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Why We Must be a Missional Church

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist
The Truth Network Radio
June 25, 2024 11:58 am

Why We Must be a Missional Church

Lighting Your Way / Lighthouse Baptist

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June 25, 2024 11:58 am

Wednesday, June 12, 2024  |  Message by Pastor Josh

Main Scripture: Matthew 4:16-17

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Tonight's going to be a little bit different of a service. We had 14 people in our church who went away to a missions trip this last week and just kind of wanted to bring that missions trip home and share some of those things with you tonight.

I'm going to have Braden come ahead. He's going to kind of walk through what we did as a church down in Honduras. You know Eric was down there and we were able to celebrate the second year anniversary there with him. I was able to preach and the church is doing great.

It's awesome. God is blessing that work. He is so appreciative. The people there are so thankful.

The Lighthouse has been able to support them. They see it as an amazing thing that somebody in America would want to come to a third world country and spend their life down there ministering to the people in that part of the world. It just really was a blessing to them. It was also a blessing to Joel and Owen, those little guys, his kids when they've grown up, Joel Owen and little Evelyn. They said it was so nice because the kids obviously love America, miss America in so many ways, but they felt like it was home just by us being there.

It was just a wonderful time. They're doing great. Family's doing great.

Kids are doing great there. They all speak Spanish well and doing good, a lot better than I do. Buenos dias. No hablo español.

Piquito, very little. It was a wonderful trip. The people that went from Lighthouse really honored the Lord there. They represented Christ well. The unity was beautiful. Everybody got along great. It was just a wonderful time.

It was some long days to our time change from here to there, but it was a wonderful trip. Braden's going to come ahead. He's going to share some pictures, walk through the week, and then we have several people that are going to share a little bit of their testimony.

They have a song they're going to do, and then I'll come up and preach after that. Braden, if you want to come ahead, thank you. Thank you, Pastor, and it's been a great week.

I should say hola, buenos dias, como estas, and that's about the end of my Spanish, too. It was a rough week, but thankfully there's body language, there's sidewalk chalk, and there's other ways that we can communicate. So we had a great week, and my job is just to kind of recap the week. You'll see some pictures behind me here in a moment, but Monday, last Monday was our first travel day. I shouldn't say last Monday, that was a couple days ago, but June 3rd was our first day heading out. We met here at church five in the morning, left here about 5.30, and headed to Cincinnati Airport.

You can see the picture there as we were getting in line. We had some slight hiccups in our travel. We were two hours delayed in our flight, and originally our slogan by Eric for the trip was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It quickly became the Oregon Trail because we lost Pastor Josh on the way. They overbooked the flight, and he had to stay back until Tuesday to rejoin the group, so we got labeled the Oregon Trail as we lost a man. So we landed finally in Tegucigalpa, or not Tegucigalpa, but the airport, 90-minute drive to Tegucigalpa, got to the hotel. Everybody was tired. Those that had not been on the trip before got the sure experience of Honduran traffic.

It was intense. They didn't know what they got once they got there. But we got to the hotel, dropped everything off, quickly had an orientation. You guys can flip through the pictures for Monday. You can see the flights.

There's a couple people taking pictures on the flight as we were in the air. This is Tegucigalpa, the city, the capital city that we were ministering in. As you can see, it's just houses upon houses.

When I say houses, most of them are huts, real small. And then the next picture is us at the airport when we landed, everybody smiling. And then I think, is that the last picture for Tuesday? And that's our orientation there. So jumping into Tuesday, we went canvassing in the morning in the city where the church, it's in Tegucigalpa, but the city, the area of the city is called La Roca. Am I saying it right? Lararque, see? Can't speak Spanish well. So we began canvassing, as you can see here.

It's very mountainous. And Colt was our great interpreter this week for us with the team. He was able to go through and speak a lot of Spanish to the communities. You guys can throw the next picture up there as well. Then we began, after we ate lunch back at the church, we began prepping peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I mean, this was hundreds and hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They were like all over their arms. I mean, they didn't leave any peanut butter in those jars, I don't think.

And so again, it was hundreds and hundreds of sandwiches. While they were preparing that and they were separating out 400 pounds of rice and beans to be distributed, because of your faithfulness to give to missions, we were able to help out with a lot of these projects. You can see here, this is a mosquito net that Colt and I, while they were preparing all this stuff, I think we got the easier job and we went and hung mosquito nets in a home for a young mom in the church. She had two young children and she didn't have the money to buy these mosquito nets, which came out to a total of five US dollars.

Her little two-year-old daughter, cutest little thing in the world, she had been sick with dengue fever two different times and it was pretty rough on her. So we were able to go in this home, hang the mosquito nets, and when I say home, it was smaller than probably the classroom over here to the right of me, and everything was in that room. So then from there, we ended up going to Eric's house. We had a Bible study that night with not only our people in our group, but most of his people in the church that were bilingual came to his house. We had a dinner and a Bible study where I was able to give a devotion and a message on faithfulness and then challenging them to do more within the church there in L.R.R.K. And so then jumping to Wednesday, we began an all-day ministry at, it's called SOS, Adalis SOS, and basically this is kind of like an orphanage. This orphanage is just a sad, sad situation. These children, many had been either abandoned by their parents, some had been left along the roadside as young babies, some had been taken from extremely abusive home situations, almost kind of like a children's protective services, and then some had just, you know, were abandoned. And so this is Edgar and Cole, and they were able to do a children's service, give a devotion to the kids. Candice was able to speak to, instead of it being like one giant building, they have several houses on the property, and they have house moms or house aunts is what they call them, and so Candice was able to do a devotion two times. They did a rotation of the house moms, so not all the kids were running wild.

There were some moms watching all the kids. They had a good rotation going on there, and she was able to present the gospel, praise them for what they're doing that is honorable, and when you do it under the least of these, you're doing it under Christ. And these were the least of the least in Honduras in a third-world country, and our team was able to minister to them. The other thing that we did that day was a carnival. We had some events where they had games that they could play. Also, this picture here that you see, we bagged up items for the house moms.

It was much needed. It's food that was provided for each house mom to be able to then continue to cook meals for the kids that are in those homes. We then went and took those to the homes, but then after this, I should have a photo of the carnival. We had a lot of carnival games set up, inflatables. The kids, they could just keep playing these games, and it was just the joy of the Lord that was on their hearts. Despite their circumstances or situation, they'd get little trinkets, and they just loved it. If they grabbed one and another piece was attached to it, they would put it back. That's just the way they were.

They were perfectly content with just what they had and getting one thing at a time, but they would just keep going through these games. I don't know if we have another picture that you can show there. That's them taking the food to the house. Any other ones for Wednesday? Is that it? That's it?

Okay. Moving to Thursday, we went to a mountainside village called Carpintero. Here, we had done some work early on in the ministry of this church years ago, helped building that building and the rock walls out inside of it, but this time we began canvassing.

So we showed up the rice and the beans that we had prepared on Tuesday. We took out to the mountainside church, and our teams dispersed into a couple different teams, and we're backpacking 400 pounds of rice and beans up and down the hillside. As you can see, these are some remote areas.

You're like, where are you going there? Like it is really the Oregon Trail, right? And so it was just amazing to, like Pastor said, the spirit of our people. This isn't just like walking up and down the streets of Xenia.

This is some rough terrain, not complaining out of anybody. We also had Bibles that we were giving out to the homes. So any home that did not have a Bible, we would give those to them.

Then some of the ladies stayed back. They helped clean the building and get it ready for the services that day as well in the afternoon. And so you can see that they were prepping the building. And then the other event that took place that day is we went to a park called Piacho. It's the Jesus Park.

They have a statue similar to the Rio de Janeiro, Jesus statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Then you can see behind me here, Colt, he gave a lesson. This was an outreach to the teens that we did that night.

And he was able to present a message on making Christ known out of the book of Philippians. And it was just an awesome, awesome time to spend time with those teens. And some of those teens were like little kids when we were there the last time and to see them still to continue to remain faithful and to be part of that local church there was amazing. Going to Friday, we went to this hospital that you can see there and this is Hospital Escuela. This hospital, if you look closely, those windows are open.

There's no air conditioning. It's 90 degrees and you can think about open wounds and like the well-being of some of that stuff that we take for granted in the U.S. People at this hospital, they have to wait. This is the student hospital. These are student doctors, student nurses that serve in here. And basically the people pay, they have to sit outside the hospital and wait till they get enough money saved up for whatever parts or we'll say parts except it's blood, band-aids, whatever it is. They pay for that but they don't pay for the labor that the doctors and the nurses are doing because they're students. They're learning.

So you can see not the best healthcare system. They line up on the streets and they're just there. And family members are trying to raise money to bring back to them. And so people were just all over the street. We had like hundreds and hundreds of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches you see us make on Tuesday. We are out in the streets taking tracks and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, just showing the love of Christ and getting that to them. And then we quickly got out of there.

We can only stay there about 15 to 20 minutes before, you know, it becomes unsafe. And so we were able to do that, move on. We went out back to the mountainside church in Carpintero where we did a second day of canvassing. We were able to hand out more of the beans, the rice, the bibles. This picture you see here is the Manna Feeding Center. They have children in the community come in.

This is usually their one solid meal of the day that they get. And so we were able to minister to that, help serve the food, help clean up afterwards. And then we did a children's event where, again, the gospel was presented. We were able then to do some carnival games with the kids afterwards, face paintings, that sort of stuff, and just really spend time with those children there. On Saturday, that's a picture of all of us afterwards.

They had like 43 kids there, plus all of us. It was just an amazing, amazing day to see what the Lord was doing through that ministry. Then Saturday, we had our experience day. We went hiking at La Tigra National Park, and they should have a couple photos of that that they should be throwing up. No?

Okay. And so it was an experience day. We got to go there, got to go hiking. And then we came back for a baptism service. Have any pictures of the baptism? And this young lady here, this is important. She was a young lady who her parents had abandoned her.

She had an aunt that was kind of in her life, but she really has no family. And so it meant a lot to her for our church family to go to this hotel to see the baptism service. And she was the newest member of the church.

Her and her soon-to-be husband are getting married at the end of July or beginning of August. And so that was Saturday. And then Sunday, we had the two-year anniversary of the church service there. Pastor Josh preached an awesome message, a clear gospel presentation, and then also as to why it's important to be part of the local church. And they had 71 people in attendance that day.

Do we have any pictures of that? And then also with that, there was a meal to follow like we do on our anniversary days. And then to finish the night up, we had some desserts and a testimony time at Eric's house along with the devotion that Eric did that night. And then Monday was our travel back. Successfully, all 14 people made it back.

So we were no longer the Oregon Trail. We were a complete unit, no hiccups and traveling back. And at this time, we've got some folks that are going to come up. You all can come up now. They're going to share their testimonies.

They'll use the mic here at the pulpit. But can I just say, these folks are just some of the ones that went, and it was a blessing to serve alongside them this week. Like Pastor said, the spirit of unity, just self-sacrifice, long days, hot weather, no ice. We had lukewarm water. I don't know if you like that or not, but most people don't. And when we ask for ice, they're like, why?

Why do you need ice? You're weird. So we asked these folks behind me that are come up here in a minute, what was the most impactful thing from the trip or a takeaway from the trip? And how will this change your life because of it? And so I'm going to turn it over to them. They're going to come and share that response. And then afterwards, they have a song that they're going to sing. Just the joy that we had during the games that they were playing. And then also when we went to Carpintero, during the children's events, these kids had to walk miles just to get to this church. But when they got there, they all had smiles on their face just to play the games.

And then also with, like we showed pictures of the mosquito nets, something, it was $5 and that just made such a huge difference in that family's life. So the most impactful thing to me was just, they didn't focus on the happenings of their life, but they focused on the joy. And that joy is from Christ.

They might not have the money. They might not have had an easy way to get to church, but they always had joy in Christ. And so the way this will change my life is just don't be focused on materialistic things. It's like, just focus on the joy of Christ. Like our happenings, they'll come and pass, but the joy in Christ is forever. The most impactful thing for me from the trip was being asked at the beginning of the week at what point would God ask me to do something that I would say no. What would I not be willing to do for a God that sent his son to die for me? Seeing Eric and Ashley on the mission field and their kids there while being asked that question really made me reevaluate the level of surrender I had for the Lord. Seeing them speak to and interact with the Honduran people as well as seeing the spiritual fruit produced from their choice and following God's will for their lives by moving away from their families and homes here in Ohio was very eye-opening and encouraging. They left everything they knew, clean water, clean food, the language they knew, all for the Lord. They are there with a willing heart, all for the glory of God. The thing that stuck with me the most was the idea that I would never regret a decision I made for the Lord.

I want to have the heart to say yes to whatever the Lord has for my life, no matter how uncomfortable it might make me in the moment, for the eternal reward is worth any temporary discomfort. I'm so glad I decided to go on the missions trip and I'm so thankful I was able to see the Woodworths and Honduras. It was such a blessing to spend the time with the group that went and the Honduran people. I'm so grateful for the impact this trip made on me and my life. I'm Heather Howard.

That was Sadie Bevan and Colt Coffey. I fasted about going on this trip for a week and I felt like the Lord was really telling me to go and I was very nervous about leaving my husband, who I hadn't been away from for even a day, after he started dating. So eight days away from him felt like a really long time. But on the way to Honduras on the plane, I was sitting by the window and going over to the Caribbean, which I'd never seen. It was just gorgeous and God just brought this peace over me and it literally just brought me to tears and I knew I was in the right place. Though I did start to regret my decision, going from the airport to the hotel, two hours up a mountain, nauseous and just overwhelmed by the traffic and everything that we saw and tired and all of that. The thing that really stuck out to me was just how giving the people were. The children, the women, they were just wanting to give to us and they had nothing. It just really made me want to be more giving myself and just even seeing the group from Lighthouse and how servant-hearted they all are. It just inspired me to want to be more like that. I know some of us were talking, we were going to be sad that we weren't going to be around each other every day anymore, even though we get to see each other at church. Like pastor said, it was a really good group and Eric and Ashley are just phenomenal missionaries and it really just gave me a real appreciation for what they do.

Hi, my name is Tanisha Howard. I've had a lot of trauma in my life, loss of close friends and families and I've always hated my testimony. Jeremiah 29 11 says, for I know the thoughts that I think toward you says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not evil to give you a future and a hope. And until this week, I didn't realize to hate my testimony means to hate the plans God has for my life. I reject the idea that this life is not mine. First Corinthians 6 19 through 20 says, do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God and you are not your own for you were bought with the price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's. This week I've learned that I've been so stuck in my own trauma.

I haven't considered others. There were several days and times I just wanted to weep for the precious children who had no family to love and care for them to run to when they're sad or to talk about when life in the way that it brings their faces radiated happiness, but as someone who went through a lot as a kid, I could see the pain in their eyes. I grieve my mother daily, but that also means there was a lot of love between us. You can't grieve someone without having once joy and love for them. We encountered many kids who don't have that person, but how cool was it to teach them and point them to the one that loves them more than anyone could. The one that would never leave them is always there to comfort them. The one that can truly give them life, Jesus. We don't get to rewrite the story God has already written, but what we can do is rejoice in the Lord that he was there in your darkest moments, is here in this very moment, and there in your future and forevermore if you're saved. Just as these kids were desperate for love and connection, so should we be desperate for love and connection with Jesus daily.

He is Abba. We live out what captivates us. Our capacity to live deeply into the story of God will give us purpose. What is your testimony and how can you use it to glorify God and further the kingdom? Hi, I'm Josie Bevan, and the question he asked us to answer was, what was the most impactful thing from this trip and how will my life change from it? So I've been called to the missions field for many years, and after being on this trip and seeing how little these people had and how grateful they were and how much they loved God made me feel very convicted for how much I have and how discontent I become. And it just made me very aware of how much we have and how much we need to give God glory even when things get hard. And the people that we connected with in this trip with the people that I was with was very comforting to me to grow closer to them, and I just wanted to say that we may all go through hard things in life, but knowing that God is always with us and his plan for our life is the best life we could live is the most comforting thing to know. Hi, I'm Alexis Fry, and the most impactful thing from this week was the joy and gratitude of the kids. They had so little yet always came with a smile on their face showing so much joy.

Most of them had rough family lives as well as rough living conditions, but they never failed to come with a big smile on their face and giving you a huge hug. Ephesians 2, 12 through 14, that at that time ye were without Christ being aliens from the common wealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise having no hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus, ye who sometimes were far off may nigh by the blood of Christ, for he is our peace, who hath made both one and hath broken down the middle of the wall of perdition between us. These kids were able to have peace with God despite everything they go through. It reminded me that one, my problems are so tiny compared to things other people go through around the world, and two, that the peace in my life comes from God alone, not the things of this world. Despite the language barrier between us, there was a unity between everyone through our God who breaks down barriers allowing for a beautiful connection among believers.

My name is J.C. Patterson. My event that was most impactful to me was while we were out canvassing in Loaroke. Me and Jason, one of the guys from Eric's church down in Honduras, had a chance to stay back and talk to this girl named Marlene. We talked to her about five minutes while the rest of the group went on and kept canvassing, and she told me that she could see God in my face and that she was so thankful that whenever Americans would come to Honduras because we were so welcoming, we were so giving to them, and it just stuck with me all week, and then she shows up on Sunday at church, and during meet and greets, I saw her, I gave her a hug, and I didn't even recognize who she was at first until afterwards. It clicked that she was the girl that we'd stayed back with and ministered to, and after service, I asked Jason to stay back with me or to talk to her for me since she only spoke Spanish, so I wasn't able to talk to her, but she had talked about her rough life outside the church and that she lived with around 12 people in a small home, and she talked about the reason that she was at church was because we invited her to church, and she said, if you guys are out there sacrificing out in the hot sun, the least I could do was accept the invitation, so I took that as an opportunity to tell her that Jesus had made such a bigger sacrifice by sacrificing his body on the cross for our sins and that all we have to do is accept that invitation from him, and then she talked about how she has a heavy burden because her family life is so rough, and I got a chance to talk to her about how with Jesus our burden is light. It gave me a chance to realize that out canvassing in a third world country with a language that I don't speak, how embarrassing would it be for me to come back to America and not be able to spread the gospel in a language that I speak with everybody and the people that I've known for years.

My name is Julie Reynolds, and I was the oldest one on the trip. I was a little nervous about being Grandma, but they all treated me well, but that was the exciting part was that we had all diverse age groups on this trip, and we got along so well. The Lord works out your problems, not problems, but I'm just saying things that they wouldn't really want to do because they'd rather be out playing with the kids. We were able to go clean the church, so it just worked out perfectly for that. What I want to take away from this, I loved being in the foreign country and seeing what Eric and his family have to go through just to go out and do their mission, but the takeaway is that I want to bring back to you is that our mission here is kind of the same. We need to take the gospel out to everybody, but we need to cover our missionaries with prayer, and we need to have more people on our missions care team.

I'm going to use this time for that. We've got about eight missionaries at this point that don't have anybody that's reading their letters. We're trying our best to try to keep up with that, but we've published a letter.

We read through all of them, and then we give each one a space that we can write down what their requests are. We check and see if they need money, what they're doing, whatever, and so if you could be on our team, that would be great, but we've also got that written out there on the credenza out there. The other way that you can help if you don't want to be on a team is you can follow them on social media.

A lot of our people are on Facebook. I get updates from the Faldi family in Haiti. We just got an update that they've got one more document that was okay for them to adopt some twins, but you get immediate reaction, and you can comment, and you can see that they put a thumbs up or whatever, and they need that support, and we need to support them.

I know we're giving money, but we need to give them emotional support too, so that was my big takeaway from what we did. So as you can see, it was an awesome week, a lot of great testimonies. There's some that weren't here to give the testimonies tonight, but this time they're going to go ahead and make their way up here. They did a song during the second year anniversary service, so they're going to sing some of that chorus for us tonight. This is a Spanish song that we learned while we were down there. I'll just read you what it translates to basically in English. It says, your faithfulness is great. Your faithfulness is incomparable.

There's no one like you, oh blessed God. Great is your faithfulness. Great is your faithfulness. Great is your faithfulness. Great is your faithfulness.

Great is your faithfulness. You guys, that was awesome. What a blessing, amen, to be able to see these guys make sacrifices. You know, these folks paying their way to get down there to minister to people in another part of the world is just such a joy, and seeing fruit. I know on the way back, we were all broken up on the plane, and so it was like a bunch of little evangelists broken up on these planes. Everybody didn't realize you're going to get the gospel, man, and so we had some people leading people to Christ on the airplanes coming back, and so it was great. After every flight they were going through, who did you get to talk to? A couple of them, they had somebody that fell asleep between them.

They're like, they slept the whole ride, and trying to wake them up. Sorry about that, but it's a joy. If you have your Bibles, Matthew 4, I have a brief message tonight, an honestly brief message, Matthew 4, 16 and 17. We'll just read a couple of verses here.

I want to talk about why we must be a missions church. In July, I'm going to get into, I know we've talked about in the past, I'm going to get into the history of the Bible. July, we're going to be able to navigate through that, but tonight I want to jump into this sermon, why we must be a missions church. Verse 16, this is Jesus' launch of his ministry. Christ, the light of the world stepping into the world that's lost in sin, and as he does this, and he launches his ministry up in, you can see verse 15, Galilee of the Gentiles.

This is a heavy Gentile region up north part of Israel, and it says in verse 16, the people which sat in darkness saw great light, and to them which sat in the region in shadow of death, light is sprung up. From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Father, we thank you for your word tonight. Hearts have already been full because of the joy of Christ on the face of those who were ministered to and were able to minister in that field. Thank you for all that are here tonight, Lord, who love you and support and pray for missionaries and give so that others can go. We just thank you so much for what you're doing, God. Your kingdom is advancing. The church is being built all around the world, and we celebrate the glory of Christ. We ask your blessing now in Christ's name, and God's people said amen.

You may be seated tonight. The driving focus of Lighthouse, sometimes people ask what's different about Lighthouse. We have a focus to know Christ and make him known.

You'll see that on a lot of our literature. But the chief motive of the church is to glorify God supremely in all we do. At the heart of why we exist is the glory of God.

We do everything we do so that God would be glorified. But the chief mission of the church is to carry out the great commission, to see the good news of the gospel brought to all the earth. When someone asks what is different, it should be that we are a passionate church or seek to be a passionate church about carrying out God's mission to bring the gospel to this world.

And that is both locally and abroad. And it's not something that we can just believe in or preach on. It's something that we have to actively be involved in.

We could be passionate about evangelism verbally, but unless we go and tell somebody, it really doesn't matter. Right now, to the glory of God, we currently support 61 missionaries around the world, just some of the countries to give you an idea that we have missionaries. We're supporting in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Cuba, England, Estonia, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Haiti, Honduras, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Japan, Latin America, Middle East, New Zealand, Nicaragua, North Africa, Panama, Papua New Guinea.

We have six in the Philippines, Scotland, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and the list just goes on and on and on. We also have eight in-country missions projects that we also support. And so last year we were able to give over $175,000 to these missions works and God's just continuing to bless them.

And we're so thankful for that. And like Julie said, we praise God for those that are part of that missions care team because they read through those prayer letters. They say, hey, there's a missions need here. And we have missions funds we set aside each month to be able to give to special projects.

So we're able to send that money out and continuing to support these guys all on a monthly basis, which is a joy. But tonight I want to look at why missions is important, why we should be involved in missions. And let me give you some specific ways that everyone here needs to be involved in missions. If there were four things I could say would be, one is first of all sharing the Gospel locally. You need to be involved in telling other people about Jesus Christ. And I see this all the time. We have people every week coming to me and telling me, somebody they're sharing the Gospel with, this is just a constant outflow of Christ being in you.

It should organically happen. If you know Christ, you should be making Him known. Secondly, praying for missionaries and lost souls. We need to be lifting them up.

And again, I appreciate what was mentioned earlier. We need to pray for these missionaries. There is a lot of spiritual attack that goes on in that missions world. I don't know if you realize it, but there's a lot of missionaries that just face incredible challenges and problems.

We have one missionary we support in our prisons here in the States. He was driving down the road, moving his wife and family. They have, I think, six children, the Bushey family. And somebody hit the back of his trailer and he went flying into a guardrail with his family, rolled the car about four times or so, at least they know, destroyed both his vehicle that was driving in, it's a bourbon. And so I called him up just a little over a while on the travel down to Cincinnati. I was talking to him and we sent a couple thousand dollars to help him with his vehicle. In the meantime, just to help things while he's in this transition period. But just, you know, you're serving the Lord, you're doing what God wants, and then you flip your vehicle four times while you're moving to a place.

You think God wants him, you think Satan wants him going into the prisons and sharing Christ and seeing people on death row come to Christ and seeing some of the things he's seeing. And so just know that there's a lot of things that we need to pray for them about. Also, thirdly, we need to be giving to missions. You need to give to your local church. If you say, well, I'm just going to give all my giving to missions. If everybody did that, the lighthouse closes. Does that make sense?

Right? So you need to make sure that you give locally because we're still doing local work, right? But also, we need to be given to missions. So always make that a part of your giving.

Like, you know, I believe you should tie it to your church and then over and above that, give to missions, give to building, those kind of things. But you need to be involved in that. And then be willing to go. If God specifically calls you, whether on a mission trip, we'll have a missions trip, we'll plan one each year. But also, maybe God's calling you not just to a mission trip, but to be a missionary, be a pastor, pastor's wife, missionary or missionary's wife, or ladies can be missionaries and go serve in those different areas. And so just say, God, I'm willing to do whatever you want me to do.

I'm willing to step out and serve in whatever capacity. Don't be afraid of that. Be afraid not to do that. Be afraid not to go all in for God. Doesn't mean that God's going to call everybody to missions or be a pastor or anything like that. But it's saying that I'm willing to do whatever God wants me to do.

And maybe he just wants you to be an electrician or work in the schools or be a teacher, whatever it is. And praise God, we need people in all those venues. And that's exactly what you need to do if that's where he has you at, because that's what he's called you to do. But just be willing, be surrendered, be a vessel that says, God, I'm all in for you no matter where you've planted me.

So just three things tonight. Why are missions so important? Why must Lighthouse be a missions-focused church?

Because I'll say this. Growing up, I was in a wonderful church growing up throughout my high school years, but they just never talked much about missions. They didn't have a huge focus on missions. It was a lot of church planting, and that's fantastic and needed. But I went to a Bible college where missions became a big emphasis. And I saw missionaries from China come, and they would show us handwritten Bibles where missionaries wrote the entire Bible out—or not missionaries, but people in their churches would write the—because they didn't have copies there, and they were struggling to get the Bible.

And they would come into a church, and they would all pass pages of the Bible because they'd take it home and basically memorize it and come back because they didn't have Bibles. And just hearing these stories, my heart was so gripped by that, and I thought I was going to be a missionary. If you were to ask me in college, what are you going to do? I said, I'm going to be a missionary. Where are you going?

I was like, I'll go to Africa. I'll go wherever God wants me to do, but I know He wants—I feel like He's wanting me to go to missions—be in missions. He didn't call me to missions, but I thought that's what He wanted me to do, and I was willing to do it. I'm willing now to do it. If He wanted me to go, I would go. But it's just be willing. And I remember one great preacher—he was in his 90s—he said, you know, I surrendered to missions, and he had already built a church of 5,000 people, but he had retired.

No, he never retired. He just continued his work. But he just was always all in. Just always be all in for God, and you won't miss what God wants for you. The problem is we're afraid of God. We're afraid that God's going to ruin our plans and ruin our life if we turn the wheel over to Him.

As though the thoughts that I have for myself are better than the thoughts He has for me. Like, God, keep your hands off the wheel. Save me.

Take me to heaven. If we can believe Him for eternity, can we believe Him for the temporary? It's like, you know, you think the disciples are like, you know, I wish I stayed as a fisherman on the Sea of Galilee. You think they're ever looking back and regretting following Jesus. He says, follow me and I'll make you fishers of men in verse 18 and 19.

They never regretted that. And so whatever God calls you to do, He'll give you a heart for. He's not going to make you miserable serving Him. Your joy will be found in serving God and the purpose for which He's created you. So why is mission so important? First of all, the world is lost in sin.

Some basic truths here. But we need to understand the world is in darkness. First John 5 19 says we know we are of God and the whole world lieth in wickedness. It could also be translated who are under the sway or power of the wicked one. The whole world is under the sway of the wicked one.

It lies in wickedness. Without Christ, the world is in darkness. Listen how the Bible describes the world that Jesus came into in verse 16. The people, verse 16 says, which sat in darkness saw great light. This is a quotation out of the Old Testament where it talks about in Isaiah, they grope at noontime like the blind. They are touching a wall, trying to find their way around, and spiritually that's what people are.

They don't see. And Jesus came and it says they that sat in darkness saw great light and unto them which sat in the regions of the shadow of death, light is sprung up. Now Jesus is the remedy. John 8 12, Jesus said, I am the light of the world. And if you follow Christ, you're not going to walk in darkness because you'll have the light of life. John 12 46, Jesus repeated, I am the light of the world. But when Jesus left, he said it was first major sermon, he let the disciples know in Matthew 5 14, you are the light of the world. You have followed me out of darkness and now you become lights in this world. The Bible says of those who have now been saved in 1 Peter 2 9, that God called us out of darkness into his marvelous light. Anybody remember how dark your life was or your mindset was? Just your thinking patterns?

How off? There's times I reflect back on how ignorant my thinking was, how off it was. And it's an amazing thing because people who used to know you and they meet you now and they're like, man, you're, you know, you're a different person and it's because light has come into darkness, right?

And it's not because of us, it's because of him. Colossians 1 13 says, who have delivered us from the power of darkness and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear son. Again, we were under that darkness. So when Jesus came, he came as a light. And for people who were in the dark, it brought them out of the light. It brought them out of the darkness into the light. And in John 4, the woman at the well came out of darkness into light. Matthew, the tax collector, Peter Andrew, the disciples, the Roman centurion, the paralyzed man who was brought to Jesus on and on. These people were brought to the light.

And do you know that's what you do every week? When you go into the world and you tell others of Christ, you're bringing light to them. Whether they respond to that or not is between them and God, but you are shining light. You are telling them of truth, absolute and ultimate reality.

And to shine that upon them is an incredible joy. When we were at that orphanage there where these precious little children were either sexually abused, they were abandoned, they were left, all kinds of terrible things happened to them. By the way, it was so encouraging, one of our young teenagers, I was watching, bringing some food in and this little boy, when he reached down, this little kid's like just a little two foot kid, these little precious kids, man.

And you've got to be really gracious about how you approach them because when kids have gone through that kind of abuse, you can't just come up like loud and like excited, you just really have to let them come to you type thing. But that little boy came to him and he's reaching down and his necklace was kind of hanging down with a cross on it and that little boy, this guy on our team, knew Spanish enough so he said, I think my grandfather is what he said had a necklace like that. I always wanted a necklace like that and he took this nice necklace off and put it around that little boy's neck and you could see the joy that's there.

And you know, all I could think of was as much as you've done it to the least of these, you've done it to me. You know, willing to just impart in some kind of a loving gesture and you know, that little kid, that's probably his most valuable possession in his life. There's nothing that's financially physically more valuable and what a joy to see that and just having a heart to pour out love and kindness and all week long, I mean, they'd come up and run up and hug you and it was just so precious. I remember when I was there, it's probably been eight years ago, there was a little girl, her name was Reina. She would roll her R's like that. I just, I melted. I was like, oh, just so cute. I'd say como, oh, how do you say, what's your name? Como te llama.

Como te llama and she's like Reina. She'd say like that. I'm like, ah, say it again.

I say it every time. And somehow her name got brought up and they said, she's still here. I said, she is. And she's a teenager now and pretty young lady. And so my daughter's got to talk with her and meet her.

And I went over, I was like, what is your name? And now she's older and it was just a joy to see that. And you know, these kids that you've invested in, that we've invested in as a church to still see fruit years and years later, what a blessing.

So they need that light. You know, we go out to Carpintero and I mean, this is just a, this is a village out in the boondocks. I mean, this is out, out, out. You're walking the trails way back. You can tell they don't get a whole lot of people that come back in there and they're like, what's all these gringos doing, you know, coming down this road?

Who's that tall one over there coming down the road? But it was just such a blessing and they were so kind. But the first thing is the world's lost. And secondly, we must be a missions church because God's plan is the gospel to reach the lost. It is God's plan to reach the world with the gospel. You know, God had only one son and he was a missionary. He came to a foreign soil to bring us the gospel.

You realize that? 1 John 4, 14, we have seen and do testify the father sent the son to be the savior of the world. After Jesus came and brought salvation, and he commissioned the disciples in Acts 1, 8. He said, you'll be witnesses unto me, both locally in Jerusalem, that's like in Xenia, and then in all Judea. Judea would be like the region, so that's like Greene County. Samaria is like, that's like enemy territory. That'd be like going to Michigan.

Get that 10 pre-vote. And then, they need the gospel, right? They need the gospel. I said something about Michigan the other week. We had a visitor here and I didn't, you know, and I went to after service on Wednesday, I was like, you better go from groups and pray. And I was like, yeah, where are you guys from?

She's like, Michigan. It's like, I knew that's why I needed to pray with you guys, you know. So, but unto Samaria. And then he says, unto the uttermost part of the world. So, so this is God's plan.

I mean, this is right before Jesus ascends. He says, this is what I've sent you to do. Matthew 28, 19, go ye therefore, teach all nations. Teach all nations is the Greek word verb of mathetes, mathetuo. It could be also translated as make disciples of all nations. Make Jesus followers of all nations and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So, so this is the great commission. This is to, it's not the great suggestion, right?

It's not God's great opinion. This, this is a formal order from the commander in chief and we're to follow that. And that's why we must be, be a part of this. The early church understood it. They went out and spread the gospel everywhere.

Acts 8, 4, therefore they were scattered abroad when everywhere preaching the gospel. So God's, God's plan is to reach the world. And this is his plan A, B and C. There's nothing else that's going to reach the world but the gospel of Jesus Christ.

That's, that's the good news that we have been commissioned to share. And then thirdly and finally, we must be a mission church because Jesus is the only way of salvation. The exclusivity of Christ demands evangelism. That Jesus is the only way forces us to bring the gospel to the world.

We live in an inclusive world but inclusivism doesn't work with the gospel. There isn't many ways to heaven. There is one way and it's through Christ.

And to understand this you just have to ask a few questions. Is there only one way to heaven? The first question you ask is how many gods are there? Isaiah 45, 5, God says I am the Lord and there is none else. There is no God beside me.

Either that's true or it's not, right? Deuteronomy 6, 4, hero Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. 1 Timothy 2, 5, there is one God. And on and on this goes in the Bible. If there was only one God, did he make different ways of salvation?

That would be the second question I would ask. And the Bible tells us that he made one way. 1 John 4, 14, and we have seen and do testify the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4, 10, here in his love, not that we love God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. So God sent, the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world. And Jesus came to be our Savior.

That's why 1 Timothy 1, 15 says Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Isaiah 45, 22, God says I am God, there is none else. Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth. John 14, 6, Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life.

No one comes to the Father but by me. Acts 4, 12, it's not salvation in any other. There is no other name under heaven and given among men whereby we must be saved.

We know that in 1 John 5, 11, and 12 it says he that hath the Son hath life, he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. So Jesus said the strait is the gate narrows the way, Matthew 7, 13, and 14. There's a broad path that leads to hell and there's a narrow path that leads to heaven. The broad path doesn't say way to hell, the broad path reads religious. What's interesting is nearly every person that Eric Woodworth has led to Christ in his church, he said were all religious people who thought they were going to heaven, they were in Catholicism. They all believed in God, they all believed in tradition, none of them had a relationship with Jesus Christ. They didn't know the gospel.

So that's what happens. We have a world that's filled with religion and they're totally lost. I witnessed to a guy there at that orphanage for about an hour and a half, believes in God, religious, totally lost. An hour and a half trying to unwind, praise God he was bilingual. He was on their national Taekwondo team. Don't kick me in the head if you disagree with me, all right? Super guy, engineer, and he just kept engaging question after question after question after question and just hungry for the truth, but the truth he never found in these religious things.

And he gave Eric, Eric has taken jiu-jitsu over there too, which is awesome, and so he was able to connect with him and they're going to be meeting up and he wanted to meet up more and talk about some things and so. But what about those who've never heard Pastor Josh? I mean, if somebody's never heard the gospel, surely they'll be able to go to heaven. God's not going to hold people accountable who's never heard the gospel. So people ask this sometimes and there are a lot of people who claim to be Christians and who are Christians who are confused who think that if somebody has never heard the gospel, never had a chance to be saved, that they'll get a pass into heaven.

If that's the case, why would you tell them? If ignorance equals salvation, bring the missionaries home. So it's either through Christ alone or it's through Christ or ignorance. Ignorance not in a demeaning way, I mean ignorance in the sense that you don't know. If you have an island of a thousand people and their ignorance of never hearing the gospel allowed them to go to heaven, you would never want to send a missionary because if a missionary led 999 of them to Christ, you just damned one man to hell.

Does that make sense? That mindset in teaching is a doctrine of the evil one. It's not biblical.

Let me give you an answer, and it's two-fold, about people who quote unquote have never heard the gospel. First of all, everyone on the planet has a chance to be saved. Everyone on the planet has a chance to be saved.

That's Romans 1.18-20. Creation reveals there's a Creator. Creation is not enough to save someone, but it's enough to let them know there is a Creator. Now what they do with that information will determine what God does with them. They're not saved by believing in a Creator, but if they look to that creation and respond with desire to God's creation, as Romans 1 talks about, it says in Romans 1.18-20 that they are without excuse. So there's enough from general creation to condemn, but there is not enough to save. But those who look at creation and believe there is a God and respond by faith, I believe God will bring them the truth. Those who seek God will be found.

The Scriptures give examples of this through the Bible. People like Rahab the harlot. Think about how little information she had. She knew Israel, the God of Israel, was triumphant.

Two spies come, she hides, she puts her life on the line, and this harlot believes enough of the little information. She never had a Bible, never had any of that stuff, never heard of Jesus, believed in the God of Israel, acted in faith, and she's saved. James 2 talks about her faith.

Naaman the Syrian, Jonah and the people of Nineveh. Think about Cornelius in Acts 10. Cornelius was a religious guy, he gave money to the temple, he was not a Christian, but he sought the truth, he sought the true God, and the Bible says that God came to Peter and sent Peter to Cornelius' house, and listen what Peter says about that vision. In Acts 11 12-14, Peter says, the Spirit bade me or told me to go with them, nothing doubting.

Moreover, these six brethren accompanied me and entered into the man's house, and he showed us how he had seen an angel in his house and stood and said in him, send men to Joppa and call for Simon, who certainly was Peter, who shall tell thee words whereby thou and all thy house shall be saved. Because Cornelius sought the truth, God sent him the truth. I believe that's why there's missionaries all around the world, I believe as people begin to seek the truth, God sends them the truth. Today if someone's in another country seeking God, God will draw those men to himself and bring the gospel to them as well. God has also promised that the gospel would go to the whole world.

Listen to Matthew 24-14 as we wrap up. Jesus said in this eschatological passage, and this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations, and then the end shall come. Before Christ returns, the gospel penetrates the world. Is that happening?

It's happening, friends. Never in the history of the world, because of media outlets and different ways the gospel is going around the world. When I was in college, even at the lower tech that they had 20 years ago, they were bringing the gospel into places that had never been before because they could bring technology there, they could bring and share gospels with tribes and different people who just never had gotten it before. So if people who've never heard the gospel will seek the truth, I believe that God will bring them the truth. So why must we be a missions church? Why must we all be involved praying for the lost, sharing the gospel, praying for missionaries, giving to missions and willing to go ourselves?

Because the world is lost. God's A, B, and C plan is to reach the world through missions. And thirdly, Jesus is the only way to heaven. Jesus is the only way.

There's no other way. That's why we must be faithful. And again, God wants the world to be saved. He is not willing that any would perish but that all would have come to repentance. Amen. So what is the difference between the person in a third world country who's never heard the gospel and the old lady that lives down the street from you who thinks baptism's going to save her, or being a member of a church?

They're both mistaken, right? We are responsible to bring the truth to them. Do your neighbors know about Jesus Christ, your co-workers, your friends, your family? We need to be faithful. Let it start with us praying. We will not faithfully share the gospel if we don't pray for the lost. Praying precedes sharing. So be faithful to pray.

I would ask you this question. If all of your prayer requests were answered this week, would anybody have been saved? If every one of your prayer requests were answered in the last seven days, who would go to heaven because of that?

And if your answer is nobody, you need to repent of that tonight. You think? Think what Jesus died for and we're not even praying about?

That should be some conviction right there. Amen? So we need to have a prayer list in our hearts and our minds on paper something that says, hey, I want to make sure I'm praying for people.

The reason, if you're not sharing the gospel, you just ask yourself, am I praying for the lost? So let this not be a casual time. I believe Jesus is coming back. I believe our time is short.

I believe our friends and family, neighbors, co-workers have a short amount of time. We need to be faithful with the gospel. Amen. Thank you for being here tonight.

Thank you for your encouragement to be here on midweek. Thank you for your love for Christ. I love this church. You know, going away is a blessing. Coming home to a church family is a blessing. You're our family. And so let's be faithful. Let's go from here tonight being a light. Amen.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-06-25 12:23:31 / 2024-06-25 12:59:53 / 36

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