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  • Oct 28 / 2018
  • Comments Off on Paul’s First Sermon (Acts 13:6-41)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Paul’s First Sermon (Acts 13:6-41)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Paul’s First Sermon

Acts 13:6-41 (Pastor Heo)

13:6 They traveled through the whole island until they came to Paphos. There they met a Jewish sorcerer and false prophet named Bar-Jesus, 7 who was an attendant of the proconsul, Sergius Paulus. The proconsul, an intelligent man, sent for Barnabas and Saul because he wanted to hear the word of God. 8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said, 10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord? 11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.”

12 Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.

In Pisidian Antioch

13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem. 14 From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down. 15 After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak.”

<PaulsFirstSermon>

16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, 18 he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert, 19 he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.

21 “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:

” ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’

34 The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words:

” ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’

35 So it is stated elsewhere:

” ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’

36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 ” ‘Look, you scoffers,wonder and perish,

for I am going to do something in your days

that you would never believe,

even if someone told you.’ “

</PaulsFirstSermon>

Usually there is a tendency to ID the missionary and the enterprise as going to rural, small, remote, isolated areas – like the jungle, etc – whose people are poor, uneducated, uncivilized – and helping them for his whole life with medicine, education, etc, and then finally, sharing the story of the gospel, very personally. Yes, this is a KIND of missionary job – BUT Paul’s missionary enterprise is very different. Here are 3 key differences:

1. Paul focused on BIG cities –

because he wanted to preach to as many people as possible in a limited time.

If Paul were in Korea, he would travel to

  • Seoul,
  • Incheon,
  • Daejeon,
  • Gwangju,
  • Daegu,
  • Busan,
  • Jeonju, etc.

Later, he wanted to go to Rome very much because it was the biggest city at that time. In the book of Romans, he wrote, “God, whom I serve with my whole heart is my witness how I constantly remember you in my prayers at all times. I long to see you that I may impart a spiritual gift to make you strong. I’m obligated to ALL people, that’s why I’m so eager to preach the gospel to you in Rome.” This was the eagerness of a soul-winner, not a sightseer.

City Mission 도시선교

2. He didn’t live his whole life in ONE place, but moved continuously.

2 Cor he confessed, “I have been constantly on the move – in danger from rivers, the Gentiles, the city, my own countrymen, the sea, false brothers, etc.” If he preached the gospel and the hearers accepted the message, he helped them to organize their own local church and very soon he moved again to another place – because he wanted to preach the gospel to those who did not hear the gospel. But, if the hearers rejected their message, he ALSO moved to another place – because he wanted to preach the message to those who WANTED to hear and were ready to receive the message.

[Later, “Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their feet” and moved on.]

3. He was VERY clear in the knowledge of what his FIRST priority was as a missionary.

He was “set apart” as a “servant” and “slave” of God. All the time, the did the MOST important job FIRST (never second). He had his priorities in order. He was very clear about this. Remember, sometimes the second important job is the greatest enemy to the MOST important job.

What is the FIRST important job to a missionary? PREACH the gospel.

1 Cor 1:17 “Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel. The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power and wisdom of God.” Are you saved? Then you are, at present, BEING saved. And finally, you will BE saved.

This sentence does not mean that baptism is not important, rather, that he was very clear in his priorities. Are you clear in your priorities?

“I’m a Child of God!”

We are! Are you very clear in your priority as a child of God?

God bless us to be so.

v. 13

“13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.”

Before this verse:

v. 9

“9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,”

This is the FIRST appearance of “Paul” – and from this point, his name is continually referred to as Paul. From this point, “Saul” appears no more.

v. 13

“13 From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.”

This is interesting. His companions include: Barnabas (the original leader) – “Barnabas and Saul” (but here, there is not even the name of Barnabas).

Who is this John? John Mark. He joined in the missionary team as a helper.

There were Barnabas (leader), Paul (second), John (helper).

Here, John left and returned to his home in Jerusalem. Why? According to the record, we do not know exactly why he left. We can only guess.

  • Homesick?
  • Miss his father?
  • Uncomfortable with saved Gentiles? (he was a very devoted Jew)
  • Fear of danger? (this team was moving into dangerous areas)
  • He wasn’t happy about the leadership? – from Barnabas to Paul (Barnabas was his uncle or cousin)

This sentence (v. 13) indicates that the leadership of the team came over to Paul.

Whatever the case, Paul didn’t like this departure of John. In chp 15, Paul and Barnabas were ready for the Second Missionary Journey (after a second sabbatical year). For this journey, Barnabas wanted to take John again, but Paul did not want to. They fought very sharply over this matter, and separated company. From that point (chp 15), there is no more mention of Barnabas in this book.

Barnabas took John, Paul took Silas.

Anyway, the point is: finally, John Mark redeemed himself in the eyes of Paul – he was respected and restored in Paul’s eyes.

In his last letter, 2 Timothy, chp 4:11, Paul said, “Bring (John) Mark to me. He is very helpful to me in my ministry.”

Key point:

We have no right to give up any person for his salvation nor restoration in being used by God in his kingdom and for his glory.

Who can we give up that God does not give up?

v. 16-41: Paul’s first sermon in his missionary work

“13:16 Standing up, Paul motioned with his hand and said: “Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me! 17 The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, 18 he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert, 19 he overthrew seven nations in Canaan and gave their land to his people as their inheritance. 20 All this took about 450 years.

21 “After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet. Then the people asked for a king, and he gave them Saul son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin, who ruled forty years. 22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. He testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

23 “From this man’s descendants God has brought to Israel the Savior Jesus, as he promised. 24 Before the coming of Jesus, John preached repentance and baptism to all the people of Israel. 25 As John was completing his work, he said: ‘Who do you think I am? I am not that one. No, but he is coming after me, whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’

26 “Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent. 27 The people of Jerusalem and their rulers did not recognize Jesus, yet in condemning him they fulfilled the words of the prophets that are read every Sabbath. 28 Though they found no proper ground for a death sentence, they asked Pilate to have him executed. 29 When they had carried out all that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. 30 But God raised him from the dead, 31 and for many days he was seen by those who had traveled with him from Galilee to Jerusalem. They are now his witnesses to our people.

32 “We tell you the good news: What God promised our fathers 33 he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising up Jesus. As it is written in the second Psalm:

” ‘You are my Son; today I have become your Father.’

34 The fact that God raised him from the dead, never to decay, is stated in these words:

” ‘I will give you the holy and sure blessings promised to David.’

35 So it is stated elsewhere:

” ‘You will not let your Holy One see decay.’

36 “For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation, he fell asleep; he was buried with his fathers and his body decayed. 37 But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.

38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses. 40 Take care that what the prophets have said does not happen to you:

41 ” ‘Look, you scoffers, wonder and perish,

for I am going to do something in your days

that you would never believe,

even if someone told you.’ “”

Amen.

His first sermon has 3 parts:

  1. v. 16-25
  2.  v. 26-37
  3. v. 38-41

Each part begins with an addressing word.

Part One v. 16

“”Men of Israel and you Gentiles who worship God, listen to me!”

Part Two v. 26

“”Brothers, children of Abraham, and you God-fearing Gentiles, it is to us that this message of salvation has been sent.”

Part Three v. 38

“”Therefore, my brothers, “

We can see his audience was mixed Jews and Gentiles. In the third part, he doesn’t address them separately, but just says, “My brothers.” – to him there is NO more separation Jew / Gentile in Christ.

Part One

Paul summarized the history of Israel – climaxing with the coming of John the Baptist as forerunner of Christ – and with the coming of Christ as promised in the OT.

This was the Introduction (preparation)

Part Two (main body – declaration)

The main theme: The death and resurrection of Christ

Jesus came as Savior and Lord, but the world didn’t recognize him. They killed him. But he was raised from the dead. (at least 4x repeated)

  1. v. 30 “But God raised him from the dead, “
  2. v. 33 “by raising up Jesus.”
  3. v. 34 “The fact that God raised him from the dead, “
  4. v. 37 “But the one whom God raised from the dead did not see decay.” (this is the final sentence in the second part of this sermon)

v. 37 Why? Because Jesus is original God.

John 1:1 “In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. .. In him was light, and it shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. … This world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him…”

The death and resurrection of Christ is “good news” (i.e. gospel) – do you agree?

Paul’s message is the same as my message today.

What is the application? If we really believe in Jesus’ death, resurrection, our salvation, forgiveness of sin, sanctification, glorification, the conclusion / application is v. 38-39

v. 38-39

“38 “Therefore, my brothers, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you. 39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.”

Two key ideas in these two sentences:

  1. Forgiveness of sin
  2. Justification by faith

Forgiveness of Sin

Can be found only in the death and resurrection of Christ. Do you believe this? We know the Law of Moses demands perfection – the Sermon on the Mount, the Beatitudes, the teaching of Christ and his example – all are perfect – but they all reveal our sin. They reveal our need for a Savior – but they do not provide the remedy for sin. The remedy can only be obtained through the death and resurrection of Christ.

v. 38 “I want you to know…”

God is a righteous God. He is good all the time.

The FACT that God is righteous means that God cannot pardon / forgive sin simply on the grounds of the sinner’s repentance. This would be impossible for a righteous God to do. Sin can ONLY be forgiven when the penalty of the sin is already paid.

So, in order to be able to forgive sin, and still remain a righteous God, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins already – in his body, on the cross.

This is a fact – the forgiveness of sin is proclaimed to us through the death and resurrection of Christ.

v. 39 “Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.”

Justification by Faith

You can be involved in this (EVERYONE). Everyone who believes. What is the justification of God? This is when God declares the believing sinner as “righteous.” This is a declarative act of God.

Negatively: we cannot be justified by the Law of Moses, by our own power, effort, knowledge, good works, human made religion. We cannot be declared by God to be righteous by any religion made by man.

Only the grace of God is the root and source of our justification. This originates in the heart of God.

Knowing our inability to do this for ourselves, God decided to provide righteousness for you and me. It was God’s grace that provides righteousness for you and me.

In his mercy, he had regard for our miserable situation. That’s why we are justified only by the grace of God.

The blood of Christ is the foundation for our justification. Why? Because Heb 9:22 says, “Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.”

To receive the forgiveness of sins, somebody must shed blood. But even if I do it myself – shed my own blood, it will not work – because my blood (and your blood) is dirty – not clean. Only Christ’s blood is pure and holy.

1 John “The blood of Christ purifies us from all wickedness and all unrighteousness.” God is able to remit our penalty and restore us to his favor and his grace.

In justification, your sins are NOT excused. Rather, your sins are PUNISHED in the person of Christ. That’s why he is called our substitute (propitiation).

We are justified only by faith. Our faith is the condition for justification – not on merit. It is not FOR faith but BY / THROUGH faith that we are justified.

This means, our faith is not a prize for our justification.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 21 / 2018
  • Comments Off on For What were you Set Apart? (Acts 12:25-13:5)
Acts: The Book of Mission, Pastor Heo, Sermons

For What were you Set Apart? (Acts 12:25-13:5)

Download Notes in a .MD file

For what were you set apart?

Acts 12:25-13:5 (Pastor Heo)

12:25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

Barnabas and Saul Sent Off

13:1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

On Cyprus

4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.


This chp 13 takes off where chp 12 ended.

12:25 When Barnabas and Saul had finished their mission, they returned from Jerusalem, taking with them John, also called Mark.

What mission? Delivering their gift to the mother church in Jerusalem.

Returned from where? From Antioch.

Let me introduce briefly the background of the birth of Antioch church (chp 11, 12, 13 connection).

Chp 11

Remember with the death of Stephen, there was great persecution in the Jerusalem church. Because of this, most of the believers scattered like seed – Judea, Galilee, even Antioch. They preached the gospel there, and some people accepted the Lord and the mother church heard about this and sent Barnabas to Antioch to help them.

Barnabas was the organizer and first senior pastor of that church. But he needed a helper, so he went to Tarsus to look for Saul. When he found Saul, he brought him to Antioch and they worked together for 1 year.

There became a big famine over the entire Roman empire, so they gathered a special offering for the mother church (Jerusalem) and they sent this gift to the mother church with Barnabas and Saul.

This is the story of chp 11.

Chp 12

Then, James was killed, Peter in prison. At that time, Barnabas and Saul were there together with them. After Paul’s deliverance, they returned to Antioch – their sending church.

This is chp 12.

They returned with John Mark (Barnabas’ nephew – or young cousin).

We know that Antioch church is a very significant Antioch in church history. There are two, but this was the Antioch in Syria. Later, in 13:14, we can see the other Antioch.

This Antioch is 300 miles north of Jerusalem and near the Mediterranean. It was the 3rd biggest city of that time (after Rome, and Alexandria).

This Antioch holds many FIRST records:

  1. The FIRST public, willing evangelism to Gentiles
  2. The FIRST place believers were given the nickname “Christians”
  3. The FIRST to give an offering to their mother church
  4. The FIRST to pray with fasting (all together) – at least according to the record of the Bible
  5. The FIRST to send foreign missionaries abroad “officially”

Our Antioch is named after THIS Antioch (this is a good model – and we are trying to follow this model – so we need to understand how the original Antioch was at that time)

v. 1

“13:1 In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul.”

At that time, Antioch had 5 pastors – Barnabas was the “senior” pastor and these others were the “assistant” pastors.

Antioch was amazingly heterogeneous – very international. Let’s look at each briefly.

  1. Barnabas (“Son of Encouragement”) – native of Cyprus (island in the Mediterranean)
  2. Simon (very common name in the Bible) – this name suggests his Jewish background. But he had a Latin name also (“Niger” – which literally means “black skin”). He may have been mixed – Jew and African
  3. Lucius of Cyrene (Latin name) – Cyrene was in northern Africa, as the capital of Libya (so he was black)
  4. Manean (means “comforter”) – he had grown up with Herod the tetrarch (Herod Antipas who’d had John the Baptist beheaded) – he was a foster brother of this Herod. They grew up together and spent their childhood together – one grew to be an evil politician, one grew to be a leader in the Christian church. How ironic that a member of Herod’s family grew up to be a member of the church.
  5. Saul – Pharisee of the Pharisees, highly trained – a Jew and Roman (“Paul”). He was listed last because he was the newest believer, or because he was the second most important person in this list. (Sometimes in Greek, the two most important words in a sentence were placed at the first and last position.) – Anyway, he will be FIRST soon.

The social geography and racial variety of these men shows the spirit of God had been moving rapidly, over a broad geographic area. Not only had the word spread, but also the Spirit of God had assembled this team for the next phase of the adventure.

They were a human patchwork (like a quilt – or mosaic).

What variety is found in God’s church! These men were from different cultural and different racial backgrounds. So, it is very reasonable to assume they had different skills, abilities, ages, personalities, characters, likes, dislikes. The common trend among them was their deep faith and love for Jesus.

So, from this story, we must NEVER exclude anybody whom Jesus has called to follow him.

One sign that we are in God’s mission is when our church is a human patchwork of people from all kinds of races, colors, backgrounds, etc.

Gal, “There is no longer any slave nor free, Jew nor Greek, male nor female, for we are ONE in Christ.”

Eph “Make every effort to keep unity in the bond of peace – for there is ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God – who is over all, in all, through all. “

Remember, if we are really in God, our differences cannot be a reason for disunity, but rather, they should be life-fulfilling.

Variety in unity;
unity in variety.

This is the heart of our Father God.

This is the heart of God.

v. 2-3

“13:2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.”

Today’s title: “For WHAT are you set apart?”

Notice that the commission of the HS (in v. 2) is “set apart for me” – this came on them while they were worshiping and praying. Also, Jesus gave us a Great Commission: “Therefore, go, … baptising them in the name of the Father, Son, and HS, and teaching them all I have commanded you.”

The HS came on them in worship.

This means that Worship and Service go together hand-in-hand all the time.

We call is a “worship service” – this is “serving” God with our worship (trying to make him happy). But another meaning is “our worship must be FOLLOWED BY our service to others.” Remember, worship and ministry service must go together. If you are really a Christian, remember this.

“Worship and service go together.”

They can never be separated. If you try to work for the Lord, without worshiping him, you will be Legalistic (self-centered, religious service for self-righteousness – like humanitarian satisfaction)

If you worship without service, you will be outwardly godly, but internally empty – no power, no fruit, no testimony to share with others.

Do you have your own Christian life story? Remember, without service, without work for God, there is no testimony.

After Paul was set aside for God, he confesses Gal X:15-16 “God set me apart from birth, he called me from my mother’s womb. He revealed his Son in me that I might preach his Son to the Gentiles.”

Romans “Set apart for the gospel of Christ.”

Eph 1:4-5 “God chose us [the children of God] before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. He predestined us to be adopted as his sons and daughters through Jesus Christ for his will and purpose.”

Fasting is always a mark of deep spiritual concern indicating that someone has set aside the demands of life to concentrate on what God wants.

Fasting is intense prayer without food for a specified period of time in order to focus on the Lord.

Yes, sometimes these days, some Christians are fasting for the solutions to individual problems. This is not bad, BUT fasting (biblically) should be done for commitment and sacrifice to the Lord, and for the benefit of the Christian community, and the salvation of others. Christ also fasted 40 days and nights before his ministry began.

v. 4-5

“13:4 The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. 5 When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.”

Let us bless the beginning of their ministry.

In chp 13 & 14 we will continue to follow their missionary tour, so today, let me just quickly summarize.

  • Chp 13-14 is Paul’s First Missionary Journey
  • Chp 15:36-18:22 is his Second
  • Chp 18:23-21:16 is his Third
  • Chp 21:17-28:31 (the end) is his Journey to Rome as a prisoner to be tried by Caesar

After finishing his First, he returned to the sending church (Antioch) and stayed for some time (like a sabbatical year)

After finishing his Second, he returned to the sending church (Antioch) and stayed some time again

After finishing his Third, he did not return to Antioch, but went to Jerusalem – to be arrested. He knew, if he went to Jerusalem that he would be arrested. The HS taught that to him through a vision – but he went to be arrested because he wanted to go to Rome.

His FINAL goal was to go to Spain, through Rome – because they thought this was the end of the earth at that time. That’s why he willingly was arrested. Can you also do that?

Yes, we can, if we are filled with the HS.

God bless you.

First mission field was Cyprus (island in the Mediterranean Sea). Remember, the first thing they did when they arrived at their mission field was preach the Word of God in the synagogues.

v. 5 “When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.”

In this sentence, there are at least two things we must remember.

1. Barnabas and Saul were sent by the HS (outwardly it looks like sent by Antioch church members) – this is also our story. Yes, we are here today being sent by somebody – our own choice / decision, but BEHIND this, we are sent here by the HS. Jesus, “As the Father sent me into this world, so I am sending you into this world.” (He repeated this two times – before his crucifixion and after his resurrection).

After this worship service, where will you be? Wherever you are, this is the very place GOD SENT YOU. This is your mission field.

CBNU? THAT is your mission field. You are SENT by Christ.

The HS is a spirit of mission, evangelism, witnessing about Jesus Christ – because his main ministry is to testify about Christ to human beings.

2. If we pray, “show me, tell me what to do” – God will say to you, “preach the Word of God in season and out of season”

Do you want to come closer to Christ? Closer to God? Before saying “Amen” you need to think about this. Because the nearer you come to the Lord, the more intensely “missionary evangelist” you must become.

Is this a blessing or a burden? Both!

God bless us with his peace and joy and assurance of mission.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 22 / 2017
  • Comments Off on Hold on Mission (2 Timothy 4:1-8)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Hold on Mission (2 Timothy 4:1-8)

Download Notes in a .MD file

Hold on Mission!

2 Timothy 4:1-8 (Pastor Jack Tan)

A Final Charge to Timothy

1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.


Nice to meet you. We are family in Christ. It’s the first time to meet you, but I’m happy to go home after meeting others.

I will share a Scripture from Paul. This is the last letter of Paul. And also it’s very important – what Paul said to others. It is Paul’s response to God’s calling to finish his mission.

The purpose of this letter: to ask Timothy whatever the situation is, you have to hold onto the mission.

Do not be affected by the situation. He hopes that Timothy will also experience God like Paul has experienced him.

This time, I will share what Paul writes.

Today’s topic is “Hold on Mission” – this is the mission that EVERY Christian should have.

I think this letter is not only sent to Timothy, but also to all Christians. I’m privileged to come here to see your church – it’s a missionary church. It’s really doing the “Mission” – Thank God.

The Mission must continue. There are many pastors who do God’s mission. They have the mission and testimony. This should be continued.

So, how to “Hold on Mission”?

1: Keep the Faith

Paul says, 4:7

“7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

This is Paul’s experience. He doesn’t only do it, but at first he was chosen by God and he will continue to the end until death. Why can he continue on this, God’s mission? Because it is God’s mission.

He said this when he was about to die, he already finished the mission. If we hold onto what we believe (about God) we can finish the mission.

To fight for God, God’s Word is the best weapon. Through it, we can stand firm during the test. We will not waver in uncertain circumstances.

Why it is important to keep God’s Word? Because we easily go the wrong way in a spiritual path if not. At first, Paul obeyed God’s Word, but then he didn’t listen to God’s Word – so it is very important to listen to God’s Word and take it seriously. We must hold onto God’s Word as a Mission and hold onto that Mission. Then we can finish God’s will in our lives and communities.

Only if we keep God’s Word can we continue God’s Will and not go the wrong way. If we go the wrong way, everything is in vain. The Bible says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches the city, the guardsmen guard it in vain.”

When you do everything, in the end, what is the price you will pay? Should you continue? Not on your own strength. So, we can see it is very important to hold onto God’s Word, and God’s Mission.

If we want to fight the good fight, we must obey God’s Word. So, let us learn from Paul.

2: Through the Power of the Holy Spirit

Acts 1:8 “8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.””

This word comes from after Jesus appeared to the disciples 3 times. At that time, Jesus appeared to Peter and the other disciples. They went back to fish – they had already given up their mission.

So Peter’s witness is a powerful witness. Before, he was a man who was frightened, scared of death, disowned Jesus 3 times. But after Peter was touched by the HS, he stood again, even to be killed for Christ. Where does that bravery, faith, strength come from? It’s from the HS.

So, today, we have no excuse.

With the HS, we can hold on to the Mission. Thank God.

We can see your church’s background is touched by the HS.

Depending on the HS, our lives can be changed.


I will give my testimony to you.

I became a Christian from 1978. At that time, I was caught and put in jail. At that time, I turned to God from 1979 to today. I thank God. The HS works in me. So I encourage those who have a similar background as me. My life was totally changed. This is because I have the will to repent. I had been addicted to drugs. But, from 1979 until now, I never used drugs again. God gave me the chance to experience the HS.

Because of the drugs I had been caught. So, thank God for this difference. Because I received Christ as my Savior and the power of the HS, today there are many testimonies like this.

There are many like this in Singapore and also Malaysia. It is very important to receive the HS.


Peter was afraid of being caught at first, but after he received the HS, he was afraid of nothing – even death for Christ.

This is because Jesus said, “You will receive power when the HS comes on you.” And then, they were to share the Mission with the Gentiles.

At that time, Peter responded to God’s mission again. And we can see how powerfully Peter was used by God. He overcame his weakness by the power of the HS.

We can see from his mission – 3,000 people believed in God, in Jerusalem, on a single day, from his testimony. They asked Peter what they should do to respond to God and Peter said, “You must repent and be baptized.” At that meeting, 3,000 people believed in Christ (in the same city that crucified him I believe.)

“You are no longer controlled by the sinful nature, but by the HS.”

We can see this in the early Antioch Church. Thank God your church’s name is ALSO Antioch Church. You are worthy to have this name. Give a hand to God. Your church is a missionary church.

The missionary church is what God wants.

At that time, Antioch Church sought God.

Acts 13:1-2 “1 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. 2 While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.””

At that time, they had to do mission work. The HS told them to send Paul and Barnabas to evangelize. So, after they fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

We can see the power of Antioch Church – touched by the HS. Today, the power of the church is touched by the HS.

After Jesus finished his work and ascended into heaven, he sits (now) at the right hand of God the Father. At that time, he sent the disciples. And we know that the HS still works in our church today. He helps us finish the mission, and helps us to love Jesus and love God, and he prepares for the Last Day when Jesus will come. So, this Age is the Work of the HS.

Now, we believe in the same God as today.

  • The heavenly Father is the same God as the one who did Creation.
  • Jesus is Salvation.
  • And through 3 years, he trained the disciples to do God’s work – to continue his own work.

We ask God to work in our hearts and lives. We want to do God’s work – if we want to see God’s reward, we must ask for the power of the HS.

Mission work (and the power to do it) is given by the HS. So, it is very important to respond to the calling of the HS.

Many churches were given the HS – and Paul visited many churches and many believers who loved God. This is very important. Respond to the HS.

Now, we are in the spiritual world. This spiritual world cannot fight with the physical world.

Let us see 2 Corinthians 10:4 “4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

At that time, many people became Christians. Peter and John were called by God. Because of P&J, many people trusted God. So, they were caught – later set free on the condition that they don’t share the gospel. But they went back to church and reported all that the Chief Priest and elders had done. At this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God.

Acts 4:22-30 They preached with great boldness. At first, they could not share the gospel at that time, but with the power of the HS, they were able to. So, we can see that the best weapon of spiritual warfare is the Word of God.

Acts 4:31 “31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”

We can see that spiritual warfare is a serious business. Continuing in chapter 4, we can see the heart of the early church:

4:32-37 “32 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”

So, we can see that we need the power of the HS to teach us the right way to behave, how to love one another.

In Malaysia, I opened one church, and one brother was a tutor there. Evil took control of him at one time, and he couldn’t teach any longer. He was originally a very handsome fellow, like Pastor Heo, but when evil took hold of him, when we had a service, we tried to cast out the evil, but could not. Afterward, we prayed “In Jesus Name” and when we did that, he fell prostate – laid down. This is spiritual war.

We can see, if we fight by the power of the HS, evil cannot resist – it will flee.

So, we must fight by the power of the HS.

Many things may threaten us, so let us ask for help from God. We need to hold on to the mission, and trust what we believe. And in the power of the HS, he will help us overcome our weakness, and fight.

If we do this, we can fight the good fight for God. At this, we can work hard for God. So, thank God.

I hope everyone can learn from this sermon.

At this time, we have many needs. I hope and pray that we will all hold to the mission and do missionary work from this generation to the next and next and next generation.

Thanks everyone for giving me the opportunity to preach this sermon.


  • Say to yourself, “I’m a missionary.”
  • Beat your heart and say it, “I’m a missionary.”

Today’s sermon title is very suitable. “Hold on Mission.” (Catch, possess, continually, without stop).

Actually, if you “Hold on Mission”, you are a missionary before God in this world. Missionary = “Mission holder” – so we are all missionaries in this world.

Let’s give a hand and praise to God.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 16 / 2015
  • Comments Off on Living in the Truth (John 8:31-32)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Living in the Truth (John 8:31-32)

08.16.2015

08.23.2015-PHeo

Download Sermon Notes

Living in the Truth

John 8:31-32 (Missionary Chung Woo Chun)

The Children of Abraham

31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”


Today’s message is presented by a Korean missionary to Cambodia – living with his daughter and wife: Chung Woo Chun

I regret accepting the offer of Pastor Heo to preach here in English – I’m nervous. I’m a Korean missionary to Cambodia – 11 years. Over there, I speak in Cambodian language except when I talk to my family in Korean. For the past 10 years, I didn’t even preach once in English. Years ago, I did ONE sermon in English during my missionary training in the Philippines. Yet, I respect Pastor Heo, so I accepted his offering. Also, I’m here to preach the Word of God, not show my proficiency in English. So, even if my English is not perfect, please be generous to me – take what you can from my preaching.

I want to have a special song through my daughter (she may be more trembling than me). The name of the song is “Father God on the Mountain” – by Linda (a black person) I was impressed by her singing so I had my daughter learn this. I lived in the countryside for 10 years, so I’ve never had a chance to send my daughter to an international nor English school (too far, too expensive) – so I sent her to public school and they taught her American pop songs – so I said, “You’d better sing gospel songs with the pop songs.”


She’s waiting for an “encore” but you didn’t say “encore…”

The title of my sermon is “Living in the Truth.”

On this planet, there are so many people living (7 billion) – I checked on my smartphone. If we divide them into two categories, there are “believers” and “non-believers.” But in the world – in the non-believers, there are also two groups “normal” and “below average”.

  1. Normal = normal attitude, citizenship, good manners, they don’t believe in Christ.
  2. Below average = the one next door in my apartment – from 9am he starts murmuring and shouting and talking loudly and shouting until 2-3am. Next door, we cannot sleep. Downstairs, there’s another one, talking to himself (I thought it was a phone call – but maybe he’s an alcoholic). Outside too, there was one drinking alot and singing Korean pop songs – until 3-4am. These people are mentally ill or disabled mentally or in their bodies.

You can also find this kind of two groups among politicians, businessmen, etc, in society. They are so WICKED. They make other people uncomfortable, unhappy, damaged, etc.

In Cambodia, 30 years ago, there was Polpot, a politician – an extreme communist. He made many people die – he killed many people – many people are still suffering from the traumas he made. (1 out of 4-5 people he killed – almost EVERY family has suffered from his policies – even now they suffer from traumas).

Even now, among our own businessmen and politicians, they make so many people unhappy – these are “below average.”

Yet, the “normal” people we often see at the park, or the foot of the mountain, wearing beautiful clothes, exercising, enjoying the group activities, folk songs, etc. Yet, they never know Jesus.

The third group is us. We are Christians. The Christians should live not by instinct or emotion or human thought and philosophy, but by the Word of God. That’s the kind of Christians we are.

When I go to the park, I can meet someone who is enjoying exercise. Among them, I can find “special” men – shut mouth, black glasses, square face and jaw, and exercising enthusiastically – “no one get in MY way! no room for others” – he’s just busy for himself. Outwardly, they look like they have no problems, yet, inside, they live by themselves, completely alone – not thinking about spiritual things, nor others, only “I’m busy.”

Yet, we are Christians. We must think first of : God, then of : others. 

The will to live – we must follow the Word of God. So, we must understand it thoroughly. Therefore I chose this passage.

Here in v. 31, the Bible says “to the Jews who had believed in him” – this also means “to the Christians who had believed in him” (us). Like us, they know Jesus is the Savior/Son of God. Jesus says to them, “if you hold to my teachings, you are really my disciples.”

There are the two categories outside of Christ. Even inside the church there are two types of groups:

In the mission field:

  1. The crowd
  2. The disciples

When I go outside with simple medicine for parasites and colds. I go to give the gospel. I can meet the crowd easily (20, 30, 40 people). It’s so easy to meet them. But they are not disciples. They are the crowd.

  1. Crowd = they come to Jesus (or a missionary/Christian/etc) and take what they want for their physical demands and then they return to their sinful nature. They do not take responsibility nor take up their own cross for the glory of God. They just want to satisfy themselves and return to their “normal” lives.
  2. Disciples = they came to meet their physical demands in the beginning, yet as they listen to the Word of God, they become “Christians” more and more. Christians = followers of Christ/God. They have the mindset to take responsibility in their daily lives.

I baptized more than 300 people, but I think from them, my disciples only number 50 or less. 

So, actually, the work of a missionary is not easy. Only by the power of the Holy Spirit can a missionary do his mission. As the time goes, I really feel like the time is so difficult and I want to go back to Korea. Yet, I know the truth, “You do not work by your own power, but by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I know the Word, so I can continue in my mission. This is why we all must cling to the Word of God. This Word of God must be saturated in our bodies. The only way we can overcome the world is through the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.

When I observed my friends, pastors, who led their church successfully – the MOST successful pastors are those who TEACH the Word of God best. I taught as well, using instances from their daily lives to get them to understand more easily and then I teach and teach from the Word of God.

Everyone of us should be born again, but being born again is the work of the Holy Spirit. The role of the missionary/pastor/teacher is to TEACH the Bible – explain the Bible. So, we must be saturated by the Word of God and pray continuously and be indwelt by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Story:

In the church, 1 is a member of the crowd, 1 is a disciple. Why? What’s the reason to stay in the crowd? What’s the reason to transition to disciple?

Since Adam and Eve ate the fruit of Good and Evil, man was thrown out of the realm of God and into the realm of the world. We became accustomed to our own self-centered thoughts. Therefore, even though we may hear the truth of God, we do not want to give up our own self-centered thoughts.

Yet, someone overcome by the power of the Holy Spirit, he realized that he was a sinner, and he repented and got help from the power of the Holy Spirit, and he became a child of God.

I had the experience before coming to Korea, I made a trip to America (California) to see my cousin. She invited my family for 20 days and because I’m a pastor, I was interested in their lifestyles, their way of living. In 2 days in Disneyland, and CA, I found big differences (Cambodia vs. USA).

In only 2 days, I flew from Cambodia to USA from darkness to light. From death to life. Cambodian people may feel sorry for me, but that’s the truth.

  • Cambodian society = self-centered.
  • USA = more God-centered.

Yet, the USA is rapidly changing from believer to non-believer, yet from the beginning, the country was founded on the Word or God – the whole country/system was imbued with the Word of God.

  • In Cambodia, car first.
  • USA, human first.

I love Cambodia also, but in Cambodia, as we walk down the street, the driver almost kills us just walking down the street. There’s no respect for others.

In the USA, after 54 years, I finally saw, as I crossed the street, even from 5 meters away, the cars stopped… WOW. They respect the law of the nation AND respect others. Where are these good values from? From the Bible, I believe.

This is very interesting, and I learned a big lesson.

How about Korea? Sometimes cars, sometimes man (mostly cars…)

Why am I telling you this? Because one family, one country, one nation, ALL people, if they live by the Word of God, they live a God-centered life. That’s why their lives are different.

I’m a pastor and missionary and am pleased to be a Christian and am pleased to learn the truth (right from wrong) from the Word of God. That’s WHY I can lead not only myself, but also others to the light.

So the happiest time in my mission field is teaching the Bible, and then taking a shower, and then sitting down before the fan (시원해). It’s soooo hot over there….

The difference between Cambodia, Korea, and the USA I told you, but we also must live a God-centered life in our daily lives.

In order to be a disciple, we must DO one thing. ONE thing. Take up our cross that God gave us. 

Why be one member of the crowd? They listen to the Word of God a lot. They are a member of the crowd because they do not give up their selfishness in their daily lives.

My own mother, 86 years old, is getting weaker and weaker every year, I came back 1-2 times to check on her health. My 4 brothers should help take care of her in my place. My brothers and sisters say “Sorry, I cannot take care of our mother.” So I said, “Fine, let’s take her to Cambodia and take care of her there.”

One of my friends said, “Please, just entrust her to the silver hospital” but I refused because I love my mother.

Following Jesus Christ is the SAME. 

The one who loves Christ the most can take care of the cross Christ has given him. The one who loves Christ the most takes the cross before him.

The mission field is not stable. When the law of immigration is changed, when the politics change, you don’t know. When they want to drive us away, we do not know. But, I trust God, he will take care of us.

“God on the mountain is still God in the valley.”

Surely if God cares for us in our triumphs, he will care for us MORE in our tragedies.

Two weeks ago, I met a lady who wanted to be a missionary. I said, “Are you checking yourself, when you see a difficult thing, are you the kind of person who does it FASTEST? Faster than others?” The difficult thing, the complicated thing is NOT attractive, you don’t gain fame, you must lose your ego, you can be despised. Yet, can you do it? Are you the kind of person who sits in the living room while your mother washes dishes, or are you the kind of person who GETS UP and washes the dishes?

I’m not saying whether or not you’re qualified or not, but you need to check yourself. Many people romanticize “mission work” yet – you must become a BEGGAR. This is not a romantic thing. To help others live better lives, we must take on more difficulties. In the beginning, they do not know, yet it takes 7 years of teaching, giving, helping, planting, and then they eventually begin to realize the difference – what is right, what is wrong.

When I traveled to the USA, one of my disciples came to my house and gave me some money he prepared. I took it fast because I feared that he would take it back. I saw inside, $100 (this was 80% of his monthly salary). A normal missionary would give him it but, but I’m “evil” so I took it. I understood he invested in God, not in man (and actually, he took/borrowed a lot from me). I’m not the kind of person who believes in give-and-take. But I teach them offering, how to help them, how to live God-centered lives, how to live unselfish lives. Maybe when I return to Cambodia, I will repay him more, but you need to understand that through the Word of God, man can be changed.

I also used to be an alcoholic – I should be like the “below average” alcoholic singing pop songs from dawn til dusk. Yet, I learned from God, his Word changed me, and now I can lead not only myself, but also other people.

In the countryside, every morning, I used to teach for 2 hours because over there, monks also taught 2 hours (otherwise they would think it was less important than it is).

Lessons:

  1. Be free from all kinds of powers of darkness by believing in the Word of God. THEN, you can help to set others free.
  2. To help them be free, we must take up our cross. To listen and forget, listen and forget, doesn’t work. We must listen and DO – take up our cross daily and follow him.

Everyone of us is a missionary in our daily lives.

My mother is the first generation Christian. She suffered so much difficulty in her life. My uncle’s family used to worship the ancestors 12 times per year. Yet, now in the end of her life, by the plan of God, she is going to Cambodia with her son. This is a blessing I think. Go over there, and pray and be a successful missionary as well. That’s what she wants to do.

As my mother – also in our lives, like the waves of the ocean, constantly, difficulties come up. But we must overcome them.

1 John 5 “Who is he who overcomes the world? The one who believes that Jesus Christ is the son of God.”

In my living room, there is a maxim from the Word of God (Matthew 6:33 “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and then ALL these things will be added to you as well.”)

In my difficulties, I don’t always think of others, I concentrate on the will and kingdom of God – and God solves the problem.

Hallelujah!

Like to Word of God, let’s overcome the world by depending on and believing the Word of God.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 24 / 2014
  • Comments Off on The Son’s Return (Luke 15:11-24)
Guest Speaker, Sermons

The Son’s Return (Luke 15:11-24)

08.24.2014

08.24.2014-MissionarySeo

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

The Son Returns

Luke 15:11-24 (Missionary Seo)

The Parable of the Lost Son

11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them. 13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20 So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him. 21 “The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. ‘ 22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. 24 For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.


Last year, we went to Mongolia in August. We got a call from my university and they said, “We have no more time. Come to China quickly, pack everything, and go back to your home country quickly.”

We contacted the head of Paul Mission and decided not to go back to China. After our retreat, we came back to Korea – about 2 months. Then we went to the US for a sabbatical year. We always prayed “Why were we expelled from China?”

My daughter Haneul is asking “We want to go back home.” We ask, “Where is your home?” She said, “China.” We came back to Korea last month and are very uncomfortable staying here because this is not our home.

This concept forms the basis for this sermon.

  1. Where is your home?
  2. Who is your father?

<< See three pictures: Joseon, …, Rembrant >>

Today’s passage goes like this:

One younger son asked his father: “Give me my inheritance.” The father divided the estate, the son went away with all his money and possessions to a foreign land – where he WASTED it.

At that time, a severe famine came, and he was starving. He was hired to feed pigs, and here at his lowest point, he realized “Hey, my father’s hired men have food to eat!”

So, he went back home with this idea, “I’ve sinned against God and against my father and I’m no longer worthy to be called his son.”

But when he was still a long way off, the father saw him coming and ran to meet him and kiss him. The son confessed his poverty of spirit to his father, and the father brushed it aside and said, “Bring the best robe and my ring and the fattened calf! Let’s celebrate my son’s return!”

The story goes like this:

First Son

“Give me my portion” – at this time I think of my younger daughter. From a few months ago, she always said, “No!” and “Mine!” This is life with a two-year-old 🙂 “That’s mine! Give me now!”

At this time, in the 21st century, if we go to our own fathers and say like this, then how do our fathers think? Rude! In the Jewish society at this time, was this rude or not? In that time, if that happened, it meant “Father, I consider you DEAD. Please die!” So, this younger one is VERY rude.

In the spiritual concept of this, the portion the second son has taken is NOT actually his. This is his father’s portion. If the father divides his portion before he dies, still the estate belongs to the father. Only after death, the estate will transfer ownership to the sons.

We, as Christians, always say, “Everything comes from our Father God.” We say this about materials, time, relationships. Everything is from God. But, how about you?

When I prepared this sermon, I was thinking, “Of course, everything is from God, so everything is yours!” But when I spend my hard-earned money on something, I think, “Oh, no. That now belongs to me.” It’s very hard for me to share something I buy.

In this story, let’s not only consider the son who left, but WHY he left.

Why would he leave his father’s love? Have you ever experienced this leaving?

Let me share my story:

I was in China for 3.5 years. At that time, I was really happy because I saw several students lives changed and many people accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior. BUT, then they accept him again, and again. Up to 5 times! Something is wrong here. Why do they do 5 times what is accomplished in 1 time? It’s because they do not doubt who Jesus is.

Some other students accept Christ and devote themselves to him and want to become missionaries too. “Wow! God is working and alive in this situation!” At that time, this was the situation in my life. So, I prepared for another journey that God prepared.

Second Son

The second son said “bring all the things” and he packed all his bags and went to another country.

Actually, he left already BEFORE he was leaving.

Spiritually and emotionally, he was GONE before his body left his father’s estate.

The foreign country in this story = this life.
He wastes money on bars, nightlife, possessions. He thinks, “Great! My money! I’ll do whatever I want with it!”

He loved the world (yes, he “loved” his father too… but the world MORE).
He set his priorities:

  1. The world
  2. His father’s love

What are your priorities? Which is #1?

  1. God, Family, Work?
  2. Church, God, Work, Money, Family?

If we love money, we cannot serve God. “A man cannot serve two Masters.” (Jesus)

He loved the world more than his father at that time.

There is a similar parable in the book of Luke 18:18-30 – the Parable of the Rich Official:

“One day, the rich young ruler came to Jesus and said, ‘How can I get eternal life?’ Jesus said, ‘You know the Law and the Prophets, keep all the commandments and you’ll get eternal life.’ The rich young ruler said, ‘From childhood I’ve done this.’ So Jesus said, ‘Then do this one more thing: Sell all you have and give to the poor.’ The man walked away sad.”

His priorities were also on Money first, and Eternal Life secondly.

#3: Let’s see the rest of this parable.

The second son said, “Father, I’ve sinned against you and against God. I’m no longer worthy to be called you son.” This was repeated twice in the parable. Was this important? No – the son thought that with the third part (”I’m no longer worthy to be called your son”) he just wanted to please his father.

As a father, I know that the relationship between a father and son CANNOT be broken easily.

The second son thinks, “I’ll go to be a slave.”

The father doesn’t even listen to what his son says. He accepts him back into his arms readily.

The son didn’t truly understand his father.
“If I do this, father will be pleased. If I buy this, or have a good body, father will be pleased.” No. Your Father is pleased JUST WITH YOU. You need to nothing but be you, just to exist, your Father is pleased with you. Just to be in his presence, and he’ll be pleased. Let us not be confused any longer.

In conclusion, I think we should go back to our place. Our rightful place is in our Father’s arms.

“From a LONG distance away, he recognized him and RAN to meet him.” If we go back to our Father, even taking a single step, the Father will see and RUN to meet us.

Before closing, here’s a final story:

A couple days ago, a graduate student came to my house and has spent two days with us. I saw two lives: a graduate student of Yonsei, and a graduate student of another school. One had a hard time, the other, Hyansun-In, had parents who had a high rank in the Communist Party – doctors in the hospital. Usually, with that kind of family background, the student hates or doesn’t accept Christianity, but I was very happy that he accepted Christ.
During that time, there was a big life event: he went to Hanyang university as an exchange student. Every class, the professor began with a prayer. During that single semester, she accepted Christ as she was in the church doing as other members were doing.

Now, she remembers everything. At that time, she came to Jeonju and we went to Hanok village, but we forgot everything. We went back again and she remembered everything.

In her life, that was very precious. At that time, and also this time, I also have some kind of problem with priorities.

We are staying here for just one month and preparing things. My wife will go to China for 5 days from Monday. Also, my student came to town. I have much to do, and some burden – but spending time with that student was happy.

Questions:


  1. What’s your priority? Money or God?
  2. Do you still think you can serve both?
  3. Then how can we spend our money and time and relationships (in a godly manner)?

Let’s pray.

  • Mar 02 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Three Idiots (Luke 9:57-62) Guest Sermon
Guest Speaker, Sermons

Three Idiots (Luke 9:57-62) Guest Sermon

03.02

03.02.2014 Missionary Bright Lee

Sermon Notes

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The Cost of Following Jesus

57 As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 Jesus replied, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”

59 He said to another man, “Follow me.” But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” 60 Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God.”

61 Still another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good-by to my family.” 62 Jesus replied, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”


I was thinking about “what is a disciple?” for many years in India. What is a disciple in today’s time?

Three Idiots (famous Indian movie)

The three characters in the best engineering college in India were portrayed as idiots, but actually geniuses.

Today’s message also shows 3 idiots. How were they idiots?

Today’s discipleship is distorted.

In India, we don’t use the word Christian – because it has many negative images.

  1. Loves alcohol
  2. Immoral person

We use the word “Believer” or “Disciple”

Last year, I went to a prayer mtn in Gyeongi-do. He was preaching “How to be rich” say what? should we do that? Be rich?

That MIGHT be a sign of God’s blessing, but not the life’s goal, nor the character of a disciple.

Think about the meaning of “discipleship” in today’s time. 

IDIOT #1 (v. 57-58)

Jesus and his disciples wandered around everywhere and this guy said, “Hey, I’ll follow you ANYwhere!” He seems to be full of conviction, and a good would-be disciple. He seems to have good courage. But Jesus said, “I’ve got no place to lay my head.”

Jesus saw that he had a romanticized notion of being a disciple “Wow, we can TRAVEL! So many places! With many friends!” He thought that Jesus was really popular and interesting and he could be popular and interesting too!

Many years ago, someone said, “Missionary Lee, I want to fly to many countries like you.” I wanted to say, “I actually hate flying, for MANY reasons…” He was a member of my supporting church, so I could only laugh at him.

Flying = money, (with children = double), no money = suffering for many days.

The life of a missionary has many practical difficulties.

The Son of Man doesn’t have a place to lay his head. After 20 years in India, we are still looking for a place to say.

People say, “Wow! Your son has a cool university overseas! Cool!” Yes, this is a true blessing, but my son went to a boarding school when he was 12 – he’s still in a foreign country in a foreign place. Even though his education is blessed, he is lonely, has pain in his heart. When a middle-schooler, he ran all the time. He said, “If I didn’t run all the time, I would be crazy with loneliness.”

Without considering ALL the real difficulties of a missionary’s life, you can’t be one. 

This world doesn’t welcome disciples because the world is wicked and adulterous. Jesus often said, “This world is a wicked and adulterous generation.” Even though you want to be honest, the world doesn’t encourage it. Even though you want to be generous, the world encourages competition and greed.

Many Indians think that “anybody can be a Christian for his own reasons, by his own choice.” One day, in New Delhi, I encouraged a family to be baptized, but they weren’t willing to do so. But this was strange because they had served the Lord for a long time. One man who baptized someone else got lots of money and became rich.

To become a Christian doesn’t mean being a member of a premium club. It means taking up your own cross and following Jesus through difficulty. 

Disciple = 

  1. Follower – Jesus = life goal
  2. Learner – Learn what to think, how to act from Jesus
  3. Doer – supposed to do Jesus’ work – what he did, what he does, what he wants done.

Jesus commanded us to follow him and gave us an example to follow. “The Son of Man didn’t come to be served, but to serve and give his life as a ransom for many.” He was even crucified willingly on the cross for our sins. 

If we truly want to follow Jesus, don’t romanticize the notion of it – this is REAL, this is HARD, this is a PROCESS – take up your cross and follow him. But the love of Jesus helps us overcome the pain of the cross. Because of his love, we were able to serve him for 20 years in India. Many times, I thought I would give up, but he helped me endure.

IDIOT #2 (v. 59-60)

He had the privilege to be invited as a disciple – what a blessing! But he said, “Wait a second Jesus.”

The problem was the matter of priorities. 

His priority was his family. He wanted first to do his duty as a son. He wanted to serve his family. It is good to serve your family – but he wanted to serve his family FIRST. He wanted to bury his father and receive his inheritance.

The matter of priority is very important. Don’t neglect your family for the “noble cause” of God’s kingdom. JUST, have a high priority for the kingdom of God. For this reason, let us follow Jesus’ comment that being his disciple includes a price.

One friend of mine went to Mongolia as a missionary. He saw an Austrian couple who’d served there for many years in the country with no fruit. Why? The main reason = the family enjoyed family time 7-9pm everyday. BUT this is a very important time for ministry. Of course, family time is very important, but in Mongolia, 7-9pm is the only time that you can visit Mongolian families. He tried to visit at other times, but they were never available at that time. 

For a few years, my friend made many good visits during this time, and he started a local church. He sacrificed THAT family time, and made a good impact for the church.

BUT, remember that many Koreans actually serve TOO much. Their families are neglected and they have mental weakness and pain. Is it OK to neglect your family like this for the “noble cause” of the kingdom of God? This is not an easy question. But remember, Jesus said, “Proclaim the kingdom of God” not “proclaim your kingdom.”

In fact, many church people are “busy” with “work” for their OWN kingdoms. (They actually aren’t interested in the kingdom of God – just friendships, networking, entertaining, getting respect, etc).

Many missionaries serve in India with a business VISA, so they must do some kind of business. One of my friend’s has a Korean restaurant in New Delhi. He is being successful in his business, but doesn’t have time for ministry. He wonders, “Am I really a missionary?”

Another friend sold carpets for his VISA. He became successful as a businessman and he decided to quit the missionary work and go to the US as a businessman.

A true disciple of Jesus must pay the price for the kingdom of GOD. It can be financial, physical, mental. But, remember, our hope is not in this world, but in the heavenly kingdom, which is eternal.

IDIOT #3 (v. 61-62)

This request seems simple. “Let me say ‘buh-bye!’ to my family.” But actually, Jesus realized he was looking BACK. His inner heart was BACK, not AHEAD. His heart was “worldly man” not “disciple.”

If you look back after putting your hand to the plow, all your work will be disturbed. All your life will be disturbed and destroyed.  

  • The most important thing for a disciple = OBEY! NOW! 
  • Immediate obedience = RADICAL discipleship.

They obeyed God, not the person. Yes, a person can be a delegate from God, so we may also need to obey a person. I also teach this to my disciples in India. Many of them obey my word, but I must remember to obey God. 

One man in India, Sanjay, was not obedient at first, so I was annoyed. One day, we went to a village course to train the villagers. He was so excited just to be in a new place that he didn’t listen to me and I was very annoyed. So I just kept quiet and prayed. At 5am, I woke up and prayed and pastor Sanjay came in and held my feet suddenly. “Forgive me!” Last night, he saw a dream and on his feet was a stone. “Why don’t you obey missionary Bright?” He was trembling all night and asked my forgiveness in the morning.

God was teaching him about obedience. Without obedience, you CANNOT be a good disciple nor a good pastor. Now, he is very responsible, so I give him the greatest responsibility when I travel.

Several years ago, God asked me to do cooperative work with Indian and Korean pastors. R727 was launched. It is a joint ministry for church planting in North India. Initially, many people didn’t understand this ministry. Very few people joined the ministry, but God blessed it for the last 3-4 years, and it has begun to have a good result and lots of fruit in many places. 

At first, many people didn’t notice this ministry. But these days, many people phone in and say, “Hey, can I join with you guys now?” I say, “Hmm, let me think about it.”

To OBEY IMMEDIATELY is a sign of true disipleship. If you OBEY, God works wonders in your life. 

There are three things that God shows in the Bible about disipleship:

  1. Reality of the cross
  2. Priority
  3. True Obedience

I hope and pray that we all can become good disciples of Jesus and change the world with the power of God. 

Let’s pray.

  • Feb 16 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Discipleship is a Blessing to Others (Matthew 10:32-42)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Discipleship is a Blessing to Others (Matthew 10:32-42)

02.16

02.16.2014 Pastor Heo

Sermon Notes

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32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven.

34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn ‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law – 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’

37 “anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

40 “He who receives you receives me, and he who receives me receives the one who sent me. 41 Anyone who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and anyone who receives a righteous man because he is a righteous man will receive a righteous man’s reward. 42 And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”


Today’s verses are heavy.

Last time, Jesus encouraged us to “Fear not!” Do you remember?

  1. Because he suffered for us.
  2. Because our God will bring everything to light.
  3. Because we fear God alone. (The fear of God removes all other fears.)
  4. Because God cares for his children (even a sparrow doesn’t die without his knowing – and all our hairs are numbered).

1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.”

One more “Fear not” today.

  • Because Christ honors those who honor and acknowledge him. (v. 32-33)

To acknowledge, confess Jesus = MORE than just saying “Jesus is king.” We must show it with our lives also. Walk and talk must go together.

In heaven, Jesus has 2 ministries:

  1. High Priest: gives grace, continual grace to keep us from sinning.
  2. Advocate: forgives and restores us when we sin.

He is faithful even if we aren’t faithful. The benefit of his heavenly ministry = benefits of his sacrificial work on the cross.

Double loyalty of the Christian life:

  1. If we are loyal now, he is loyal then (eternal life)
  2. If we are proud to confess him as Lord now, he will be proud to confess us as his servants then.

Historical Fact: if there were not BOLD, PROUD servants who acknowledged Jesus before men in the past, there would be no church today.

Warning:

  • Disown Jesus, ashamed of Jesus now, he will be ashamed of us before the Father God in heaven.

Paul “I’m not ashamed of the gospel of Christ because it is the power of God for everyone who believes.”

How can we deny/disown him before men?

3 Ways we deny/disown Christ:

1. Our Words

Someone asks you “Do you believe in Jesus?” We say, “Yeah… I go there, but I don’t really care about it. You guys are better. Don’t worry about it.”

2. Silence

There is a threat of things unsaid in the Christian life. Many times, this life gives us an opportunity to say something against evil, to defend doctrine, to take a stand, to show what side we are on. But, if we keep silent again and again, such a silence is a DENIAL of Christ before men.

3. Actions/Attitudes

Do something before men that Jesus doesn’t like.

So, Jesus offers a SWORD. (v. 34-36)

Strange. This looks very strange.

Yes, in the Bible, it is very clear that Jesus has come to give us peace.

  • Isaiah (700 years earlier) “A son is given to us, the government will be upon his shoulders, and he will be called: Everlasting Father, Wonderful Counselor, Prince of Peace.”
  • Luke “Peace on earth to men on whom his favor rests.”
  • Paul “We have peace with God through Christ based on the grace on which we now stand.”
  • We have peace with God through the cross.
  • Before his crucifixion: “Peace I give you, my peace I leave with you.”

So…. what’s up with the SWORD?

To give us TRUE peace, Jesus must destroy FALSE peace.

True peace can only be found in Jesus.

The Christian life is a spiritual war. Once we have confessed him and identified with him, we are part of the war. If we deny him, or remain silent, that is sin.

The sword is to FIGHT.

Ephesians 6:12 “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers and principalities of the spiritual realm.”

We are IN spiritual warfare.

Sword also means DIVISION/SEPARATION.

Among humans, there are already many divisions in this world (Olympics). One day, ALL divisions will be destroyed – race, nation, language, sex, age, etc. One day, there will be only ONE division: Christ acceptors, Christ deniers. This will be an eternal, everlasting division.

(v. 36) Did you experience this among your own family members?

In Jesus’ time, in the early church time, if a Jew became a Christian, he wasn’t cast out by the Roman government, but he was excommunicated from his own synagogue, from his own people.

Even today, if a man converts to Christ truly, the greatest persecution happens to him from his own immediate family members: Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Secularists, etc.

There is a basic principle we must keep in our marriage:

  1. Marry the OTHER sex (this is biblical)
  2. Marry the SAME faith

2 Cor 6:14 “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. What do righteousness and unrighteousness have in common? What fellowship have light and darkness? What connection is there between the temple of God and idols?”

This means, a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.

Jesus offers a CHOICE: v. 37

Can you accept this verse by faith truly?

The discipleship road is a continual choice, a resolution, determination. This road is not only the FIRST day of the new year, or new life, but EVERYDAY throughout the year, we must make our resolution. We must make our singular loyalty to Jesus Christ.

When Jesus met Peter after his resurrection, he only asked one question: “Do you truly love me?” (3 times) “Feed my lambs; take care of my sheep; feed my sheep.”

  • If we believe in Jesus, he will save us.
  • If we love him first, he will give us a great commission to save others.

We know he doesn’t want our family love to be broken – he wants us to love and help each other. But the secret is: if you love Jesus first, then when you love your wife.

  • If you force your wife to obey, she will obey less.
  • If you encourage your wife to love Jesus more, she will love you more.

Jesus offers the cross (v. 38)

Christianity = the religion of the cross

There is ALWAYS some cross.

During Jesus’ time they knew what the cross was. A Roman general (Barrus) crucified 2,000 Jews and strung their crosses out along the entire road to Galilee. And those people had to carry their own crosses to the place of their own execution.

Taking the cross is a symbol of utter humility. It doesn’t mean just wearing some jewelry. It means to do Christ’s will, to preach the gospel, to follow Jesus.

To “follow Jesus” doesn’t mean “walk behind.” It means “take the SAME road of sacrifice and service Jesus took.”

1 Peter 2:21 “To this you were called, that you would follow in Jesus’ steps.”

Jesus offers Adventure (v. 39)

Christian life = a paradox. A positive and negative statement of the same truth. If we cling to this life, we will lose the best life in this world and the world to come.

There are only 2 choices:

  1. Spare our life
  2. Sacrifice our life

True work = selfishness vs. sacrifice

  • Matthew 16:25 “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it. Whoever loses his life will find it.”
  • Mark 8:38? Same
  • Luke 9:24 Same
  • Luke 17:33 “Whoever tries to KEEP it, loses it…”
  • John 12:25 “The one who LOVES his life will lose is. Whoever HATES his life will keep it for eternal life.”

The more we love this earthly life’s rewards:

Honor, Glory, Recognition, Worldly success, Money, Popularity, Fame,…

The more we will find how empty they are really.

The best way to find true life is to LOOSEN our greedy grasp on this life, and be FREE to be a blessing to as many others as possible.

We receive blessing from God, we are to give that blessing to others.

This chapter is the Missionary Chapter. (Not the Baby Christian Chapter.) v. 40-42

Not everyone will accept our message, nor will everyone reject our message. Those who receive it will receive a reward. We are the ambassadors of Christ, his representatives. We know why God called Abraham (Genesis 12)

  1. To bless him
  2. To save him
  3. To send him
  4. To bless others
  5. To save others through him
  • “I will bless those you bless, I will curse those you curse.”
  • All people, all nations on earth will be blessed through you.

Jesus calls us, saves us, to send us, to bless others, to save others through us.

If this is true, that Jesus is God, become Man, to die on the cross for our sins, and was raised again, and is coming again soon…how is it possible to be ashamed? If we truly believe this. He’s still alive with us. What a Savior! What a Lord! He is coming soon!

God bless us.

Let’s pray.

  • Jan 12 / 2014
  • Comments Off on Missionary Chapter: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give! (Matthew 10:1-8)
Matthew: The Book of Kingship, Pastor Heo, Sermons

Missionary Chapter: Freely You Have Received, Freely Give! (Matthew 10:1-8)

01.12

01.12.2014 Bulletin

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness. 

2 These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew; James son of Zebedee, and his brother John; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James son of Alphaeus, and Thaddeus; 4 Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.

5 These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or any town of the Samaritans. 6 Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. 7 As you go, preach this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven is near.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. 


Have you received something freely? Undeserved?

Last time, Jesus saw the crowd and had compassion on them. He looked outside and said, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.”

Few = almost none

“Ask the Lord of the Harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Jesus is the same then and now, so he also has compassion today on man, sinners, the lost. It is the dream/hope of Jesus Christ that every single Christian = a missionary/reaper. Why? Because there is somebody that every one of us must bring to God.

He asks us to see what he saw, do what he’s done, feel what he’s felt.

  • Matthew 10: The Missionary Chapter
  • The King’s Ambassador’s Chapter
  • 1 Cor 13 = Love
  • 1 Cor 15 = Resurrection
  • Hebrews 11 = Faith
  • Matthew 10 = Missionary
  1. Who is the Lord/King of the missionaries?
  2. Who are the missionaries?
  3. Where is their mission field?
  4. What is the main target?
  5. What is the main message?
  6. What are the main tasks?

1: Who is the Lord of the missionary?

This is the Missionary chapter. The key subject = HE (Jesus Christ). The Lord = Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, the Lord of Salvation.

v. 1 = “HE…”

The work of salvation can only be accomplished by Jesus Christ, but the witness of salvation can only be accomplished by his workers. That’s why Jesus needs (needs) these messengers.

In Isaiah, the prophet was before the throne of God in his vision, “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty.” God said, “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us? (Trinity)” Isaiah, “Here am I, send me!”

Like this, if we really experience salvation, we must respond to the calling of Jesus Christ. Who shall go for us (Trinity)?

Chp 9 did say, “Pray for workers.” But that is not enough. We must also make ourselves available to serve him.

2. Who can be missionaries? Called and sent?

There are two steps in the calling:

1. Jesus calls a sinner to be saved (to be his disciple/learner/follower).

Yes, Jesus had MANY disciples – some only hangers-on, but some were truly converted. In his first calling, Jesus calls a sinner to be saved = salvation.

Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I’ll give you rest.

Here I am. I stand at the door and knock…

It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners to salvation.

2. Calling for OTHER’S salvation.

From this large group of disciples, Jesus selected a smaller group of disciples (called apostles). In church today, we have no name “apostles” – but the most suitable name = “missionaries.”

v. 2-4 Can you memorize the 12 apostles?

  1. Simon (Peter)
  2. Andrew
  3. James (Zebedee)
  4. John
  5. Philip
  6. Bartholomew
  7. Thomas
  8. Matthew (this guy)
  9. James (Alphaeus)
  10. Thaddeus
  11. Simon (Zealot)
  12. Judas Iscariot

These guys are TOTALLY AVERAGE. Not rich, not academically gifted or learned, not high status, etc, etc.

They were very mixed – fishers, tax collectors (the most hated of the Jews), Simon the Zealot (very religious).

Zealots = the most nationalist of all nationalists – prepared to die for their country’s independence.

They had a strong resolution to undergo ANY suffering for their country – they were also ready to kill anyone who was against their country – with assassination or murder.

Imagine, if Simon the Zealot had met Matthew in another place (not with Jesus), he might have killed him.

The wonderful truth – 2-3 men who HATE each other can LOVE each other in Christ.

Who is God? He is the God who created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. He can do something EXTRAORDINARY with ordinary people. Jesus sees not only who we ARE, but also what he CAN MAKE us.

  • Yes, we are ordinary – not great.
  • But Jesus can make us extraordinary – to do something great through us.

Why? Because Jesus is a great king.

Are you called for salvation? (#1). Are you assured of your salvation? Then you should give thanks in ALL circumstances.

“It is by grace you have been saved, not by works so that no one may boast.”

Are you called as a missionary (#2)? Then also give thanks in all circumstances – because we have nothing to boast.

1 Cor ?:27-29 “God chose the foolish things of this world to shame the wise. God chose the things that are not to nullify the things that are so that no one can boast.”

If you have a strong calling, and realize that you are also called as a missionary, and you have a heart to truly win people to Christ, then you are TRUE apostles – you are TRULY his ambassadors.

3. Where is the mission field?

If we are missionaries, where is our mission field? Who are the main target people?

v.5-6 Lost sheep of Israel. 

Jesus gave them very specific instructions regarding their ministry.

  • Not Gentiles
  • Not Samaria
  • Only lost sheep of Israel

Does this mean he opposed the others? Didn’t love them? Was a nationalist?

No, he’d already encountered the Gentiles in Matthew 8 and healed them, and in John 4, the Samaritan woman.

What does this mean? 

Jesus came not to the Jews ONLY, but to the Jews FIRST.

Why are the Jews called the “Chosen People?” Because they were chosen FIRST – to give the message of salvation to other nations.

In that time, the Gentile territory lay to the North and Samaritan territory to the South. This is the very FIRST evangelism activity for the apostles – it was not long-term, but short-term. They must come back soon and report to Jesus. Now is also before Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection.

So, this time is for maximizing efficiency and effect – not for exclusivity, not for partiality, but for FRUIT, concentration of limited energy for a specific target.

After his crucifixion and resurrection, THEN Jesus commands, “Go into ALL nations, ALL Creation and proclaim the Good News!”

So, how can we apply this principle in our own mission fields? If we are truly missionaries, we need to have 2 attitudes:

  1. Personal evangelist – be ready at all times to preach the Word of God, in season and out of season
  2. Specific target – we are limited in time and place, and wisdom, so we need a specific target for maximizing the fruit of our ministries.

3. What Was Their Message?

v. 7 “As you go…”

The message: short, simple, clear

“The kingdom of heaven is near.”

Jesus himself is the kingdom of heaven – kingdom = the king’s domain, country.

John the Baptist’s message was also the same.

It means, “The King is hear, the King is near, receive him!”

Now, we are after his crucifixion and before his Second Coming – so now what is our key message?

  1. Jesus DIED for your sins
  2. He was RAISED for your salvation
  3. He is COMING again soon

4. What were their tasks?

  1. Heal the sick
  2. Raise the dead
  3. Cleanse those with leprosy
  4. Drive out demons

Can you do these things?

We cannot. But Jesus can do them through us.

He is the same yesterday, today, and forever in his power and authority. Yes, these things can happen literally if Jesus wills. But, more importantly is the SPIRITUAL ministry.

Basically, fundamentally, the ministry of the missionaries is these things:

  1. The lost are sick – unable, invalid, hopeless, powerless. If he accepts Jesus, he is healed perfectly, immediately.
  2. The lost are dead (Eph 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your sins and transgressions…”). If he accepts Jesus, he is ALIVE immediately. “I am the Resurrection and the Life. Whoever believes in me will live, though he dies.” Accepting Jesus Christ means rising from the dead immediately, physically, spiritually, eternally.
  3. The lost are lepers – without sense of spiritual things – unclean and ugly. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately cleansed, purified, forgiven, restored in fellowship. Accepting Christ = purification.
  4. The lost are under the control of devils spiritually. Do you believe? “You belong to your father, the devil” – Jesus says to those who reject him. Whether we understand or agree or not, this is the spiritual truth. If he accepts Jesus, he is immediately freed to serve Jesus.

Accepting Jesus =

  1. Healing
  2. Resurrection
  3. Purification
  4. Freedom

Freely we have received. Freely we are to give.

John 10:10 “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.”

If we are in Christ, we have eternal life. But God wants us to enjoy this life abundantly, fully. How? The secret = by giving freely. Give THIS life freely to others and you will experience THIS life more abundantly.

Let’s pray.

  • Oct 28 / 2012
  • Comments Off on “As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:1-26)
John: The Book of Life, Pastor Heo, Sermons

“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” (John 17:1-26)

 10.28

Bulletin_10.28.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Second time in this chapter.
Last time we looked at this marvelous intercessory prayer of Jesus.
He prayed (1) for the glory of God, (2) for his immediate disciples, (3) for all Christians in all history, those we will reach, those who will believe, (4) for our safety, protection, joy, unity, future glory.
And still now, and today, he is praying.

Romans 8:34 – “Who is he who condemns? Jesus who died and was raised and sits at God’s right hand, and intercedes for us.”
Heb 7:25 – “Jesus is able to save completely those who come to God through him, he always intercedes for them.”

Three more things from this prayer.
1. WHY does Jesus need/want to pray for us?
WHY do we need his intercessory prayer?
2. What blessing do we receive from his prayer and pattern?
3. What responsibility then do we have?

#1 Why do we need Jesus’ prayer support continually?
Because he is leaving us in this world.
Chp 16:33 – “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
Chp 17:1 – “After Jesus said this…”
What is this? 
Widely: Chp 13, 14, 15,16 – his whole preaching.
Narrowly: Chp 16:33 – “You will have trouble in this world, but take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Because he is leaving us in the world, we need his prayer support.

In this prayer, Jesus mentioned the word “world” almost 19 times!~
v. 6 “I have revealed you to those you gave me out of the world.”
v. 11 “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world.”
v. 14,15,16 “…the world has taken them, but they are not of the world…don’t take them out of the world, but protect them from the evil one…they are not of the world even as I am not of it…”
v. 18 “as you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.”

Jesus does not need to pray for those who are in heaven already, and not for those in hell.
But, while we are in this world, we need his prayers and he prays for us.
Romans 8:26 – “HS helps us in our weakness, sometimes we don’t know what to pray, but the HS intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.”

I am Korean, born a Korean, I didn’t know it at that time (birth). Whether we know something or not, fact is fact, truth is truth. By our first birth, we are all sinners – born as sinners, under our parents (sinners). Ps. 51:5 – “Truly, I was sinful at birth.” Can you say that to a child? Therefore, the greatest need of all who are born, is to be born again. And we need to make it clear in our relationship to this world.
Like this:
Once, we were in this world, and the world loved us as its own, we followed, obeyed and loved it. But, one time, Jesus saved us, and took us out of this world by second birth – and then Jesus said to us, “do not love this world any longer, and do not follow its pattern – if you love the world, you hate God – the pattern of this world is hatred to God.” And from that time, the world has hated us. We now remain in this world to do His job, not just our job. So, the world now hates us DOUBLE.

Once, the world was a playground, now it is a tremendous battleground. Satan and his forces are motivated by bitter hatred for Christ and his followers.

Exodus 15 – Israel and Amalekites fight – Am attack Israelites. Moses stood on the top of the hill and Joshua fought the battle.
Story isn’t: Because Joshua fought well, the Israelites were winning.
Story is: When Moses’ hands were up, the Israelites were winning, but when down, they were losing.
Finally, God said, “I will fight against the Amalekites from generation to generation. One day, I will blot out the memory of them from the world.” 
Joshua said, “Jehova Nishi – the Lord is my Banner.”

As long as we are in this world, we will be exposed to Satan. We should fight, we should do our jobs.
We are winning – not because of OUR fighting, but because of Jesus’ prayer for us.
We are not actually fighting – it is God fighting for us.
Bible: “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Therefore, we ABSOLUTELY need Jesus’ prayer support.

#2 What blessing, privilege have we received from this prayer?

1. We are safe, we know
2. Another special blessing = we are allowed to call God “Father”

Every time Jesus calls on God in this prayer, he calls him “Father.”
v. 1, 5, 11, 21, 24, 25
Father, Father, Holy Father, Righteous Father, etc.

In the OT, God was revealed as the God of gods, King, Ruler, Judge, Creator. OT reveals the wisdom, mercy, power, of God. But Jesus completes the revelation of God by adding the idea of God as “Father.” In the OT, NO ONE dared to call God “Father.” God was revealed to no one as “Father.” Even Enoch, who walked with God for 300 years, never knew him as Father. Moses received 10 Commandments and talked with God, but never called him “Father.” Abraham spoke with God and received the Promise, but never called him “Father.” David, in the Psalms, experienced a deep relationship with God and called God about 30 names, but never called him “Father.” Calling God “Father” was unimaginable, unthinkable in the OT. Why? Jesus had not yet come in the flesh. Jesus taught us how to pray, “Our Father in Heaven…” So, we are allowed to call God “Father” through Jesus Christ. (This is why we have a large “Abba Prayer” ministry in Antioch Church). Can you call God “Daddy”? This means we are MORE blessed than anyone in the OT (and any other religion on Earth), because we know God as “Father.” He loves us as his children, he knows our needs.

Matthew 7 – “Which of you, if your son asks for bread will give a stone, if he asks for fish will give a snake? Even you know how to give good gifts. How much more does God your Father know how to give big blessings?”

Are you blessed very much?
Then you have a large responsibility.

Blessing and privilege and responsibility ALWAYS go together.

Abraham was blessed greatly, and God told him “Now you must BE a blessing to all nations – and reveal me to all nations.”

v. 18, Also chp. 20, 21
“As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” Memorize this.

Do you have common sense?
Jesus, at one time chose us, saved us, out of this world. Jesus knows very well, completely what this world is like (he experienced it all firsthand). Many temptations and challenges. He loves us and wants us to be at peace, with joy, happy.

Then, why did Jesus send us AGAIN to the very same world from which he saved us?
That’s a pretty big question.

There is only one answer: mission.

This is our special, holy, responsibility.
We know Jesus prayed first and foremost for our unity. This unity can be kept by focusing on this one and same mission.

So what is our (and Jesus’) mission? 
Jesus mission to US is the same as our mission to this world.
v. 6 “I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word.”
v. 26 “I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.”

This is very clear in Jesus’ prayer, Jesus’ mission is “to reveal God as our Father.”
Our mission is very clear, “to reveal Jesus as Christ and Savior.”

Church is not necessary in heaven or hell.
Eclesia – Ec = Out (Exodus)

An assembly of God taken out of this world for salvation and sent again into the world for mission.

Come to be blessed, go to be a blessing.
Come to know Him better, go to make him known.

All of God’s commands can be known as 2 things: Come to the blessing, Go to the nations.

COME
GO

We are a walking church, a walking temple, because God the HS is in our bodies.

One power we have is attractive, to draw the lost. One power is expending (sending out) – to approach the lost.

This morning COME, then GO to the world to make Christ known.

*How can we make Christ known? 
By preaching and praying.
Chp 13,14,15,16 he preached to make God known as Father.
Chp 17, he prayed to show us God as Father.

To peace by preaching and praying.

In this church, pastor is preacher.
But in the world, ALL Christians are preachers. When you are out, in the world, you are ALL pastors, preachers to the lost world.

If I’m not a pastor, I can’t stand in the pulpit.
If I don’t preach in the world, I can’t stand in the world.
At the same time, we must pray. Extend our prayers, extend our boundaries.

If you pray only for yourself…only for your blood relations…only for your family and friends…your prayer is selfish.
Increase your prayer boundary! To those who hate us! To those who persecute us! To the lost world! Korea, China, America, England, etc. World leaders, etc.

Preaching without praying is powerless.
Praying without preaching is purposeless.

Put them together and what have you got? Powerful, purposeful, peace and mission.

Let’s pray.

  • Aug 12 / 2012
  • Comments Off on Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:1-15)
Acts: The Church Grows, Pastor Brian, Sermons

Paul’s Second Missionary Journey (Acts 16:1-15)

8.12

Bulletin_08.12.2012

Sermon Notes

<Download Notes in a .RTF file>

Previously, there was a split between Paul and Barnabas.

Paul wanted them to return to previously evangelized churches and strengthen them.
Barnabas wanted to take Mark, but Paul didn’t. Paul thought he had abandoned them earlier. The disagreement became so heated, that the two split.

Paul took Silas.
So, rather than one missionary journey, there were two. God made the best of the bad situation. (lemonade from lemons)

Later, Paul changed his attitude toward Mark and they did eventually minister together again. There was no bitter root that took hold, they did eventually reconcile.

———-
So, Paul and Silas visited Syria and Silicia, then Derbe (on the first journey – with Barnabas – they’d won many converts). Luke doesn’t give details about their activities there, but in Lystra (where Paul had healed a man lame from birth) all the men treated the two as gods – but they insisted they were men, not gods.

Jews came from other cities and stoned Paul and dragged him out, but then Paul rose up, returned, and went on to Derbe (the first time).

Now, Paul is coming back to Derbe and Lystra – and this is the first mention of Timothy in the NT. Son of Eunice – woman, father was probably Greek. Paul saw good potential in him, but there was a problem. Timothy was not circumcised…

The father had not allowed circumcision, but had allowed his mother to teach the Jewish Scriptures. So, in the eyes of the Jews, he would be considered a Jew by birth (mother), but an apostate (someone who has turned from the faith) because he was uncircumcised.

So to overcome this dilemma, Paul had Timothy circumcised, not for salvation purposes, but for expediency. Circumcision is of no matter to Paul (he writes elsewhere in Romans, it is circumcision of the heart that matters), but this will allow Timothy to join Paul without tons of disputes from the orthodox Jews.

Paul calls Timothy, “my son, whom I love” and recognizes that Timothy’s thinking is very much like his own. “I have no one else like-minded, who will sincerely care for your state.”

Eventually, Timothy is ordained in the ministry, he has a special spiritual gift, given through divine revelation and in 1 Timothy 4 he says “do not neglect your gift.”

Timothy remains close to Paul, as a successor, up to his death (almost his adopted son).

Having Timothy circumcised was a simple public relations ploy to force the Jews to accept him.

Paul accepted and brought Greeks, uncircumcised people, and anyone into the temple to worship. So, the Jews – the legalistic or non-Christian ones – hated him and spoke against him and prayed against him.

So, he circumcised Timothy to avoid problems with the others.

Now, the two of them travel from town to town delivering decrees that say “you need not be circumcised.” Ironic that Timothy was circumcised and now delivering these messages. But, if Timothy had not been circumcised, he could not have had access to the towns and people.

Previously, the 4 provisions, no strangled meat, no blood, no idol meat, no sexual immorality, were imposed upon the new believers (instead of circumcision). These were the messages they were delivering.

The towns they traveled to were all along a long highway. Perhaps Paul intended to continue along to Ephesus, the capital of Rome in Asia. However, in verse 6, they were prevented from continuing along.

Paul’s missionary journeys were coupled with keen planning and sensitivity to the Spirit of God. At that time, they were moved to not go on.

God has his own timing and his own ways of dealing with these towns, spreading the gospel and so on. So, the next logical decision was to head to the coast – Troas – an important port, connecting Europe and Asia Minor.

Paul has a vision, “Come to Macedonia and help us.” Now, the prompting of the Spirit makes sense, God was directing them this way.

This is the first of the “we” sections of Acts – Luke writes “We got ready at once… concluding that God had called us…”

Luke apparently joined Paul there at Troas, as they prepared to set out.

There’s no indication that Paul preached anywhere along the way, but Luke writes next of Philippi – named after Philip II of Macedonia (the father of Alexander the Great). It became part of Rome in 167 BC. When Mark Anthony defeated Brutus and Cassius (Shakespeare – based on history), many Roman veterans were settled in Philippi – so it became a Roman colony.

Luke writes of the conversion of Lydia.

Paul usually went to a synagogue and preached and taught there, but today, they went to a river where they thought there would be a prayer meeting. Perhaps there was no synagogue in town, needed at least 10 Jewish men – heads of the family – to establish a synagogue.

Here is Lydia, a trader of purple clothes.
She might have been a Jew, or might have been a proselyte (convert).

Luke 16:19, there was a certain rich man clothed in purple.

Likely, Lydia herself was rich. Either single, or a widow. She owns her own home, provides hospitality to the travelers, indicates that she is well off (rich).

God opened her heart to receive their message. Luke 24:31, Luke writes of God opening other hearts on the road to Emmaus after Jesus’ death and resurrection. “Their eyes” were opened – and they recognized Jesus as he broke bread with them – and he vanished.
Luke 24:32 – “Were not our hearts burning…as he OPENED up the Scriptures…”

Luke 24:44-45 “These are my words which I spoke to you…that all things which are written about me (in the Bible) must be fulfilled, then He opened their minds to understand.”

Jesus enlightens their understanding of the Scriptures. Everything points to Jesus.

Every Story Whispers His Name (Jesus Storybook Bible)

Jesus opens minds to understand.
Luke follows Paul and says “People cannot understand the gospel because the devil blinds their eyes.”
Interesting. People CANNOT believe or understand the gospel because they are blinded – by Satan. Only Jesus can bring understanding and enlightening. The Holy Spirit works through the preaching, the testimony of the word of God, to open eyes and minds. Yet, still, even after understanding, there must be a response.

We must confess, repent, forsake our sins. Turn from our old lives, our evils, our sins, turn to Jesus for salvation, forgiveness, and cleansing. There is no other way to salvation.

Lydia’s baptism takes place quickly afterward. She and her household become the first converts in Europe – as far as we know.

Verse 15 – This was a favorable beginning to their ministry in Philippi, but later they run into problems…

The Philippi church generously supported Paul in his ministry – he writes in Philippians that that church was the most generous and even gave when no others gave.

“He who began a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

Let’s pray.

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Listen