The O in Outreach
September 1-2, 2012
Scripture: 2 Peter 3:1-13
Message Goal: The Church as a Hub for Outreach
I am extremely excited about our upcoming discipleship courses
beginning next Sunday. Our goal is something this church has continually
asked for: a clear, discipleship program to help you grow and mature as a
Christian. Our goal is that each person would know where they are in the
discipleship program. You don’t want to appear before God someday and be
accused of never growing in Him. He expects much from you and we want
to help you get there.
Those of you who know me, understand I love the fall. Everything
moves again into high gear. I believe a leader’s job is to lead; to set the
course for the ship; to determine what that Lord’s call and vision is this
church. Some aspects are obvious, but I believe each church, like each
believer has a unique calling. Our task is to determine His will for our lives,
families and church and then work with all our might to accomplish that
Explain once again G.O.D and how we never pronounce God’s name,
like the trucking company might, but it’s a helpful reminder of what we
must do. The G stands for gather, we are to gather a people together to
worship the Lord. The D stands for discipleship, to teach each person,
young and old, men and women, how to be all they are called to be in Jesus.
Today I want to speak of the center position, the O, which is Abundant Life
is to be a hub of activity to reach the lost, both here and throughout the
Every Christian must obey His call. It is to glorify the Lord by loving
him and by reaching others locally and in the world. I was pretty much fried
before I left and now feel a renewed burden to reach the lost, won’t you join
me? One day the DL Moody witnessed to a man on a Chicago street corner.
The man took offense and said “Why don’t you mind your own business?”
Moody replied, “This is my business.”
I. He Promised
A. Peter wrote a second letter to stir them to wholesome thinking,
pure, sincere, whole.
⁃ The world will think the words are crazy, outdated, but they are
true and whole.
⁃ Based on everything they believed: on the Holy Prophets in the
Old Testament and the apostles in the New: that Jesus would
B. Peter warned them that in the last days, scoffers would come mocking
based on their own evil desires
⁃ The mocking would be “Okay, so where is He? Things have
been like this since the beginning.”
⁃ As technology increases, and medical breakthroughs increase,
(Little machines that on in your veins to get rid of blood clots)
people will forget God, it will seem out of date to them, but
then: He will crack open the skies.
⁃ They will deliberately forgotten (how do you deliberately forget
something? Did you know its fully possible to lie to yourself?
⁃ Pride, evil desires, not wanting to get under a holy God
⁃ Glenn talked about a culture that has done too far (Trafficking,
TV nudity, hardness of heart, marriage etc)
C. They forgot that God once destroyed the world by water, the same
word that created water, was used to destroy the water.
⁃ Story of self in 8th grade. Fortune teller said God was going to
destroy the world next week.
⁃ Even the teacher looked to me. I looked it up, saw God
promised to never destroy the world again by flood.
⁃ It brought relief to everyone. Only problem is I didn’t read far
enough, He did promise to destroy the world by fire.
⁃ God said “Let their be water.” We know everything is made of
water, even we are. During time of Noah, He said “Let the water
destroy the world.” One day, He’ll use fire to destroy the world.
Then He will return.
⁃ The Old Testament itself associates fire with judgment and
sometimes at the end of the history. Deuteronomy 32:22 Psalm
97:3; Isaiah 30:30; 66:15-16; Ezekiel 38:22; Amos 7:4;
Zephaniah 1:18; Malachi 4:1
D. Why has God not returned yet?
⁃ On the one hand God is waiting, we used to say tarrying,
because He loves people (Not based on feelings, but based on
who He is: Love) He doesn’t want anyone to perish.
⁃ On the other hand, who knows who will reject Him, so He
reserves this place for destruction.
⁃ Like a police car holding a hardened criminal on the way to
⁃ Hudson Taylor story of man named Peter who fell overboard on
a ship. He asked for a fishing boat, but they didn’t find it
convenient to help, offered to pay $5 they wanted 30, settled
$14 (All Taylor had). (Meant a lot to me since I nearly drowned
a few weeks ago) Man found, but died. They didn’t care about
the man, how much indifferent are those who don’t care about
II. Not SLow
A. God has a different Time clock
⁃ With God a 1000 years is like a day and vice-versa
⁃ Not original to Peter, quoting Psalm 90:4.
⁃ We should not simply sit and wait for His return, but realize
that time is short and we have important work to do in His
⁃ Be ready to meet Christ anytime, even today, but plan your
course of service as though He will not return till after you die.
⁃ On the one hand, since God is eternal, 1000 years is as nothing
to God, but on the other hand, a day is like 1000 years to Christ.
⁃ Means we waste so much time, but since He is infinite, He
gets more out of one day what you and I could in 1000
B. Definition: imminent return of Christ
⁃ I was speaking to a district leader and he was remembering “the
good old days” when evangelists would come out with these
wild prophecy maps and charts.
⁃ They would tell you actually what will happen according to the
⁃ Maybe there was so validity to that, but the Gospels and epistles
teach the principal He could return at any moment
unexpectedly. We call this imminent. Nothing has to happened
before this Earth altering event.
⁃ Jesus never gave us a clear map of His return, but over and over
again: He said something like: look for Me, it could be today.
⁃ What do you do the day before your vacation? You work hard,
accomplish all kinds of things, work, home, animals etc. We
should live everyday as today is it!
⁃ Like an unhealthy person who has had family members die at
age 45 from heart attacks and you never exercise; you would
live in the expectation at any moment could be your last
⁃ Thief in the night: Time Philip robbed house. We didn’t prepare
C. Not Slow in Keeping His promise
⁃ God is never slow to keep promises
⁃ Notice: we have a promise from God
⁃ He simply wants to give us time to get our work done of
reaching the Northeast for Him.
⁃ Bad example: When kids were younger, I would sit in the car in
the driveway, honking the horn for the late staggers, promising
I’d leave them. Of course, they knew I wouldn’t. Because I
wanted them to be with us, we had designed the vacations
⁃ Same with Jesus: He came to rescue us, but He will, unlike Me,
do what’s right.
D. The Day of the Lord
⁃ Means the return of Christ, put in regal language: the coming of
Christ, like the coming of the King. Imagine if the queen of
England were to come to our town?
⁃ This wonderful day will come to most as a day they were not
ready for it.
⁃ Know the excitement of a big snow storm? We’ve all talked
about it for days: we’ve prepared. Let’s prepare for this.
⁃ But know this: we won’t have scientists giving pictures of the
change in the heavens, it will simply happen!
⁃ The day He comes, most will wake up with plans for today, the
next days and weeks after, with zero thought of Jesus.
⁃ It might be a beautiful day, might be a rainy day.
⁃ The evangelist this week preached a lot on standing before God.
Guess what? One day we will, and since God has perfect
knowledge, no one will be able to argue with his judgments.
⁃ God knows us better than we do and it is possible to lie to
ourselves but God will see all. Do not try to defend yourself at
the time. Just worship Him and go either way.
E. If this is how it is: Peter tells us to live holy, God lives, looking with
joy and expectation for that day.
⁃ Yes, Come Lord Jesus.
⁃ Let’s live our lives with the certainty of God’s promise. Let’s
design this church around this precious hope.
⁃ If He doesn’t come back, our lives are a lie.
⁃ But He’s real, in the past, before His first coming, they said the
same things. He’s coming back.
F. My favorite: we get to speed the day.
⁃ If He is really delaying so we have more time, let’s “get her
⁃ When my wife goes to see her parents, we the rest of the family
live like slobs. We eat left overs, go to Subway, leave dirty
dishes, but then there is mad dash to make the house at least
presentable, other wise she’ll go back to her parents house and
will all starve to death. He’s coming back: Work!
⁃ Our entire lives, work, church, home, body, finances, must be
with this thought: Today could be that day. But, if not, I’m living
for Him, because It could be tomorrow, next week or whenever.
III. The Vision
A. I believe it is my task to brush with a board brush the vision for this
church. Then the leaders in the church help clarify the vision and put
meat on the bones. It’s not just my vision, but ours. When I’m out to
eat with my family: I say: “We are headed to Gung Ho.” But the whole
family is involved in eating process. We set this initial vision a few
years back and I believe in it more than ever.
B. I see then this church like a hub of a wheel, where we gather and
disciple people, but then send them out to reach a lost, dying world.
C. First, we must get His vision, not our preferences. Not sure we do
everything I would prefer now, but we try to do everything we believe
He wants. It’s not about us, it’s about Him.
⁃ A little six-year-old girl told her mother her favorite Bible story
was Jesus turning water into wine at the wedding. Her mother,
a little puzzled by her daughter’s choice, asked, “well, what did
you learn from that story?” The little girl responded, what I
learned from the story is that when you have a wedding, it’s a
good idea to have Jesus there.
⁃ Hudson Taylor developed an incredible strategy along with
incredible faith and prayer to reach China, today one of the
greatest works of God. Strategy is not evil, we have to hear from
Him and develop it.
D. Based on Acts 1:8 – first to our own, then to community and then to
⁃ 1. First reach your town. (Colchester or where you live)
⁃ My pastor buddies and I used to think the ultimate was to
grow a church to mega status. (Over a 1000)
⁃ Then we would be noticed, admired and love.
⁃ But now, we are realizing how fleshly and limiting that
thought was to true growth.
⁃ Instead, now, we want to build our churches to a healthy
amount, 200-300 and then every year give 40-50 away to
church planting, then spend the next year building the
⁃ In two weeks, How to Share Your Faith video series (4
⁃ 2. Region (Church planting)
⁃ It’s not about us, but the kingdom. We want him to get the
credit, not us.
⁃ One of my goals is always have 2 church planters: one in
training, kind of on staff, the other out in the field.
⁃ We want to plant churches that have it early in their DNA
to do the same.
⁃ Pastor gather 100k intercessors to reach Northeast, the
hardest place. I’d like to have 50 where I can pray
monthly and you can gather your family together to pray.
⁃ Consider helping, consider going.
⁃ 3. World missions:
⁃ We have to reach the world, because we care
⁃ It is commanded in the word.
⁃ We don’t have to understand it.
⁃ Everyone needs to give routinely, above church giving.
(Start with $5 and build up)
⁃ Does a military man have to understand the motive or the way
of a command?
Most of you know EB and I recently returned from a week-long
vacation. We went to see the Jonah at Sight and Sound in Lancaster, PA. I
highly recommend it.
Many people listen to the story of Jonah and get lost in the story over
the fish. The fish is only in three verses, not a main character. I have no
problem believing in it, I’ve seen God do wild things. Imagine a baby being
God of the universe! You can read all kind of wild explanations on the
internet, a great fish God created, a whale, a pre-historic dinosaur fish. One
guy I like said the clear meaning is Jonah was swallowed by the fish and
was resurrected like Jesus was resurrected. (From Matthew) Whatever: but
that’s not the main part of the story.
Jonah is unique in that it’s the only minor prophet book that tells a
story, rather than preach a message. Here’s what we know, Jonah, around
the time of the Assyrian kingdom that will destroy the Norther Kingdom,
was called to tell them to repent. The Ninevites were an extremely evil and
cruel people who were strict enemies against Israel.
Jonah didn’t get on the boat, to because he was afraid of Nineveh, He
was afraid, knowing the Loving, Merciful God, if they truly repented, He
would have mercy on them! He hated them. He would’ve had no problem
going to blast them out of the water.
In the last chapter of his very short book that can be read in under
probably 10 minutes, a plant grows up next to Jonah overnight and acted as
a shade for him. He loved that plant and was very grateful for it. Well, the
next day God sent home worm that destroyed the plant and Jonah was very
angry. He had great mercy for a plant! The conclusion of the book is God
asking Jonah why was he angry about that goofy plant that he had nothing
at all to do about? Yet there was a city of over 120,000 people along with
many animals. Why should God not be concerned?