10-30-16 Alive-Called-Sent

To see a Video of this sermon, click here.

“ALIVE, CALLED, SENT”  John 20:1,2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2  10-30-16 at LMPC by Ben Sloan If you are alive in Christ- you are here for a reason and you are sent with a message.   This is what 2 Corinthians says.  This week one of our members, Alex Shuler, is being deployed and we will pray for him.  But when someone wants to enter the military- they have to be alive and able; they are then called into service where they are trained, and then they are deployed to serve.   So we are called to wake up to Christ, to be ambassadors for Christ, and then we are sent- given opportunities to make a difference for Christ.

  1. WE ARE ALIVE- Jesus has made us alive. Since it is almost Halloween, Paul is saying there are really two kinds of people out there. Those who are really alive and those who are zombie-like- walking around but not aware of God without real purpose or direction or ultimate hope or eternal love.  When Christ comes to us we are made new- new creatures- born again.   The theological word is “regenerated.”  We were just living a zombie-like existence- just walking around- living like the animals.  Then Christ came and gave us purpose, gave us hope, gave us faith, gave us love- makes us better people than we were.
  2. WE ARE CALLED- This is Reformation Sunday. One thing the Reformation did was it gave value to the common person. Before only the nobility and clergy were seen as valuable.  But Luther and Calvin especially valued that we are called by Christ in whatever we do, and also called to serve Christ wherever we are.  Our lives have a purpose.  This passage says that God has “committed to us the message of reconciliation.”  Whether we like it or not- we are in an office- the office of ambassador.  We can be bad ambassadors or good ambassadors.  An ambassador speaks on behalf of the kingdom/country they represent.  In the face of the elections, and all the angst and consternation going on- we need to remember our true citizenship belongs in the Lord’s country.  I common saying of Presbyterians in the American Revolution was, “We have no king but Jesus.”  While we live here- and wish the best for here- and work hard to make this a better place- caring for the poor, the needy, the widow, the orphan, the children- we also know we point up- we point to where our true home lies- and our true King.       Six U.S. Presidents have been ambassadors- John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Harrison, James Monroe, Martin Van Buren;  Other famous ambassadors were Ben Franklin to France as part of the Continental Congress;  Shirley Temple grew up to be ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia.  John F. Kennedy’s father.  Five ambassadors have been killed in office by terrorism.  An ambassador was to learn the language, know the people, be friendly- but always represent the home country.   That is our calling as well- know those around us- love them- care for them- but always remember who you are and whose you are.  III. WE ARE SENT- Jesus said to all his disciples- An ambassador has a message.  A missionary is a missionary whether it is to those around us or to those in another place.  Missions is more about listening to God than geography.  I have known some missionaries who have had few converts overseas but here they are able to reach thousands. There are also pockets of skeptics and nones who need to hear and respond to the good news of Christ.        The root meaning of missions is missio which is Latin for “to send.”  We are all sent ones.  Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.”  We are sent down from heaven- in that God made us.  We are made alive- we are given this office- or called to this office of being an ambassador; and as ambassadors we are given a message.  What is the message? It is found in vs. 20:  “Be reconciled to God.”  We are ambassadors in a rebel land- rebelling against our king.  We are running away from God in our pride, in our apathy toward Him.  We are salt to encourage others to be thirsty for God.        There are 726,000 of the world’s brightest students who live within earshot of a church. Are they invited in?  There is a program out of Atlanta started by a Presbyterian called, “Christmas International House” that invites a student to stay with Christians in their homes over the holidays while their dorms shut down- a great program that Kay and I have taken part in previously.  There were 1.2 million legal immigrants last year- how many of them were invited to church or were touched at all by Christians who profess the love of Christ who was sent down to us.         I like what Michael Foster said when he indicated that our lives are to be trailers to the movie of Christ.  People should be able to see our lives and want to see more- want to see the full thing.  We are called to be steeples- to point to Christ wherever we are.  We are called to ring out honor to God- that is our stewardship campaign theme.  We are called to be salt and salt is good for us (without it we can’t live), but it also makes us thirsty.  We are people who want to point others to the Living Water of Christ.   We are alive for a reason; called for a reason; and sent/deployed for a reason.

 

“ALIVE, CALLED, SENT” John 20:1,2; 2 Corinthians 5:14-6:2 10-30-16 at LMPC by Ben Sloan

If you are alive in Christ- you are here for a reason and you are sent with a message. This is what 2 Corinthians says. This week one of our members, Alex Shuler, is being deployed and we will pray for him. But when someone wants to enter the military- they have to be alive and able; they are then called into service where they are trained, and then they are deployed to serve. So we are called to wake up to Christ, to be ambassadors for Christ, and then we are sent- given opportunities to make a difference for Christ.
I. WE ARE ALIVE- Jesus has made us alive. Since it is almost Halloween, Paul is saying there are really two kinds of people out there. Those who are really alive and those who are zombie-like- walking around but not aware of God without real purpose or direction or ultimate hope or eternal love. When Christ comes to us we are made new- new creatures- born again. The theological word is “regenerated.” We were just living a zombie-like existence- just walking around- living like the animals. Then Christ came and gave us purpose, gave us hope, gave us faith, gave us love- makes us better people than we were.
II. WE ARE CALLED- This is Reformation Sunday. One thing the Reformation did was it gave value to the common person. Before only the nobility and clergy were seen as valuable. But Luther and Calvin especially valued that we are called by Christ in whatever we do, and also called to serve Christ wherever we are. Our lives have a purpose. This passage says that God has “committed to us the message of reconciliation.” Whether we like it or not- we are in an office- the office of ambassador. We can be bad ambassadors or good ambassadors. An ambassador speaks on behalf of the kingdom/country they represent. In the face of the elections, and all the angst and consternation going on- we need to remember our true citizenship belongs in the Lord’s country. I common saying of Presbyterians in the American Revolution was, “We have no king but Jesus.” While we live here- and wish the best for here- and work hard to make this a better place- caring for the poor, the needy, the widow, the orphan, the children- we also know we point up- we point to where our true home lies- and our true King.
Six U.S. Presidents have been ambassadors- John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Quincy Adams, Harrison, James Monroe, Martin Van Buren; Other famous ambassadors were Ben Franklin to France as part of the Continental Congress; Shirley Temple grew up to be ambassador to Ghana and Czechoslovakia. John F. Kennedy’s father. Five ambassadors have been killed in office by terrorism. An ambassador was to learn the language, know the people, be friendly- but always represent the home country. That is our calling as well- know those around us- love them- care for them- but always remember who you are and whose you are.

III. WE ARE SENT- Jesus said to all his disciples- An ambassador has a message. A missionary is a missionary whether it is to those around us or to those in another place. Missions is more about listening to God than geography. I have known some missionaries who have had few converts overseas but here they are able to reach thousands. There are also pockets of skeptics and nones who need to hear and respond to the good news of Christ.
The root meaning of missions is missio which is Latin for “to send.” We are all sent ones. Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” We are sent down from heaven- in that God made us. We are made alive- we are given this office- or called to this office of being an ambassador; and as ambassadors we are given a message. What is the message? It is found in vs. 20: “Be reconciled to God.” We are ambassadors in a rebel land- rebelling against our king. We are running away from God in our pride, in our apathy toward Him. We are salt to encourage others to be thirsty for God.
There are 726,000 of the world’s brightest students who live within earshot of a church. Are they invited in? There is a program out of Atlanta started by a Presbyterian called, “Christmas International House” that invites a student to stay with Christians in their homes over the holidays while their dorms shut down- a great program that Kay and I have taken part in previously. There were 1.2 million legal immigrants last year- how many of them were invited to church or were touched at all by Christians who profess the love of Christ who was sent down to us.
I like what Michael Foster said when he indicated that our lives are to be trailers to the movie of Christ. People should be able to see our lives and want to see more- want to see the full thing. We are called to be steeples- to point to Christ wherever we are. We are called to ring out honor to God- that is our stewardship campaign theme. We are called to be salt and salt is good for us (without it we can’t live), but it also makes us thirsty. We are people who want to point others to the Living Water of Christ. We are alive for a reason; called for a reason; and sent/deployed for a reason.