The Preparation of the Church That Does World Missions (Acts 13:1-3) July 24, 2011
The theme of the 15th Annual World Missions Convention that was held last week was “Make Anew the Missions Paradigm”. Whether you do missions or evangelism, in order for you to enjoy God’s blessings and be used by Him you must change your distorted paradigm (paradigm of life, thoughts, and prayer) and prepare anew. First, you must change your life paradigm. You must turn the paradigm of your life into more God-centered to the extent God may use you by finding your prayer, your evangelism and your missions. Second, you must change your field paradigm. You must change your thoughts and your life to the extent you may help others in your field. If you truly enjoy the Gospel, even others would look at you and sense that you must have tasted something, you must have a class, and you must have some kind of strength. Third, you must change your ministry paradigm. You must teach Remnants and church lay leaders in their respective fields how to pray in order for them not to fall into their own limits, and you must train important individuals early on when they are Remnants so that they may be used as church lay leaders and missionaries. Today’s passage proclaims the opening of the World Missions Age in full scale through Antioch Church. It was a really weak church (scattered through persecution) when it was founded by anonymous believers, but it was later established as a church that saved the world. It furnished the appropriate shape (frame/paradigm) of a prepared church that preached the Gospel to the entire world and had no choice to do world missions. I bless and hope that all of your families, church, and your future generations may be prepared and used this way. Do not be deceived on your own. “I am weak. I have no strength.” God said He will do through that kind of people, and that is why He is giving you this Word today. I urge you to hold firmly to this Word.
1. The most imperative aspect is your basics. Basics are the most important aspect of your life. Some people suffer their entire lives (health and studies) and live unable to think of great works because of weak basics. You must stake everything for forming at least three basics.
1) It is your fundamentals. God has changed your fundamentals within Christ. No matter what the circumstances may be, you are the indestructible freed, source of blessings, and the people of the Holy Spirit. All of you have to do is realize this. This is the identity and fundamentals that you have received the moment you realized Christ and accepted Him. You get deceived and attacked because you do not know what kind of fundamentals you possess.
2) It is spiritual basics. From now on, must become someone who realizes and enjoys the spiritual power most certainly.
a. No matter how smart and hardworking you may be, you will fall if you do not have this. Sooner or later, you will run into a time in which you feel your limits. Satan is definitely working in this land, and therefore spiritual problems unceasingly persist. He is the one who destroyed the first men Adam and Even in Genesis 3, and it says in Is.60:1-2 that the darkness will cover all the earth. Hellish curses are continuing in many different places. Wars and various disasters, nameless illnesses, incurable diseases, and mental problems are worsening (Norway incident that broke out last week). That is why it says in Second Timothy 3 that people will suffer in end times (self-loving, disobedient to their parents, brutal, slanderous, without self-control, and pleasure-seeking).
b. It will be difficult to live a Christian life. It says that the church would be full of fakes and it would be persecuted (2Tim.3:12-15). However, it says in Mt.16:16:19 that those who realize Christ are the blessed and the rock. It promises three blessings. A church will be established on it, gates of Hades shall not overcome it, and it will be given keys to the kingdom of heaven. That is why a church that speaks about the accurate Christ is a real church is, and a teacher who deeply plants Christ within you is a thankful leader.
c. When you pray with that authority of Christ the Darkness fades away. The Holy Spirit within your is definitely working. No matter where we go, if we do not know the mystery of breaking down the forces of Darkness (Luk.10:19 – what you already possess) and the mystery of the Holy Spirit, you will fall and suffer without knowing why while you live diligently, honorably, and achieve success and do important works (spiritual problems).
3) It is the basics of life. Knowing your fundamentals (identity) within Christ and enjoying the spiritual basics, all you need to do is equip yourself just a little. Acquire knowledge (intellect), learn how to communicate, yield, and serve (interpersonal relationships and social values), and prepare a sense of discernment, objectivity, and rationality (reason). It is preparing the basics of relationships with people.
2. You must also prepare to go together. That is the preparation for team. In another word, it is the system.
1) Along with basics, going together is an important aspect of life. That is how you can go far and do great works (the further you are going, the more you must bring). That is why teamwork (working together) is important especially when doing important works.
2) To what extent did Antioch Church of today’s passage grow? There was a team of five important leaders. Who were they?
a. They were people with the previously mentioned three basics prepared. For example, take a look at Barnabas in Acts 11:24. “He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and a great number of people were brought to the Lord.” He already possessed the mystery of Christ (my fundamentals). He was a man filled with faith and the Holy Spirit (spiritual basics), and a good man (basics of life).
b. And the individuals who were globalized to the extent they were able to do mission formed a team. In our terms, they were multiethnic. Barnabas was Jewish, Simeon called Niger and Lucius of Cyrene were African, Manaen was personally acquainted with King Herod, and Saul was a Roman citizen.
c. Either as an individual or as a church, this is an important answer you must receive. If you really want to be used to save the world and do world missions, you must form a team. Remnants especially must make everyone they meet within the Gospel into a member of their team. Ultimately, when you go to an important position you need to know people (business, politics, and even in everyday life). You must start praying for this team to be formed in your life, consider others precious, and prepare to go together. No matter how great a person may be, if he cannot go together with others it will be difficult to do great works; same for those who are always relentless with their own style. As long as one has the accurate Gospel, a different color can be just another part of the spectrum, and you can share a variety of wisdom and help.
3. You must pray together and prepare to send your team to the field. This is a preparation for a prayer team. In today’s passage, the Antioch Church members were serving the Lord and praying while fasting, and they made a resolution by the guidance of the Holy Spirit to send two people as missionaries to the world. When you really pray, the Holy Spirit will involve Himself and work.
1) After you plan an important work, start praying together (whether you run business or send missionaries). That is how you receive the guidance from the Holy Spirit and that is how you can receive answers to help one another even after the important work. Within prayer, the Holy Spirit ties together the hearts of those who pray. It is important to make a team whose members can pray for one another. A church has different departments, but they are actually teams. As you go further in the system, members of each department must help one another as a prayer team.
2) The short-term medical mission team that will be leaving for the Philippines in September must form a prayer team and lead them so that the members may pray for one another and receive the guidance from the Holy Spirit together. It is also important to recruit sponsors. We talked about how important the background of prayer is last week.
We have been allowed just one life to live. Christ has saved us with His life, He is doing the world-saving works through us, and He is willing to bless us. I hope new answers may begin as you meditate upon what you must prepare.