Rediscovering the Mission of Jesus:
I just finished reading a book called Radical Together by David Plett. He said, “When we rise up as the church of Jesus Christ and give ourselves urgently, sacrificially, and radically to taking the gospel of the kingdom to all those people groups, we can expect to be met with the might of hell. There will be divisions within us, distractions around us, diversions in front of us, deceptions tempting us, and disease and death threatening us. It will not be easy.”
If we made the decision to be a nice little church on the street corner that sang nice songs and told nice stories that didn’t make a difference in people’s lives for eternity, the devil wouldn’t care. We would be just another social club. But when we take a stand and say, “We want to rescue those who are lost and being brutally destroyed and mutilated by the wages of sin, we want to see them get delivered and saved from the kingdom of darkness and come into the Kingdom of Light,” you can count on this: The enemy is going to target us and he’s going to try to take us out – as individuals, but also corporately as a church.
When I hear that, there is the temptation to step back and just be a nice church. To be nice people who help old grannies cross the street, have potluck dinners and bingo nights at the church. As nice as that would be, I think God has a higher purpose for us as a church. He wants us to be salt and light in our community, a lighthouse providing hope, healing and restoration for broken lives.
The church is the only place in the world where people can find the answers they are looking for: What is the meaning of life? How can we find peace with God? Is there life after death? The Christian message in the Bible answers all of those questions and more. Do you want to find purpose and meaning in your life? It’s in Jesus Christ. Do you want to find peace with God? It’s through Jesus Christ and His death on the Cross. Do you want to discover how to experience life after death? It’s through believing in Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6).
Our key text in this study is found in the words of Jesus in Luke 10:19. Jesus was explaining to people why He had come into the world: “for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” This would be a great Bible verse to memorize.
Think about this truth for a minute: Jesus – the Son of God – lived in Heaven, an awesome, glorious, majestic paradise. And two thousand years ago, He chose to step out of the perfection of Heaven, came down to Earth in the form of a baby, took on human flesh, became subject to getting hungry, tired and thirsty. He had to work by the sweat of his brow. He was rejected by people, and experienced all of the trials, troubles and temptations that we experience on the Earth. Hebrews 4:16 says about Jesus: “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.”
Why would Jesus do that – become a man and live here as one of us? He lived a perfect life, and then allowed Himself to die the most painful, torturous death possible on the Cross. It’s because He loves us. That’s our God! When Adam and Eve, the first two human beings, sinned and got into trouble, He didn’t give up on us or abandon us. Motivated by love, He came looking for us. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. That’s you and me!
Pastor Chris Jordan