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Lesson 21: A Manual For Short-Term Missions (Matthew 10:1-15)

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I. Intro and Recap:

a.       This is the second discourse of Jesus that Matthew records.  The first one was the Sermon on the Mount.

b.      Matthew has already showed the credentials of Jesus.

i.  His birth, His baptism, His temptation, His words and His deeds all lend credibility to Who Jesus is and Who He claims to be.

c.       So when we get to chapter 10 and He says “Go.”  The disciples go.  Jesus means business.  He’s the Lord.  We do what He says.

d.      I should mention that this section is tailored for the first disciples. 

i.  There are elements in this short-term mission trip that are universal, and elements that are not. 

ii. There are dispensational elements that we will see, like when He tells the disciples to NOT share the gospel with Gentiles and Samaritans, but only the Jews.

e.       So this was the first short-term mission trip and there is a lot for us to glean.

i.  Outline:

II.                      The Disciples are called and given authority (10:1-4).

a.       Matthew’s gospel has been building and building for this moment.  Jesus is about to recruit some men for the mission.  These are the men who would carry on the work after He left.  These are the men who would perpetuate the vision and mission that Jesus cast.

b.      A couple observations:

i.  These are 12 very ordinary men:

1.      These are 12 very ordinary men.  Nothing special about them.

2.      None of them have wealth, degrees, social prowess.

3.      These are common men.  Blue collar.

4.      God doesn’t need special people.  He doesn’t need people of great influence.

5.      He needs jars of clay.  He needs ordinary people who are weak so that He can display His power and glory.

6.      These are not the folks you pick for a team.

7.      But they are the team that Jesus picked after much prayer.

ii.                        This is a mixed bag of guys.

1.      Matthew and Simon the Zealot.

c.       Jesus just finished praying for workers, now He sends His workers.

i.  Jesus has been in prayer for Israel, because they are like sheep without a shepherd.

ii.                        These 12 apostles are symbolic for the 12 tribes of Israel.

iii.                      The 12 apostles are to provide the leadership that Israel needed, but didn’t have.

d.      Who are the 12 apostles?

i.  (Simon) Peter.

1.      Peter is listed first, as he is in every list in the Bible.  He was most certainly the first among equals.

ii.                        Andrew

1.      Brother of Peter.  Fisherman

iii.                      James the son of Zebedee.

1.      Fisherman.

iv.                      John the son of Zebedee.

1.      Fisherman.

2.      Both James and John, along with Peter, witnessed Jesus Transfiguration.

v.                         Phillip

vi.                      Bartholomew

vii.                    Thomas

viii.                  Mathew the Tax Collector.

1.      Matthew had to be the least popular.  This guy was a traitor.  A snake in the grass.

2.      Matthew is the author is this gospel.

3.      Ever think about how incredible it is that we are reading a book written by a close personal friend of Jesus?

ix.                      James the son of Alphaeus

x.                         Thaddaeus

xi.                      Simon the Cananaean

1.      Also called “Simon the Zealot”

2.      Zealots were extreme patriots.

3.      Simon is the exact opposite of Matthew, who sold his soul to the Romans to make a buck.

4.      Zealots were trained and prepared to assassinate for the sake of Israel.  They were extremists.  The were like religious Navy Seals.

5.      Had Simon met Matthew in a back alley he probably would have stabbed him.

xii.                    Judas Iscariot.

1.      Who betrayed him…

2.      Judas is always last in all the lists in the gospels.

3.      Both the first in the list and the last on the list betrayed Jesus. 

4.      Only one repented.

e.       He called them and gave them authority (v. 1).

i.  Authority over unclean spirits

ii.                        Authority over every disease and affliction.

iii.                      Ordinary people, but extraordinary authority.

f.        True disciples are willing to give of themselves for the ministry:

i.  At 3 o'clock on a cold morning in the winter, a missionary candidate walked into an office for an appointment with the examiner of a mission board. The examiner had told him to report at 3 in the morning. The examiner arrived at 8 a.m., five hours later. The examiner, without saying a word of explanation, sat down and said, "Let's begin. You want to be a missionary with this agency, and I'm going to ask you some questions. First, please spell 'baker.'" The young man said, "B-A-K-E-R." The examiner replied, "Very good. Now let me see how much you know about figures. How much is twice two?" The young man said, "Four." The examiner said, "Excellent. I'm going to recommend to the board tomorrow that you be appointed as a missionary; you have passed the test." Then he left.

ii.                        At the board meeting, the examiner spoke so highly of the applicant, saying he was one of the finest young men that they had seen as of yet. He said, "He has all the qualifications of a missionary! First, I tested him on self denial; I told him to be at the office at three in the morning, in the cold. He left a warm bed and came out in the cold and never had a word of complaint. Secondly, I tested him on punctuality, and he was there on time. Thirdly, I examined him on patience by making him wait five hours to see me. He didn't even question why I was late. Fourth, I tested him on temper, and he didn't show any sign of it. Fifthly, I tested his humility by asking him questions that a little child could answer, and he showed no offense. He meets the requirements."

III.                   The Disciples are sent on a mission (10:5-6).

a.       “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them…”

i.  In other words, they were under orders from their Commander in Chief.

ii.                        They were not on their own.  This was not their mission.  This was God’s mission and they were now God’s men.

iii.                      They were the ones being sent.  By Jesus Himself.

iv.                      They were not to make their own choices.  Call their own shots.  Do their own thing. 

v.                         There were given authority, but they were under authority.

vi.                      They were representatives of Christ.

vii.                    This is fundamental to remember:

1.      We do not have the luxury of inventing our own ideas and priorities.

2.      We are not independent agents.

3.      We do not craft our own message.

4.      We are sent out, and we receive our orders from Jesus.

5.      He is our Chief Shepherd!  He is the Head of the Church.

6.      Where do our instructions come from?

7.      Who is our Lord?

8.      From Whom do we take orders?

viii.                  This is a rebuke to the modern notion that we need to change the message or downplay the Word to make it more palatable for people.

1.      We cannot “do missions” any which way we like.

2.      We cannot “do church” any which way we like.

3.      We cannot “rewrite the Bible” to fit the cultures sensibilities.

ix.                      We receive our instructions from Jesus…

b.      “Go nowhere among the Gentiles…or the Samaritans.”

i.  Notice they are NOT sent to any Gentiles or Samaritans.  Why is this?

ii.                        We know that Jesus loves the Gentiles.

1.      He has already healed a Gentile.

2.      In John’s gospel we see Jesus has already talked to a Samaritan woman at a well.

3.      Matthew’s gospel starts off by alluding to the coming reality that Jesus will die for Jew’s and Gentiles.  His gospel is for all people.

4.      So why this command for them to NOT go to any Gentiles yet?

iii.                      The answer: The Kingdom promises were promised to the Jews.

1.      Abraham had Isaac.  Isaac had Jacob.  And Jacob had 12 sons which became the 12 tribes of Israel.

2.      It was to this family.  This nation.  That a coming kingdom was promised.  In no uncertain terms.

3.      No doubt, it was through this nation that the whole earth would be blessed.

4.      But before it is offered to all nations.  It must first be offered to the Jews.  They were the ones, after all, who God made the promise to.

5.      The Jews were God's chosen people and they were the ones to whom were given the covenants, the promises, and the law.  So in the line of God's plan, they were to be offered the Kingdom first.

6.      There has always been a “Jewish priority” in God’s plan.

7.      Even Paul in Rom. 1:16 keeps this.

a.       “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.”

iv.                      This is a dispensational command.  This was not to be binding.

1.      This no longer applies to us.

2.      The command to ONLY preach to the Jews was for that dispensation.

3.      In just a few years Jesus will make it abundantly clear that the gospel is to be offered to all people.  Jews and Gentile.

4.      But RIGHT NOW, in Matthew’s gospel, the kingdom is being offered only to the Jews.

IV.                    The Disciples are given a message (10:7).

a.       “And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

b.      They are people with a particular message.

i.  Not a general message about God.  Not some generic message about God’s love.

ii.                        It’s the same message that Jesus preached.

iii.                      It’s a message of repentance because God’s kingdom of heaven had arrived on earth.

iv.                      The Kingdom that Daniel prophesied.

v.                         The earthly, geo-political kingdom was being offered.

c.       The Kingdom of Heaven is seen three ways:

i.  in conversion,

1.      When men enter the Kingdom.

ii.                        in consecration.

1.      When we live out the Kingdom (Romans tells us that the Kingdom is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, joy, and the Holy Spirit).

iii.                      in consummation.

1.      when the Kingdom comes to earth in its millennial form.    Until that time, we preach the Kingdom.  Jesus taught His disciples nothing but that, the principles of God's rule: that He is Lord, that men are to submit and obey, because God rules.  Even after His resurrection, Acts 1 says Jesus taught them things pertaining to the Kingdom for forty days.

iv.                      John MacArthur tells the story,

1.      “I was traveling with a team in Mississippi, preaching Christ in black high schools at the time that Martin Luther King was assassinated.  We were going to two or three schools a day, holding assemblies and preaching Christ, and we had a great time.  One night after finishing an assembly in which the Lord had blessed in a wonderful way, we visited with a family in a rural area.  It was late when we left, and we noticed someone following us.

2.      We were in the middle of nowhere on a dirt road about ten miles from where we were staying.  Suddenly blue lights started flashing behind us and the car pulled up beside me, so I stopped the car.  A great big man wearing a sheriff's badge got out and said, "You went through a stop light."  I said, "What?  There are no stop lights around here."  It's a dirt road, and it's 11 o'clock at night in a farm area.  I said, "You must be mistaken."  He said, "I'm not mistaken.  You went through a stop light."  I said, "I didn't go through a stop light."  He then reached for a club in his belt and I said, "You're right; I went through a stop light."  I wasn't going to argue about it!  He said, "Follow me. We're going to the jail."

3.      We followed him for ten miles to the jail.  He took us in and collected our money as collateral, I guess for whatever was going to happen.  He asked, "What are you telling kids in your school meetings?  Do you tell them about civil rights?"  I said, "No."  Then he asked if we were telling them about marches, protests, or boycotts.  I said no to all those things.  Then I said, "We're telling them about Jesus Christ.  We would be happy to tell you about Him, too."  He said, "I'm already the Sunday School superintendent.  I don't have any need to hear about that."  It was an interesting night, to put it mildly.  There were many so many people like him in that area who called themselves ministers but who were not talking about Christ and the Kingdom of Heaven.  It's no wonder some of those people were paranoid.

4.      Satan is not stupid.  The best way to render the Gospel of no effect is to make sure no one knows what it is. 

5.      It is the message that the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; that imminently and available to every person is the rule and reign of God in their lives, here and now, as well as earthly, millennially, and eternally.  That is our message. 

d.      We have been given a message!

i.  It’s not politics.

ii.                        It’s not entertainment.

iii.                      It’s not amusements laughter.

iv.                      It’s not self-help and self-improvement.

v.                         It’s not social justice and good deeds.

e.       It’s the message of the kingdom of heaven is at hand!

i.  Repent and submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

ii.                        Come under His rule and His reign NOW!

iii.                      Cast yourself upon Christ!

iv.                      Bend the knee to Jesus!

v.                         Receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life in Christ, today!

f.        Application:

i.  Application: Just like the early disciples, we are to have a Gospel-focus.

ii.                        We have a mission.

iii.                      We have a message.

iv.                      We have been given a focus.

v.                         We have been given marching orders.

vi.                      We have been given direction and instructions from the Lord Christ.

vii.                    They received their instruction from the Lord…and so do we!

viii.                  We are sent by God on a mission to share the gospel.

ix.                      The normal means of doing this and the normal result of doing this is by planting churches.

x.                         We are not at liberty to set our own agenda or draft our own message.

g.      In an essay in the book A Place for Truth, Tim Keller claims that he often hears people say, “I don’t know which religion is true” or “No one can know the truth.” According to Keller, this often leads to a conversation that goes something like this:

i.  I’m talking to someone who does not believe in Christianity or Christ. At some point he or she responds to me suddenly, “Wait a minute, what are you trying to do to me?”

ii.                        I respond, “I’m trying to evangelize you.”

iii.                      “You mean you’re trying to convert me?”

iv.                      “Yeah.”

v.                         “You’re trying to get me to adopt your view of spiritual reality and convert me?”

vi.                      “Yeah.”

vii.                    “How narrow! How awful! Nobody should say that their view of spirituality is better than anybody else and try to convert them to it. O no, no, no. Everybody should just leave everybody else alone.”

viii.                  “Wait a minute …” I say. “You want me to adopt your take on spiritual reality; you want me to adopt your view of all the various religions. What are you doing to me? What you’re saying is, you have a take on spiritual reality, and you think I would be better off and the world would be better off if we adopted yours. I have my take on spiritual reality and I think mine is better than yours, and I’m trying to convert you to mine …. If you say, ‘Don’t evangelize anybody,’ that is to evangelize me, into your Western, white, individualistic, privatized understanding of religion.”

ix.                      Keller concludes by stating,

1.      Who’s more narrow? It’s not narrow to make an exclusive truth claim because everybody makes an exclusive truth claim …. Everybody has a take on reality. Everybody thinks the world would be better if those people over there adopted mine. Everybody …. Narrowness is not the content of a truth claim. Narrowness is our attitude toward the people who don’t share our point of view.

V.                       The Disciples are given power to display the Kingdom (10:8a).

a.       The disciples were given special authority from Jesus to:

i.  Heal the sick.

ii.                        Raise the dead.

iii.                      Cleanse the lepers.

iv.                      Cast out demons.

v.                         (Power over sin and death)

b.      The types of miracles they were given to do all had to do with compassion.

i.  They were not given power to do neat tricks.

ii.                        It was power to show the heart of God—that He cares about the poor and the sick and the desperate.

iii.                      These were apostolic miracles.

1.      Some of these words no longer apply.

a.       For instance, they are told to not share the gospel with Gentiles, but we are.

b.      They are were given authority to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse leper, and cast out demons.

2.      So the types of miracles we see happening here is categorically different than anything we see today.

3.      We are not living in an apostolic era. We no longer have apostles.

4.      This mission marked the beginning of a new era.

5.      And in the Bible every age is inaugurated by great signs…

a.       When Israel was led out of Egypt it was with great signs and wonders.  It was an inauguration of something new.  But then there were years where there are no recorded signs and wonders.  Then came Elijah and Elisha, and there were more concentrated occurrences of supernatural miracles.

b.      But then there were long periods of time when no miracles seemed to take place.

c.       So part of these signs were to demonstrate the authenticity of the message.

i.  This is why Jesus ministry was full of signs and wonders.

ii.                        It signified the same thing that happened during the Exodus and during the ministry of Elijah and Elisha.

6.      The major purpose of miracles was not to heal as many people as possible (if so, the early church including Paul himself didn’t experience this), the major purpose was to authenticate this new message of the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

7.      Manifestations such as tongues, prophecy, and messages of knowledge and wisdom have gone through modifications with the cessation of apostles and prophets.

8.      The disciples were given special power to authenticate the message of the kingdom.

c.       Principle: Compassion goes hand in hand with the gospel.

i.  These disciples went around doing good and in Jesus’ Name were healing people and reversing the curse.  The Kingdom had arrived in the person of Jesus.

ii.                        Their activity lent credibility to the gospel.

iii.                      Mercy ministry lends credibility to the gospel message.

iv.                      For us today this means that short-term missions should or could include compassion of some kind.

VI.                    The Disciples are to be above reproach with money (10:8b-10).

a.       Jesus lays out four principles surrounding money and the gospel in verses 8-10.

i.  #1- The Lord’s Disciples need to be above reproach with money.

1.      Part of being a laborer for the Lord.  Part of being a disciple and a worker in the harvest, is that you are above reproach with money.

2.      Any kind of financial immorality would immediately discredit the mission.

3.      Jesus is calling His disciples to be above reproach with money.

4.      Money is mentioned many times in the book of Acts.

a.       Acts 20:33, Paul says to the Ephesian Elders, “I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.”

b.      Acts 3:6, “But Peter said, “I have no silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”

5.      False teachers are known for their love of money:

a.       The wolves that Jesus warns about are all about money.

b.      Instead of being poor and making many rich.  The false teachers are rich making many poor.

c.       Their ministries are usually marked with large 1800 numbers pleading for donations.

6.      Jesus is warning against the temptation to be consumed with materialism, so He says to not take anything along for the journey.

7.      He wants them to learn that everything they need comes from Him.

ii.                        #2- The Gospel is free.

1.      “You received without paying; give without pay”

2.      “Freely you have received, freely give.” (KJV)

3.      The gospel should ALWAYS be offered free of charge.

4.      They are not to charge money for their ministry.

5.      People should never confuse money with the gospel.

6.      One time I was inviting some people to our Easter service.  These are people who rarely go tot church.  And I said, “you should come”  and they said, “well, we don’t have much money to give.”

a.       As though they needed to give money.

b.      I laughed.

c.       I told them I have no idea who gives and who doesn’t.

d.      In fact, we don’t want you to give.  We want to give to you.

7.      Charles Spurgeon and Barnum

a.       At the time when Charles Spurgeon was preaching in London, P.T. Barnum was in the circus business.  His job was to get a crowd too, to fill up his tent.  He heard about this young preacher in England who was packing out huge buildings and gather massive crowds of people and Barnum wired him an offer for Spurgeon to come to America ad speak in his tent.  He wanted Spurgeon to gather a huge crowd for him.  So P.T. Barnum offered him an enormous amount of money to come speak at his circuses and Spurgeon wired back one verse of Scripture, “Read Acts 8:20.”  That’s it.  That’s all he said.  Which says, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.”

8.      You can’t put a price tag on ministry:

a.       I get to fly to different places and speak to groups.

b.      It’s always a privilege.

c.       Sometimes people pay me and sometimes they don’t.

d.      The gospel is free.  It’s not for hire.

e.       One time I preached 27 messages for a group in Europe and they couldn’t really afford to pay me, but they gave me a bottle of wine.

f.        It was fine with me.  It was a privilege to preach the Word.

g.      Other times I get paid way more than I am worth.

h.      The money doesn’t matter.

i.        Everything.  Everything I have received from God.  Freely we give.

j.        The Lord provides for all my needs.  Always has.

iii.                      #3- The disciples are to rely on the Lord.

1.      They are sent out with nothing as an object lesson of God’s sustenance.  God will provide.

2.      They needed to learn the lesson of trusting God for their support.

3.      Money will not sustain you in the mission.  Only God will.

4.      The Disciples are to rely on the Lord for all of their needs (10:10).

a.       They are to take nothing with them.

b.      They are to live simply.

c.       They are not to be overly concerned with material things.

5.      Hudson Taylor…

a.       George Muller…

iv.                      #4- Workers need money to live.

1.      “The laborer deserves his food”

a.       The Lord will provide, but it will be by the people who respond to the gospel.

b.      The way that God will supply for them is through the people who respond to the message.

2.      Luke 22:36 (Later on they were told to bring provisions)

a.       “And he said to them, “When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?” They said, “Nothing.” 36 He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”

b.      Before, God supernaturally provided for their needs, but now they are to use the normal means God uses to provide and protect.

3.      Paul never asked for money, but gratefully acknowledged the provision he received from those who responded from the gospel.

a.       1 Tim. 5:17-18, “Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

b.      1 Cor. 9:14, “In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel.”

b.      The bottom-line application: disciples are to maintain credibility in our witness.

i.  Namely with money!

ii.                        How we make and spend money is a key factor to our discipleship.

iii.                      Our discipleship to Jesus has a bearing on our finances.

iv.                      Our lives should reflect that Jesus, not possessions is our primary focus.

VII.                The Disciples are to expect mixed reactions (10:11-13).

a.       There will be two responses to you and the message:

i.  Some people will receive you and the message.

ii.                        Some people will not receive you or the message.

b.      “Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it, and stay there until you depart.”

i.  Hospitality was very different in the ancient world.

1.      Unlike today where people cocoon in their homes and want nothing to do with the gospel message.  The thought of knocking on the doors to tell someone about Jesus is seen more as a cult than anything else.

2.      But not in the ancient world.  People were polytheists.  They were curious about different views of religion.

3.      So when strangers came into a town or village, there would be people who would take them in.  To not do so, would be a crime (almost).

4.      Motels and Inn’s were very uncommon.  You didn’t stay in a motel, you stayed in a home with someone.

ii.                        The idea is that you don’t want to stay at a home with questionable morals.

iii.                      You don’t want to stay in a home that has a prostitution ring.

iv.                      You don’t want to stay in a home that is known for dealing illegal drugs.

v.                         Because it will invalidate the credibility of the message.

vi.                      Do whatever you can to maintain the credibility of the message.

vii.                    Stay in a worthy place:

1.      Don’t confuse the message of the gospel by staying with questionable folks.

c.       “Stay there until you depart”

i.  Sometimes I will stay at a place and it’s very humble, very modest.

ii.                        Then someone will say, hey come stay with us, we have a huge house, etc.

iii.                      This just happened to me recently.

iv.                      I stayed in very modest accommodations, then another family offered to have me stay with them and they mentioned all kinds of neat recreational vehicles.

v.                         Jesus is saying here, “Be content and focus on the gospel.”

1.      The Lord will provide for you.

2.      If he had wanted you to stay at the nice house, then they would have asked.

3.      Everything you need, the Lord will provide.

4.      Be content in whatever circumstance you find yourself in.

d.      When you travel to Guatemala.

i.  The Lord will go before you.

ii.                        The Lord will open doors.

iii.                      Be content with what’s placed before you.

iv.                      Do whatever you can to lend credibility to the gospel with your life.

e.       AND…focus on the people who are receptive.

i.  If anyone hates the message, shake the dust off your feet.

ii.                        If anyone is open to the message, pour yourself in to them.

iii.                      Most people will not like the message.  The road it wide that leads to destruction.

iv.                      Most people will reject you and the message.

v.                         But some people may be open.  Poor yourself in to them.

vi.                      Study the Bible with them.

vii.                    Pray and disciple them.

f.        If anyone will not listen, take back the blessing.

i.  That was an Oriental expression; they would give their peace, but if the house wasn't worthy, they'd take it back. They would come to a home and say, "Peace be unto you in the name of Christ." If the home was vile or rejecting, they would say, "We take back our peace. This house is unblessed."

ii.                        They would actually say this.

iii.                      They would confront the situation and declare the reality of the situation.

iv.                      So He says, "If you find a place where they are not worthy, then let your peace return to you. Don't waste it on them, take it back. Don't give them God's benediction if they're not worthy of it. Don't tell them God will bless them."

v.                         Don’t tell people that God loves them and everything will pan out for them.

vi.                      If they reject the gospel, warn them.

vii.                    If they reject the message, tell them what happened to Sodom and Gomorrah.

g.      Being frank about the truth:

i.  I remember staying in a mud hut in Kenya and the family I was staying with was a Christian family.  The man had two wives, and was later saved.  So he still had two wives, and lots and lots of kids.  Around 50.  Many of whom were adopted because their parents were lost to AIDS.

ii.                        Anyway the father, who was a very good Christian man and great preacher.  (Although not an elder because he wasn’t the husband of one wife.)  He would go around his farm and introduce me to the family members.  “This is so and so, he is born again.  This is so and so she is born again.”  Then he came to one of his sons, and said, “This is Daudi, he is not born again.”  And his son nodded and agreed, then shook my hand.

iii.                      I remember thinking:  This would never happen in the US.  Many people would be appalled to not be considered an actual Christian.

iv.                      Or they would say, “What do you mean I’m not saved!!”  There is a strong sense of delusion that many people are comfortable with here.

v.                         But I appreciated the frankness.  I appreciated the integrity of acknowledging that they have not bended the knee to Christ and if they were to die right now, they would be forever lost.

h.      The disciples were like that.  They were frank and honest about the reality of future judgment and lostness.

VIII.             The Disciples are to warn people of future judgment (10:14-16).

a.       “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.”

i.  Seems kind of harsh, doesn’t it?

ii.                        I mean, if someone didn’t listen to me, I wouldn’t take my shoes off, and shake the dust off.

iii.                      The difference is that those who reject the message of Christ are rejecting Christ Himself.

iv.                      It’s a very serious matter to deny the King and His Kingdom.

v.                         They will find themselves in a very difficult situation come judgment time.

b.      “Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.”

i.  This past week the new Pope made the headlines by making the claim that all people are redeemed.  Not all could be redeemed, but all people are redeemed.

ii.                        "The Lord has redeemed all of us, all of us, with the Blood of Christ: all of us, not just Catholics. Everyone! ‘Father, the atheists?’ Even the atheists…‘But I don’t believe, Father, I am an atheist!’ But do good: we will meet one another there.”

iii.                      That may be the message of the Pope and Catholic Church.  But that’s not the message from Jesus and the apostles.

iv.                      Indeed, a great Judgment is coming, and Jesus calls all people everywhere to repent.

c.       Look, it’s not hard to go to hell.

i.  All you have to do is…nothing.

ii.                        Hear God’s word…and do nothing.

iii.                      Hear the call to repent and believe the gospel…and do nothing.

iv.                      Come to church, listen to the Word…and do nothing.

v.                         In the list of the apostles both the first person in the list and the last person on the list betrayed Jesus. 

1.      Only one repented.

2.      We plead with you:  Be reconciled to God!

a.       2 Cor. 5:20

3.      Your only hope is Christ.

d.      Sam Storms is a pastor in Tulsa OK.  He recently wrote an wonderful article in the aftermath of the Tornado that hot Oklahoma this past week.

i.  Events such as this should remind us that no place on earth is safe and that we will all one day die (unless Jesus returns first). Whether by a peaceful natural death at the age of 90, or by a sudden heart attack at 50, or in a car accident at 15, or by a slow battle with cancer at virtually any age, we will all likewise die. We are not immortal. The only ultimately and eternally safe place to be is in the arms of our heavenly Father from which no tornado or earthquake or tsunami or cancer or car wreck can ever snatch us or wrench us free.

e.       Our message ends this morning in verse 15 ends with the anticipation that there will be much animosity to the Christian gospel. Which we see in the rest of chapter 10.

IX.                    The Gospel.

Related Topics: Discipleship, Evangelism, Missions, Soteriology (Salvation)

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