God’s Passion for His Kingdom
Ex 33:16, Acts 15:14 A people separated FOR HIS NAME
Purpose: That the student might understand the value of their church by understand what people loose when they are without one. The church is worth suffering for.
-What attitude did Jesus have toward persecuted followers?
They are blessed! Luke 6:22
-Often it is the church not the gospel that is the cause of persecution.
What is a church? A meeting? Singing? 10 People or more? 20? Invisible or visible and local? A building?
Why is it important?
I. It is so important to Christ that he gave his life
II. A Christian is not complete without it, as a man without a body or a wife
III. It has functions no other group can do
-Observance of the ordinances
IV. To be the salt and light
Why is it so important to carve a church out of nothing in a huge city? What possible difference could 20 people make?
I. A city with a real church has hope. There is salt there.
II. Christ is there bodily!
III. There is light that cannot be hid!No city in the world that has a real church can have an excuse. There is someone there praying for them and working to evangelize them.
This is the tool of the devil. It is how he keeps the gospel down, by keeping the church down.
I. John Bunyan lived in prison for it.
II. Paul’s persecuation
III. The Reformation
IV. The foundation of the USA
Conclusion: The only key to the true light in a country is for churches to be planted and grow. No persecution can be allowed to stop it through fear. Mat 16:18
Excerpts from the book:
Planting Churches in Muslim Cities
By Greg Livingstone
Even before a Muslim accepts Christ (the Head) he must have instilled in him the notion that commitment to Christ means commitment to the body of Christ, the church, the community of fellow believers. For a Muslim conversion means the changing of allegiances from whatever it was to Christ on a spiritual level, from his blood relatives to his spiritual brothers and sisters in Christ as his first allegiance. (I Peter 2:9-10).
-This is not a contradiction to the 5th commandment but their honor for Father and Mother should increase. They are both the will of God.
The main reasons they are not gathering as a church are:
1. They don’t see a relavant reason to change from the status quo
2. They have no models of Muslims who have accepted Christ around them
3. The vast majority have a bias against Christianity as a viable worldview (In other words, they aren’t raised to associate “getting your life right with God’ with going to church.)
4. Because they are a “shame society” they are discouraged from individual thought fearing to bring shame on their family, friends, and culture.
5. A tiny percentage of Muslims have any first hand knowledge of people who believe in a living Christ who if followed, will lead to personal and eternal betterment.
-In any given predominantly Muslim city, there are a great number of Muslims who desire to be acceptable unto God and are not satisfied with the status quo. Acts 18:10
-If these Muslims could trust that a living Mesiah and his body of followers would meet his need in this life and the next, they will be willing to identify with Christ and His body despite opposition. This requires that a number be baptized at the same time to provide support and encouragement as it is a radically unpopular action.
-His conclusion is then, that 6 gifted adults must be placed in a city for 10 years to build this group.
The proof that our techniques can change to produce results (Written 10 years ago)
-Today in Algiers there is a church of 100 regularly meeting while in Casablanca there are none that we know of. They both have a comparative amount of missionaries who have been there a comparable number of years. At work is not God’s willingness but Man’s methods.
-The Muslim world has drawn or maybe produced Calvinists who say, “God will works when we wants to and until he wants to there is nothing we can do to grow His church.”
-In Morocco there are 200 baptized believers and only 5% are gathering into a church.
-The literature that exists emphasizes reaching Muslims but not drawing them into a community of believers that demonstrates the reality of the Lord Jesus Christ. 100 years of Muslim missions shows that it is not the inclination of Muslim converts to “think church” or church growth. In Morocco the few believers that are there choose to meet
only sporadically without preaching or teaching, just for fellowship with 5 or less Christians.
-Chistiansen challenged missionaries to think about their goal. What is your purpose? To sow the seed and leave it that way? To reach one? To train a group to start a mass movement? Western missionaries have brought with them an individualistic mindset. The practice leaves behind it any hope of producing a mutually supportive group of believers.
-Another error of missions with Muslims is that we gather the misfits. Those unobedient individuals of society who were always loners, never leaders. The chances that the gospel will change them into change agents is small. The main reason for failure in Morocco was that the missionaries reached people who did not have the confidence or support of their own people.
-If he is a man who is only concerned with becoming a Westerner you may sincerely reach him but he’ll never become a change agent in His country.
-It is wrong to extract someone from their current society to come into the missionaries solitary “spiritual” environment. That person will be an outcast and eventually want to leave.
Premise 1:Missionaries in Muslim countries must count on God’s promise, ‘Lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the earth.’
2. The human factor will be the variable between effective and ineffective church planting among Muslims
3. God has at his disposal workers who are correctly gifted to carry out the methodology effectively.
4. Sufficient motivation and commitment exists among aspiring change agents
5. We must make efforts to establish congregations of former Muslims
6. There are work visas available for expatriate missionaries in any of the 100,000 Muslim cities.
7. Miracles don’t have to happen to bring Muslims to Christ. There doesn’t have to be a physically supernatural move of God to start a church planting movement.
8. Suffering is the rule. We cannot avoid it at all costs. Until the church planter understands that fear, suffering, and persecution are normative they will not be able to demonstrate to a Muslim convert how God enable us to stand for Christ in the midst of fear, suffering, and persecution.
9. Church planting among Muslims is not an exercise in futility. Church growth is inevitable according to Is. 19.
10. We have little historical precident for planting churches amongst Muslims. It wasn’t even on the churches agenda until the 19th century and even then it was theoretical. The Missions movement sailed past the Arab world.
11. The gospel is not “good news” but “bad news” when the Muslim listener filters it down into breaking the 5th commandment.
12. If people normally become Christians only when they receive the truth from a trusted significan other, someone must cross over a cultural boundary to establish that prior question of trust.
1. Numerical church growth is the most crucial task of the pioneer missionary.
2. The church planting team should identify and concentrate on the responsive elements of a society.
3. Multi-individual, interdepent descisions for Christ should be promoted.
4. Anthropological factors affecting a people’s responsiveness should be analyzed and utilized.
13. A covert methodology is neither biblical nor missionlogically practical. There is no biblical justification for a covert operation, and it is possibly the greatest hindrance to progress in church planting among Muslims.
Raymond Lull of Spain went to Algeria
Samuel Zwemmer of the US went to the Arabian Peninsula and Egypt
Jens Christiansen of Denmark went to Pakistan
Henry Martyn went to India and Iran
Carl Gottlieb Pfander went to Turkey and India