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Facing the Unfinished Task - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley
The Truth Network Radio
July 17, 2023 12:00 am

Facing the Unfinished Task - Part 1

In Touch / Charles Stanley

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July 17, 2023 12:00 am

As long as there are unbelievers, our task is to lead them to Christ.

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Welcome to the In Touch Podcast with Charles Stanley for Monday, July 17th. Those who don't know Jesus as Savior exist every day in the most desperate and precarious of conditions. What part is God calling you to play in His worldwide rescue effort? Everything that Jesus said while He was on earth was very important. You never hear Him or read about Him saying, I think so, maybe, it could be, I'm not sure, I'll have to think about it, I was wrong.

You don't ever hear Him saying those kind of things. When He spoke, He spoke with purpose, He spoke in clear direction, and He always spoke the truth. Everything He said was very important. One of those very important things He said is our text for this message because He made a statement not only to His disciples, His apostles, but He made a statement to them that also applies to every single one of us because He intended for them to hand down to every succeeding generation those simple words. And I want you to turn, if you will, to the 20th chapter of John. And Jesus was in probably the same upper room that they had met at before, maybe sometimes. They were afraid because of the crucifixion and now Jesus has risen from the grave. And the Scripture says in the 19th verse of this 20th chapter, So when it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, Peace be with you.

And when He had said this to them, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples then rejoiced when they saw the Lord. So Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.

Listen to that. As the Father has sent Me, I also send you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, Receive the Holy Spirit. Now, when Jesus ascended to the heavens, He had finished His part of the overall task. It was not the finishing of the task, but it was finishing His part. Because you see, He had a part and then He delegated to those disciples their part.

And they delegated to the generations that have followed our part in that particular command. Now, how do people respond to this? Some of you have been a Christian for many, many, many years, and yet you have never even attempted to sit down with someone and explain to them how to be saved. You say, Well, I work around a lot of Christians.

Let me just tell you this, friend. There are lots of people who named the name of Jesus Christ, who cannot tell you who He is, who cannot explain the gift of salvation to someone else. So I have to ask the question, if you can't tell someone else about it, why should I believe that you've experienced it? If you can't explain it, then what happened to you? And then whatever happened to you? Was it salvation? Was it genuine forgiveness? Did you receive the gift of eternal life? Or was this just a good feeling?

Was this a decision you made to change some things in your life? If you've truly been saved by the grace of God, surely you can tell someone how and what happened to you. But oftentimes, people cannot. You live around people, you work around people, you work with people who cannot listen.

You'd be surprised how many people in every denomination, Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Catholic, Episcopalian, you name them, who do not believe that Jesus Christ was sinless, who believe that our works have to do with salvation, who not exactly sure whether there's a hell or not, who think and hope that there is a heaven. There are so many unanswered questions in the minds and hearts of people who sit in church week after week after week. Listen, and these same people are those who have the responsibility of sharing the clear presentation of the gospel with people you work with, no matter who and no matter where. So how do people respond?

The whole issue of the task is very plain. But how do we respond? Well, let's look at some ways people respond. Some people want to shift the responsibility. They say, well, I go to church, we have a pastor, we have pastors, we have a staff, we pay them to do the work.

You've missed the point. The responsibility of sharing the gospel, listen, is the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the responsibility of every church. And who is the church? The church isn't an organization, it isn't a building, the church is you. The church is me. The church is us. We are the body of Christ. We are the people he talks about when he speaks in terms of the church. So shifting the responsibility, that won't work.

And yet that is exactly what some people do. And so they say, well, you know what? I know that we in our church have a responsibility. We have committees and we have this and we have that. But what are you doing? You see, the responsibility is this.

Remember what we said? When you trust the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, you become a member of a family of the sent ones. Every single one of us has the responsibility. We don't all go a thousand miles away from home.

You may go a few blocks. Somebody God has placed in your life, in your sphere of influence, in your environment for you to share what Jesus Christ has done in your life. And so you can shift the responsibility but only as an act of disobedience to God. Then there are those people who say, well, how do you expect us to get the gospel to the whole world? And so when somebody says, well, it's an impossible task, impossible in the strength of man. When it comes to counting, how many people get born every day?

How many people die every day? And we say, well, you know, I've been trying to figure this out and it just seems to be impossible. That's not our business. Our business is to be obedient to His command.

So it's not a matter of whether we can or whether we cannot. It's a matter of are we involved personally? What is God doing in our life? How are we contributing and joining hands with the Lord Jesus Christ who gave us a personal responsibility to do what?

He says, as the Father sent me, so send I you. Now somebody says, well, I'll tell you why I don't get too involved in that. Because I believe that God will save anybody He wants to save and He'll save them when He gets good and ready. Well, that part's true. That's only half the truth.

He can save them when He gets good and ready. And somebody says, well, I don't believe it's our responsibility. I don't believe we have anything to do with that. That's just what God does. Well, we have to ask is this. That sounds like a cop-out to me. In fact, it's not only a cop-out, it's not totally theologically untrue, biblically untrue. Let me ask you a question. If that were true, somebody says, well, God, He can get the gospel anybody He wants to and He doesn't need me.

Now you think I'm making up something. There are churches whose theology is that missions is not the work of the church. God will save whom He will save and those whom He does not save is not my responsibility.

Then let me ask you a question. Why in the world would Paul make this statement? Paul said, for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How then will they believe in Him if they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? And how will they preach unless they be sent?

Now the apostle Paul said it's very important that there are people preaching and sharing the gospel, not just people in church buildings, but people individually, person to person, face to face. And so all of these are opportunities that people have that sort of strike the responsibility. Now here's one I hear often. Watch this. If you've said it, please keep it to yourself.

Listen to this. You mean to tell me that I am responsible and I have responsibility and that I ought to be concerned in people in Afghanistan and China and Russia and Germany and South America and North America. Why should I be so upset about all this when look at our own country? We've got people in our country who have never, never, never trusted Jesus Christ as their Savior.

People here are lost. Why would you tell us that? Well, for two reasons. Number one, because Jesus said so. Listen, Jerusalem was not this quiet, peaceful little town where everybody got saved. And nowhere does He say, Now you stay in Jerusalem until they all get saved. No, He said, You stay in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit has come upon you. And when He's come upon you, you are to be witnesses unto Me, both in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the uttermost parts of the earth. He didn't say after you've converted all the Romans in Jerusalem, after you've changed this society in Jerusalem, go somewhere else. And so what happened?

Let me tell you what really happened. They got sort of comfortable in Jerusalem and you know what happened? Persecution set in and persecution, what did it do?

It sent them all over the known world of their day, preaching and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. Because you see, that's why He leaves us here. Why didn't Jesus just save you and take you home that day?

If I should ask you and you were honest, if I said to you, How many of you have been through enough pain and suffering and heartache since you were saved, you would like to have been saved and just taken on up that day. Look what you would have missed. You know why He left us here? He left us here to use us. He left us here to live through us. He left us here to join with us. He left us here to partner with us to do what? To proclaim His message, to share His gospel to the world. That's why we're here. Most people are gonna live their whole life and never even think about why did God leave me here after He saved me?

He left us here, listen, to share the gospel message of Jesus Christ. Somebody says, Well, man, I've lived such a sinful, wicked, vile life. My life's been so unholy and so wicked. I was into drugs. I was into alcohol. I was into this.

I was into that. I've been sinful, wicked. I've been in prison, all these things. And you mean to tell me that God can use me? Listen, you become a trophy of the grace of God. And the reason your life can make an impact is because you can say, I want to tell you, God can save the worst sinner of whom I am chief. And look what He's done for me. And He can do this for me. He can do the same for you.

Listen, you can't get so wicked. God can't save you and you can't get good enough to make God save you. It is by the grace of God, the goodness of God, the love of God, the shed blood of Jesus Christ. That's the reason you and I are saved.

We have a responsibility. And all of these excuses are absolutely, listen, unacceptable to the Lord Jesus Christ. How do I know that? Because that's just what He said.

He said, as the Father had sent me, so sinned are you. Now, this is how human nature works. My family, my job, my task, my money, my this, my plans, my goals. That's not the issue. The issue is who do you belong to? He says you've been purchased with a price. Every single believer, listen, is the created possession, the redeemed possession of the living God. Jesus Christ intends to be the Lord and Master of our life. Because listen, He wants us to become the person He created us to be. Achieve the things in life He created us to achieve. Listen, He is for us, loving us, gifting us, equipping us. Why? Because listen, He has chosen to use you to impact somebody else's life.

And the question is, is it happening? Now think about this for a moment. You've been a Christian 10, 15 years. You worked among people who were unsaved and you knew it, but you didn't take time to talk to them. You worked among people that you knew needed Jesus, but somehow you were ashamed to bear witness.

Well, you know, and you can give a thousand excuses. This is why He said, as my Father has sent me, so send I you to your office, out of your home, among your friends, your relatives, those you socialize with. Listen, we have an unshirkable responsibility to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. How many people are saying, oh, God, forgive me, I should have, but I didn't. You don't know who you're working around, who's not going to be here tonight or tomorrow. And my friend, let me tell you something. You and I can never tell God how busy we are, that we're just too busy.

We were just too busy. Now let me tell you where it's going to hit home. When one of your loved ones dies, it could be a son or a daughter, a mother or father, or one of your dearest friends. And all of a sudden, they're gone. You knew they weren't saved.

You knew it all along. And every once in a while, you'd pray for them. And they're gone. And you never took a moment of your time to tell them. Suppose it's your son or daughter. You know they're lost.

And they work around people that you know are saved, good Christian people go to church. But they never told you a son. They never told your daughter.

They never took the time. Let's get into the hard cold facts. Listen, life is a matter of life and death.

Now let's think about this for a moment. What is our task? Our mission, our field is the world. According to Jesus, go into all the world, preach the gospel. Our mission is to share the good news. And our message is Jesus loves you and He will save you. If you have never trusted Jesus Christ as your personal savior, you're asking the question, maybe what can I do? Listen very carefully.

Here's what you can do. Here's the gospel. God the Father so loved you and me that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, His sinless virgin born Son into this world to reveal the truth about the Father, the seeking to save those who are lost, to give us an abundant life, but primarily to go to Calvary and down the cross. When He went to the cross, He took all of your sin debt, all your disobedience and rebellion and placed it upon Him. And then He died as your substitute in your place and paid your sin debt in full.

And what can you do? You can accept the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is His crucifixion for your salvation. You can ask Him to forgive you of your sins. You can place your faith in Him to trust Him as your personal savior. What should you do?

Exactly that. Lord Jesus, I'm asking you to forgive me of my sins, not based on my conduct or my good works, but based on your death at Calvary and your promise to pardon me of my sin. What is God telling you to do? To be saved. When is He telling you to do it? Today is the day of salvation is what He says.

What are you willing to do? I hope before God you're willing to say to Him right now, that's what I want. And that you will pray this simple prayer with me.

Not to me, but to Him. But pray this simple prayer. Lord Jesus, I have sinned against You. I've rebelled against You.

I wanted it my way. I do believe that You went to the cross and took my place and paid my penalty. I'm asking You to forgive me of my sins. I'm placing my trust in You as my personal savior. I'm accepting Your forgiveness and I give You my life to live for You all the days of my life by Your help and Your strength. In Jesus' name. You could put it in Your words as long as you have a few of those things in there. Your trust in Him as the crucified Savior. You're asking Him to forgive you of your sins and by faith placing your trust in Him.

If you did that, your eternal destiny just changed for all eternity. Now I hate to have to tell you this, but parent listen to me carefully. You'd better give it your best while you've got them at home. You'd better get them in church listening to the gospel until they are absolutely deadly certain not only about what they believe, but their capacity to share someone else. We have the most awesome opportunity and the greatest privilege to share it here and around the world. Get involved. Let God work in your life to make a difference.

Listen, you can live and die and your life be meaningless as far as it impact upon other people. It's time to let Jesus get on the inside of you and you become, listen, not just a follower, but an obedient servant of the living God. Thank you for listening to part one of Facing the Unfinished Task. If you'd like to know more about Charles Stanley or In Touch Ministries, stop by InTouch.org. This podcast is a presentation of In Touch Ministries, Atlanta, Georgia.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-17 02:37:37 / 2023-07-17 02:44:58 / 7

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