Friday, March 06, 2009

VISION 101 (part 5)

Some will say that our church is getting too big. Some will say that we are too big on evangelism. So why should we continue to pour our efforts into such a cause? Remember the story of David? As a teenager his father sent him to the battlefield to check on his older brothers who were part of the Israeli army battling the Philistines. When he got there, he couldn’t believe his eyes or his ears. Twice a day the Philistines sent out a giant of a warrior by the name of Goliath who would shout down the army of Israel, and even worse, mock their God. Each day Goliath would challenge Israel to send out their best warrior to fight him one on one to the death…winner take all.

Goliath had all of Israel’s army, including King Saul, shaking in their boots. No one would agree to fight the giant. So what does this little teenager named David do? He agrees to represent Israel and God on the battlefield and take on Goliath. When his brothers heard of his boasting they quickly rebuked him and basically told him to “shut up.” In the old King James Version of the Bible, David responds with a penetrating question. He looks at his brothers and asks, “Is there not a cause?” Goliath was holding all of the army of Israel hostage. Was there not a cause for someone to step up? Goliath was mocking the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Was there not a cause for someone to say, “Enough!” Most certainly, there was a cause!

And now I must ask you the same question. We are living in the end times. Is there not a cause? Marriages are failing in record numbers. Is there not a cause? People’s lives are in a tail spin, growing worse and worse by the day. Is there not a cause? Orphans are dying every day of disease and lack of food. Is there not a cause? Men, women, boys and girls are dying all around us every day and going to hell? Is there not a cause? Is there not a cause?

The vision that you are going to hear this month is quite aggressive. It will require more faith than we have ever shown, more compassion than we knew we had within us, more finances than we have ever given, and more prayers than we have ever offered. But my friend, there is a cause. There is certainly a cause! The cause was so great that one day God did something that amazed all of heaven. He sent his own son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, to take on human form, live a perfect life, and die the most horribly agonizing death, both physically and spiritually, that one could ever imagine. It was this sacrifice and the subsequent resurrection that followed that brings us to this moment.

Jesus gave it all. Why? Because there is a cause. God demonstrated His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Everything we are as a church and everything we hope to become and accomplish is based on the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. This is our message. This is our call to arms. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He was buried and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3-4). Yes, church, there is a cause!

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