04.07.2020 MAKING FRIENDS FOR GOD

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3, 4

The idea that mission is God’s work is clarified throughout Scripture. Solomon states it this way, “He [God] has put eternity in their hearts” Ecclesiastes 3:11, NKJV. When an individual is born into this world, God places a desire for eternity deep within the fabric of that person’s being. As Augustine once said, “Lord, we were made for thee, and our hearts will never find rest until they find rest in thee”. According to John’s Gospel, Jesus is the light that lights every person born into this world John 1:9. Not only has God placed within each one of us a longing for Himself, He sends His Holy Spirit to draw us to Himself.

God placed such a high value on the human soul that He personally gladly exchanged the perfection of heaven for a life of poverty, suffering, shame, and death to seek and to save what was lost (Luke 19:10).

“The great plan of redemption was laid before the foundation of the world. Christ did not stand alone in this wondrous undertaking for the ransom of man. In the councils of heaven, before the world was created, the Father and the Son covenanted together that if man proved disloyal to God, Christ, one with the Father, would take the place of the transgressor, and suffer the penalty of justice that must fall upon him”. Review and Herald, November 15, 1898.

WHY WITNESS?

Providing Opportunities for Salvation

“For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

The world needs to hear the story of how God has redeemed all mankind in His Son. The Holy Spirit is daily convicting men of their need of Christ – He is the answer to our sin problem, our need of righteousness and our verdict in the judgement (John 16:8-11).

God has given His church the privilege of sharing in His mission; to seek the lost and tell them the wonderful story of salvation.

I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I am ready to preach the gospel…Romans 1:14, 15

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

He who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins. James 5:20

Making Jesus Glad

How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace; who bring glad tidings of good things! Rom.10:15

God and the angels rejoice over any sinner who comes to Jesus.  Some who are lost do not know it; some have gone astray and some have rebelliously turned from God. But God seeks them all and rejoices when they return home with Him.

And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:6, 7

And when she has found it (the lost coin), she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’ Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:9, 10

But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ And they began to be merry… ‘It was right that we should make merry and be glad, for your brother was dead and is alive again, and was lost and is found.’ Luke 15:22-24, 32

We make glad the heart of God when we have His heart for the redemption of souls.

And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. John 4:36

Faithfulness to Christ’s Command

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

God our Saviour desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.                1 Timothy 2:4-6

As through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. Romans 5:18

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:22

Since God has redeemed the whole world by the death of His Son and is not willing that any should perish, He commands us to go and proclaim the gospel under His authority and in the power of the Spirit.

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.                   Matthew 28:18, 19

“Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.” Ezekiel 3:10, 11

As men and women enter God’s kingdom, Satan’s kingdom will suffer loss.

“I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God…” Acts 26:18

Growing by Giving

On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” This He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive…John 7:37-39

When we accept Christ as Saviour and Lord, we receive the gift of forgiveness and the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit now dwells in our spirit and enables to share the good news of the gospel with power.

“The Saviour’s commission to the disciples included all the believers. It includes all believers in Christ to the end of time. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that the work of saving souls depends alone on the ordained minister. All to whom the heavenly inspiration has come are put in trust with the gospel. All who receive the life of Christ are ordained to work for the salvation of their fellow men… Whatever one’s calling in life, his first interest should be to win souls for Christ. He may not be able to speak to congregations, but he can work for individuals. To them he can communicate the instruction received from his Lord. Ministry does not consist alone in preaching. Those minister who relieve the sick and suffering, helping the needy, speaking words of comfort to the desponding and those of little faith.” Desire of Ages: p 822

“Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. John 15:16

Motivated by Love

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. John 3:16, 17

Every Christian who understands the extent of God’s love for him and who is filled with the love of God, has the same motivation as Christ. He will seek by both his words and his life, to bring everyone he knows to a knowledge of God’s love. It is not our task to convict and convert – that is the work of the Holy Spirit. We are to make ourselves available to the Spirit daily so He can con convict men and women through the witness of our life and words.

For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:16

For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again… we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us…2 Corinthians 5:14, 15, 20

Conclusion:

“The church is God’s appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and its mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God’s plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvellous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to “the principalities and powers in heavenly places,”a the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10.” EG White: Acts of the Apostles. P 9

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30

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