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October 11, 2022 12:00 am
In Romans 10:15 the Apostle Paul asks the rhetorical question, “How will people hear the Gospel unless we tell them?” They won’t. So let’s tell them.
The problem with the American church today is were paralyzed at the thought of being unpopular.
The worldly say were relevant. In fact, they probably scratch their heads and wonder what you doing, but that doesn't matter what here together to fellowship to pray to give to encourage them to go out there in the world and they may view our gospel as irrelevant that we do not get our message from the world we get our message from the word. It is the word Christ. It is the Scripture we go back to the Scripture.
We deliver the truth of Scripture and the listener would respond in faith would you do it. I think most of us would, but we don't have that guarantee.
Instead, we might be laughed at or mocked. Our message might be rejected and we might be rejected personally. That makes sharing the gospel more difficult, but we need to do it today.
Stephen Devi is continuing through his series entitled how to get to heaven from her the message you're going to hear right now is called this little light of mine. Romans 10 start again with verse 13.
Follow along as I read for whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved. How then shall they call upon him in whom they've not believed, how shall they believe in him whom they've not heard how shall they hear without a preacher, how shall they preach unless they are sent just as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things. However, they did not all he the glad tidings for Isaiah says, Lord, who has believed our report so then faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ in a recently published book on the subject of church impacting culture. Dr. James White made some interesting analogies to the business of the world and forgotten business of the church. He writes in the late 1800s.
No business matched the financial dominance of the railroad trains dominated the transportation industry of the United States, moving both people and goods throughout the country.
But then, a new discovery came along.
The automobile, and incredibly, the leaders of the railroad industry did not take advantage of their unique position and wealth to literally buy up and owned this new development.
Instead, the automotive revolution happened all around them and they missed it.
Why because they thought they were in the training business. They forgot they were in the business of transportation, another author made a similar but more contemporary example of the same thing when he said, and I read it recently and I quote he said if Sports Illustrated magazine understood it was in the sports information business and not simply in the sports publishing business. We would today be watching the sports illustrated channel instead of ESPN. I can only wonder if heads rolled somewhere when they realize what they had missed. What is the business of the church around one gentleman whose organizations surveyed members of churches in America nearly 1000 churches and they ask these church members the same singular question and it was this question, what is the mission of your church. The results were disheartening but revealing 90% of the church members said number of different things that were easily categorized under this heading I quote the church exists to take care of my families and my need. In other words, 9/10 church member said the church existed for them it's all about us. Only 1/10 said the church existed to do something in some way related to winning the world to Christ. Let me give you one more analogy from this one particular book by James White draws on that. I just read the makes this word picture. He says that the goal of the church was to make automobiles, then the average church member is evidently satisfied with nothing more than a maintenance program for existing cars in which windshields are washed fluids are checked and tire pressure is monitored. Simply put, the goal of making cars is replaced with maintaining cars and polishing them for the show room what Jesus Christ say our mission was, he said to his disciples all authority has been given to me in heaven and earth go and make what make disciples make automobiles in a sense not just maintain them, not just watch them not just polish them but make them you do that to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. He said go so we got out the mission is one simple verb, as it were, in fact, you study this text in Romans 10 you go to the passages in Matthew chapter 28 and others. Acts chapter 1 and were told very little about how were just told lots go and as every generation changes in the methods change and from culture to culture, impacting effective methods change the message remains and we have been told, instead of how basically told what I got a note from a guy like you came to see me after one of the services last Lord's day. He said that you know God I was so encouraged for you to talk with just doing whatever we can to get the messages as I'm sorta leading this this Internet chat group made up of former members of my fraternity in college and I am just really excited about delivering the gospel in any way that I can right now were debating this particular social issue in you have any help or any thoughts about what I could put on the Internet but there's a guy who has taken that firm and embraced it in his particular way is and gentlemen is it ever occur to you that not one verse in the New Testament ever commanded an unbeliever to go to church one. The Bible never commands an unbeliever to go to church as if it's there that you'll hear the gospel there that you'll make your decision. The Bible tells the believer to go to the world the gospel and they believe many times out there than they come and enjoy worshiping their Lord with us in here with great passion. The apostle Paul is reminding the church in challenging them to embrace the responsibility of going if he says they don't know of him.
They can't believe in him and they can't know unless they hear about him and they'll never hear unless somebody goes on behind the ones that go somebody's sending or training are subsidizing or praying or whatever I'm going to be anything, it can be going across the living room floor to an unbelieving family member to be going across the street are going across the hallway and simply those of us who are taking this verb and accepting it as ours and you discover in this text. The response of the unbeliever, believing, calling responsibility, the believers speaking and something now. Paul goes further and so let's go a little further.
Here in verse 15 he says for just as it is written, how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things that the Greek word for gospel is translated there that I just read good news.
It could be rendered.
Glad tidings sharing the good news is called mandolin. So my comes from the gospel. The Greek word for gospel which is you and going on, we transliterate that for the English reader. So we talk about when dualism evangelism.
Evangelism is simply telling the good news hit somebody saying to somebody else had got some news. Would you like to hear it. It is the gospel. When Paul here is quoting Isaiah when he says how beautiful are the feet of those who basically evangelize the world the context of Isaiah's original text is the context of delivering the news to Israel telling them that their bondage in Babylon is over and the messengers that came and told Israel will appear no longer and slammed to the kingdom of Babylon. You're free. Paul uses that and applies it to the church related to the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We frankly say world just what you don't have to be enslaved to the kingdom of darkness. You can be free set free by the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's interesting as I track this particular word in the New Testament in more than I can share with you but it wasn't surprising to me to find that word used by the angel who came to announce that Jesus Christ was born. He said to the shepherds in Luke chapter 2 for behold I bring you good news. That's the same word until it's about I bring you good news of great joy for today in the city of David is born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord for today.
The city of David is born for you and I Bible I circled the word you in Everett my name in the margin for today is born for use Stephen in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord sought the birth of the Savior. That word appears. It's interesting to me that the birth of the church. Later in the book of acts.
That word is used. The apostle Peter preaches the very first sermon is this new dispensation called grace is unannounced and this new thing called the church is about to be created is about to be birthed. Peter says, and we declare unto you glad tidings same Greek word now that the promise which was made into the father's God, fulfilling that promise by raising Jesus from the dead, so that word is used in the birth of the Savior and the birth of the church and is not any surprise to me that Paul would use that word here in verse 15 to talk about the activity of every believer who has come to life by means of the resurrecting power of Jesus Christ. The mission of the church is very simple. We deliver the good news to our world. It's up to God to bring about spiritual life. Just the messenger boys and girls were just part of this divine postal system delivering the mail from God to the world and saying you want me to read it for you or do you want to read it. Would you like me to hear you talk about it. The best news I've ever heard. I never forget early in our ministry here and preachers don't get out a lot, you know that. So what we have to do is witness to people come to the office and at work on stuff so I look for opportunities like that over the years have had opportunities to share the gospel.
I remember the very first time I tried this is lady came in to work on one of our machines, photocopy machines, and so I engaged her in conversation while she was working. She couldn't get anywhere else. And neither could I so I thought well here she is so found that she was very religious with the church every weekend that everything good.
She could possibly do hoping to get into heaven while she prepared that machine I was sitting there and I shared the gospel with her that only God was good enough to inhabit heaven and his son the Lord Jesus who lived a perfect life and he basically bought the ticket for you and it's free if you'd like it you can ask never forget. She put down the tool that she was using an buried her face in her hands and began to weep. I didn't particularly know why.
And finally, I heard her saying through her sobbing tears of joy. I can believe it's free. I can't believe it's free. Do you know most people out there don't know. It's free. They had religion crammed down our throats ever since they went to the nursery. They think they're going to work their way and that maybe don't be good enough. You know the gospel, and it is free. You might think.
Well, everyone would know that all know it's revolutionary truth. If you're just willing to share it. I got an email from our singles pastor Brett Harbaugh emailed me a few weeks ago.
He said a single lady came to our church yesterday in early 40s and asked to see the singles pastor.
She wanted to tour the building she moved into town was looking for church and so wanted tour and bread share with me and our staff. That was the end of the day, hit some of the things he needed to do, but he accepted this impromptu assignment and and so met her and began to take her on a tour of our facility and while he was doing that. Of course he being a true shepherd is asking her questions about her relationship with God and to the course of that question and answer time is he showing her the building realizes she doesn't know Jesus Christ as never heard the gospel and so the end of the tour.
He sat down with her and shared with her the simple claims of Jesus, she eagerly praying to receive Christ is now in our Sunday school. I haven't met her yet she might be in here if you're sitting next to her. She came to life and that she told Brad she said something very interesting and tragic. She said you know I have been searching for church.
This is the fifth church.
I have given a tour of the first one would ask me about God in my life is no inspection like the inspection by an unbelieving world and the life of somebody who said I follow Jesus Christ will outgrow the need for somebody to confront us with. I can't believe you buy into that stuff. We never outgrow the need for inspection for people to know who we are who we represent.
So all that is a benefit to those who will simply embrace this verb. This responsibility and go and tell so that they can hear and they can believe you never outgrow the need to tell her this past week about Jeff he was 12 years old, but you can identify with this. He and his best friend were playing baseball and they broke a window.
Never been there so they ran ran the couple houses a way of knowing and seeing what it happened except Jeff's seven-year-old brother.
They went over to him and offered him a piece of candy not to tell you been there and he said not on the candy they put their heads together. Then they went back to miscible. It will give you our new baseball bat and the little boy said no but I want that either they begin to get a little panic stricken will look will give you our baseball batting gloves now want this will give you are globs they were pleading with him well. Finally they said what do you and he said I joy you got me. I want that I had a brother like that. Michael Green made the observation that the gospel spread in the first century simply because people shared the gospel like it was gossip. I got to tell you this here this. Paul said those of you who love the tell. I want you to know you have beautiful feet. Now the reward for those who tell is not just all positive. There's also a painful part of this reward. Look at verse 16.
However, they did not all heed the report today. For Isaiah says Lord, who has believed our report that the immediate context of this is the Israelite who is refusing to believe the Messiah this particular phrase is taken out of Isaiah chapter 50 Craig chapter. The chapter that describes our Lord the Messiah is a suffering lamb you had describes him and Isaiah begins by saying I would learn everybody's not believe this all done up by Intuit, you know the pain of that baby you're witnessing to an unbelieving parent or mother or father. Maybe it's a son or daughter. Maybe it's a relative. Maybe it's neighbor maybe at somebody and you share the gospel with them and they look you in the eye and they say no, you feel it deeply. There is a fellow shipping with the sufferings of Christ that comes from those who reject the gospel. Paul implies that same pain to the church you deliver the gospel wherever you live wherever you work wherever you play and you feel the pain of those who reject the gospel.
You might think. Well, maybe I'm not doing a good enough job. Maybe I'm not articulate enough for or clever enough or maybe I don't have all the together. May I encourage you that this very same phrase from Isaiah 53 the Paul uses as well. Lord, who has believed our report is used at the end of message from our Lord himself in John chapter 12 the Lord Jesus preaches a sermon and at the end of his sermon, the text says, and they did not believe so that the word of Isaiah might be fulfilled.
Lord, who has believed our report. Same phrase used by Paul and it was Jesus Christ himself who was preaching it was Jesus Christ himself who is offering the gospel. They did not believe Descartes from that Jesus wept over Jerusalem and Jerusalem rejected him. So the messenger church. The believer is to have beautiful feet, but also a burden heart. I frankly think this is the tougher part of it. Every Christian, including myself, would love to have the commendation of God.
You have beautiful feet, but I'm not sure I want to pursue the compassion of God and have this negative burden of a broken heart, we might say to God, oh God, give me beautiful feet, but I don't want to burden heart. You know we've all heard of William Carey, the father of modern missions. I call little excerpts from his life periodically. Talk about a man beautiful feet. He was a poor self-taught shoemaker so poor he was hardly able to adequately care for his family's children. His wife when they set sail for India on the way there. One of his children, his youngest child died. Upon arriving soon after that, his oldest child ran away year after year after year after year after year, not one person trusted Christ. I'd love to have William Carey's feet.
I'm not sure I could handle his heart for those who will enlist in this divine Postal Service of delivering the message in whatever ways you can notice Paul does not give you a list of methods he doesn't say how he just says what and that's how he summarizes as he comes to the conclusion of this particular thought.
Verse 17 in the Greek construction is a conclusion you could read it.
So then, or consequently or as a result were now in light of all of that faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ not want to bore you with. There's quite a debate among those who write about the word study the grammar as to whether or not this is an objective genitive, which means this is the word about Christ are subjective genitive meaning. This is the word that literally Christ speaks you see when you speak about Christ.
Christ is speaking through you, whether it's objective or subjective. When you speak about him he is speaking through you.
Jesus Christ told his disciples that very thing is, he sent them out on their first commission.
He said listen when they that audience listens to you preach. They are listening to me and when they reject you. They are rejecting me and that is to encourage everybody who wants to have beautiful feet you go you deliver the message you deliver the gospel so you live with people you love, you play you work in and along the way you deliver parts and maybe all of it and if they listen so you know, Jesus says they are listening to me.
If they reject you they rejecting don't stop, don't stop continue to share the mail from God, which is the word of Christ, and according to the apostle Paul. It is the foundation of genuine faith, may I say that we ought to expect rejection. I think part of the problem with the American church today is were paralyzed at the thought of being unpopular, as if God wanted us to be popular, as if somehow that was her mission and the unpardonable sin in the evangelical church today is being irrelevant. Some ladies and gentlemen, our relevancy is related to our mission. The world may say were relevant. In fact, they probably scratch their heads and wonder what you doing in there, but that doesn't matter were here together to fellowship to pray to give to train to encourage and then to go out there in the world and they may view our gospel as irrelevant that we do not get our message from the world we get our message from the word.
It is the word of Christ. It is the Scripture we go back to the Scripture. We deliver the truth of Scripture the world and China would say of the believing church you are around then they would say that, in growing numbers in Russia say that in the Sudan. Your events but is that the opinion of God. I fear the church is losing the goodness of the gospel because they've lost the subject of the gospel the Scriptures to point us to Jesus Christ over the interview. The pastor recently graduated with me in the same graduating class at seminary now leads a church of more than 12,000 people. He was giving his preaching schedule in the interview telling what they did on Sunday mornings as a church and studying the he said the 10 weeks out of the year.
We devote our Sunday mornings to Bible exposition and just let that sink in 10 weeks. We cover some section of Scripture or book of the Bible. The other 42 weeks are devoted to felt needs topical issues ranging from relationships to finances from stress reduction to anger management is relevant. Now all that's well and good in the Bible. A verbal address.
That is we live and learn. But imagine 42 weeks on the human condition, which is basically the subject of the contemporary church.
The human condition while the primacy of the word in the explanation of the word of God is according to Paul, which is the foundation of true faith is lost, see our gospel in this church, and in this generation can lose its goodness. If the subject of our message.
No longer is the word of Christ but us talk about us pawning off the Law Society of Christianity that we promise will work wiser.
Luther was telling us some weeks ago and he came here he was talking about the fact that our culture is shifted from truth to pragmatism. We no longer ask you something truly ask does it work that is the message of the church. So we must communicate to people that that Christianity works so Christianity now is inspired diets their biblical diets. Christianity will increase your finances Christianity will resolve your relational issues. Christianity will enhance your self-esteem. It will promote your career. It will even help you unlock secrets of physical beauty and and health Christianity works tell that my friend to a Christian girl who was arrested I read of a few weeks ago and put in jail overnight where she was beaten by soldiers who mocked her face. Did Christianity enhance her physical beauty no weave Americanized. It doesn't seem to fit well within suburbia. Tell that to a couple from our church who recently left to go to Budapest to teach kids they emptied their savings accounts in order to God. Did Christianity increase their finances now. It called for at all. You tell that to a student. I talked to recently who received a failing grade for writing a paper in science class from a Christian worldview and he failed it did Christianity help his GPA. Tell that to a businessman to refuse the lie, and he lost his job or the woman who refused the advances of her coworkers and had her career grinder.
While all I've heard their testimonies did Christianity advance their career. Now it stopped. It tell it to a young man who recently became a Christian and now he told me his father mocks him did Christianity resolve his relationships or bring a sword division see, we have created a new gospel with the subject is us and serves us in 9/10 people believe the church is all about us, wash my windshield change my oil for my tires with air where we are called together ladies and gentlemen in her mission remains the same in the 21st century as it was in the first century, the male and those of you who do God says I want you to know you beautiful feet for doing so. No matter what the world might say. I hope this lesson has spurred you on toward that end today. You're listening to wisdom for the heart. The Bible teaching ministry of Stephen Davey, we have a resource that might help you as you share the gospel with others called God's wisdom for your heart. One of the easiest things to do is install the wisdom international app to your phone. This resource is right on the home screen so you can bring it up and talk through it with some it's also on our email@example.com/gospel.
We hope it helps you fulfill your mission of sharing the gospel with others who continue this series on our next broadcast of wisdom for the heart