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Send… Preach… So that Others may Believe

November 1, 2015, More from this speaker 更多关于此讲员: Dr. Tan Hock Seng (Romans 10:13-21) For more of this sermon series 更多关于此讲道系列: Romans
Preached at a Bilingual (Mandarin-English, Sunday) service

Tags: Romans, 罗马书

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Date: 1 Nov 2015
Preacher: Dr Tan Hock Seng
Title: Send....Preach.....So that Others may Believe

From the teaching in this Romans passage, we may draw three application principles:

I. Every People in the World Needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ
II. The Church Must Continually Engage in the Mission of Gospel-Preaching
III. The Work of the Gospel Requires Much Patience and Perseverance
Let us consider the first application principle:

I. Every People in the World Needs the Gospel of Jesus Christ

We tend to think that people who are already devoted to a religion have no need of the Gospel. Since they are committed to a good religion they should be left alone and not be disturbed with the Gospel.

A. The Jews appear to have no need of the Gospel

Q. Does the Jews need the Gospel of Jesus?

1. They believe in the God of Abraham
2. They read the Tanakh (the Jewish OT Scripture)
3. They worship the Covenant-God using the Psalms that we read
4. They follow the same wisdom teachings that we adhere (Proverbs)

Thus, they seem to be good enough to be saved without the Gospel.

B. Yet, the Jews need to hear and believe in the Gospel of Jesus all the more.

Paul testifies as a devout Jew:

1. The Torah is good but I just cannot do the good that I ought to do (Rom 7)
2. I come under Divine condemnation because I fall short of the glory of the Creator-God (Rom 3:23)
3. I can only become truly righteous in Christ (Rom 8)

C. If the Jews also require the Gospel, the other peoples also have the same need.

John Hick, an influential British theologian, asserted that Jesus is not the only way to God. All moral religions are able to lead to God. Religions, like Buddhism, Sikhism, Hinduism and Islam are able to save.

If John Hicks were right, then the Jews, also, can be saved without the Gospel of Jesus. If the Jews do not need the Gospels then Paul’s Epistle to the Romans would have been a much shorter letter. Romans chapters 2 through 7, and chapters 9 through 11 would not be in the Epistle today. After chapter 1, Paul would just continue with chapter 8 “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…” Then, Paul would proceed with Romans 12 through 16.

If the Jews do not need the Gospel, the Apostle Paul would not have been so anxious about their salvation.
Paul wrote the church in Rome, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer for the Israelites is that they may be saved (through the Gospel of Jesus).

Now, if the Jews, whose worship and belief is so close to the Christians’, need the Gospel, how much more do the other religious people also need the Gospel.

During the first century, the disciples of Jesus sought to preach the Gospel everywhere in Roman Empire despite rejection, persecution and, even losing their lives.

They crossed ethnic boundaries
- Jews, Samaritan, Gentiles.
They crossed religious boundaries
– Judaism, the religions and cults in Asia Minor.
They crossed geographical boundaries
– Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, the entire Mediterranean world

The disciples believed that every people in the world need the Gospel.

The second application-principle reminds us that …

II. The Church Must Continually Engage in the Mission of Gospel-Preaching

In verses 14 and 15, Paul poses the church these questions:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?
And how can they preach unless they are sent?

A. The Central Idea of the rhetorical questions is clear

The church must send people to preach the gospel so that others may hear about Jesus and believe in Him.

If we read verses 14 and 15 in another way, we will hear Paul telling us that …

We must send, so that the Gospel may be preached.
The Gospel must be preached, so that others may believe.
People needs to hear, they may believe and call on the Lord Jesus.

B. The church must send mission-workers to proclaim the gospel

The church must send out people to preach the Gospel
“Sending” people means caring, supporting, and partnering with the mission workers in their fields.

Some churches, like the Zion Bible Presbyterian church, have a Missionary Care ministry. The church will send members to visit and encourage missionaries in their field, when the situation permits.
However, many churches are facing a greater problem today

How can the church send if there is no one to send?
How can people go if they do not know the “what’s & where’s” the mission needs are?
How can they know about mission needs if there is inadequate mission education?

When mission emphasis is lacking, churches may develop apathy to people’s spiritual needs. We may see non Christians around us but we cannot see or feel their needs for Jesus. We do not have the motivation, as well as the readiness, to testify the reality of the Creator-God in our lives.

The greatest hindrance to proclaiming Christ in our lives is when we think, talk and behave like non Christians. When we are living like non Christians, we have become like salt that has lost its flavor.

As a church we must wake up to our calling to be light and salt in our society. We have the mission to lead others to true worship. We must engage in discipleship to teach worshippers “to observe all that I (Jesus) have commanded you.”

For a meaningful start, let us…

Be Consistent - Let our lives and works in the other 6 days be consistent with our worship on Sunday.
Be Informed - Know what’s going on in the mission fields.
Be Exposed - Try to go on a mission trips. That’s a real-life classroom.
Participate - Contribute to missionary care, prayer & support.

One opportunity to participate in mission is to consider a “Second-Career Christian ministry.

1. Second –Career Christian Ministry

Those among us who are approaching retirement age, do consider giving whatever time and strength you have left on earth to the Lord.

George was the oldest student in the class. He was 61 year-old. All his fellow-classmates called him “uncle George”. Uncle George was a businessman. In 1985 he went to the Baptist Theological Seminary to do a three-year Diploma program. After his graduation, uncle George was ordained by his church, the Grace Baptist Church, and he was sent to Macau as a missionary. Rev George served as a pastor, together with his wife, in a Cantonese church at Macau for 9 years, from 1989-1998, and after that he returned to Singapore.

Uncle George’s example is not an isolated incident. Since the year 2000, I have seen many “uncle Georges” in the theological colleges, equipping themselves for gospel works as a second career.

If you are approaching 60, and the Lord has blessed you with reasonable good health and strength, you may consider serving God in full-time ministry.

A second way that we may participate in mission is to go on a Mission Trip

2. Mission Trips

Jubilee Church has been helping out with the outreach work at “Dagu Di”. You may plan to participate in the 2016 trip.

Mission Trip is a real life classroom where we can receive up-to-date education in mission.

A third way that we may participate in mission is to go on a Short-Term mission work.

3. Short-Term Mission Programs

There are mission programs that will require a longer time of commitment.

Jackie Pullinger, an American missionary in Hong Kong, has been reaching out to the drug addicts and prostitutes in Temple street. She expresses the needs for a longer mission commitment in volunteer-works:

In two weeks, you may pull some victimized girls out of the brothels, but you cannot rescue their souls out of world of darkness.

Who will continue to help these women to live normal lives and to walk with the Lord when you leave after two weeks of contacts? They will revert to their former ways and will suffer more than before.

Some short-term missions require 1-2 years commitment in view of the ministry nature. One short-term mission work that is well known to many churches is serving with the O.M. to do gospel works. The ship Logos Hope will take the staff to many countries. You may go the O.M. Singapore website to learn more about the ministry.

A fourth way to do the work of the gospel is to consider the full-time Christian ministry calling.

4. Full-Time Christian Ministry/ Vocational Missionary

No pastor, or missionary, will live forever. They need to be replaced eventually.

When Dr. Chua Howe Chuang went home to be with the Lord, it is not easy for the OMF ministry to find someone to take over his gospel-work in Japan.

Do not think, “What a waste! My children study so much to get a Bachelor or Master’s degree, and now they want to be a pastor or a missionary.”

Good education actually equips a person to serve God and the community better.

Dr Tan Lai Yong is a medical doctor. In 1996 his church sent him to serve as a missionary in south-west China. For 14 years he lived among the extremely poor villagers in Yunnan and treated their diseases and illnesses. He trained farmers in basic medical and dental care. After returning to Singapore in 2010, he did a Master’s degree in public administration in order to serve the community better.

Now, Dr. Tan Lai Yong teaches a course at University Town called the “Hidden Communities.” He trains students to look into the plight of the elderly who live alone, the struggles of ex-offenders to find a job, youths who are not doing well in studies, and the poor living conditions of migrant workers.

God has use of whatever training, education, or life-experiences you have for doing the work of the Gospel. There is no gift too small for God to accept, and there is no gift too costly that God is unworthy to receive.

We need to give God the best that we can give.

Let me illustrate with “The Reception of the President at NDP by the SAF Chief-of-Staff.”

When the president arrives at the National Day Parade venue, there is always someone who opens the car-door to welcome him. The one who opens the car-door for the president will not be an ordinary car-park attendant. Instead, the highest ranking officer in the SAF is appointed for that very simple task. We may think, “Just opening the car-door only what!” Why must call an army general to do that?” Because the person in the car is the President of Singapore, the opening of the car-door becomes a great honor to the one who serves him by opening the door.

In the full-time Christian ministry, the One whom we serve is the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, so we ought to give the best that we can give to serve Jesus. It should be seen as an honor to give your children to serve Jesus, not a sacrifice.

Whether our gift is little or much, small or great, the LORD deserves the best that we can give.

The Church must continually engage in the mission of Gospel-preaching.

The third, and the final, application principle we shall look at reminds us that the “Work of the Gospel will require much patience and perseverance.”

III. The Work of the Gospel Requires Much Patience and Perseverance

In Romans 10:13 Paul expresses his strong conviction “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

A. Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved

Let us understand what Paul means when he says “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord”

1. To “call on the name” means to “worship”
Abraham built an altar … and he called on the name of the LORD (Gen 12:8)

2. YHWH is Jesus

In Romans 10:13 Paul quoted Joel 2:32 to urge the Jews to trust in Jesus for Salvation.

In Joel 2 the prophet preaches that when God’s judgment befalls the people in Judah, only those who worship the LORD will be saved.

In the Hebrew text, the word “LORD” refers to YHWH. YHWH is God’s Covenant-Name to His people. While addressing his fellow-Jews, Paul applies the “Calling on the name of YHWH” to Jesus. As the Jews only worship YHWH as their only God, Paul explains to them, “If you worship Jesus, you are not worshipping another God because Jesus is the same God who made the Covenant with Israel at Mt Sinai. So, we may worship because He is the LORD - YHWH.

B. The Jews reacted to the Gospel of Jesus

However, the Jews continued to react to the Gospel for various reasons:

1. They could not understand

They thought, “If we can attain righteousness by believing in Jesus, then God must have played us out by giving us the Torah.”

Thus, Paul explained to them how the same principle of faith works in Abraham’s life in Romans 4 (4:3)

2. They could not accept

They could not accept a crucified Messiah;
They could not accept that the righteousness comes through Jesus. instead of the Torah
They could not accept the worship of Jesus as God, the YHWH.
They could not accept that Gentiles can be saved without becoming a Jew first.

3. They were obstinate

Paul exposed his fellow Jews as disobedient and obstinate people.
Even when many of them could fully understand what Paul was talking about, they still would not call upon the name of Jesus.

C. The Gospel still must be preached to difficult-to-reach people.

1. So Paul quoted from the OT to show that his fellow-Jews had been disobedience and obstinate since Isaiah’s days.

For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?”

20 And Isaiah boldly says,
"I was found by those who did not seek me;
I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."

21But concerning Israel he says,
"All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and obstinate people."

Despite the fact, that the Jews were stubborn, Paul continued to yearn for the salvation of his fellow men.

2. Paul continued to yearn that the Jews would believe in Jesus

In Romans 9:2, Paul expresses his deep desire for his fellowmen’s salvation:

NLT Romans 9:2
My heart is filled with bitter sorrow and unending grief 3 for my people, my Jewish brothers and sisters. I would be willing to be forever cursed-- cut off from Christ! -- if that would save them.

The Gospel still must be preached to difficult-to-reach people
The Work of the Gospel Requires Much Patience and Perseverance.

In the history of mission, many Gospel preachers do not see favorable results within the first 5 years of hard work in their mission fields.
Some missionaries only experienced “fruit bearing” after 8 years of labor; some, after 13 years; and some, after they died.

One example to note, is James O.Fraser, an OMF missionary to Yunnan. It was 12 years after his death, then there were over 3,000 Lisu people who became baptized believers. However, in 2006 a mission report shows that 80% of the Lisu people in Yunnan today are Christian converts.

Conclusion:

In Revelation 7 we read…

Revelation 7:9-10
9 After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb… 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."

In heaven, there shall be people from every nation, tribe, ethnicty and language, standing before the throne

Let us remember the Apostle Paul’s rhetorical questions in Romans 10 whenever we think of John’s vision of heaven:

How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in?
And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard?
And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?

The gospel of Jesus Christ must, first, be preached.

Romans 10:13–21 (Listen)

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

18 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

  “Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
    and their words to the ends of the world.”

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

  “I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
    with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

  “I have been found by those who did not seek me;
    I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

(ESV)