are in such rebellion defines disobedience of the Tower of Babel are everywhere in the rebellion, defiance and disobedience against God.

But God so loved the world that he reached down and he picked up Abraham and the he worked to Abraham and his family to give us what we know is our Old Testament to give us the laws see the ceremonies and the sacrifices that teach us that were sinners, that the law we could never keep that we needed the Savior and then John the Baptist is standing beside the Jordan River and he sees Jesus of Nazareth.

Walking bindings is look there goes the Lamb of God is going to take away the sin of the world and the world was back in the game. So are you convinced that God loves the whole world, Jews and Gentiles Jews and Arabs, Israelis and Palestinians Iranians Iraqis metallic band Africans Africans. The Russians, Americans, Europeans and Asians.

God loves the whole world your God loves Israel's neighbors as much as God loves Israel but his purpose for them is different. Okay, God sent his son to die for them every bit as much as he sent his son to die for you and for me and for any Jew that's ever existed. So are you convinced that God loves the whole world. Verse seven, Paul says to all who are in Rome who are loved by God in Rome was the world so Rome was outside of the descendents of Abraham. I'm assuming that's after Pentecost. Somebody that was there, who was saved went to Rome found that a church because there were people in that Roman church you came to Christ before Paul came to Christ and that Roman church represented the world and so Paul is writing to the Roman church and he was informed about what was going on in there. He said verses seven and eight first, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you because your faith is reported all over the world. Paul heard the reports he knew what was going on. He was informed of what was happening in the Christian community. Are you and thank the Lord for services that keep us informed as to what's taking place in the community outside our Bible study outside of our church outside of our community. We want to know what's going on in the world. So how informed are you I suggest you download of the Christian broadcasting network's act and use app so you can just check the news. I think the best Christian magazine that informed you about what's going on. The world is Billy Graham evangelistic Association's magazine decision and just make sure that you are informed not just about your little niche, you know, but the world at large. The reason for that is because when were informed. It leads us to intercede and Paul says in verses 9 to 10 God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayer at all times. He prayed for the Roman church and he prayed for them because of the information he had received.

So who do you pray for your convinced of God's compassion that he loves the whole world then you will be informed about what's going on and that lead you to intercede and then you get involved. Paul is writing this letter.

He's planning a visit, and I think that's one of the wonderful things about networking because you can learn opportunities to get involved but just something strike your heart and quickens you end get involved because Paul said he was indebted verse 14. I'm obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and to the foolish. So Paul had been part of that rebellious humanity define God that he thought he was your protecting God's name and all that but actually he was defying them and coming against him.

And Jesus said your persecuting me and so then Paul when he was saved by God's grace, not by his works, not by being a Pharisee. The Pharisees and the tribe of Benjamin keeping the law and you know all like a self but he was simply saved by God's grace. He was so grateful for the grace of God in his life he felt indebted to go back to that world. If humanity and tell them how they could be saved so you feel that indebtedness to other people and not only indebtedness to the world of humanity, but indebtedness to the Jew, Gentile woman without the Jews, I would not have my Bible without the Jews, I would not have my Savior.

Oh my goodness that's a huge debt of love to repay whether they know you owe them or not known obligated with the branch that's been grafted in. We should never forget who we are, whose we are in the debt that we owe the Jewish people. So Paul was informed so that he could intercede and get involved because he was indebted indebted to the Jew indebted to humanity indebted to the Lord Jesus Christ to save them by his grace my goodness. We can't pay off that debt currently but we can lay down our lives one life would not be enough to just pay Jesus back for all that he's done for.

So we live our lives abandon the him so if you're going to have a heart for the gospel conscious of God's call convinced of God's compassion. So much so that your informed you intercede you get involved because your indebted. Lastly, your confidence in God's cross. The same power that brought forth everything into existence that had no existence in creation. The same power that brought his children out of Egypt out of slavery with a strong powerful hand and then the same power that opened up the Red Sea so they could crossover on dry ground. The same power that rollback the Jordan River so they could cross into the promised land. The same power that brought down the walls of Jericho. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead. The same power that transform solid tires into Paul the apostle, that same power is available today. It is not been depleted, diluted. There is power in the cross of Jesus Christ.

Oh yes, there is verse 16. I'm not ashamed of the gospel because it's the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes. First for the Jew, then for the Gentile apostle Paul was so faithful was to take the gospel first the Jew every county when he went to the synagogue first when they ran them out and then he went to the agenda so are you confident that there's power in the cross of Jesus Christ. The transform lives today Gentile or Jew you been listening to living in the light and when you go to Engram there are free resources to help you in your study of God's word and his desire is that you embrace a God filled life step-by-step choice by choice living in the light

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