The Most Important Missionary Activity

By John Thiel

What is our mission? What is our duty? Even just to be church members? This church and message we represent is heading us in this direction.

Revelation 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.

We are today a little company which can only be identified as a poor and afflicted people. What can we do? What can we do to evangelise the world? Anything? We are not in a position to do a missionary work that is typically the kind of missionary work that churches have read in the bible is their work. The Seventh Day Adventist church when it was first launching out had a work to do. It was to evangelise the world with the message of the three angels. This has all been going on since 1844. What about now? What is our task? What is our mission?

This is what we need to help each other understand from the word of God. What is Revelation 18:4 identified in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy and bible? What’s it called? The loud cry? For the whole world to be impressed with a little company such as us, how can this happen? Whether it is here in Australia or in companies around the world that are standing on the pure platform of original Adventism? What is our job? How are we going to give this loud cry? Missionary work just like fasting is different to what people imagine it to be. It’s always different. God’s ways are so different to what we imagine it to be. What do you understand is meant in Isaiah?

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee.

60:2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.

60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

Can you see a missionary work here? If we keep the light of the world, others will be drawn to us. In the darkness where do the moths gather? They gather around the light. This is basically what it is saying. For the world to see the light and to be evangelised, it is the people that upon whom the glory of the Lord is risen. We cannot evangelise the world. We are too small. We have no means, no institutions and so on and yet the loud cry is to be given. As you ponder upon that scripture, what do you recognise it is? It talks about the light and the darkness. Christ came to reveal Gods glory. We take that example, Christ in us with the truth. We are to place ourselves under the channel of light and while we are under the channel of light we live up to that like. I am to place myself under the channel of light and the lord will do the rest. What is the light?

Our life. What is going to reflect back? God’s love. When Christ came to the world he was only one man and he couldn’t evangelise the whole world but only reflect the character of God and that is how Gods character was known to the whole world. The character of God seen upon his people and the love. That is specifically identified. We are to understand this principle if we are going to do a missionary work that God is going to use to give the loud cry. This is the most specific revelation of true missionary work of Gods people today.

“That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:21. The love of Christ, the love of our brethren, will testify to the world that we have been with Jesus and learned of Him. Then will the message of the third angel swell to a loud cry, and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of the Lord. {6T 401.1}

When will the whole earth be lightened with the glory of the lord? When the love of Christ and the brethren will testify of that wonderful truth. The love of Christ and the love of our brethren. Then will it swell to a loud cry and the whole earth will be lightened with the glory of God. To see that love in action. We do not relate correctly to our missionary duty by merely saying we have to go and tell the people and share the message. That is part of the missionary work but only a part of it but especially in the last days there needs to be a people upon whom the glory of God will be seen. The love and character of God’s love. That love that needs to be a missionary exercise.

To souls that are earnestly seeking for light and that accept with gladness every ray of divine illumination from His holy Word, to such alone light will be given. It is through these souls that God will reveal that light and power which will lighten the whole earth with His glory.–5T 729 (1889). {LDE 205.1}

There are two factors, the love that is received from the study of God’s word and the great earnestness of the study of God’s word. To such light will be given. To be a loving people so vastly different to the rest of society can only come into existence by a deep involvement of God’s word and it is those kind of people that are spreading the light. What is the strongest argument to convince the world of the truth that Jesus wants them all to know? A loving and lovable Christian. We are to get down to tin tacks as its one thing to claim we have the truth and another to have the truth in love. Totally two different things but connected because if you don’t have the truth and love of Jesus then you can’t gain the other dimension. But if you have one without the other then it’s all in vain. We are not merely a church like so many churches are where people come and go home straight after. We need to press together to be operative in this missionary activity. Too many fall into the trap of coming to church and going home and thinking that is church life. Real church life is engaging.

A Loving and Lovable Christian

It is our own character and experience that determine our influence upon others. In order to convince others of the power of Christ’s grace, we must know its power in our own hearts and lives. {CSW 99.2}

How can you convince anyone just by doctrinal argument? You know how futile that is but to convince someone in this fashion is much more powerful.

The gospel we present for the saving of souls must be the gospel by which our own souls are saved. Only through a living faith in Christ as a personal Saviour is it possible to make our influence felt in a skeptical world. If we would draw sinners out of the swift-running current, our own feet must be firmly set upon the Rock, Christ Jesus. {CSW 99.2}

The world is sceptical out there. You can argue as much as you like and run big public meetings and the sceptical mind weaves its way around.

The badge of Christianity is not an outward sign, not the wearing of a cross or a crown, but it is that which reveals the union of man with God. By the power of His grace manifested in the transformation of character the world is to be convinced that God has sent His Son as its Redeemer. No other influence that can surround the human soul has such power as the influence of an unselfish life. The strongest argument in favor of the gospel is a loving and lovable Christian.–TSS 115, 116. {CSW 100.1}

The people have to see that our characters are changing which is impossible for them to exercise as they don’t know how. This is the thing that convinces them, our character change. Why is this so important? Can you identify something important in this unselfish life that is going to convince people? What is it that convinces them? What is the darkness? Selfishness controlling the people. If they see a company of people exercising total unselfishness that is a powerful influence. That as a people needs to be demonstrated to the world around us.

If you are going to have a company of loving and lovable Christians, that is a power. The argument that we need to gain to win a sceptical world is to exercise this thing. Where is such a love most powerful in its influence? In a family and if you don’t have a family it’s in the church. It’s a love that is exercised to those in immediate proximity to us. In the home, husband and wife. What it looks like in the home, it will be like in the church. People who live a life that is not focused on this love that gets close to each other in the immediate family circle, this is the place where this love is most difficult to exercise. What does familiarity breed? The word familiarity from the world family that knows each other’s activities. For the love to exist there that is the love of God that is the power. Where do you see the love of God in general family living? We get used to each other and annoy each other and we correct each and we are not so courteous anymore. In the beginning we are but later, when are you going to learn, all this starts to reverberate and in the church it’s the same. God wants a people who are demonstrating the glory of God in areas that are expected to have troubles.

To a large degree the happiness of men and women and the success of the church depend upon home influence. Eternal interests are involved in the proper discharge of the every-day duties of life. The world is not so much in need of great minds, as of good men, who are a blessing in their homes. {GW 204.2}

What depends upon the success of the church? To give the loud cry. The success of that depends on large area in the home. If the world can see the home life as it should be they will say there is some power here. These people have a little heaven on earth. They can see that. That must be demonstrated in the church. The world is not so much in need of great of minds as of good men who are a blessing in their homes. That needs to be seen.

That family, properly conducted, is a favorable argument to the truth, and the head of such a family will carry out the very same kind of work in the church as is revealed in the family. {Ev 342.3}

The work in the church must be the same as in the family.

Wherever severity, harshness, and want of affection and love are exhibited in the sacred circle of the home, there will most assuredly be a failure in the plans and management in the church. {Ev 342.3}

Unity in the home, unity in the church, reveals Christ’s manner and grace more than sermons and arguments….. {Ev 342.3}

If we are going to be missionaries, this is our centre. Whether it is in the immediate family or the family of Gods church. We can’t read it in terms of that is why things aren’t working. We need to take hold of ourselves and let the glory and love of God make the change so we can be those missionaries. This is what the world is longing for to see.

Is the truth, the advanced truth we have received, producing in our own hearts the fruits of patience, faith, hope, charity, and thus leaving its saving influence upon human minds, revealing that we are branches of the true Vine because we bear rich clusters of fruit?–Letter 6b, 1890. {Ev 342.3}

What are we to bear? Rich clusters of fruit. The truth we are sitting under in presentation is affecting the life in the family and church. What especially is so powerful an argument that this home familiarity does not cause a deterioration or contempt. Home familiarity that breeds contempt. Have you gone through that in your home? This happens in the church and home. We come together twice a week and we are functioning together and there are little things that begin to irk the other. Husband and wife are in the home and something irks and it starts to fester and create segregation. What must I do that I can do well with ordinary people outside? Courtesy, love for one another. If love can be supreme. People who are not believers can have these elements. This loving kindness even though these people don’t acknowledge Christ, that kindness and courtesy is from Christ.

All the real tenderness and courtesy in the world, even among those who do not acknowledge His name, is from Him. And He desires these characteristics to be perfectly reflected in His children. It is His purpose that in us men shall behold His beauty. {AH 425.1}

That can be exercised in the world. I want to ask the question, why can certain people in the world do this and Christians in the home and church find it so difficult? Why is it that in our ranks this is a very grave difficulty? What actually does it? We know the standards that we are to attain to and we judge one another when one fails. We know the standards that the people in the world don’t know and we look to see if the other person is doing the standards or not what happens? We begin to make judgements and we get peeved with each other as you’re making a profession and you are not doing it. We are taking our eyes of Christ. What are we engaging in? We are not thinking about the others battle. This is the big problem. As we have a higher standard, even the people who are longsuffering in the world will become very impatient if they get a whiff of where we are meant to be going.

I see people coming in who are lovely people and when they get greater dimensions or when negatives come across they begin to retort. To have a love that knows what it should be but accepts and forgives because it isn’t there. This is how peace and love can function. Jesus wants us to be longsuffering, patient, kind and meek. What is meekness? Self-forgetfulness. If you are forgetful of self, it doesn’t matter. If someone does something wrong against you does it bother you? When we are full of self, full of what the other person is doing to hurt me, am I meek? Do I have the meekness of Christ? Jesus has come and dwelt among us and was crucified and all sorts of nasty things were done against him and he kept on patiently loving and forgiving. This is the love that the world needs to see in Gods church. Remember what meekness was? To suffer in silence. Just because I’m suffering means I have to retort, you are giving me a hard time, why are you talking so nasty to me. completely lack of meekness. To bear quietly another person’s failure inside of you not externally and to be polite and greet that person as though no wrong was done. It is easier to be kindness and courteous to someone you don’t have to live with. You can be ever so sweet out there as you have to put on a good front but to be like that on the phone, between husband and wife, mum and dad, children and parents, this is the challenge. To stand in the world with that perfect love in operation is a power that will convince the sceptics. That is reality. Can we see our call? God’s children are called upon to follow that to be true witnesses.

Psalm 133:1 A Song of degrees of David. Behold, how good and how pleasant [it is] for brethren to dwell together in unity!

Brethren, not unbelievers. By being a member of this church we are given the call to be missionaries in this fashion so that Gods church little as it is will have a huge impact of convincing the world around. This is our call and missionary work. There is much to explore. If you know within our company things have irked you about each other, we want to read how we deal with that. It’s a very hard thing, it calls upon a tenacity to keep calming moving on when things are falling down in the family or church.

Suppose we try daily to have our hearts united in the bonds of Christian love. “I have somewhat against thee,” says the True Witness, “because thou hast left thy first love” (Revelation 2:4). And He says, “Except thou repent,” “I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place” (Revelation 2:5). Why?–Because in our separation from one another we are separated from Christ. We want to press together. Oh, how many times, when I have seemed to be in the presence of God and holy angels, I have heard the angel voice saying, “Press together, press together, press together. Do not let Satan cast his hellish shadow between brethren. Press together; in unity there is strength.” {2SM 374.2}

We must not be separated from one another because that means we are separated from Christ. Do you remember what Romans said?

Romans 12:10 [Be] kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

1 Corinthians 12:25 That there should be no schism in the body; but [that] the members should have the same care one for another.

12:26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

Think about this in action. How do you feel when someone in the church is exonerated and you are not? Sometime ago I made a statement I made about someone and after a period of time I was told you have uplifted this person and you didn’t uplift another. What went wrong there in the observation of some people. If someone has done a good job of something, how should we all feel? Happy about that person. In honour preferring one another. If someone is negatively affected we all feel sorry for that situation and if someone is honoured we are all rejoicing over that person. Is this what we do? There are situations in our life that we are in need of looking at.

If someone in the church has done something wrong and someone corrects someone, Sr white corrected people in public when they were overly negative in the church and other people she highlighted. How would you feel? But this is what love is all about. This is the glory of Gods church. Whatever is upheld and exonerated we rejoice and if someone is in a negative state we gather around in courtesy. This is the opposite in normal man’s thinking. There is no room for envy at all. If someone is doing a good job, do you feel it necessary to try to bring them down? True courtesy has not taint of envy or jealously. If I am taking second place that is fine. If I am exonerated that is dangerous but I need to know how to handle it. In Jesus Christ it can be done. As we examine ourselves in the light in these kind of elements we are to have amongst ourselves, what is going to heal our short fall? Things have been done that are not Christlike and certain barriers stand between people. What are we to do with those barriers and how can they be removed?

James 5:16 Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

If we don’t practise this we will hold reserves and the love of Jesus won’t flow. Are there problems in the home and church? Can we say I’ve learnt such and such and leave it at that? Confess your faults.

On this day all differences between brethren, whether in the family or in the church, should be put away. Let all bitterness and wrath and malice be expelled from the soul. In a humble spirit, “confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.” James 5:16. 472 {CCh 263.4}

We so glibly say I was like this but we don’t come to each other and say I’m sorry I’ve hurt you here. Don’t confess the other persons fault, confess your own. I have done this and that, have mercy forgive me. I have bruised you. I haven’t been Christlike forgive me. If we practise that we would have healing. That is a healing exercise. Have you ever experienced it? Does it work? This is our missionary work. This is our primary missionary work to show Gods glory to the world around us. If your brother comes and confesses to you forgive him sincerely. Is this natural ot our natural man? Satan wants to tear us apart and God wants us to give him the glory and it is a challenge to do that.

Amen.

Posted on October 16, 2010, in Missionary Studies, Sermons by John Thiel. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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