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December 13, 2021 7:05 am
Given the growing soon as our world church and those who lead sometimes it's hard to imagine a spiritual revival sweeping through our country. Those days are behind us, so it seems today on Insight for living Chuck Swindoll reminds us that our best days are ahead because the gospel of Jesus Christ is timeless and without question. Our only hope what you're about to hear is a message Chuck started on Fridays program teaching from acts chapter 2 Chuck describes what he calls an E ticket for reaching the lost realize growth is going to happen because as we are making Christ known God begins to add to the church. Those who were being say in a few miles from us.
We have Insight for living that is broadcasting the gospel in 16 languages around the world at Dallas seminary.
We have a body of 1600 men and women being trained to take the gospel around the world and we have a missions pastor who is motivated to the point of taking a team of men and women with it to a land that depict the state and to say let's adopt this and go there and put our hooks into these individual but just one of a number of things that just as the Lord led those people to speak of individuals and and and to share the great news. So he's doing that with us and it's taking off but I made some observations when I read those same verses that I read to you a few moments ago and I bought them down to five women given to you.
First they were unique and creative in their outreach. It had not been done before and it was very creative, how they went about time in the synagogue sometime on a street corner. Sometime they did it in a setting where there were there was a riot about to happen. Time they did it as they were being beaten. They spoke openly of Christ as I could read for you from chapters 4 and five of acts we need to remember that our missionary outreach must remain unique and creative.
Second, it was not limited to the church gatherings when emphasize that because that's where we've gotten off in the 20th and 21st century is the power to ask if someone were to ask you how can a person come to Christ. You can be to say why bring him to church and let Chuck tell why why you want me to do that when you know enough to tell them yourself and your there. Knowing them and able to follow up with them and spend time with them.
Evangelism is a tricky thing. Evangelism is a Christian. If the life of Christ being shared with someone else. We need to remember that evangelism happens outside the church so that the people of the church might then grow while meeting and gathering together get the steam up if you will, in the huddle. We have so that we can run the place through the week. There's 1/3 observation was usually connected to nonreligious events. It was usually connected to nonreligious and events when they were in prison they would when they were standing by those who were dying in sickness they witnessed when they were at the public square. They spoke of Christ when there were personal conversations not religious conversations.
They were just talking about life in general than they may Christ note, we need to remember that when you say. Fourth, it was never the result of force or coercion. No one was ever manipulated or made to feel shameful or guilty when they were presented with the claims of Christ. It was winsome therefore convincing. It made sense because it was appealing. It was gracious. That made me smile when I read In re Stedman's authentic Christianity. This thought. He says it's always seemed unfair to me that many churches and some Christians keep careful records on how many converts they make to Christianity, but they never keep in your records at all on how many they drive away from Christ. That's so Stedman fairness would seem to dictate that both sides of the ledger should be maintained for the fact is, churches often turn far more people from Christ then they ever win to and frequently it's the most zealous and Orthodox of Christians who are driving them away. The reason is, though they may indeed be true Christians themselves.
The lives they are manifesting as false Christianity. It is as phony as a three dollar bill crew there is a false Christianity, which is practiced by those who aren't Christians at all.
There are many religious frauds who have never been real Christians and there are apostates who give every appearance of being Christian for a while and then throw the whole thing over, but surely the most subtle stratagem ever devised by the tempter to deceive and delude men is to take genuine Christians who truly know Jesus as the living Savior and mislead them into practicing a sham.
Christianity, which they sincerely believe is the real thing.
It can't of course be detected by a doctrinal statement or adherence to a creed for this type of phony Christianity is always Orthodox. It is frequently very zealous and feeds upon consecration services. It dedication meetings uses all the right terms and behaves in the proper Orthodox manner, but the net result is to drive people from Christ rather than bring them to.
In sharp contrast, there is the real thing. Authentic Christianity as it was intended to be when it is manifested. It never requires advertisement or publicity. It has a fascination about it that that will draw people like flies to honey. True, it may antagonize many when they find out what the secret is, but the initial character of authentic Christianity is to attract and compel admiration when we admire someone we want to know the secret of their life and when they make themselves accessible to us and they're willing to tell us the secrets were ready to listen, to tell you stories and I get to the fifth observation I made when I was in the Marine Corps I was stationed on the island of Okinawa involuntarily the the recruiting officer at promise on their rep to go overseas. They lie bad in the military service and in a few months I got my orders cut, and I was sent overseas and I was stationed at Camp Courtney headquarters company right in the heart of not far from Naha in on the island of Okinawa.
There were 48 men who lived in our Quonset hut. There were there were 24 bunks 12 on each side and course to provoking and it was close. Living and it wasn't long before some of the guys in my outfit found out that I was a Christian. And so when the bottom bunk became empty. The guy was shipped back home a new guy came named Eddie and I knew that Eddie had been warned about me because before he ever took his sea bag off his shoulder. He said Osborne might one thing clear preacher. I'm not interested in your stuff. Don't lay it on me bunk and dropped his sleeping bag nuts.
The nice welcome that we head as we shared together. Well, I thought Eddie is obviously not happy and he needs to know what real happiness is, but I gotta be.
I gotta be, so I gotta be smart here and why is is go about it. At that time I was involved in a scripture memory program connected with the navigators. Some of you are familiar with and I had little verse pack that I carried on occasion when idle spare time I go over the verses not I thought you know Eddie can read and Eddie would would maybe want to help me do this and so I decided one day I try to memorize some of the that's shut down my front. I know I know I know but I thought maybe you'd like to check me out of the verses and see if I know him and point out were on scene and wrong. Oh yeah, I'll do that. I'll be glad it's a lot brought my own verse pack down there and ahead of time. I put all the verses that had to do with salvation in verse pack everyone and written them out, and so I'm going along struggling with like John 316. I go for God so love love love God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son is only begotten son so we would go over these verses and Eddie got to work almost new verses as good as I knew the nothing happened.
Nothing. Nothing happened with he could live his life. I live my life I I honored his request. I never cornered him and years passed.
True story maybe 20, 21, 22 years passed, my phone rang of sitting in my study at the church and I picked up the phone and said a job as is Eddie I go, Eddie. Oh, and I call his last name is Yama New Orleans is a lot I'm running the car dealership. He said hey you know the trick you played on me.
He said it worked as what you know it worked. He said I trusted Jesus is my Savior. He said you know I been thinking about what you did back when we were both on the island together. He said it's kinda like witnessing by deception wasn't yet. I guess account was Eddie and he told about a transformed life changed marriage changed the way he's raised his children and I loved it when he said it worked. This will work this work. Folks phoniness done work counterfeit Christianity blows up in our faces. We need to remember that there's a winsome this that's connected with these new young Christians in the Scriptures that you can't get away from all they were committed.
This was no casual faith but they knew how to deal with the lost in a way that the loss couldn't stay away now, having said all of that. Let me give you my fifth observation, the majority of first century Christians did not personally leave home and go on foreign soil to serve Christ. I noticed that all or some of the greater lights did we know about Barnabas and Silas in Saul of Tarsus, of course, went left his work. Peter stopped fishing and he went and got Matthew. No longer did taxes. He went there were there were a number of the greater lights. By that I mean the more prominent names that the great majority never did that they supported those who did that they pray for them. They were engaged in it on the home front, and therefore, the, the real heroes of the world missionary outreach. They aren't limited to the people we know most of them are names we've never heard who never found their way into the text of the book of acts or one of the letters every once in a while you will meet them there. Once in, I came across in my research. An interesting book. It's called from Jerusalem to Erie and Jaya by a woman I've never met named Ruth Tucker, Ruth Tucker writes far less attention has been paid to those who stayed behind, and who may have been no less obedient to the heavenly vision is been said that for every missionary that goes to the foreign mission field. There are at least 50 individuals who at one time or another committed their lives to missions but never carry through with their commitment to go was there call to missions unrealized.
In some cases it was their commitment was forgotten. In other cases, however, they played an indispensable role on the home front.
Her would missions be today without the stay at homes of the 100,000 student volunteers who signed the Princeton pledge 20,000 actually went abroad. His foreign missionary but how could that awesome Army have endured on the front lines without the powerful backup network at home during those years.
Monetary giving to missions quadruple Stacy Woods had his plans, all made to go to India 1934, but he ended up staying in America to found in direct inter-varsity Christian Fellowship student organization finally involved in promoting missions through its work on university campuses. Dawson Trotman never became a foreign missionary but he too played a crucial role in missionary outreach through the founding of the navigators. Trotman caught a vision for missions while in Paris in 1948 and and since the time that time the navigators have spread across the globe with a dynamic zeal to disciple others in the Christian faith will bright like Dawson only gradually developed a vision for world mission campus Crusade for Christ was begun as a ministry geared primarily to reaching American students but by the 1980s, it had some 16,000 staff members involved in evangelism and more than 150 countries and protectorates around the world. So what about those who did not go overseas. How should their lives be evaluated. Are they any less a part of the great commission because they stayed at home.
Is there missionary call any less valid. How many young people have heard that missionary called invalid to go but seemingly became sidetracked along the way, did they miss God's call each one must answer that question individually before God story of those who went out there is a thrilling drama far more exciting. No doubt, than the story of those who stayed home yet. I love this. Those who stayed behind also have a story that needs to be told.
Sometime it very closely resembles the story of those who went out some of your sitting hearing Jill. Unfortunately, because you're not out there in the midst of India doing the work. Why God hasn't called all of us, or even most of us to be in India doing the work, but it doesn't mean that we live our lives with arms crossed, selfishly hanging onto everything we make. On the contrary, it means we dip deeply into arbitration and we give to the point of sacrifice at time so the work of ministry can go. What's our calling. That's what you have that job and why I have this would I love it when I read the stories in the New Testament that this vision swept the country to the point of the turning it upside down, but really only a small minority went with the great majority pray gay loved courage to make provision for our mission statement is to encourage all people to pursue a lifelong joyous relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Is that a healthy statement to encourage all people to pursue a lifelong joyous relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ begins by coming to know if it continues, but growing from infancy to maturity in him. It involves our being willing to share what we know with others who don't know it. It endures for as long as we are on this planet and there is no retirement plan. Isn't that good. We don't live for the day. We can hang a don't disturb sign on our door. We left for the day when we got more doors of our lives open saying to those who long to have what we have and enjoy.
Can I come in can I find out you tell me it's power hits you are in fact the most powerful force in the world today, you you are, your relationship with Jesus. Your commitment to him.
Your love for others. Your winsome spirit, your forgiving heart your open-minded unprejudiced zeal that gives you a force through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Very few people on this earth process, you may have come today and not not even know the Lord and my would be so great to have you leave with him as your Savior just by trusting him like the rest of us have. You can know eternal life in instant forgiveness and the removal of shame and and the heartache emptiness that has plagued you trailed you all through your life.
Trust him now trust him. We we have and we recommended that you need to know your your lives can be changed never going to be like it was before. Thank you father for the stories of Eddie all around the world where the seed was planted in your word was somehow ignited with life and you you brought forth a change in you brought them to yourself or her. Thank you for telling us about the Savior, through a parent or friend or neighbor somebody we work with source somebody we respected.
Thank you for the vision you've given us as a church.
Keep it fresh and and and free of traditionalism and and legalism and keep us from the guilt of wrenching money from people. May we be so caught up in it that we cannot help poor ourselves and and ignite those lives that are to go and make it clear and give them the and a determination never to look back as they serve you in a place beyond the familiar shores of home. Thank you for the expression of our faith, which gives it vitality and life zeal and and excitement. Thank you that it has no ending, but it takes us from time to or use this church in great ways to forge a new vision to touch lives it would never otherwise be touched both at home across the street and across the states as well as across the sea's and we will praise you, praise you forever blessed be the name of the Lord. It's in his name we pray. Everybody say amen message originally presented to the congregation.
He leads you're listening to the Bible teaching of pastor and author Chuck Swindoll and this is insight for living and if you like to learn more about this ministry. Please visit us firstname.lastname@example.org as your Chuck talk about the church today. You might be wondering how to find a church that helps you cultivate, which are called a lifelong joyous relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. What Chuck is written an article on how to recognize a healthy church. We believe it will steer you in the right direction you'll find this article email@example.com/church occurs. There's nothing that will shape your understanding of the church better than a personal study in the Bible. To that end, I'll point you to the Swindoll study Bible. The Swindoll study Bible includes practical insights from chalk and ideas for application and it's all integrated alongside the biblical text to purchase the color and font size of your choice, go to insight.org/offer what Chuck you shown is that our view of God's strength and his power will determine the course of our lives.
That's right Dave, I believe with all my heart that God is not only big but he's the God of limitless possibilities.
Think about that my convictions are founded on biblical truth, I'm thinking.
For example, of Luke 1827 where we read the things that are impossible with people or possible with God.
And the same thought is in Jeremiah, the weeping prophet wrote this.
Nothing is too difficult for you. Jeremiah 3217. In addition to these biblical affirmations I had also bear witness to the God of limitless possibilities of seeing his greatness at work in my own life again and again. For these reasons, and so many more.
I'm compelled to pursue what many people deem impossible. That is to obey the great command of our Savior Jesus and make disciples of all the nations. That's right, all the nations, would you be willing to join us in this journey. In recent days and months. You've heard me talk about what we call vision 195.
So this is not new to you is the passion of our hearts to bring insight for living to all 195 countries of our world.
I confess it's an audacious dream in my own strength. Admittedly, it's impossible, but I base my confidence on the God of limitless impossibilities in the last two years. God is accomplished the impossible. He's guided insight for living ministries through a global pandemic as well as a combative national election in a season of isolation. We never experienced until now. During this time. We kept every single radio station and we have not missed a broadcast and my friend.
I believe our best days still lie before us so let's trust this God of impossibilities, shall we, let's pull together and let's offer our personal resources to tell of God's amazing grace and all the countries of the world.
That's 195 of them.
Please follow God's prompting and give generously whatever God has placed on your heart that can do that today.
Thanks so much for standing alongside his responding to Chuck Swindoll is made simple.
You pick the method that's best for you.
First, you can call us if you're listening in the United States dial 1-800-772-8888 once again 1-800-772-8888 or it might be quickest to give it our secure website insight.org/donate which I sat down for a personal discussion about the challenges of the year.
In particular, our study in the Gospel of Matthew has shaped our future and insight for living. We had the video cameras rolling and we invite you to take a seat at the table with Chuck this 30 minute conversation is online, encourage you to click on the link it insight.org/conversation when doll describes a time tested model for sharing your faith.
That's Tuesday on insight for living. The preceding message and take it from reaching the laws was copyrighted in 2003 and 2019 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2019 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. all rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited