Pentecost 26 – Proper 28
November 18, 2018
This gospel must first be preached to all nations
The daylight hours are even shorter now that daylight savings time in Indiana came to an end. When we set our clocks back one hour on the first Sunday of November. As we count down the weeks before the last Sunday of the Church year – Christ the King Sunday, we remember that the time is short.
The times in which we live remind us of the Lord’s sure promise – Before the Lord’s return this Gospel must be proclaimed to the nations. As we anticipate Christ’s sure and certain return we must be about the Father’s business living and sharing the faith.
These words of Jesus. What does He describe? It sounds like Good Friday. He points us to the cross.
“And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations.” – V. 10
I. First – The Gospel message of Jesus Christ must be preached before the end of the age.
A. This Gospel must first be preached to all the nations before the end of the age.
1. It will be proclaimed as a testimony to the nations.
a. A testimony that Jesus Christ alone is Lord. Of all the religious figures to every walk this earth many claimed to have a new directive. Many claimed to have been given a different insight. What makes Jesus Christ different is He alone claimed to be God. He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. – John 14:6
b. It is a testimony that Jesus has won for you salvation and life. Jesus Christ won for you this freedom by going to the cross to suffer and die there. Then He victoriously rose from the dead. This, again, is what gives Jesus distinction. Even if there were one who claimed to be God; Jesus proves to be God alone by rising from the dead. If you want to destroy Christianity you will have to explain away both the resurrection of Jesus Christ bodily from the tomb and the changed lives of those who witnessed His resurrection. The early followers of Jesus Christ after the resurrection even simply stated, “We are witnesses of these things.” – Acts 5:32
2. Only after this message has been proclaimed will the end come.
a. When the gospel message has been proclaimed in all the earth the end will come. Already the Gospel has proclaimed on every continent. What then will be the signal that the end will come?
b. When the last person is converted. Then the end will come. The probability of Christ returning in your lifetime is higher now than ever before. This could very well be the Last Generation!
B. If we want to hasten the time of Christ’s return we will want to be mission minded.
1. So even more may hear this most precious message.
2. So even more can be lead by the Holy Spirit to be converted and to believe. St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Romans, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” – Romans 10:14
II. This Gospel will be preached – it is a specific message – it is the message of the cross – St. Paul reminds us, “I desire to know nothing among you save Jesus and Him crucified.” – 1 Corinthians 2:2
A. The message we proclaim is a message of the cross.
1. It was on the bloody cruel cross of Calvary where Jesus bore the sins of all.
2. It was at the cross where Jesus was winning for the world salvation, life. An eternal victory.
B. This is what must give us a clear distinction.
1. Where Christ and Him crucified permeates all we do.
2. Where Christ is the center of our entire work in this parish, in our school, in our homes, in our lives.
3. So we live forgiven lives- in sacramental living.
III. To all the nations – Every tribe, clan, nation – In the book of Revelation John gives us a picture of what heaven will look like. “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!”- Revelation 7:9-11
A. America continues to be the melting pot.
1. 180 years ago immigrants looked a lot like us.
2. Not so today – consider immigration trends in America today. Asians had the highest annual growth rate (3.0%) of any major U.S. racial or ethnic group in 2017. The Hispanic growth rate followed at 2.0%, exceeding that of blacks (0.9%) and whites (decrease of 0.1%).
Overall, the U.S. annual population growth rate has held steady since 2011. Despite its slowing growth rate, the Hispanic population continues to expand, reaching a record 58.6 million in 2017, according to the Census Bureau’s latest estimates. As the second-largest racial or ethnic group in the U.S., Hispanics play a significant role in the nation’s population trends. Overall, the U.S. population increased by more than 2.2 million people between 2016 and 2017, with Hispanics accounting for 1.1 million, or about half (51%), of this growth. 1
B. We no longer have to go to foreign lands to be engaged in mission work. There are people living within the shadows of this church who have yet to hear of the message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
1. Consider Lutheran Hour Ministry’s theme, “Bringing Christ to the Nations and the nations to the church.” There are our marching orders. Reaching out into the world with the saving message of Jesus Christ.
2. Where is your mission field? It’s where you live and flourish.
These words of Jesus. Describes for us the events of Good Friday. He points us to the cross. This text is for each of us – to share Christ with whomever we meet. May God use you to be His hands and feet, His fingers His toes. Witnesses of His mercy and grace. You want to be a missionary? Be one! Where? 10653 N – 550 W Decatur, IN 46733 – This is your mission field. Bloom where you’re planted. And by God’s grace – become – a sermon in shoes!
1. Pew Research Center - http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/08/03/u-s-hispanic-population-growth-has-leveled-off/________________
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