It's my privilege at this time to introduce Corey Wilshire, and I've got to know Corey quite a bit over the past several years.
He was on staff at Mt. Orr Bible Baptist Church, which is like the great grandmother church of sending out our church. They had sent out Pastor Kelly McInerney, and then sent out Pastor Ryan, and then sent out Pastor Josh here to Zinnia, and so a long lineage there, and with all that being said, I've got to know him quite well, and these missionaries that are here this week via video or in person have a heart for the Lord, have a heart for the gospel, and they are passionate about seeing souls saved. And when I interviewed Brother Corey on the phone, I asked him, when's the last time you shared the gospel with someone? He said, as a matter of fact, it was last night. It went right through the opportunity he had to share the gospel, and just awesome to see. And when I talked to him, he was like, I don't know. He was talking about his surrender. I don't want to steal too much of his thunder, but it was through a missions conference.
So, you know, who knows? Maybe the Lord will work in your heart, someone's heart here tonight, this week, and someone will surrender to missions, but make Brother Corey feel welcome as he comes this evening. All right. Well, good evening. It is good to be at Lighthouse Baptist in Zinnia, because we, as a church, and we as believers in Christ, we ought to live as a lighthouse, because we have the light of the world in our hearts.
Amen. Well, like I said, it's good to be here, and we're going to play a video in a little bit to talk about the mission field that we are going to, but we are the Wiltshire family going to Toronto, Canada. And as Brother Braden said, yes, we did receive the call of missions at a missions conference, and we love mission conferences. They are a blessing to churches. They are a huge blessing to churches, and I know that it's going to be a blessing for you all this week as well.
But other than that, we'll go ahead and play the video, and then I'll talk more specifically about the video. Hi, my name is Corey, and my name is Cora, and we are the Wiltshire family to Canada. In March of 2021, God was working on my wife and I's life at a mission conference happening at our church for the country of Canada. It wasn't until late April that God began to work on our hearts for the country of Canada.
He confirmed in our lives through scripture and daily life events. Once we knew that it was for sure Toronto, Canada that God was calling us to, we knew that this was a calling on our lives we could not ignore anymore. We're not going to Toronto, Canada because it sounds fun or adventurous.
We're going because of the call and the burden that God has placed on our family's hearts. Ontario, Canada has a population of 14 million. In this population, Toronto holds nearly half this number, equaling to 6 million citizens. This makes Toronto the largest city in the province.
Toronto remains one of the most multicultural cities in Canada, with 47% being Caucasian and 51% being a minority race. 92% of Ontario, Canada is presumed to be lost and going to a devil's hell. This is a number that we cannot ignore as Christians, and the Christianity that is in Ontario has been tainted because of the modern day movement of making church more appealing to the world by being more accepting of sin.
Just like the United States, sin is legalized at a rampant pace. Persecution continues to rise on those who truly follow Christ, and the spiritual darkness set on Canada continues to get darker as the days go by with fear by many that Canada is on a straight path to communism. Our plan for Toronto is one that is biblical, taken out of Matthew 28.19. Our plan is to lease souls to Christ, to baptize them and disciple them.
This is the plan that our brethren in the book of Acts carried out, and it was successful because it was a plan created by our Savior, Jesus Christ. Along with following our Lord's plan, we plan to birth as many churches as possible before the Lord's return. This will create the opportunity for many Canadians to be able to attend Bible-believing Baptist churches.
In our discipling, we will be discipling the next generation of pastors, missionaries, evangelists, Sunday school teachers, bus workers, and whatever else God has in store with the intent for them to serve Him in whatever He calls them to do. We are sent out of Bible Baptist Church in Mount Oribe, Ohio. This church has a rich missions history, supporting over 65 missionaries and being known to send missionaries out as well. Bible Baptist Church is celebrating 60 years of fulfilling our Savior's great commission. Bible Baptist Church has a rich history of mentoring young men and birthing new churches. We currently support 65 plus missionary works and projects and have literally given tens of thousands of dollars to worldwide missions.
We've had the privilege of being the sending church for two missionary families and are very excited to be the sending church for the Wilcher family to Ontario, Canada. I have personally mentored and trained Cory while he has served on staff at Bible Baptist. During his tenure at Bible Baptist, Cory served as our youth director, and the department experienced wonderful growth under his leadership. Cory is a personal soul winner.
He has earned a business degree from Southern State College, and his bachelor's degree from Louisiana Baptist University. As pastor, and on behalf of the congregation of Bible Baptist Church Mount Oribe, we fully support the Wilcher family as our missionaries to Ontario, Canada. Will you prayerfully consider the Wilcher family as a part of your missionary family? Please consider praying for us as we are on the road for deputation, and please pray for the hearts of the Canadian people that they would turn their hearts to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and that we would see great things happen in the city of Toronto. Please pray for our two young daughters, Elena and Eleanor, as they begin to grow, that they would trust Christ at an early age and live life to the fullest for our Savior. We pray that God would continue to move in your church home, that God would continue to call men and women out of your churches in the ministry. We pray that God would ultimately be glorified in your church and in your community. Thank you for all that you do for the Lord, and we pray that you will partner with us to change the lives of the Canadian people.
Alrighty, thank you. But some of the statistics that you can see in the video are quite startling. First off, you can see that there are six million souls in Toronto, but 92% of them, folks, they don't know Christ as their Savior. Folks, we know as Christians, if something catastrophic were to happen in Toronto, folks, millions of souls would split the gates of hell wide open.
This is something that needs to change. This is something that ought to stir the hearts of Christians tonight. This is something that ought to stir us to compel change in a city that is spiritually dark.
And not only that, but we see that it is a spiritually dark city. We see where abortion is skyrocketing. You could get an abortion at any trimester in your pregnancy in Canada, even moments up to birth. You also see something called the MADE program, and what the MADE program is in its acronym, it stands for Medical Assistance in Dying. And what that entails, specifically, is that if you're 18 or older, and you have the wish to take your own life, the government would help you to do so.
The government would be more than happy to do so. Obviously drug addiction, pornography addiction, alcohol addiction is skyrocketing as well, and as the video said, that Canada is on a straight path for communism. And we know that things need to change.
We know that action needs to be taken in a city like Toronto. Because there are 6.2 million souls that are at stake, and Christ died for every single one of them. And so Lighthouse Baptist Church, to be plain and short, you can make an impact in those 6.2 million souls. You could be the reason why someone trusts Christ in that city. You could be the reason why a Baptist church, or many Baptist churches are established.
You could be that reason, and it's because of the grace of God that moves through us. And so you could be that reason, you could be that impact, and every believer in Lighthouse Baptist Zinnia can make that impact by making three promises to this ministry. By making these three promises to this ministry, and the first promise you can make is you can promise to pray. Folks, we need prayer. We need prayer.
Yes, we're missionaries, and yes, we get to have the opportunity to stand in the limelight on these stages, but we're in the flesh just like all of our other brothers and sisters in Christ. And Satan hates us just as much as he hates you guys serving here at Lighthouse Baptist. And so please pray that God will put a hedge of protection on us. Please pray that God will keep us safe on the road.
We traveled in a 2006 Ford Winnebago Motorhome Class C RV. It's a very old RV, so we definitely need the prayers on the road. But also please be praying for our children, as we said in the video, that they trust in Christ at an early age and live life to the fullest for him. You can promise to pray, and you can also promise to pray specifically for souls in Toronto. Although we're not on the field of Toronto yet, folks, we can still be praying for those souls right now. We could pray that God would soften those hard hearts in Toronto, and we could pray that when we sow the seed of salvation in Toronto, Canada, that that seed of salvation would germinate quickly so that we'd see the fruit of salvation bearing.
That's what we need to pray for. So you can promise to pray, and you can promise to make a pledge. You can promise to make a pledge. And what that pledge is, is that you can pledge to give to this ministry. I can remember the account in Philippians chapter 4 verse 17.
Paul, he was talking to the church of Philippi, and what he said to the church of Philippi is that he is thankful that they gave because it was fruit that abounded to their account. So, folks, when you give to missionaries, when you pledge to give to missionaries, such as the missionaries in this lovely hall that you all have for your missionaries, and missionaries that come this week for the missions conference, when you pledge to give, you have a thumbprint in that ministry. Every church that has started through those missionaries, Lighthouse Baptizinga has an account for it. Every soul that comes to know Christ as their Savior, Lighthouse Baptizinga has an account for it. You have an account when you pledge to give to this ministry.
So you can pray, and you can pledge, and you can also promise to participate. Maybe just in the short time I've been standing before you all this evening, God has been working on someone's heart for Toronto. Now I obviously just met a lot of you all this morning and this evening, and I'm excited to get to know you all for the rest of this week. But I don't know what's been happening in the days before.
I don't know what's been happening in the weeks before. But what I do know is that we have a God that does everything decently and in order. And what I do know is that maybe God has been working on someone's heart for missions for the past months, for the past year, for the past weeks, for the past days leading up to this missions conference.
Maybe you're a teenager, or maybe you're an adult, whatever it may be. If God is calling you to missions, or if God is calling you to continue serving at Lighthouse Xenia, or maybe God is calling you to Church Plant in Ohio, or anywhere in the United States, whatever it is, you can promise to participate in the Great Commission. Because folks, we know that as Christians, we're commanded to participate. We're commanded to participate in this great adventure, this great mission, and that is to evangelize us to this world and share the love of Jesus Christ. And Lighthouse Baptist Xenia, that is how you can make an impact in Toronto, Canada. And not only just Toronto, Canada, but that's how you can make an impact in this world.
By praying, by pledging, and by promising. I thank you guys this evening for the time that you have given me to share my burden, to share my heart for this needy country, for this needy city. And we have prayer cards on our table, and we love to stay connected with everyone we meet, so we give our contact information on our prayer cards. We have a Facebook, an email, our phone number, and we love to stay connected with you all because we want to also know how you guys are doing after we leave. Because we're not here just to be here, we're also here to get to know you guys. Because you truly are our brothers and sisters in Christ. You guys are our family. Like I said, we just met you all, but you guys are our family, and we want to stay connected with our family. So thank you for giving us this time this evening. There's a need, amen?
And we may not be the ones going to Toronto, Canada, but we can hold the rope for those that are going. And I just encourage everyone here tonight, get by, love on them, and that's one thing I tell the missionaries when they come in. Just be yourselves, let our church family get to know you, get the love on you. And so get by, let them know you're going to be praying for them, grab a prayer card, and just be there to hold the end of the rope for them. If you're not a part of our missions care team, I encourage you, stop by that table that's out there, see how our missions care teams care for our missionaries. And become a part of that if you have a burning desire to get involved with missions beyond just maybe praying and giving to that next level. And our missions care team, they give, they send out birthday cards, anniversary cards, they're in touch with them, they're praying for them, and our missionaries need that. And so at this time, I'm going to have Brother Lewis come and present the Word of God this evening. And if you've been blessed by him this morning, say Amen.
And so make him feel welcome. Thank you. Appreciate that. Well, I'm glad you came back.
That's encouraging. And I'm hoping it's going to be a blessing to you to be here this morning and tonight in the services that follow. Tonight I want to preach a message on some of the why about why we do what we do with missions.
Because when you know why you do something, the what gets a whole lot easier, the how gets a whole lot easier if that real solid why is there. So I want to start tonight with Psalm 67. So if you'd open your Bibles to Psalm 67, we're going to talk about the why of missions. So if you want to stand as we read God's Word tonight, we're going to read Psalm 67 starting in verse number one. God be merciful to us and bless us and cause his face to shine upon us. Selah that they the five way may be known upon the earth by saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God, that all the people praise thee. O let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for thou shalt judge the people righteously and govern the nations upon the earth. Selah that the people praise thee, O God, that all the people praise thee. Then shall the earth yield her increase and God and God even our God shall bless bless us. God shall bless us and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.
Let's pray. Father, thank you for this great Psalm and how it reveals your heart for the world. And I pray that our heart will become like your heart in reaching people around the world in Jesus name. Amen. Thank you.
May be seated. I think you could see from Psalm 67 that it has always been God's heart to reach all people in all nations. And Psalm 67 just really gives that flavor of where God is in this. And I believe that we'll see tonight and a lot of you already know this, but those of you that don't will really grasp this, that we have a biblical mandate to reach the world. Not a suggestion, not this is one of the things you may consider, but a mandate to reach the world. That's why this church is having a mission conference to really highlight that we have that mandate to reach the world. You see, the idea of missions did not originate with some pastors or with a committee or any human origin that people stood around and said, you know what we ought to do? We ought to have a missions program so we can reach the world.
No person ever thought of that. God is the one that thought of that. Jesus himself gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28 verses 19 through 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. I want you to know that every part of our missions program came from the Word of God. First, it came from the heart of God.
We have it from the words of Jesus. And then as you move with the Book of Acts, you have the plan of missions that we are involved in. God is the one that calls people to be missionaries. And we see that in Acts chapter 13.
We won't turn there tonight. But in Acts 13, God called Paul and Barnabas to be missionaries. Now, it takes a call of God because God says, this is who I want to go. I have surrendered so many times to missions because it was my idea. But it wasn't God's idea, and that's why I'm not a missionary today.
Because God had a different plan for me. God is the one that calls people to be missionaries. And that's why a quarry can stand up here and said, at this time, in this missions conferences, we felt a call of God to go do what we're going to do. Every missionary will tell you that because God is the one that puts that burden and that desire in their heart. Then we see that missionaries are sent out by the church. You saw Brother House in that video, and he says, we are the sending church.
Why do we do that? Because in the Book of Acts, the church at Antioch sent Paul and Barnabas out to be missionaries. When Paul and Barnabas left, they left to start churches. That's what missionaries are supposed to do. Unfortunately, a lot of missionaries aren't doing that anymore.
But that is the whole goal, the biblical goal. And the missionaries that stand before you are out there saying, we are building churches in some way, somehow. We are focusing on building churches. Churches supported Paul and Barnabas. So they had churches that supported them, just like this church supports missionaries. I always like Paul's phraseology when he talks about the churches that supported him. 2 Corinthians 11, 8. I robbed other churches. Don't you like that?
I think Corey could learn from that. This church probably has a safe. Offerings are in the safe.
3 a.m. is a good time, Corey. You can come by and rob the church. But he's talking about something different here. But the thing I want you to understand is, he says, other churches were giving to me. When I came to Corinth, there were other churches that were supporting me. Paul wrote letters to churches thanking them for the offering that they sent. That's what the Book of Philippians that we're going to be covering tonight is really all about. It's a thank you letter from missionary Paul to supporting church Philippi. And then Paul reported to the church at Antioch when he returned from a mission trip. Acts chapter 14, verse 26 through 28. And then sailed to Antioch from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled. And when they were come and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them. And that's what missionaries do.
I mean, Corey and Cora are getting ready to go to Canada. And I think I always like being part of a missionary just getting started. I love that when missionaries are just getting going.
And then as the years roll by and four or five years down the road, he won't come with pictures of general pictures of Toronto and just buildings and all that kind of stuff. His videos and his presentation will be filled with people, people that have been won to Christ. And he'll rehearse with you. You helped support me.
You helped me get to Canada. And look what God has done because you have given that we do that today because that's the way it was done in the book of Acts. God also gave us a good mission policy in the book of Philippians. You want to turn to the book of Philippians. We're going to be covering some things that are Philippians chapter number four. When I became pastor of Ventura Baptist Church and I saw the real need to really work on the missions program, I looked to the Word of God to say, what kind of a mission policy should our church have?
Again, this is a why message, why we do what we do. And I found in the church in Philippi a great mission policy because Paul, as he's writing this thank you letter, saying, here's the things you have done. And these things that he had done is what I want to implement in the church that I had. So the book of Philippians is a thank you letter.
Think of it in those terms. And you especially see that in the fourth chapter that we're going to be covering. You know, I walked by your hallway tonight and I looked at your missionary letters and went all the way down the hallway. I can tell you a letter that would never have been read by anybody.
Nobody would read Paul's thank you letter to the church in Philippi. You know why? It's far too long. You know, you stand there.
OK, turn the page, turn the page, turn the page. But that's what he's giving us is he's telling us here what the church in Philippi did for him. He specifically thanked the church for the offering they had sent. Philippians 4, 14, notwithstanding ye have done well that ye communicate with my affliction. He's talking about how the offering that they had brought to him that he desperately needed while he was in jail. Philippians 4, verse 16, for even in Thessalonica he sent once and again unto my necessity.
So he's talking about the money that they had sent to him. So as we go over this fourth chapter of Philippians, you're going to see a missions policy of a great supporting church. And that's what I'm going to challenge you with tonight is that this church can be a great supporting church by adopting the steps that the church in Philippi took in their missions policy. Now, let me say that this is a message to a church about a giving church to missions. This morning was a message about individuals participating in the church's missions offering. So now we're shifting gears and we're saying now this is the policy of a church and what the church is to do. So let's look at this. Step number one, give as much as you can give.
Their policy was to give as much as they could give. Look at verse number 18 of Philippians 4. But I have all and abound. I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which you sent from you, which were sent from you, an odor of sweet smelling, a sacrifice, acceptable, well pleasing to God. I love that verse.
Here's Paul. He's saying, I have all. He says, I abound. He says, I am full. He's trying to tell them I have as much as I need. Wouldn't that be great if every missionary could say that they had every single thing they needed to fulfill God's command on them?
Now, I want to be very careful to say one of the reasons that Paul could say. I abound, I have more than I need is because he learned contentment. If you haven't learned contentment, you'll never make a statement like that. But he was able to make a statement like that because he'd learned to be content. But he says, your support of me has absolutely overwhelmed me.
You have given me so much. Abundantly provide for your missionaries. This is what I learned from this for our church, that we need to abundantly provide for missionaries. You know, some churches struggle giving when it comes to missions giving. Some churches really struggle with that. People think there are so many needs in the church. How can we possibly give to missions?
How can we abundantly supply for missions? Just think of all the things Lighthouse Baptist Church could do with the extra money given to missions. I mean, pastor this morning, I was overwhelmed when he said all the communities. I don't know how many there were 12, 14 communities. I don't know how many communities you have.
It's not just seeing you. You have people coming from all over the place. The need here is great. There are so many people here and how can this church take money and give it to missionaries when so much needs to be done here? I mean, look at the staff that could be hired. Look at the ministries that could be started. Look at all the things that could be done if all that missions money were put into the church. And I'm here to tell you, I don't know how many times I have had church members tell me that, both as a pastor of my church and I've gone to other churches. In some question and answer sessions with people, they would say, I don't get this. I don't get this.
How come we're spending so much there when so much is needed here? Remember, Philippi's offering was a sacrificial offering, wasn't it? Paul said it was a sacrifice. When you gave to me, I recognized it was a sacrifice. So it was a sacrifice for the church in Philippi, just like it is a sacrifice at every church today.
How can we do that? Well, the answer makes this statement so sad. It is sad that lots of churches have an inward focus only. And again, remember, missions is God's plan, not man's plan. So no person is saying to a church, you should give sacrificially, even though you have all these needs in the church and all these other ministries you could support and all these staff members you could hire and all that kind of stuff.
But it's sad when they have this inward focus only. You know why it's sad? Because it's not biblical.
That's the problem. Focusing only on this church is not biblical. Acts chapter 1 and verse number 8 tells us that very clearly. But you shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses unto me. Now you notice on the screen that I have bolded and underlined some words to make sure it's very plain what this verse is saying.
Both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria and into the uttermost part of the world. We're to do both and. We are to work as hard as we can to reach everybody that can be reached in this area and reach the surrounding area, that bigger area to where we get to reaching the entire world. God's plan for the church, God's plans for a mission is that we concentrate on both.
We don't just say we're just going to build this work here. I don't know how many times I've talked with churches and they say we're going to take on missionaries when we really know what we're taking care of. A church is never taken care of.
Never. There's always a time when more ministries need to start. There's always a time when we need to have another evangelistic outreach. There's always a time that we need more of everything. There's never a time when we're okay.
It's like the person that says, I know I'm overweight. I know I need to start a diet. And as soon as things settle down, I'll go on a diet.
Let me tell you, life never settles down. And if a church that waits to be involved in missions until everything is in place, everything will never be in place. And so God is telling us here very clearly.
It's our job to reach people here and to reach people around the world. God constantly challenged churches to give to the benefits of God's goals outside the church. And God reached down into churches to take out church staff to start churches. In Acts 13, when God calls up Paul and Barnabas, there are five men that are listed in that verse. And God called two out of five to leave that church and to go become missionaries. He took 40% of the staff out of the church for his goal to reach the world with the gospel.
I'm telling you, God is very serious about this, very serious. And as a church, we need to look at saying we need to do as much as we can to make sure our missionaries abound. Now, abound does not mean that missionaries are going to live it up.
It doesn't mean that. Let me tell you a couple stories of missionary life, a couple stories. A Can missionary had to maintain two apartments, one in one country and one in the country that he was trying to reach because he wasn't allowed to stay in the country more than 30 days at a time.
So he'd have to come back out and then go back in. And I went with him to view his country and what it was doing there. And we got to the Can Nation that he was working in and we pulled up to the hotel and it made Motel 6 look like the Ritz. I mean, it was an absolute mess, this motel. But I was in a 600 square foot room. It had two twin beds in it. It had a separate bathroom with a sink and a shower and a toilet and all that kind of stuff. But the missionary leased a room on a monthly basis. That was 120 square feet. In this 120 square feet, he had one twin bed that both he and his wife slept in. It didn't have a separate bathroom. It just had a sink, a toilet and a hose on the floor.
And the hose only had cold water coming out and you turned on the knob and you held the hose over your head and that's how you took a shower. And so I went to him and I said, how much do you lease this 120 square foot room for? And he said, $200 per month. And I said, how much does it cost for the 600 square foot room that I'm staying in? And he said, $300 a month. And in my American way of thinking, I thought, that's not that much money.
Why don't you rent this bigger room so there's two twin beds and a full bathroom and all that kind of stuff in it? And he looked at me like I was nuts. He said, because I'd have $100 less a month to reach these people. He couldn't believe that I would make a statement like that.
Why don't you just spend more money and have a more comfortable life? That's the kind of life missionaries lead. On a mission trip to Mexico, it was my first mission trip ever, and I was in charge of the junior high. I always liked what my title was. When I was first hired in a church, they called me the junior high guy.
That's a really fancy title. I was a junior high guy. And so the pastor said, hey, we got missionaries. We want to go down, and a couple of guys want to go backpacking within Mexico. He was in southern Mexico and working in the Indian tribes. And so we flew down there, and we backpacked for a week going from one tribe to the next because he just went roaming through the villages, starting churches. And then he would always make sure he hit all the churches at least a couple of times a month. So I went on one of those trips with him. And we went down there, and we would backpack. We would walk all day, get into the village about 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
Word would spread that the missionary was there. And when they got done working, they would gather in the building, and we would have the service. So that's what we were doing. We'd done this several times, and I was speaking, and I was really young. And I was speaking through an interpreter. First time I ever spoke to an interpreter, and I was learning how to handle it.
In fact, I agree with what some people call it, that you're speaking through an interrupter. Things were going OK. But then we got to a town called Mesteco. It was an Indian village called Mesteco that they did not know Spanish. And so I was going to preach. The missionary was going to translate it into Spanish.
And then one of the people there were going to translate it from Spanish into Mesteco. But one of the problems was they had built a building to have services in. But in this tribe we were in, there are no utilities of any kind, no electricity, no running water, no anything. So there was no light in this building. And we didn't get the service started in this building until it was dark. So I had to speak in the dark, no notes, no anything.
So I was preaching away, and I got so lost. I mean, here I was saying something in English. And you had to wait till it was translated into Spanish. Then you had to wait till it was translated into Mesteco. And I don't know about you, but it seems like when people translate, they use a whole lot more words than you used.
I use one sentence, and that takes them a paragraph to tell what I just said. And it just seemed like it took forever. And I just got totally and completely lost. And I just stopped. And I said to the missionary, Lyle, I don't know what I've said or what I'm supposed to say.
And he says, I don't either. Started another message. So I did.
I just started another message like I do what I was doing. I was so frustrated. We slept in that building that night. We brought in sleeping bags, and we slept in that building.
And after everybody had left and we were rolling out our sleeping bags and stuff and had our flashlights out, I saw a lantern over in the corner. And I said, Lyle, why didn't we use that lantern? He said, didn't have the fuel for it. I said, what does it cost for the fuel? He says, well, dollars worth of fuel will take care of a month's worth of services. And I said, why didn't you tell us? He says, because I wanted you to see what the mission field is like when the Americans aren't here.
$1 gives them a lighted service. So we're not talking about abundantly providing for our missionaries so they can really live it up. The same kind of thing happened over and over again with us on the mission field. In Romania, we had some good friends of ours become missionaries in Romania.
It's a great story. They escaped communism by swimming over the Danube River and then coming to America and then going back as missionaries. And he had three churches that he was operating. And the first time we went, we went to the main church. Then there was a church in another town where he grew up as a boy, and they had a church there. And then some people had been coming to their church and had moved about two hours driving time away from the church and said, please come and start a church. And so they were just getting started with that, and I went with them. We met in a home, and the home was packed. He says, we're praying that God give us a building. So they found a building, and they were able to get the building. And I was talking to them about it one time, and I said, how are things going? He says, well, we're not using the building right now.
I said, why not? He said, well, it doesn't have any heat, so in the wintertime we have to shut it down. Well, how much would a heating system cost in Romania to get this going?
It's at about $3,000. So for $3,000, it was a heating system so they could operate a church on a year-round basis. So we gave them the $3,000, and we went back to see them again, and we met with them in that building with all the heaters and all that running. Time after time after time on the mission field, you see what just a little bit of money can do, because missionaries are not living a life of luxury. They're living a life of ministry. So when we talk about abundantly providing for our missionaries, we're talking about abundantly provide so they can reach the people that God has called them to.
It's okay for Lighthouse Baptist Church to get all the canon missions because of the great spiritual need around the world. Here's some stats that we use a lot to help people understand the great need there is. It's estimated that there are about 6,500 languages in the world. 2,212 of those languages have some form of scripture in their language. That's 34%. 366 languages have the whole Bible in their language. That's only 6% have the whole Bible in their language. According to Generous Giving, Americans gave 3.3% of their income to the church in 1933 during the Great Depression.
Okay, 1933, Great Depression. People gave 33.3%. Today, Americans actually give less than 2%.
I need to update that slide from the latest statistic I got. It is less than 2%. Until all have heard reported that 10% of every dollar given at American churches went to missions at 1820.
10%. Today, in Baptist churches, 2% goes to foreign missions today. The training team reported that Americans spent the same amount of money on Halloween pet costumes as they did to get the gospel to unreached people groups. You think American churches need to have a greater focus on reaching the world? We need to abundantly provide for our missionaries. Step 2, give as often as you can give. So give as much as you can give and give as often as you can give. Philippians 4.16. For even in Thessalonica, you sent once and again to my necessity.
You sent once and again. Use every opportunity you have to give to your missionaries. You see, Philippi was not looking for reasons not to give. They were looking for reasons to give. Every year, missionaries ask for lots of money. You know why?
Because lots of great things are happening. Now, transport yourself back to the days of Paul. And think about all the ministries that Paul had. I went through the Bible to try to come up with all the places that Paul either went to, sent a letter to, or helped him in some way.
Listen to the names of the churches. There was Seleucia, and Psalmus, and Pamphylia, and Attila, and Berea, and Thessalonica, and Iconium, and Derbe, and Philippi, and Athens, and Perga, and Lystra, and Corinth, and Troas, and Ephesus. He was involved in a lot of things. Can you imagine, put him into our day? Can you imagine what his prayer-like would be like?
We need a building in Thessalonica, and I've got to get a bus in Derbe. And you're thinking, what is this guy doing? We know what Paul was doing. He was starting churches. And that's what our missionaries are doing now.
They're working hard to get as much ministry going as possible. And I never got upset when a missionary sent me a letter asking for finances. I got upset when missionaries didn't ask for anything. Because I worried about missionaries that never asked for anything. That kind of told me, were they really doing something?
It caused me to check them out even more. It's OK for Lighthouse Baptist Church to give as often as you can, because God will bless you. Did you hear me say that the book of Philippians is a thank you letter from missionary Paul to supporting church Philippi? So we know that this is written to churches. So we know that Philippians 4 19 is written to churches. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus.
Paul just sent them a thank you letter. He says, I'm overwhelmed. I abound.
I have more than I need. You've done so much for me. You've not only sent me as much as you could.
You sent to me as often as you could. And he's saying, there's nothing that I can do to repay you. I'm in jail. There's nothing I can do.
But let me tell you what can happen. God is going to supply your need from his riches and glory. And I really took that verse to heart. And I said, that verse says that God blesses a missions giving church. And I led my church to be missions givers because I believe that the more our church gave to God's plan to reach the world, the more God will bless us and do exactly what we saw happen in our church. As we gave more to missions, God gave more for the ministry of our church. Every year, our missions offering increased every single year. And so did the finances of our church.
They increased as well. We went from a very low, hoarded budget. I'll never forget the first admissions committee meeting I was in when I became pastor. And we didn't have very much money and had a letter from a missionary that was in need of a vehicle. And I said, what can we do for this missionary? And one of us said, well, I think we can send $250. I said, we've got $5,000 sitting in our account. Why can't we send them more?
Well, there could be a more pressing need than that one. And I said, listen, a church is not a bank. A church is a funnel. We don't bank the money. The money comes in, the money goes out because we've got to reach people. I remember that same guy about 10 years later. He said, you know, when you first came and you started talking about really giving to missions, he just said, I was afraid that you were going to bankrupt this church.
But you know what I found out? We just can't give money away fast enough. He got it, that God blesses the church. Paul wrote here under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit that God is going to supply the needs of a sacrificially giving church.
Step number three, give as if you are the only church giving. Philippians chapter 4 and verse number 15. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
Doesn't that kind of break your heart? Because we know this side of it, don't we? We know we can look back and see all that Paul did. But there was a time when the church in Philippi was the only church that was working to help to support Paul. It's God's goal for our hearts to be broken to the point of action every time we hear about a missionary having a need.
It's God's goal that our hearts be broken. Allow God to continuously break your heart about the needs of missionaries. Because every missionary need is an open door for that missionary. That building they're trying to build, that vehicle they're trying to get, that camp they're trying to send kids to, every financial need that they have is an open door. And I think if you know anything about missions today, you know that doors are being closed constantly. Doors are being closed. Countries that used to be open are no longer open. Countries where you can still go have so many rules and regulations for a church to follow.
The doors are closing. We've got to do everything we can to make sure that we reach people while the opportunity is there. Our hearts need to be broken. Listen to these verses out of the book of Nehemiah. Nehemiah chapter 1 and verse 1. The words of Nehemiah, the son of Hachaliah, and it came to pass in the month of Chizluw in the 20th year as I was in Shushan, the palace, that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of the Judah, and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity and concerning Jerusalem. And they said unto me, the remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach.
The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and the gates there are burned with fire. And it came to pass that when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept and mourn certain days and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. He heard news that broke his heart. Does the spiritual needs of the world break your heart? There's a video that the Wilchers showed you tonight about what's happening in Canada break your heart. I mean, we know that some of those same things are happening here. Just the difference is God called you here. He's called him there. But it ought to break our hearts that Canada is without Christ.
Nehemiah sat down and he wept. And I'm asking you tonight to let God break your heart for his plan to reach people because that's what it's about. It's reaching people. It's about God sending people around the world to reach people. 1 John 3. 17 says, but whoso hath this world's good and seeeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him. When we see people in need spiritually, it should break our hearts. Lighthouse Baptist Church cannot give every missionary every dollar requested every month.
But wouldn't it be great if you could? When I was pastoring, I always told our church and we never reached it, but it was still a goal. I said, I want our budget to be a million dollars a year for missions.
You know why? Because I was tired of having to say no. I was tired of having to say no to a missionary that his heart was broken and wanted to get to a field or to somebody that was trying to build a building or somebody was trying to do something great for God and the finances just weren't there to do it. And every time I had to say no to a missionary, I had to gather my thoughts and my mind back to what I was trying to do because it broke my heart every time because I knew what was behind that call. I knew that that missionary had got up that morning and said, I'm going to call these many churches today and I want to ask them to help support me for this project that we're doing.
And they had prayed about it and they said, Lord, open the doors. Give that pastor a soft heart. And I had a soft heart every time. That wasn't the issue. I only give what God was giving us.
And it just broke my heart every single time. Sometimes all that's needed for a missionary to really get moving is for one church just to get it started. There's a rule of thumb about missionaries when they have a project they want to do. Whenever a pastor gets a request from a missionary, the first thing a pastor said, including me, was is this doable?
Can this missionary do it? We had to make sure it was a doable project. But then once it was a doable project, nobody wants to be first. Everybody wants to be last. Because when you give first, you're given the first dollars. That's when people are saying, is this really doable? Is it really going to happen? Everybody wants to wait and be the one that pushes it over the top. That's fun. We gave $10,000 and that put him over the top.
You know the kind of philosophy that Philippa had? We'll be first. Nobody else was giving but them. Let's be the catalyst. Let's get this project going for this missionary. Pray that God will use Lighthouse Baptist Church in a greater way to meet the opportunities God is giving your missionary to reach people. It's OK to give as if you're the only one given because it just means that you're going to have a greater impact in God reaching the world. So I want to challenge you tonight to adopt Philippi's great missionary policy. Give as much as you can give. Give it as often as you can give. And give as if you're the only one giving. Because there's nothing better than being part of God's plan to reach the world. Let's all bow our heads and close our eyes.
And again, I ask you to do this so you can kind of process a little bit what we've talked about tonight. This was a message to the church about having a missions policy like the church in Philippi had to say we want to be a Philippi church. But there's still parts of that that touch your heart. Is my heart broken for the world? Have I ever sat down and just cried because people are dying and going to hell right here. And people are dying and going to hell in Canada. But there's somebody who wants to go and get there. And my heart's broken for them. We can have the impact that a church in Philippi had if we adopt their policy. Would you stand with me tonight.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-12 04:33:57 / 2023-03-12 04:54:13 / 20