Well, the first part of Perspectives is done. I feel like I deserve a break… though I don’t get one… 😛
This Monday night finished up the Biblical Perspective on missions, and now we’ve moved on into the Historical perspective. So far a lot of it has been review, but there have been quite a few good things I’ve learned or looked at differently.
So… here comes my list of main things I learned over the first five weeks of Perspectives (and if you can believe this is a summary… 😛 It’s 5 pages of notes and things… though I’ve read a few hundred pages of articles).
Perspectives: What I’ve Most Gotten Out of It
- Esther’s middle name is not Bathsheba. 😛
- We are blessed by God in order to be a blessing, not to feel good.
- “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
- The fulfillment of God’s promise to Abram in Genesis 12:1-3 has a three-fold fulfillment – immediate fulfillment in the physical seed of Abraham, intermediate fulfillment in the seed of Abraham through faith, and future fulfillment in the seed of Abraham by believers in heaven as well as the promised blessing of land.
- OT fulfillment : Physical :: NT fulfillment : spiritual
- God’s mission is toward God (He be glorified in Global Worship), for the nations (bringing the redemptive blessing to every people), and against evil (overcoming evil to liberate people).
- He’s created us with a life of purpose, to live a life of significance.
- Blessing ALWAYS follows obedience to God. (Leviticus 26).
- Jesus’ genealogy shows the prophetic fulfillment of God’s promise.
- The law makes you look for another way to “make it.” That way is grace.
- Worship is a celebration of the resurrection.
- We are God’s special possession. He keeps us close to Him because we are more precious than diamonds.
– Sarah’s hair tastes like garlic bread (according to Esther)
– some of God’s names are to reveal His character
– Missions exists because global worship does not.
– God’s glory shines forth from his holiness like rays from the sun.
– Worship: that which glorifies God by recognizing His glory and by honoring
Him with the offerings of the lesser, but worthy glories of the nations. Worship
not only delights and reveals God, it fulfills God’s love for people by
bringing them to a place of their highest honor before Him.
– God reveals Himself to all nations to receive glory from all nations.
– Salvation is not to see what we are saved from, rather what we are saved for.
– God isn’t threatened by false worship, He’s saddened by it.
– By wooing us into true worship, God is able to bestow His love on us, and we are able to glorify Him.
– Worship fulfills God’s love. He loves people so vastly that He wills to exalt them to something better than greatness; He wants to bring them into an honored nearness to Him. Stretch your mind and your heart as far as you can, but you’ll never perceive the extent of what God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor 2:9).
– Abraham made God’s name known by his ongoing worship. God made His name
great by dramatic redemptive power through His people. The outcome was a multi-national gathering of grateful honor in which God was explicitly worshiped in truth.
– God plagues the Egyptians so that they might know who He is.
– The Church of God doesn’t have a mission in the world, rather the God of mission has a Church in the world.
– The Church’s first passion should be God. From that passion missions should come, but missions should not be the Church’s primary focus.
– God brings the kingdom into fulfillment, but allows us to share in His work.
v Hope expects all thing, large or little to be overwhelmed and filled with the immense glory of Christ.
v In order for someone to be a true king, they have to have three things: authority to rule, subjects, and a kingdom. In the time between Adam and Noah, the Kingdom of God was not there because God did not have any subjects.
v Jesus’ first coming broke Satan’s power. Between His comings, Jesus continues His mission with the Church to the nations. His second coming will destroy Satan’s kingdom and He will come in full glory.
v Right now the world is ruled by the devil because Adam gave him the power God had given Adam. God is still in control, but the devil is ruling the minds of the people and not allowing God’s kingdom to be in full power.
v In the day when God sets up His reign it will displace all other reigns, all other kingdoms and authorities. God alone will rule.
v Although Satan rules this present age, God has not abandoned it to darkness.
v This evil age is to last until His return. It will forever be hostile to the gospel and to God’s people. Evil will prevail. Subtle, deceitful influences will seek to turn men away from Christ. Believers will suffer hatred so long as this age lasts. The evil age will only end when the Kingdom is preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to the nations.
v Although Satan still rules, He has already been defeated, and we may be released from demonic fear and from satanic evil and know the glorious liberty of the sons of God.
v D-Day comes before V-E Day. Christ has defeated death and Satan, but the full victory is still coming.
v If there is no God, man is lost in a labyrinthine maze of bewildering experiences with no thread of meaning to guide him. If God has not acted in history, the ebb and flow of the tides of the centuries wash back and forth aimlessly between the sands of eternity.
v Modern technology (planes, printers, etc…) would allow the gospel to be carried and preached throughout all the world in our own generation. But we argue about methods rather than GOING!.
v The motive of our mission: the final victory will come at the completion of our task. To us it is given not only to wait for but also to hasten the coming of the day of God.
v Prayer: rebellion against the world in its fallenness, the absolute and undying refusal to accept as normal what is pervasively abnormal. Prayer flourishes when there is a twofold belif: 1. that God’s name is hallowed too irregularly, his kingdom has come too little, and His will is done too infrequently. 2. that God Himself can change the situation.
v If the gospel is universal, prayer cannot restrict itself to being local. Pray for the nations!
o Jesus focused on the training of people whom the multitudes would follow rather than the multitudes of people. The crowds would follow anyone – Jesus wanted to ensure that He would have workers on earth. He based his ministry on loyalty rather than intelligence and quality rather than quantity.
o Summary of the Great Commission: All God’s authority to All peoples, doing All Jesus commanded for All the days.
o Daniel 7:9-14 – the creatures represent kingdoms to come. Horns are kings opposing God. The Son of Man is fighting these kings, and He wins ALL authority.
o Psalm 110: God has a definite and assured rule over all with great authority, crushing and judging nations, thus we are willing to go fight for Him and there is assurance he Will crush and rule. Victory is definite, He WILL BE VICTORIOUS.
o Revelation 5:1-14: The scroll of destiny, lion and lamb worthy. All worshiping and giving God all authority.
o “I am with you to the end of the age” = I am empowering you.
o The goal of His teaching was life obedience – not to know more, it’s so our lives will be radically changed. So we can not just expose others to truth, but to bring about a result.
o God works through us in a loving, powerful, and purposeful way.
o 9 out of 10 people are spiritually lost globally. 3 of 4 people globally have not heard the gospel with understanding. 1 of 2 cannot hear because there is no one near enough to tell them.
o “all Nations” = “all people groups.”
o We do have a mandate, because people need to hear.
Week Five: Unleashing the Gospel
Ø God is more sovereign than we think He is. We are more responsible than we think we are.
Ø Great commission – the “lo” comes about when the “go” happens. No go à no lo.
Ø The disciples were persistent, bold, and faithful.
Ø A witness is what you are more than what you do. God arranges for His servants to display what they declare. By public testimony in the face of hostility, ordinary people accomplish far more than merely affirming the truth of Christ. Witnesses establish the value of Christ.
Ø “The pain of shattered plans is for the purpose of scattered grace.” – John Piper
Ø Modality – a nurture-oriented congregational structure. Sodality – a task oriented (called out team) mission structure.
Ø Healthy apple trees produce more TREES! Healthy Churches produce more CHURCHES! (not apples and believers!) But there are apple trees and Redwood trees- same thing with unique DNA.
Ø There are 16,500 unreached people groups. And 350,000 Churches with 200- members (that’s in the US alone for the Churches!)
Ø Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? We’re not old dogs anymore, we’re new creatures!
Ø Apostolic passion – Passion for Jesus, dreaming of the whole earth being filled with His glory, we’re sent out to tell the world and willing to die for it.
Ø Prayer can be used to meet seen needs in people and open their eyes to the power and Truth of God.
Ø People who make a difference in the world are not people who’ve mastered a lot of things but have been mastered by God. It’s not you, it’s what your gripped with.
Ø When we get to heaven, are we going to show God our stuff or how we spent our life?
Ø 5% of the world’s population lives in North America. 91% of the Christian workers in the world minister in North America. 95% of the money given for Christian causes goes to North America. For every $100 of Christian giving to all causes only 5 cents goes to Church planting among unreached peoples. 15% of the world’s population lives in absolute poverty. 70,000,000 people are on the threshold of starvation. Half of those absolute poor do not live to be five years old.
Ø But… Evangelical Christianity is growing at 1.5 times the population rate! Every day, 54,000 people are saved in Africa, 46,000 people are saved in Latin America, 43,000 people are saved in Asia, 12,000 are saved in North America, and 1,000 new Churches are planted somewhere in the world! There are approximately 350,000 Churches in USA with 200 or fewer members. There are 6,900 UPGs. That’s a 50:1 ratio.
Ø Apostolic passion is dead in my heart when I dream more about sports, toys, places, and people than I do about the nations worshiping Jesus.
Ø We must focus on Christ, or we won’t obey.
Ø “If I send you out now on 20 minutes a day of prayer, I’d be sending a soldier into battle without any weapons, and you would get killed.” – David Wilkerson
Ø Are we willing to pray like Paul? Day and night… with tears… without ceasing… with thankfulness… in the Spirit… constantly… boldly… for godly sorrow… against the evil one.
Ø “Covet usefulness! Make your plans big, because God is your partner!” – D.L. Moody
Ø Suffering for Christ is not the only suffering of persecution. It begins when one leaves close relatives for the service of Christ, For some, it means selling their possessions and giving them to the poor, for others it may mean agonizing prayer for the cause of Christ. Suffering is not self-inflicted. However, suffering for Christ does mean that we will voluntarily involve ourselves in suffering and in sacrificial living for Christ and his gospel.
Ø Three things accomplished by the death of martyrs: triumph of God’s truth, defeat of Satan, and glory of God.
Ø Satan uses two instruments to keep humans in bondage: Fear of death – which Jesus has liberated us from, and sin, which Christ has cancelled by his death.