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March 5, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Alan Benson continues the series entitled “Church Matters,” with a message titled “The Matter of Evangelism,” from Matthew 28:16-20.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University Chapel platform today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series called church matters. These messages were preached at Bob Jones University to help students choose a church home while attending college. However, these biblical principles apply to everyone helping us choose where to worship with the body of believers each week. Today's sermon will be preached by Dr. Alan Benson, VP for student development and discipleship church matters church does matter. It matters for so many reason in discussing why church matters were looking at some of the matters of the church. Last week when I preached we talked to about one of those matters and see the idea of the nature of preaching of cutting rightly and presenting accurately the Scriptures in such a way that it's clear that the authority of the messages in the Scriptures themselves that I want to talk about another church matter and it is the matter of evangelism you on Galley on the good news the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Does it matter how much does it matter and sometimes we think about that in regard to a presentation of merely the death, burial and resurrection, and I I hate to use the word merely with that.
There's nothing mere about that.
But then someone being called a point of decision and that that is the gospel. What I want you to see today is that as were to talk about the matter of evangelism and the church that it is the mission. It is the message. It is the methodology is the mandate of the church. I would say to you that in light of what Christ said, if a church is not actively engaged in scriptural evangelism as the mission of that church that that from its authority fails to be a church that's a strong I want us to see why this is so important I want to ask yourself a question like this. If a church isn't actively engaged in New Testament evangelism. The presentation of the gospel that looks like both the making and maturing of disciples of Jesus Christ for the glory of God. If that is not what church is doing. What does it offer to the world that in any way is unique and I would say to you that there are other things that churches do, but I believe that all of those things. There are other organizations and entities that not only can do them but can do them better. The mandate, the mission of the church is evangelism. You know it all too well.
We are living in a casualty creating moral in the world that we are living in, as you heard from Dr. J knows he preached the other day is facing in our role is not unique. It's not like the world is all of a sudden gotten to this place were to do and maybe doing them in different ways.
It might actually be doing them with more intensity. But the world is the world John described the worldly said love not cause moths. The world system and all that is in the it's a system that is bent against God, and has a priority that it sets on the now on the immediate on the instantaneous, not the eternal world that is bent against God.
It is a casualty creating world and it's not just creating casualties out of those who are outside of the church. It actually in that system is creating casualties out of believers and some of you know exactly what I'm talking about living in this world is not easy and thus I want you to know that we realize some of the pressures that you feel because of the world system because of its ideals because of what it says matters because of what it says about your identity since some of you are struggling with this innate sense of anxiety because of wanting to figure out your identity and I tell you that the church offers to you. Hope in that it allows you to see that your identity is in crying. These pressures are real, why does it matter that I go to a church that makes much of the gospel because are some of you sitting here right now and you're dealing with the idea of of the struggles with who you are and where you fit and what you should do and doesn't really matter, and you're expressing it in ways that the world is expressing that struggle and so yes we are dealing right here at Bob Jones with students who right now sitting on the sound of my boys are struggling with things like drug addiction in your height self-harm eating disorder and I Sadie of the church does not offer you the gospel and gospel hello it offers you nothing to take your Bibles and turn with me if you would, to Matthew chapter 16 were not going to stay there but I want you to turn to Matthew chapter 16 Matthew chapter 16 is an inquiry of his disciples by Jesus over who he was. Peter, as we know, makes an affirmation thou art the Christ, the son of the living God. Jesus responds to that affirmation of his identity with these words in Matthew 1617 through 20.
Jesus answered and said unto him, blessed art thou, Simon bar Jonah for flesh and blood hath not revealed him to be, but my father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The authority of hell and I will give under the. The keys of the kingdom of heaven, and that looks like this and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. The language there is basically saying that the church will reflect the authority of heaven and the carrying out of its program then charge his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ. He identifies his person and in so doing he communicated that he is the head of the church and he is going to an authoritative manner establish a church that will carry out his mission, reflecting the authority of heaven to listen to what he says in verse 21. The very next verse from that time. In light of this declaration.
What is he do began Jesus to show to demonstrate to prove him to his disciples, how that he must go under Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes to be killed, and be raised again the third day the gospel having identified as person, he now moves to identify his purpose. Jesus moves from teaching his disciples who he was teaching his disciples what he came in to do. He teaches them that he is the Messiah and that he is come to carry out the redemptive plan of God for the salvation of the world and in so doing, he declares to them that he will build his church and that the church will carry out the authority of heaven and accomplishing his gospel mission so turned on to Matthew 20 is what Jesus says prophetically that he will do, that the authority for this mission was seated in him and that he was going to end a sentence with that authority build his church and it was church carry out his mission.
Thus, we come to what we know as the great commission. Matthew 28 in verse 16 then the 11 now disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them and when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, listen all power, authority is given on the me in heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father and of the son of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
And hello, I am with you all way, even under the end of the world. A man. The great commission is seated in the prophetic announcement of Christ that he is going to build his church and that that church is going to have a mission of reflecting the authority of heaven and taking a gospel message to a world that so desperately needs it. He then comes at the end of this time now and commissioning.
These disciples who now identified for us if you will, as the building blocks of the church and that they are to establish this thing for the purpose of carrying out this mission been in church ministry for some 25 years before coming to Bob Jones University and so I know about the struggles of doing ministry in the world of leading a church leader multifaceted charge of the church that has all kinds of programs that look like taking the gospel and reaching into our culture and I will tell you, sometimes in a first world culture that is harder than it is in 1/3 world culture distractions are greater.
One of the dangers of the church in a first world culture is this danger that we do all kinds of things as a means to an end, we carry out all kinds of programs weeks carry out all kinds of activities we get incredibly creative to find ways that we might penetrate our culture for the purpose of bringing the gospel to them.
But in our busyness and in our pursuit. It is very easy for a church to substitute the means to the end for the end and we never get to gospel work. So I challenge you as you are thinking about selecting a church. I don't mean for this these days while you're in college, I mean for the rest of your life when you think about selecting a church. This is an area that I think you have to give great priority to is this a church that actually is making much of the gospel, both in the making of disciples people getting safe and then in the maturing of disciples, those being transformed through progressive sanctification into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Why does it matter I want to give us a few reasons. First of all I want us to consider just quickly. The challenge that we face. I think we need to think about what the world is like and what it's facing. If we really are going to ask, does the gospel really matter.
I won't take the time to go there. I want to encourage you to go there, go to Romans chapter 1.
If you want to. I walk us through these things, but these are things that we need to consider and remember these are written in the first century. This is Romans chapter 1 and Paul is describing the world. What we face in our culture may take unique expressions, but it's not new. This has been the condition of the world since Jesus established his church. This is the challenge and this is why the gospel matters. What does Romans one point out to us that the culture is like, what is the challenge. Like I want you to see that there are some key markers that marked the world. One is the exclusion of God. The world is always attempting to exclude God. But there's one name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.
No one is going to attain eternal life without there being a right recognition of who God is. Romans 121 for although they knew God did not honor him as God or give thanks them, but they became futile in their thinking and their foolish hearts were darkened. 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Verse 28, and since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased or reprobate minds to do what ought not to be done world is marked.
It is marked by constant attempts to exclude God.
There is no psychological approach psychiatric approach. There is no self-help religion that's ever going to bring a man to a place where he acknowledges God only the gospel can do that. I say the church can help the world if the church neglects the gospel. Secondly is the elimination of truth, the elimination of truth, ever going to exclude God. Well I guess I have to get rid of absolute truth.
Verse eight Jesus of the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth because they exchanged the truth.
Verse 25 of God for a lot where living in a world system that intentionally wants to destroy the basis of absolute truth. Why, because what it does that it can exclude the existence of an omnipresent, omnipotent, sovereign God, my Sadie. What does the church offered to the world. If it doesn't offer them gospel hello world is marked by the elimination of truth. It is March and then thirdly by the elevation of God create a vacuum by getting rid of God by limiting truth that leaves a vacuum for the elevation of man. Verse 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man is he the world is system based in its humanism is desiring that it would have a system of authority that system of authority elevates the self is a built in the fallen man is his desire for him to be a God maker you see the one who makes God ultimately is God if that's what's going on in the hearts of fallen men.
What hope is there. If the church doesn't bring them the gospel, fourthly, that is the excusing of sin, excusing of sin, God gave them up to a reprobate or a debased or futile mind to do what ought not to be done. Verse 28 verse 29.
Because of that there filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, just malice. What he is doing is here identifying the markers of a fallen heart envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness, gossip, slanderers, haters of God's insolent hottie, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Were living in a culture wants to excuse the sin, there's no absolute truth and that nothing is absolutely wrong which means maybe in a cultural setting that has some level of moral refinement to it we wouldn't do everything every time but we can do anything at the right time. Moral relativism marks our world and we don't have the gospel as a moral compass. What hope do we offer a casualty creating that is 1/5 marker and that is the endorsement of a culture of death.
Some how it there's built into men and understanding of their culpability before God and that ultimately the culpability for their sinfulness is death. We find in verse 32 of Romans one that though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die at death as a result of sin that only do those things that they give approval to those who practice them. They endorse a culture of death. It's shocking to us when we see actual expressions of that that look like a culture that somehow cannot just allow, but endorse the murder of unborn children, or the murder of those that they perceived to be unhelpful citizens in euthanasia that shocking to it ought to go be an indication to us that you have a world that is endorsing the sinful behaviors that God has said, are condemned and thus bring men to and that's happening every day all around, if that's what marks the world.
What hope do we offer the world.
If we abandon the gospel challenge that we face quickly. I want you to contemplate though. In our day in our first world culture. What is been the church's response. I'm not indicting any given church but looking at church in general and looking at church in our culture and saying as I look at the churches what what are some of the things and that I'm saying that I am observing and again it's Allen's observation, but here are some of the things that I see in reaction to that wanting to penetrate the culture made with the best of intentions that will eventually get to the gospel that somehow we see major denominations not getting of the gospel anymore. In fact, making statements, stepping away from the gospel and what I see is this the marginalizing truth and I'm trying to reach and audience that says that there is any absolute truth. How can I have dialogue with that flap somehow marginalize the truth.
Yeah, you know, the churches hold the truth but so that we can put it way over there send there's a sense than that would approach them bashing this mindset of of of humility all yellow you we will make a big deal out of that and I'm not saying that we shouldn't be kind, but at some point, our response to a world that is marked by abandoning truth is that we soft sell the truth and marginalize it so it doesn't matter, we actually can offer them no because of that marginalization of truth. There is a minimization or a minimizing of theology. Why is it when you come to Bob Jones University. We put you through.
Five Bible classes that look like understand the Old Testament understanding the New Testament and doctrine so that you understand what you believe from the Bible and ultimately leading then to a class on worldview, see you take that theology and look at the world and make all the decisions in life. Based upon that theology. Why do we do that because that's what matters. But today were seeing church in general want to somehow minimize theology. So does bibliology really matters really matter that the Scriptures are in Erickson that's rubber people. Let's set that aside friends of the word of God is the word of God. We don't have anything to offer the world. The doctrine of salvation is by faith alone through grace alone is a working of the Holy Spirit in the heart of men is Christ really the son of God, coequal with the father is his vicarious atonement for sin. The only way that a man can receive the grace that brings salvation. What he fully God and fully man the doctrine of sin is man totally depraved without hope, in and of himself is God.
God what we find is a church wanting to be relevant to the world is taking the very truth that causes its existence to matters. It is somehow finding ways to set it aside, what is that look like it looks like a manipulation of the gospel, and thus we have churches declaring things like health and wealth of the prosperity gospel, there is again a rush to universalism. Without that all men ultimately will be saved as roster reduction theology.
Let's see what we can take out so that we can all get along slurs and embracing of ideas like annihilation, is him that in the end, there is no eternal punishment, friends, and we approach the gospel. The church approaches the gospel with a mindset that says we have to find what we can take out we undermine the very authority of our exists and that is led then to the marketing of the church and this is an area where we need to be careful the church can be known for everything from therapy to education from craft shows to coffee shops from doughnuts to dating services and not saying that any of those things are bad in and of themselves and their means to an end, but we never get to the end. That's not why the church exists and you shouldn't be picking the church because it offers you those things, and thus we end up with the messaging to the culture and the messaging to the culture.
Is this come as you are. Stay as you are and will help you find a way to be happy with you as you are. That's not the gospel. It is only the gospel that transforms heart's. It is only the gospel that then works in the lives so that men are being transformed Christlike. It is the only hope for the life change that men need and based on the authority of Jesus Christ. It is the mandate of the mission. The methodology of his church as you pick the church look carefully for the gospel. Let's pray father, thank you for your truth. I pray Lord that we would take it to heart that we would apply to our lives for your glory fortune pricing that we pray you been listening to a sermon preached to Bob Jones University by Ellen Benson for the series called church matters.
I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University and BJ. You were committed to providing an outstanding Christian liberal arts education which is designed to inspire a lifelong pursuit of learning loving and leading. If you're looking for quality education from a biblical worldview in a Christian community that will challenge you BJ you is the place for you. For more information visit BJ you.edu or call 800-252-6363. To learn more about the impactful programs and ministries happening at Bob Jones University, visit the news website feature you today that today.BJ you.edu you can also follow BJ you on twitter, Facebook and Instagram at BJ you EDU and also follow Dr. Steve Pettit at BJ you president.
Join us again next week as we continue this series on church membership here on The Daily Platform