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November 16, 2021 12:00 am
Christians God has given us the privilege of serving as his ambassadors is entrusted us with the message of hope and deliverance delivering to our world. Terms of surrender and how they might have peace with God. It might mean the loss of our comforts and the loss of our genders, and the loss of our privacy and the loss of our desires and maybe even the loss of our lives.
This is our minister out of the dark. More than that, he commissioned us to take that message to the world that could mean the loss of our comfort or perhaps our lives today were looking at the life and legacy of someone who gave his life so that others could find eternal life. This is wisdom for the hard Stephen Davey is in a teaching series called legacies of light. He's exploring the lives of several Christian heroes and martyrs. I'm glad you joined us today. Now here's Stephen with today's lesson about Jim and Elizabeth Wilmer McLean had retired from the Virginia militia and had become a rather successful wholesale brochure living there in his home state however was doing everything he could to stay out of the conflict that was brewing because again he was retired from the military and this developing conflict. He wanted to avoid known as the American Civil War wanted to stay out of harms way, but harms way seem to follow effect the first major land battle of the Civil War took place on July 1861 is called the first Battle of Bull Run and it took place on McLean's plantation in Manassas, Virginia Union artillery fired at McLean's house because it was being used by the Confederate Gen. and his staff as their headquarters.
In fact, the cannonball dropped down his fireplace, destroying most of his kitchen. McLean never wanted to take sides since he was retired. You remember from military service, wanting nothing to do with this outbreak of war he sold his plantation.
After that battle, and moved his family 120 miles south to get out of harms way. He bought another plantation in Appomattox, Virginia. Poor guy. When Gen. Robert E Lee knew that he was going to surrender.
He sent one of his aides to Appomattox to find the location where they could meet and that a knocked on the door of woman McLean's plantation home was a man wanted to steer clear of the conflict. I did a really good start in his front yard and in in his front parlor. One of the misconceptions of the Christian life is that we really ought to be left alone that we ought to be able to avoid conflict with the world that somehow we have a right to peace time condition, according to God's design though. Every Christian has been drafted into service friendlier front yard and your front parlor do not belong. They belong to the commander-in-chief.
We follow effect. We've all been. According to the Bible commission took to occupy a singular role. It'll have a million application.
It'll have a million different assignments to this commission depending on the will of God for a particular lives, but but we are to take the gospel to the world that is at war with God and we we put everything on the line as we desires we seek to see a peace treaty signed between man and God. The apostle Paul informs the Corinthians in his second letter of the special commissioning turn to second Corinthians chapter 5 second Corinthians chapter 5. Look at verse 18 Paul writes of your back. Verse 17 therefore if anyone is in Christ is a new creature. The old things passed away, behold, new things have come. What are some of those new things now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. Did you catch that he reconciled us to himself and then turned around and gave us the ministry of reconciliation. In other words, our lives effectively serve as front parlors where we effectively demonstrate to the world war.
We deliver the gospel of Christ to those engaged in Civil War against the creator is on a reference not only the ministry of reconciliation, but the message of reconciliation with verse 19, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and he has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
In other words, mankind is reconciled to God by means of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. The sin he references them as trespasses that are in the way, are no longer in the way that is they been paid for by Christ is nothing in the way mankind signing the treaty.
The gospel is the message of reconciliation reconciliation really is nothing more than accepting the terms of surrender, offered by God through the peace treaty drafted on bloodsoaked cross and that's the treaty we offer as we engage our world and deliver to them the method in case any of the Corinthian believers or believers living in Cary or in this vicinity. Get the idea that this ministry, this message of reconciliation is for you clergy. He clarifies here are all involved. Look at verse 20. Therefore, in other words based on what I just said we includes the church, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us.
We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. We are ambassadors of Christ part of our problem in misunderstanding or commission is in misunderstanding.
This idea of being an ambassador you were tempted to think in modern terms, whatever we may have and I'm sure we have misconceptions but we tend to think of ambassadors is men and women who spend a lot of time attending banquets wearing out tuxedos or formal dresses smiling at order dignitaries who really don't mean what they say. But that's okay because working to try to put our best foot forward in the best face on our unsettled and rather uneasy peace we need to understand what Paul wrote this ambassadors would show up and they would determine the boundaries of the provinces by order of the Emperor, they would draw up a constitution telling the people.
This is now how you are to live united and a lot of that would, they were literally responsible. One historian called for bringing these vanquished people into the family of the Roman empire ambassador reveals the terms of peace from the conquering King. The ambassadors effectively assimilate people who have surrendered into the family of the victorious empire that is in the gospel. What is listen to some of these additional characteristics uncovered in my study, ambassadors were to spend their lives among people who of course spoke a different language with different traditions a different way of life ambassadors were often to deliver their message. The message of the Emperor to these people ambassadors were to deliver a definitive message to carry out a definitive policy, but they were encouraged to be alert for opportunities to place before their hearers in the most attractive form possible. The message of their Emperor. This author wrote.
It was the great responsibility of the ambassador to command his country to the people among whom he was placed a great analogy for the believer we had to say we have a definite message. We are to command on every opportunity our home country to the people around for some reason the deaths of five new tribes missionaries never made it into the headlines they had attempted to reach her a savage tribe in Bolivia in 1943 in all five of them work will 13 years later five missionary martyrs would indeed send shockwaves that only threat the Christian community. But even our own culture took note. Life magazine would publish. I've seen the article a 10 page article on the lives of these canaries, God would choose to use the deaths of these ambassadors in a way that literally incentivized for decades the church to send hundreds if not thousands service. Their names, some not so familiar as others were Roger Daria Peter Fleming Ed Macauley makes St. and Jim Elliott. No doubt, the most well-known martyr of five more than likely because of the fact that his story would be retold through his wife Elizabeth who would write two books and eventually host an international radio program for many years called Gateway to joy Elizabeth. In fact, along with Nate St.'s sister would make contact with and actually go to live with the out because this vicious tribe would cut down their beloved family by spearing them on on a sandy riverbed deep in the jungles of Ecuador in 1956. Let me reintroduce you to Jim and Elizabeth.
We back up a few minutes though would tell you how Jim Elizabeth accepted therefore, and commission. They met at Wheaton College where they were both majoring in Greek imagine was a small class they would eventually meet. They were actually majoring in Greek because they both felt the leading of the Lord and Lynn was and the Bible translation. Elizabeth would later write and I quote her.
There was the student on campus, whom I have been noticing more and more like my brother Dave had been encouraging me to get acquainted with he and Dave were on the wrestling squad so I went to match supposedly to watch my brother Russell but I found myself laughing along with the other fans. It Jim Elliott nicknamed the India rubber band because he could be tied in knots without being pinned to the mat. I noticed Jim in the foreign missionary fellowship on campus. Ernest committed to missionary service, outspoken, I noticed him and in dining hall lines with little white cards in his hand. Memorizing Scripture verses or Greek, verbs. Finally, my brother Dave invited Jim to come to our home for Christmas break and we would end up having long talks after everyone else in retired for the night. When we returned back to college.
I begin to get a hope that he would sit next to me in class once in a while and he did often even when it's idea to trip over other people to get to the seat next to mine.
Eventually Jim shared his heart's desire to marry Elizabeth at first believe that God wanted to settle him in Ecuador to learn the language and Elizabeth would come a little later on to Ecuador as well to serve nearby him but they agreed to put off their marriage until they both learn the language so that marriage and homemaking and maybe even parenting duties would not interfere with their ability to speak the language. So to accomplish their ultimate desire to reach these people. They put off her wedding for five years, five years after initially proposing Jim Elizabeth were married in Ecuador within two years he would be dead.
It wasn't long after their wedding that the Jim and his four missionary at teammates began took to make contact with the authors of the did to pursue this brutal primitive tribe was still living in pre-Stone Age conditions was to fly the airplane over the village and drop gifts. Roger had Pete and Nate. The pilot longer. Jim spent months pouring over maps of the jungle of that they were very aware by the way of the previous attempt of those five new tribes missionaries. They were well aware of the risk they knew that they had been savagely killed one of the rights they knew what they were risking their dream was not pursued on a whim they would risk their lives because they firmly believe this was their calling. They were to be ambassadors for Christ, even if it meant losing their lives begin to fly over this village and they rigged up a loudspeaker and they would shout as they would circle slowly around the village. We are your friends. We are your friends. The team found the sandbar along the river nearby where they landed the plane and eventually contact was made with a couple of younger women in the tribe and everything is progressing. Wonderful even make contact with one of the men missionary team was excited with the prospects on January 8, 1956 they flew back to that same location after spotting nearly a dozen Alcoa warriors on the trail leading to the river within minutes of making contact the killing would begin savagely and unexpectedly, even though all of the missionaries were armed. They decided not to fire on any of the warriors even if they were being attacked. Magnate St. had told his wife and son of that decision.
He said we have decided that we cannot kill them. They are not ready for heaven. We are Steve St. been a writer long enough number years we had in here to speak. Nate's son years after this event would be seated at a campfire with several of these warriors. Now believers committed disciples of Christ for the first time ever there at the campfire they recounted Steve, the events of the afternoon. They remembered being mystified as to why the missionaries didn't fire their weapons at them, but only into the air instead why one of the missionaries would simply wait for one of the warriors to wade out into the river to Spiro when it was armed, why another missionary would back the warriors in their language. We are not going to hurt you. Why are you killing us. We are not going to hurt when David said to Steve at the runaway would've probably lived, but they all die almost intentionally. Months later, Elizabeth Elliott, her young daughter 10 months old and Rachel St. Steve's sister were able to establish a home among these alcoves thanks to young native girl who fled the village and come to faith in Christ and then let these women back. These women would live among them for years adapting the hardships of of incredibly primitive lifestyle in order to deliver to them the gospel effect. Elizabeth would personally leave the Christ to the warriors from that killing party.
Elizabeth would remember and write later and I quote her when I stood by my shortwave radio in the jungle of Ecuador and heard the report that my husband was missing, God brought to my mind the words of Isaiah the prophet, when you pass through the waters, I will be with you. Jim's absence thrust me forced hurry me to God. My only refuge I can say that suffering is an irreplaceable medium through which I learned in indispensable truth that he is the Lord. Nine years after the martyrdom of these five men, the gospel of Mark was published in the alkaline Church of Artie been established, the pastor of the church was one of the warriors spared these missionaries. He believe it would personally baptize Steve St. in that river adopting him as his grandson no better way to illustrate the ministry of reconciliation and that one author wrote God had use these martyrs a wife and sister of the slain missionaries to reconcile with the office and bring them the ultimate reconciliation of Christ's salvation. Steve St. this is an addendum and his family would later return Ecuador 1995 and they would build the hospital an airport with the tribes of this region. I just 15 years ago or so. Steve published the conversation he had with these warriors there at the camp fire and the let me fill you in on one of one incident. One of the now aged Alcoa warriors who taken part in in the killing of Jim Elliott Steve's on father told the story was confirmed by the other warriors were still alive, and the women who been there on that Sandy river bed that afternoon.
They talked about here is music strange music is the missionaries lay on that riverbed dead or dying. These Indians begin to hear music and looked above the tree line to see a multitude of Cal Bodie the same word for missionary or foreigner hovering above the trees. One native described this singing these people as lights moving around and shining a sky full of jungle Beatles similar to fireflies with the light that was writer and didn't blink on and off one of the women who were there told Steve that she had hidden the Bush during the attack and after it was over. Saw the accountability above the trees, singing.
She said we didn't know what this kind of music wasn't until we later heard recordings played by Rachel St. when she came to live with her.
She brought up a record player, and she would place recordings of Christian choirs singing that was the music they heard. Steve said all the participants there saw this bright multitude in the sky and knew they should be afraid because they knew it was something supernatural. Evidently there that river bank and Angelica hosted a ride to testify of these ambassadors who are now heading home in the I guess God determines singing them along their way from their assigned posts to their home country of heaven, perhaps on this occasion to give tangible evidence that Christ has overcome the world. Even when his ambassadors lay dying evidence that we also his ambassadors for you don't have to go to the field to be an ambassador that we have been given the honor of a lifetime to represent his everlasting victorious kingdom delivering to our world.
The terms of surrender and how they might have peace with with God it might mean the loss of our comforts and the loss of our genders, and the loss of our privacy and the loss of our desires and maybe even the loss of our lives. This is our minister. This is our message is ambassadors delivering the message of how to be reconciled to God.
Jesus Christ who happens to be our conquering already victorious Lord, will I hope this look at the life of him, Elizabeth Elliott has challenged and encouraged you today. It may not be God's plan for you to become a martyr or the spouse of a martyr, but it certainly has plan for you to be an ambassador and tell others about the good news of salvation you're listening to wisdom for the heart. Steve and Davey are Bible teacher is working through a series of Christian biographies called legacies of light. If you missed any of the lessons so far you can go online and get caught up. We've posted them to our website which you'll find that wisdom online.org. In fact, we've posted the complete archive of Stephen's teaching ministry to that site, you can listen to the message or read Stephen's manuscript.
Those resources are freely available on the website and on our smart phone app. I encourage you to install that app to your phone it will encourage us to hear from you would be excited to hear how God's working in your life and we'd be delighted to pray for you and our staff prayer time.
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