Poole Christian Fellowship Mission Statement Part three – “Loving the lost”
Notes on Sermon preached on 29 January 2017 to Poole Christian Fellowship at Poole High School.
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The most terrifying place that it is possible for someone to be in is to be totally lost, and totally unaware of it. That is the position of 98% of our fellow-countrymen. FIEC research suggests that only 2% of the UK knows Jesus.
When we look at the position worldwide, it becomes even more concerning. Here in the UK there is a church doing the job of reaching the lost. But out of 15,000 ethnic groups on the planet, 7,000 have no Christian witness. That means about 2.9 billion people who do not know Jesus and have no one to tell them about Him.
So, faced with this situation – what are some God-thoughts on the matter?
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9)
1. The State of the Lost
Jesus describes those who do not know him as “Harassed and helpless”, and likens them to “sheep without a shepherd”. That is the condition of those who do not know Jesus. And as the New Testament unfolds, we realise that this is only a provisional description of those without Jesus. The ultimate state of lostness is what the Bible calls “hell” – a word used ten times in the New Testament, and nine of those ten times, by Jesus Himself. There is an eternity separated from God which awaits all those who do not know him. Yet there is a solution! Jesus has compassion on the lost, and He has made it possible, by His death on the cross for no one to be lost. So what next?
2. The Need of the Hour
Jesus makes it clear, changing the picture from the sheep to the harvest, that the solution is workers. Jesus needs workers! Jesus needs those who are prepared to say “I am here – use me”. And the workers come in answer to prayer. It is God who provides the workers. As we ask for them – be prepared to be the answer to your own prayer.
3. The Plan for the Harvest
It is very interesting that the passage we are looking at here is sandwiched between the passage where Jesus chooses his 12, and a description of Him sending them out! There is a whole theology of generating leadership and making disciples that we will not tackle here – but what we can clearly see here is that God has a plan to reach the lost through people who he calls and sends.
You and I are those people!
The plan for the harvest, is local communities around the world of Spirit – led, Bible –shaped, gospel driven Christians who love Jesus, love His church and love the lost.
What a plan – and what a responsibility.
Let’s finish by encouraging ourselves from Isaiah 60:
“Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
2 See, darkness covers the earth
and thick darkness is over the peoples,
but the Lord rises upon you
and his glory appears over you.
3 Nations will come to your light,
and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
Four points to note here:
- The world has a problem – darkness, thick darkness covers the lost
- God has a solution – his light has risen on the church
- We have a challenge – we need to arise and shine: what does that look like for PCF as a church and for you as an individual?
- God promises success – nations will come to our light.
Let’s do it!