Friday, February 22, 2008

How Shall They Hear?

Romans 10:11-15
Dr. Edwin Elliott

I. God Explains Evangelism

A. God saves people who are moved to call on Him. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13)

B. God explains the problem; people must be told the gospel; Christianity does not practice magic missions. "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?" (Romans 10:14)

C. Personal evangelism and international missions point to sending people to tell the gospel message. "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" (Romans 10:15)

D. As people hear God, they change and begin to trust Him. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

II. Churches Must Send Missionaries

A. Jesus gave the order; the Great Commission is a mission statement and action plan for Christians. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (Matthew 28:19)

B. Genuine missions are focused on Scripture-its obligations and its opportunities. "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20)

III. Today Is the Time To Send

A. The church in Cameroon needs help doing its work; the mission has sent for more missionaries. "And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavored to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them." (Acts 16:9-10)

B. Opportunities appear for people who are busy about the Lord’s business. "Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot. And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him." (Acts 8:29-31)

C. The problems the missionary will encounter are also the problems of the believers sending the missionary; "Whatever it may require" is a basic mission motto. "Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? for I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me." (Galatians 4:13-15)

D. Missions belong to God and serve at His pleasure; God is under no obligation to build His church according to human plans. "And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks." (Acts 19:10)

E. The mission plan always depends on God. "Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that." (James 4:13-15)

F. God never fails. "Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:6-11)

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