Divine Sovereignty: The Fuel of Death-Defying Missions
I have one overarching truth that I want to communicate with you:
A high view of God’s sovereignty fuels death-defying missions.
Here are a few underlying premises:
1. Local ministry and local mission are totally necessary.
Local churches and communities have hurting and lost people and these ministries are necessary.
2. Global missions is tragically neglected.
In Yemen there are twice as many people there as in the state of Kentucky and there are maybe 20 Christians.
3. Pastors have the privilege and responsibility of global missions.
Pastors must feel the weight of the nations. This is not a problem for missions boards but every pastor and every church.
What drives all of that is rock solid confidence in the sovereignty of God.
I want to show that from Revelation 5.
Then I saw in the right hand of him who was seated on the throne a scroll written within and on the back, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look into it, and I began to weep loudly because no one was found worthy to open the scroll or to look into it. And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and the four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. And he went and took the scroll from the right hand of him who was seated on the throne. And when he had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each holding a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.” Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped. (Revelation 5:1-14)
Here are 4 theological truths from this text:
1. Our Sovereign God Holds The Destiny of the World In His Hands
Our God is sovereign over all. All leaders, over you, over me, over all things. The author of all things has authority over all things. He is sovereign over every dust particle in the earth.
What about man’s responsibility? Sure, man is responsible but God is sovereign over them all.
The self-sufficiency of God from Tozer’s Knowledge of the Holy
God almighty does not need us but in his mercy and love he uses us.
2. The State of Man Before God Apart From Christ Is Hopeless
Apart from Christ we are destined for hell. “The wicked shall always be dying but never dead.” (Thomas Watson)
Why is John weeping in Revelation 5?
The way we talk about hell shows we have no idea what we are talking about. Just pause for a moment of the state of the unreached.
What about the innocent man who lives in a far off country in Africa? He goes to heaven. But he does not exist because no one is innocent and he would not need the gospel because he is innocent.
Tremble at this thought. There are over 2 billion people whose only knowledge of God will damn them to hell.
3. The Greatest News In All The World Is That The Sovereign Lord is The Slaughtered Lamb
Weep no more!!!
The root of David has come as a slaughtered lamb. He is standing because he defeated death.
He was risen from the grave and took the scroll from him who was on the throne and took it from his hand.
I thought you said God was sovereign is Jesus sovereign? YES!
God does not share the spotlight with anyone only God himself.
4. The Atonement of Christ Is Graciously, Globally, and Particularly
He willed your salvation. He purposed to save you and purchase you.
Feel the weight of this amidst trials and tribulations God set his love on you before anything was made in all creation.
We had nothing to do with where we were born. In God’s mercy you were born in a people who was reached.
Jesus died for all people. Every people group in the world. This atonement is particular to each people group.
If we believe this then we will not just make disciples but make them of ALL NATIONS!
We do not go to the nations because we are guilty but because of glory. We believe our king is worthy of all praise and glory of every people group.
Four Practical Applications of These Truths
Does divine sovereignty mean we do nothing?
1. Let Us Lead Our Churches To Pray Confidently
God has ordained that the end will come and the nations will be reached through prayer. Show them how to pray for the nations. Assure them that their prayers will complete the mission.
George Ladd, “Jesus has not returned so let’s get busy.”
2. Let Us Lead Our Churches To Give Sacrificially
We are the richest people to ever walk the earth. Why?
He has given us this wealth for worship.
3. Let Us Lead Our Churches To Go To Unreached People’s
Go on short term trips. Send your people.
Send a midterm for over 2 months to 2 years. “The mormonization of our churches.”
Call them out! Encourage them to fast and pray to send people.
Is he calling you to do this?
4. Let Us Lead Our Churches To Die Willingly
Unreached people’s are unreached for a reason. They are dangerous. They are hard to reach.
Nothing can happen to us outside of the sovereignty of God.
God sovereignly ordains martyrs. He used the suffering of Jesus.
The attempts of Satan to stop the church always spread the church.
Will we lead people to embrace suffering as the sovereign plan of God?
Let us be done with puny theology that leads to paltry efforts to reaching the nations.