Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Outreach of the Local Church

Temple Baptist Church - 3-15-2015
Titus 3:12-15
A.  As we finish the last of the Pastoral Epistles, we need to sum them up and I believe that these verses do just that.
1.  1 Timothy sets forth the principles of godly behavior in God’s house.  1 Timothy 3:15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.  (An admonition to remember that, though the world is wanted, God’s house is not to be worldly.  It is run by the scripture and is to be treated with love and respect!)
2.  2 Timothy sets forth the safe guard of the bible for the protection of God’s house and people in the light of apostasy and false teachers.  2 Timothy 2:15  Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  (Stay with the old King James Bible; stand on the old King James Bible; and study the old King James Bible!)
3.  Titus sets forth the godly conversation of the saints in this present evil world while expectantly waiting for the return of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.  Titus 2:11-13  For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,  (12)  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;  (13)  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  (He is coming and we are leaving.  We are to be salt and light in a spiritually dark land.)
B.  In his final verses of the Book of Titus, Paul names both people and places involved in the work of the gospel. 
1.  Paul instructs a pastor, Titus, to visit the mission field because it allows the mission churches to get to know those who are “holding the ropes” for the missionaries who are winning souls and establishing local churches. 
2.  Such visits also allow the pastors to get a firsthand look at the work being done by the missionaries and increases his burden for missions which increases the burden for missions in his church.
C.  Verse 14 says, “And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.” 
1.  The work of the gospel must be “maintained” or it will dwindle and, eventually, fade away.  Many local churches that were mission hearted no long have a burden for missions.  We have more local, bible believing churches today than we have ever had and yet missions giving and missions going is dwindling away. 
2.  People talk missions and have mission’s conferences but that is all that they have.  We must maintain good works for “necessary uses” because these good works for necessary uses will produce fruit!
1.  The People of Missions: Paul mentions Artemas, Tychicus, Zenas, and Apollos
a.  There are Faithful God called People.  Acts 13:2-3  As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.  (3)  And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.
b.  There are Faithful congregational People.  1 Corinthians 16:1-3  Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.  (2)  Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.  (3)  And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
c.  These are all Soul caring People!  Jude 1:21-22  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  (22)  And of some have compassion, making a difference:
2.  The Places of Missions:  Acts 1:8  But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.  (The key word in this verse is “both.”  It means “also” or “even” which gives the understanding of “at the same time.”  Home missions and foreign missions are to be done simultaneously.) 
a.  Nicopolis was a mission field where Paul, the missionary, was headed.  It was what we would call a “foreign field.” 
b.  Crete (Titus 1:5) was a mission field were Titus was leaving.  We would refer to this as a home mission field.
3.  The Priority of Missions: 1 Timothy 2:4  Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
a.  Souls are dying without Christ.  Luke 16:22-23  And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;  (23)  And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
b.  We must work while it day.  John 9:4  I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
4.  The Power of Missions:  Matthew 28:18-19  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  (19)  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
a.  There is the power of our preaching.  Romans 1:16-17  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
b.  There is the power of our possessions.  2 Corinthians 8:1-5  Moreover, brethren, we do you to wit of the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia;  (2)  How that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality.  (3)  For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves;  (4)  Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.  (5)  And this they did, not as we hoped, but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God.
5.  The Possibility of Missions: 
a.  Fruitful - Philippians 4:16-17  For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.  (17)  Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
b.  Unfruitful - Titus 3:14  And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

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