Participants: Wes McDonald
Series Code: FC
Program Code: FC000404
00:30 Hello, I'm Wes McDonald; I'd like to welcome you to
00:33 today's Faith Chapel. I have a message from
00:37 God's word for you today.
00:38 But before that shall we bow our heads in prayer.
00:41 Our Father in heaven, thank you that we can
00:45 go to your word and learned from you,
00:48 I pray that you touch my lips and my heart with
00:50 words from on high. And that they will be a
00:53 blessing to all who will view and
00:55 to hear today, in Jesus name, Amen.
01:01 Our message today is "Who Are We Preaching
01:03 To Anyway." In the 24th chapter of Matthew
01:10 we find Christ outlining prophecies that would
01:14 occur in the end times, things that will occur
01:17 just shortly before he would return to gather
01:21 the church to take us up with him to heaven.
01:24 And in every instance, every single prophecy
01:28 which Christ has outlined has been
01:31 fulfilled except one, all of the time prophecies
01:36 have been fulfilled, every single thing has
01:39 been done there is only one thing and one thing
01:41 only in all of those prophecies Matthew 24
01:45 that have not been fulfilled, only one that
01:46 has not been fulfilled and that is Matthew 24
01:50 and verse 14. Let's read Matthew 24 and verse 14,
01:58 I read: And this gospel of the kingdom shall be
02:03 preached in all the world for a witness unto all
02:07 the nations; and then shall the end come.
02:15 Since the time of Christ until today it has been
02:20 nearly 2000 years and the disciples preached
02:25 that Christ was returning,
02:27 they preached the warning message to the world
02:30 to repent and to accept the gospel,
02:32 to accept salvation. And this has been going on
02:36 since the time of Christ until now.
02:39 So, we've been preaching this to the world for
02:41 2000 years and the Bible tells us that when
02:45 the world has been warned, when it has
02:47 been preached to every nation, kindred,
02:50 tongue and people as a witness then Jesus comes.
02:54 The question is, don't you think that if we've
02:59 been doing this for 2000 years roughly that we
03:02 would have accomplished that goal by now.
03:07 This is an important question we need to
03:08 ask ourselves, if we've been preaching it for
03:12 2000 years and if we haven't accomplished
03:16 it by now the question is who have we been
03:18 preaching to? Have we been preaching to the
03:20 right people, have we been covering all
03:23 of the bases, have we been going into the
03:24 remotest parts of the world to preach the
03:27 gospel to people who have never heard the
03:29 name of Christ or is it possible maybe we may
03:33 have spent a bit more time than what was necessary.
03:37 And repeating the same message to, to ourselves
03:41 or to people who already know Christ,
03:44 very important question. In order to answer that,
03:48 I wanna ask you a question for a moment,
03:49 think of your church at home and ask yourselves
03:53 this question, who did your pastor speak to
03:56 last week, was it to you? Regardless of the
04:00 church, regardless of the denomination in most
04:03 cases our brightest and best, our most talented
04:08 people are for ministry, are preaching week by
04:12 week often times to people who have already
04:15 heard a salvation message, who have already heard
04:17 the gospel. So, has your pastor been doing that
04:22 for the last month, the last year, the last
04:24 five years, the last twenty years.
04:27 Have you enjoyed those sermons?
04:29 Has your pastor been able or been permitted
04:32 to preach to others as well during that time
04:35 in the same way. In Revelation 3 and verse 20
04:41 we read: Behold, I stand at the door and knock.
04:48 If any man hears My voice and open the door,
04:52 I will come in to him and sup with him,
04:56 and he with Me. Are we knocking on doors that
05:04 are already open, you know Christ tells us that
05:09 if we'll open the door that implies that the
05:12 door is shut, and that the heart is closed
05:14 to Christ. When the heart is open to Christ,
05:17 Christ doesn't have to knock, he doesn't have
05:20 to knock to get in because it's open and
05:22 you will let Him in. Is it possible that we have
05:25 spent entirely too great a percentage of our time,
05:32 laboring for the benefit of those who already
05:35 know Christ. I want you to think for your church
05:38 again for a moment. Suppose that your pastor
05:42 was sick for a month and one of your local church
05:46 elders or one of the church leaders would
05:49 have to preach for him, maybe visit the sick,
05:51 visit the church members. How many of your
05:54 baptized born again church members would
05:58 be lost forever and not go to heaven,
06:01 because your pastor would not be able to
06:04 be the one who could deliver the message in
06:07 the morning or could not be the one who would
06:09 visit you when you were ill or could not
06:11 be the one who would do this pastoral visitation,
06:15 it would have to be somebody else.
06:16 How many of your baptized born again
06:18 church members would be lost if you pastor
06:21 was sick for a month? Well, you say, well
06:23 of course no one Wes, but suppose that this
06:27 went on for some period of time, perhaps a year
06:30 or several years or worst case scenario suppose
06:33 that every pastor in your country were locked up
06:38 in jail for preaching the gospel for five years
06:41 and in some countries these types of things
06:42 have happened at different points
06:44 there's been difficulties for the Christian church
06:47 in places. Under those most extreme circumstances
06:51 how many of the baptized born again Christians
06:54 who have a relationship with Jesus Christ would
06:57 be lost forever because they would have to hear
07:00 the message from another person, another
07:02 church leader. I've asked this question in different
07:05 parts around world and always the answer has
07:07 been the same, not one would be lost.
07:10 A more important question would be though,
07:15 of the thousands and millions of unsaved
07:17 individuals around the world who have not had
07:21 the privilege of hearing the message from your
07:23 pastor for the last five years how many of them
07:26 might be lost because his best efforts were made
07:31 on your behalf rather than theirs.
07:34 Is it possible that we should begin to focus
07:38 our efforts in a little bit more constructive way,
07:41 should we as church members be laboring
07:43 with our pastors in order to help them to spread
07:47 the message more effectively rather than
07:49 laboring with our pastors to spend their
07:53 time with us, is that possible?
07:56 The reason Jesus has not come back to earth is
08:00 because there are people who need to be warned,
08:04 the reason Jesus has not come back to this earth
08:07 after all this period of time. Is because there
08:10 are still people who need salvation and who
08:12 need to hear salvation, everyone must have the
08:16 opportunity to decide for Christ.
08:19 Otherwise the devil would accuse Christ
08:22 of being unfair if He were come back at one
08:24 moment before that. From 2nd Peter and 3
08:29 and verse 9, let's read this together 2nd Peter 3
08:34 and verse 9: The Lord is not slack concerning
08:40 his promise, as some men account slackness;
08:44 but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing
08:48 that any should perish, but that all should come
08:52 to repentance. Friends, Jesus wants to come,
08:59 He has wanted to come before now and
09:02 if we as Christians both members and ministers,
09:06 pastors alike. If we had been more efficient,
09:11 more faithful to deliver the warning message
09:13 to planet earth Christ would have come long ago.
09:16 We as Christians understand this,
09:18 to thank that holds back Christ from coming as His
09:21 desire to save those that we have not warned yet.
09:25 And so we must labor in a better way.
09:30 In Christianity we look to Paul, the Apostle Paul
09:34 as the acknowledged example for the modern
09:38 minister of today. Paul's example in the field
09:41 is one that we are supposed to copy,
09:44 we're supposed to follow after his example,
09:47 he is the pattern. What did he write in Romans
09:50 the 15th chapter verses 20 to 22, let's look at
09:55 this together, Romans 15 verse 20 to 22:
09:59 "Yea, so I have strived to preach the gospel,
10:04 not where Christ was named, lest I should build
10:09 on another man's foundation.
10:12 But as it is written, To whom he was not
10:17 spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not
10:23 heard shall understand. For which cause also
10:28 I have been much hindered from coming to you.
10:31 Paul is telling these dear Christian believers
10:34 that he has spent so much time laboring for the
10:37 lost in areas where Christ has never even been
10:39 heard of, that he hasn't been able to come by
10:43 for a visit lately. Oh! Imagine how that would
10:46 be today in our setting, this is foreign
10:49 to our thinking, but friends, this is what
10:53 the Bible says, this was Paul example
10:56 and this should be our example too.
10:58 We should love Jesus so much that we are willing
11:02 to sacrifice a few things that we treasure so that
11:05 others may live. Why is it that Christians need
11:10 to hear the same thing 20 times before the
11:12 world hears it once, we have a tough question
11:16 to answer. Let's turn again to our scripture
11:19 and let's read from Romans the 10th chapter
11:23 verses 13 to 16, once again we remember
11:26 Paul is our acknowledged example of the pattern
11:29 for the minister of today. Romans 10 and verse
11:32 13 to 16: For whosoever shall call upon the name
11:38 of the Lord shall be saved? How then shall
11:42 they call on him in whom they have not believed?
11:46 And how shall they believe in him of whom
11:50 they have not heard? And how shall they hear
11:53 without a preacher? And how shall they preach
11:57 except they be sent? As it is written,
12:00 How beautiful are the feet of them that preach
12:03 the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings
12:07 of good things! But they have not all obeyed
12:11 the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath
12:16 believed our report? The reason they have not
12:19 believed our report friends is they have not
12:21 heard our report. And they can't hear our report
12:24 unless a preacher be sent. You notice the
12:28 preachers have to be sent not necessarily
12:30 retained all the time we really must share
12:33 and share a like in order to accomplish God's will
12:36 for planet earth, amen. So, then you may ask
12:41 well how are the churches going to be cared for,
12:44 God loves His church never forget it.
12:49 The church is the bride of Christ,
12:52 Christ loves His bride, the church is the body
12:54 of Christ, Christ loves His body.
12:57 God loves the church as much as anything,
13:01 He died to save the church.
13:03 And so he will not leave the church without
13:06 appropriate care, it has been given to us in
13:11 scripture exactly how he plans to do that.
13:14 Again return to the writings of Luke,
13:18 who is describing what is going on with Paul,
13:21 we go to Acts the 20th chapter this time where
13:25 Dr. Luke wrote the book of Acts about the
13:28 journeys of Paul. We find that Paul here is on
13:32 his way back to Jerusalem and
13:34 he is passing through Miletus and he sends
13:39 to his elders of the church in Ephesus
13:41 and he wants have a meeting with them
13:43 and give them instructions on
13:45 how to care for the church. Let's go there
13:48 now to Acts the 20th chapter, we're going
13:51 to be looking at two verses, verse 17 and
13:54 verse 28 and so, it says: And from Miletus
13:58 he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of
14:02 the church. Who is it that he called?
14:04 The elders of the church remember that
14:08 and then he goes through different instructions
14:11 from this point down to verse 28.
14:13 But in verse 28, we find something pertinent
14:17 to our discussion today. Now, let's go to verse
14:19 28, he is telling the elders there,
14:22 he is speaking to the elders he says:
14:24 Take heed therefore unto yourselves,
14:28 and to all the flock, over the which the
14:32 Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,
14:37 to feed the church of God, which he hath
14:41 purchased with his own blood.
14:44 My question is who is it that has designated,
14:49 who is it that has designated that the
14:52 elders be the overseers over the church,
14:55 who is it? The Bible says that the Holy Ghost
15:00 has designated the elders to be the overseers over
15:03 the church, who is it that is said that it's the
15:06 elders to feed the Church of God?
15:10 The Bible says that the Holy Spirit has designated
15:15 that the elders be the overseers over the church
15:18 and that they are to feed the Church of God
15:20 which he hath purchased with his own blood.
15:24 As I read my scripture I realize that scripture
15:27 warns me very carefully that it is not very wise
15:30 to argue with the Holy Spirit. I don't want to
15:33 give any grief to the Holy Spirit, I don't want
15:36 to grieve the Holy Spirit, by ignoring what the
15:38 Holy Spirit has said and the Holy Spirit has
15:41 definitely said the elders would take care
15:44 of the church, this maybe new to some of us.
15:47 But nonetheless it's here in scripture,
15:50 what does Peter say? Peter says very much
15:54 the same thing let's turn now to 1st Peter
15:57 chapter 5 and verses 1 and 2.
16:00 And let's read together: The elders which are
16:04 among you I exhort, who am also an elder,
16:07 and a witness of the sufferings of Christ,
16:11 and also a partaker of the glory that shall
16:13 be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is
16:17 among you, taking the oversight thereof,
16:23 not by constraint, but willingly; not for
16:28 filthy lucre, but of a ready mind.
16:33 Peter is saying here that the elders are to feed
16:36 the flock of God and in many churches today
16:40 this isn't carried out to the extent that
16:42 it needs to be. But the elders are definitely
16:45 to take oversight over the church and to feed
16:47 the Church of God willingly and not by constraint.
16:51 Let's turn if we will also to Ephesians the
16:55 4th chapter another place where we talk about
16:58 leadership in the church. Ephesians the 4 and
17:02 verse 11 and 12: And he gave some, apostles;
17:08 and some prophets; and some evangelists;
17:13 and some pastors and teachers;
17:15 For the perfecting of the saints,
17:17 for the work of the ministry, for the
17:20 edifying of the body of Christ.
17:26 And looking at the word pastors there that's what
17:29 we usually think of as the leadership of the church
17:33 and then the sense we think of today.
17:35 As we think of that we want to see what
17:38 is meant there, in that passage that word pastors
17:42 as it is translated there is found one time in the
17:45 New Testament and we can look at the
17:48 picture here. It's poimen, that just what it means,
17:51 it literally means a herdsmen or a shepherd
17:54 and it is metaphorically used for the overseers
17:58 over the Christian assemblies.
18:00 Elsewhere in 1st Peter and also in Acts 20
18:04 we find that the overseers of the Christian
18:06 assemblies certainly includes the elders,
18:09 in fact it is specifically pointing to elders.
18:13 And of course Peter himself was an elder.
18:17 In today's church it is clear that we have not
18:21 focused as much attention on the lost as
18:25 we need to. Christ's command is for us to do
18:30 just that, if we do not focus our attention
18:34 on the lost then we delay the coming of Christ.
18:38 Time clicks by, today in North America there are
18:43 more than 300 million people.
18:46 And every year almost 5 million die annually
18:51 and people are dying just year by year by year,
18:56 many of these people. In fact perhaps even
19:00 maybe the majority do not have the saving
19:03 relationship with Christ that they need to have.
19:07 And certainly in other parts of the world where
19:09 they've never heard of the Christ they can safely
19:11 be said as well. Are we spending the amount of
19:14 time in our people who are prepared for ministry,
19:17 our elders, our church people themselves,
19:21 our ministers, are we spending the time that
19:23 we need to for the benefit of the lost
19:26 or have we at times devoted perhaps too much
19:30 attention for our own benefit.
19:33 These are questions that are painful
19:34 and we need to answer them and we need
19:36 to be able to think about that.
19:41 In Luke the 10th chapter and verse 2 and
19:45 in verse 2 the Bible tells us this:
19:50 Therefore said he unto them,
19:53 The harvest truly is great, but the laborers
19:58 are few: pray ye therefore the Lord
20:02 of the harvest, that he would send forth
20:04 laborers into his harvest.
20:09 Have you ever dared to pray that prayer,
20:13 that God would sent forth laborers into
20:16 his harvest, even if it meant that you would
20:20 have to do without them at times, have you ever
20:23 done that? Now, I'm not talking about the church
20:27 that maybe upset and ask for God to send some
20:30 leader elsewhere, I'm not talking about that.
20:33 We're operating under the, under the assumption
20:36 that we love our leadership, we love our pastors,
20:39 we love our elders, we love our deacons.
20:41 Friends, these are God's men and women
20:44 who have been ordained by God to reach the lost
20:48 and that is what they have been called to do in
20:50 addition to carrying for the church.
20:52 But the church needs to be a body of workers,
20:55 a body of an army of workers that surround
20:58 these leaders and together they go out
21:00 to the field. The church itself must have a mission;
21:04 the church members must have a mission for the
21:07 lost so that the church itself does not become
21:10 the mission of the leaders.
21:12 There's nothing wrong with leading the church,
21:15 there's nothing wrong with taking care of
21:17 the church, but as long as the church itself is
21:19 forward moving and they are going forward
21:22 onward Christian soldiers marching off to war
21:25 with the cross of Jesus. Friends, how is it
21:28 with you, are you one who are not spending
21:35 the time with Christ that you need to,
21:38 are you not preparing yourself for work in
21:41 God's army? Have you perhaps been very
21:44 comfortable in the pew and relying upon others
21:48 to do the work of Christ, have you? I think
21:52 I have at times in the past that were many years
21:55 ago that I just would come to church and if
21:57 I didn't like the sermon well I was upset and
21:59 if I loved it, it was great but I was just average
22:02 church member went about my business lived
22:05 good life, but really wasn't actively involved
22:07 in ministry in anyway. Every man, every woman
22:11 needs to be a minister for Christ, have you taken
22:15 that on in your life? Are you willing to take
22:18 that challenge? We need to consider that,
22:21 when Christ tells us here the harvest truly
22:25 is great, but the laborers are few:
22:28 pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest,
22:31 that he would send forth laborers into his harvest.
22:35 That is a command of Christ, He's telling us
22:39 specifically what to pray for, it's hard for your
22:43 heart to not be involved in something that you're
22:46 specifically praying for. If you're specifically
22:49 praying for something your heart will be with it,
22:52 your pocket buck will be with it, your love
22:54 will be with it, your influence will be with it,
22:57 everything, your soul, mind, body will be with it.
23:00 Have you devoted yourself fully to the
23:03 cause of Christ, are you praying ardently send
23:06 forth laborers into the harvest, even if it is me,
23:10 even if it is you, even if it is your elders,
23:14 even if it is your pastor, even if it is
23:17 your deacons. Would you be willing to sacrifice
23:20 their laborers for the love of the lost,
23:22 so that Jesus can come soon and we can all go
23:25 to heaven sooner rather than later?
23:28 Have we been on this earth too long already?
23:32 Have we been on this earth too long already
23:35 friends? That's my question, are you tired
23:38 of living on a planet where there is not so
23:42 safe to raise your children? How many
23:44 of your afraid to how any more children for fear
23:47 of the things coming upon this earth?
23:49 These are very real questions and they
23:50 are very, very painful but that is the reality,
23:53 we don't live on a safe planet anymore.
23:56 It's not safe even in the country and the
23:59 disasters that are coming upon us are the signs
24:02 of the end at this point friends nothing
24:06 else matters. The church must have
24:09 a mission, God has defined what that mission is,
24:14 the mission is the lost of planet earth.
24:17 Christ commands us to pray that we send forth
24:20 laborers into the harvest where will we get them,
24:23 how will we pay for them? These are questions
24:27 we must answer, we must pray for,
24:30 and we must plan for. Christ demands it,
24:33 He has given us command, would you be willing to
24:36 commit your life to service for Christ?
24:40 Would you do as President Kennedy
24:45 suggested many years ago in a speech:
24:48 Ask not what your country can do for you rather
24:53 ask what you can do for your country.
24:55 Would we like to rephrase it today and
24:58 say ask not what your church can do for you,
25:01 ask what you can do for your church,
25:04 ask not what your pastor or elders or deacons
25:07 can do for you, but ask what you can do for
25:10 your pastor, your elders and your deacons to help
25:13 them to move the church into unreached areas.
25:17 To go where the name of Christ has never gone,
25:20 to go out and to evangelize the world
25:22 and your neighborhood and the place across town
25:25 where there are no churches with truth.
25:27 Are you willing to commit yourselves to that?
25:31 Christ's love for the lost demands that we do
25:36 just that. Friends, I believe that we need
25:41 to make those the matter of prayer,
25:43 when God's people, when God's people pray
25:48 things happen. If my people who are called
25:52 by my name will humble themselves,
25:54 and pray God will hear from heaven and He will
25:58 answer our prayers. Friends, today let's
26:03 pray for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon
26:06 His church, let's pray for the out Holy Spirit,
26:09 for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
26:11 be upon our pastors. Let's pray for the
26:14 outpouring of the Holy Spirit to be on our elders
26:16 and on our deacons on every church member
26:19 so that we are transformed into
26:22 a working body that will not be satisfied to sit
26:25 in a pew and expect for our best leaders
26:30 to wait upon us. But rather we will empower
26:32 them and we will follow them to reach the
26:35 lost for Christ. Would you do that with me just
26:38 now dear friends? Would you ask for the
26:41 outpouring of the Holy Spirit and would you pray
26:43 for the Lord of the harvest to send forth
26:45 reapers to his harvest? Let's pray.
26:48 Father in Heaven, we're a disobedient people
26:54 it is our prayer today that you will help us
26:57 to reform into the people you want us to be.
27:00 That we'll be men and women for Christ,
27:02 each one to stand strong who will not need
27:06 to be supportive, but will support others,
27:08 that we will not ask what the church can do for us.
27:11 But we can do for the church for the sake
27:13 of Christ and for the sake of the lost.
27:16 Lord send forth laborers into the harvest,
27:19 whether it would be ourselves or our leaders
27:21 or our pastors or whoever. So, that Jesus can come,
27:25 we pray in Jesus name, amen.
27:30 What a privilege it is to be able to be called
27:34 a Christian. What an honor that Christ
27:37 has placed upon us. I wanna stand strong
27:42 and tall in that honor, I want to be faithful to
27:45 the high calling that God has given to me and
27:48 I know you do too. Friends, day by day,
27:52 let's commit our lives to Him
27:53 and Jesus will come soon.