We need to make bold statements for God that we're going to reach people, that we're going to step outside our comfort zones, and we're going to reach people that don't know Jesus.
I am going to do this. I am going to share the gospel. I'm going to whatever, pray, maybe blog, maybe Facebook. Do something to share the love of the Lord. I'm going to reach out to those who don't know Him and who have never heard the gospel. Today Pastor David encourages us in evangelism with his teaching Reach Out from Romans 15.
Let's go now to David Magee. So we're in Romans chapter 15 verse 22. It says, For this reason I've also been much hindered from coming to you. Paul is writing this book to the Romans, the church at Rome. Paul had not been to Rome yet. In the book of Acts, it ends with Paul being in Rome, okay.
But these books are not necessarily in a chronological order, a timeline. And so this book would have been written during the book of Acts. He's not been to the church at Rome, but he's saying, I really want to come to you. He says, but I've been much hindered. Paul wanted to go to Rome, but God had his timing. So understand sometimes you will want to do something and maybe it's something good. Paul going to Rome, good something, but God has a different timetable than you. What we have to do is say, okay God, I believe you want me to do this. I don't know what your timetable is and allow God to open and close doors. But I also want you to understand it says, I've been much hindered from coming to you. We'll follow maybe the day, maybe next week, but we'll follow what all Paul endured to get to the church at Rome.
It was not a cakewalk friend. He encountered a lot of resistance and yet God was drawing him to Rome. Why do I mention that? Because a lot of times when we begin to hit a little bit of resistance, we think, well, it must not be the Lord. Time out friend, because in my life, you know, one of the things I look for is when God tells me to do something or sends me to do something, I look for something coming against me. And when I see that opposition, I'm like, Oh, this is going to be good. See, when you're doing the right thing, you're going to hit some resistance. If you never hit resistance as a believer, as a Christian, that should concern you. Now, I'm not saying everything needs to always go terribly and bad and woe is me and hope I get in and by the skin of my teeth sort of thing. But sometimes you're going to hit opposition and that's okay because sometimes when you do the right things, things still go wrong and you still can be hindered in what you're doing. Jesus spoke of all things going well. Luke 6 26 said, woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so did their fathers to the false prophets. So if everybody's your friend and glowing reviews of you, you should be concerned.
Now, personally, I don't have that problem. But that's okay. Why? Because I know, you know what, I would, in sharing the gospel and doing what I would do, I want a reaction. I'm hoping for a good one, but I'll take any reaction. Why?
What I don't want is apathy. That's somebody going, yeah, whatever. That was years ago, sharing down on Tate Street on a Friday night and talking down there, talking to people. And, you know, I asked this guy, I said, man, have you heard the good news about Jesus Christ? He exploded. I mean, he started screaming, yelling, waving his arms around and his wife was trying to calm him down and get him to quit waving. This guy's like 20 feet away, still yelling at me.
And I turned to the guy beside me and I said, man, he's close. And why do I say that? Because if you'd have been like, yeah, whatever, the good news, heard it all my life, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, apathy.
But the fact that an eggshell is one of the hardest substances known to man, but it is so brittle that it'll break. And friend, if you've got loved ones or friends or family that are really getting irritated by your Christianity, take a perverse form of encouragement in it because it's bothering them, which means they're thinking about it. They're thinking about what is making you different and how you're different.
And so they're getting closer. Verse 23, this is an interesting phrase he uses, but now no longer having a place in these parts and having a great desire these many years to come to you. Now, it's kind of an interesting phrase, he says, but now no longer having a place in these parts. And we're really we're not exactly sure what he might mean, two different things.
And I'll throw these out. This is kind of conjecture. Either means that he physically did not have a place to stay. But I believe what he was saying was spiritually, I've covered the ground here. It's time for me to go somewhere where people haven't heard about Jesus Christ. And so, again, we see this underscored that, you know, going to where people are and going to where people don't know Jesus or where the work is.
It's kind of interesting. I shared this before, but, you know, when we got ready to start the home Bible study, I had a couple of job offers from other churches. I didn't think I didn't believe God wanted me to do that. So I said no to these positions, which were, you know, salary benefits package to start a home Bible study.
With no benefits, no salary, nothing, no prospect of a salary. Why? Because I was convinced that God wanted me to do it. And also this verse by verse teaching that we do here, I didn't see it. Part of my heart, I was visiting churches. I'm not saying there's 2200 churches in the triad.
I'm not saying nowhere do they do expositional teaching. I just I couldn't find a place at that point that does a simple verse by verse teaching. Now, since we've started, we've had I've had several pastors come to me and now they are in other churches teaching verse by verse through the Bible, which is really cool.
Yeah. Praise God. So, again, how did this if Paul hasn't been to Rome, how did the church in Rome start? If Paul is the big missionary to the Gentiles, how did the church in Rome start? We're told in the book of Acts, chapter two, verse 10. This is Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya, adjoining Syrian visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes. What happened at the feast of Pentecost, one of the seven biblical Jewish feasts, there was three that they would go to Jerusalem for. One of those was Pentecost that happened in Acts, chapter two. So people from all over the world came to Jerusalem, heard the good news and then took it all over the world. So that's how this church in Rome started. Verse 24, it says, whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you for I hope to see you on my journey and to be helped on my way there by you.
If first I may enjoy your company for a while. So Paul's talking about going to Spain. Did he go to Spain? I believe he did. I believe he went to Spain. I believe he went to Britain.
I can't prove this scripturally, although I'll give you a little bit of the timeline. The book of Acts closes with Paul being in prison in Rome. What we believe happened is he was then released. He went on more missionary journeys, I believe at that time to Britain and Spain, and then came back and was arrested again in Rome.
This time Nero executed him through beheading. There's a couple places mentioned later in an epistle that are not mentioned in the book of Acts, which makes us believe that Paul was released and then imprisoned again in Rome. So I believe he got to these places. But again, and this is interesting, who, now Paul was, if you will, in charge of this ministry, right? Yes, but who was really in charge? God was in charge. See, if you read the book of Acts, you begin to think, well, you know, Paul just kind of wandered around the world telling people about Jesus.
No, no, no, no, no, he didn't. He was being motivated and moved by the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, we find several references that Paul wanted to do something and God said no. Paul said, I want to go share the gospel here. God said no.
I'll give you one. Acts chapter 16 says, now when they had gone through Phrygian and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. That's an interesting verse. Well, you can understand, you know, if you're watching TV programs or movies you shouldn't watch, you understand. You know, the Holy Spirit convicting you, don't watch that, you know, or going somewhere or drinking something or doing something. You know, Holy Spirit, no, no, no, don't do that. But look at, of teaching, preaching the word.
Why? It was a good thing Paul wanted to do, but God was saying, not this place, not this time. And after they had come to Missia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. So passing by Missia, they came down to Troas and a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia, which I believe was Luke, stood and pleaded with him saying, come over to Macedonia and help us. Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. This was at, Macedonia was basically Greece and he goes in there and churches just exploded.
They just took off. Why? Right place, right time. And so we need to understand that as God burrows something in us to do something, there's different aspects to it.
One is a sense of timing. You know, is God, is this the right time? I know you want me to do this. Is this the right time? And that question, is it the right place? And the Lord, you know, it's not like he's playing a shell game with us.
Well, I don't know, I asked him, he won't tell me. Then you need to do whatever the last, military, the last standing orders. What's the last thing God told you? Have he told you to be a part of this fellowship and stay in fellowship and serve? Then do that until God opens another door. And then when he opens that door, that's his sense of timing and perhaps his place. But understand, Paul was motivated.
He had a vision and he had a plan for reaching people. Next life lesson. Have a vision and a plan for your life.
Have a flexible plan, but have a plan. Too many times we're just kind of wandering through life. What are you going to do with your life? I don't know. What's your life about? I don't know. What's your focus? I don't know. What's your vision? I'm not sure.
That's not good. We should have, and friend, maybe you need to go home and jot some things down. Spend a couple times, a couple minutes in prayer today. God, what is it that you want me to do in my life?
What is it that you want me to do with my life? There's some things that you can absolutely know for certain. God wants to forgive you of your sins. God wants to fill you with the power of his Holy Spirit. And God wants to use you to reach others. Those things, every Christian, boom, boom, boom, boom.
You can count on those. Now how that works out, I don't know. Ask God. Pray. You know, when somebody comes to me and says, hey, you know, what am I supposed to do? I'm like, you're supposed to pray.
That's what you're supposed to do. You know, it's not like I have little preacher pixie dust or something, and you're supposed to go over here, the old store where this guy comes to the pastor, older, wiser pastor, and says, pastor, somebody was praying for me last night, and they prayed, and while they were praying for me, they said I was supposed to go to Africa, be a missionary. What should I do, pastor? Should I go to Africa? Pastor said, well, have you ever thought you were supposed to go to Africa before? He said, no, no, never thought that. So it's the first time?
Yeah. Well, should I go, pastor? And he said, well, if you do go, you probably want to take this guy with you, because you didn't know when it was time to go, you're not going to know when it's time to come home. God wants to share his plan for your life with you, and, friend, he's going to share it first and foremost with you. Now he's going to confirm it through other people, and other people may encourage, some may even come and discourage, even though it's the Lord. But God wants to reveal this plan to you.
Sit. And I would encourage you to do it today. God, what is it you want me to do? And maybe you're going, well, I got this, I got that.
But you know what? Have a plan. I mean, you know, God has done so much in this place, and we've had to learn to keep a flexible plan, but there is a kind of a plan. And, you know, God, we want to reach those who are lost. We want to continue to do what we're doing, and see God continue to bless it.
You've been listening to Cross the Bridge. We'll return to David's study in Romans in just a moment. But first, I would like to let you know about a new product that we're excited about here at Cross the Bridge. Each year, David McGee spends countless hours combing through the Bible in preparation to teach God's Word. This is clearly seen every week as he proclaims the amazing truths found in the Bible to his home church and through the radio ministry. That's why this month we want you to be blessed by some of our favorite teachings from this year with the Cross the Bridge Best of 2013.
These three powerful teachings will help you to live victoriously in Christ through a better understanding of who Jesus really is. The Best of 2013 is our gift to you this month when you give to Cross the Bridge. Your gift will be used to reach countless people with the Gospel while also encouraging other believers to stand firm in the faith. To help us take God's Word to the world, please contact us at 877-458-5508 or visit us online at CrossTheBridge.com.
Friend, do you have a heart for the lost? I invite you to send us the first names of your lost loved ones, and we will have hundreds of people praying for them. Just go to CrossTheBridge.com and click on the prayer button, and you'll enter their name. And if you put your name and email address in there, I'll send you free resources to equip you to pray and teach you how to reach your lost loved ones. Please, don't wait.
This is so important. So please, again, go to CrossTheBridge.com and click on the prayer button and send us the first names of lost loved ones. We'll send you some free information, and together we can partner to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ to the whole world, the whole book for the whole world. Now let's return to David McGee's verse-by-verse teaching in the Book of Romans. As we look through the ministry of this chapter, it's kind of interesting. I saw five things that kind of leapt out. I want to share with you.
I've got these down. Paul is talking about ministry going all the way back to 15. He talks about, and nevertheless, brethren, I've written more boldly to you on some points as reminding you because of the grace given to me by God. So ministry is by grace. By grace, you're saved. By grace, you reach out to others.
The next thing we see is in verse 16. He talks about the gospel. So ministry always has to be about the gospel. To me, guys, this is the number one thing in looking for a church.
It's not children's ministry, it's not singles ministry. It's the gospel being proclaimed every Sunday morning. Now verse 17 talks about for the glory of Jesus Christ. Ministry has to be for God's glory. Be careful of assuming something's being done for vainglory or being done for personal glory because nobody ever knows except that person in the Lord. But our lives should be lived for God's glory. And how do we do what we're doing? Verse 18, verse 19, by God's power. It's not by your power. When God calls us to do something, He empowers us to do something. And when God calls you to say, will you go share the gospel with this person? You know, there's a danger in going, okay, well, I can handle this.
No, no, no, no, no. God gives us impossible task to come through in impossible ways. And so anytime God calls a person, truly calls a person, there's part of them that goes, I don't think I can do this. And God says, you're right, you can't.
I'm still calling you to do it. And I will empower you to do it because you're not able in your own strength, but I will provide the strength and the power to do that. And then who's plan? Well, we're reading these verses right now. It's by God's plan.
It's by God's plan. I get really tickled when, you know, again, we have this plan and these different things, but you know, it's like we sit and we pray, we jot them down, we go, here God, what do you think? Because I want to be led by God. I want to be led by the Holy Spirit.
I don't want to be submitting a five year plan to God and saying, God, you need to get with the program. This is what we're doing here and this is what we're doing there. And we all voted on it and we're going to do this. And so God, you just need to submit to the congregation.
That's backwards. God, we're going to do this and watch you move. God, you've laid on our hearts to do this.
You've laid on our hearts to do that. And God will bless that as we're led. So you got those things by grace, sharing the gospel, by God's glory, by God's power, and by God's plan. Look at verse 25. It says, but now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints. I like that verse. Again, we're going to get in the next week, all that Paul went through to get to Jerusalem, jail for two years in Caesarea, beaten in Jerusalem, and yet God blessed the ministry. But look at this statement.
I am going to do this. We need to have a boldness in serving the Lord because too often we're, well, whatever, I'm just, you know, what's God called you to do? I don't know. No, God's called us to serve. God's called us to proclaim the gospel. God's called us to proclaim around the world. Now, maybe that doesn't mean you go to Asia.
You can help support prayerfully, financially to do things around there. This work has involved radio, television, internet, all these different things to reach people. This is a statement that we as a fellowship are making. We are going to reach the world.
That's a bold statement. I remember years ago when, you know, we gathered in the house with five or 10 people, and I'd say, man, we're going to change the world. People would be like, we don't even have a building. Yep, we're going to change the world. Once the church has grown, now when I make that proclamation, we're going to change the world.
People go, yep, amen, with you. We need to make bold statements for God that we're going to reach people, that we're going to step outside our comfort zones, and we're going to reach people that don't know Jesus. And you need to make that personal.
It needs to be corporate. We're going to do this. But, friend, it needs to be personal for you as well. I am going to do this. I am going to share the gospel. I'm going to whatever, pray, maybe blog, maybe Facebook. Do something to share the love of the Lord. And let's not just be keepers of the aquarium, but realize that as we're gathered here right now, there's people out there that don't know Jesus.
There's people out there recovering from last night that hurt themselves and maybe hurt others and are unfulfilled and they don't know Jesus and they're trapped in all this stuff and they're looking for a way out. And you'll see them. You'll see them in the restaurants as you go to lunch today.
You'll see them in the grocery store. As you walk out of this place, be an agent of Jesus Christ, of his hope, of his love, of his forgiveness, of his peace, of his righteousness, of his truth, and of his good news. I know, as I share these things, some of you are sitting there going, I just can't. Yep, you're right, but God can. And let me promise you, the moment you begin to open your mouth, God will fill it. God will be faithful. God will use anybody. You don't need to amen that. Amen, look at you, Pastor David. You know, we're told in the Bible God wants to use the foolish things to confound the wise.
So I understand, you know, some people, you know, plays guitar, wears those weird shirts, hey, you know. I was witnessing to somebody the other day, and I try to get in the gospel before they ask me what I do. You know, because then, oh, you're a pastor. You get paid to do this.
I don't get much spiritual notch on the gun or something. No, no, no. You know, and I said, well, I'm a pastor. She said, what? I said, I'm a pastor. She said, you don't look like a pastor. I said, what does a pastor look like? Well, I don't know, but you don't look like a pastor.
Okay, whatever. God is desperate to use people. He wants to use me. He wants to use you.
And you may have your little list of excuses. Let me go ahead and tell you, God doesn't honor them because God is faithful. God is strong enough to reach your family and your friends and your coworkers and the people you go to school with with the good news. And that's what he's called us to do, us and he's called you. So again, what's the good news? Well, the good news is that you need to join the church, get your name on a membership roll, we'll send you letters whether you continue to come or not, and you just need to, you know, hope your good outweighs your bad. That's not the good news. The good news is all of us are sinners.
It starts with the bad news. All of us have messed up. All of us have fallen short of the glory of God. Friend, if you're sitting out there, you're listening and you're thinking, well, I'm just so messed up that God cannot forgive me. Friend, let me assure you, if God's grace and mercy has covered all the things that I've done, it can cover all the things you've done. No matter how far you've wandered or how long you've been gone, God wants you back. God wants you to come to him. Jesus Christ died for you so that you can be forgiven. And as you turn to him, you turn away from all the sins and the stuff that'll hold you back. That doesn't mean God wants all your promises that you're never gonna do anything wrong again.
He just wants you to turn to him, begin to let go of these things that, well, friend, they'll end up hurting you. Let's pray. God, thank you for the good news, that you died for us, that you love us, that you desire to forgive us. Lord, there's people listening right now, there's people in this building, there's people listening that have run right into you today. And, Lord, you wanna touch them and you wanna comfort them and you wanna heal their broken hearts and their broken lives and their sin-stained past and the shame and the guilt that they have right now. God, you wanna wash that away and we thank you that that is your desire according to this book.
We thank you for that in Jesus' name. You know, one of the things that we think sometimes is that we have to get cleaned up to come to God. We have to get our lives in order before we come to the Lord.
Let me ask you a question. God is a perfect God. How in order do we need to get our lives before we come to him? God is a righteous God. What do we have to clean up before we come to him?
Friend, let me tell you, nothing. You come to the Lord. The Lord begins to change you from the inside out.
He's not interested in changing you from the outside in. That's religion. That's not Christianity.
Christianity, you're changed from the inside out as you come to the Lord. What do you have to do? Come? Just come. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?
You can know right now. I wanna lead you in a short, simple prayer simply telling God you're sorry and asking him to help you to live for him. Now, God wants you to pray this prayer so much that he died to give you the opportunity and the ability to ask him to forgive you.
Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned, and I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things.
Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name, amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. So congratulations, friend.
You just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. God bless you. If this was your first time praying that prayer with Pastor David, we would love to hear from you. You can call us toll-free at 877-458-5508 to receive our First Steps package with helpful resources to help you begin your walk with Christ. Also, if you contact us this month, we will send you the Cross the Bridge Best of 2013 for your gift of any amount. If you've ever wondered how we can walk in the full power of God's Spirit, then this new product is just for you, and we'll send it to you as a way of saying thanks for your donation. You can give any time by calling us toll-free at 877-458-5508.
That's 877-458-5508. Or go online to crossthebridge.com. While there, make sure to sign up for the free email devotional. That's just one more way we can bless you in your walk with Christ. Again, that website is crossthebridge.com. Thank you for listening, and I pray you'll join us next time as we cross the bridge.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-28 00:28:57 / 2023-05-28 00:41:37 / 13