Today we‘re continuing our message series called “Beyond Borders.” In this series, we’re talking about Jesus’ command for every believer to be a missionary. Some are called to foreign countries, some to America and yet others to St. Louis. But everyone is called to be a witness for Jesus.
Today our message is entitled “The Greatness of God.” We’ve established in an earlier message that every believer is commanded by Jesus Himself to
Matthew 28:19s (ESV) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
Now when a command of Jesus is clear, not obeying is not an option. To be a believer is to follow Jesus as Lord. For a person to not obey is to reveal that Jesus is not their Lord. So, we must obey. But it is helpful to understand why God commands us to go and make disciples.
Acts 17:26-27 (ESV) And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,
We see from these verses that God created every human being from one man, Adam. So, despite the way we often talk, there is only one race of people, the human race. The color of one’s skin is no more important than the color of one’s hair or eyes. Racism is to discriminate against people or to claim superiority based on outward physical characteristics, such as skin color. Racism is sin and divides people. Next week, our message will be “God’s Attack on Racism.”
According to these verses in Acts, God created every nation so that they would seek God and have a relationship with Him. So, the primary purpose of every human being is to have a relationship with their creator. That relationship is essential for this life and for the life to come in eternity. Now, how does a person have a relationship with God?
Acts 17:30-31 (ESV) The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
There is only one way to have a relationship with God. That is by repenting of your sin and putting your trust in Jesus Christ, the one risen from dead who will return again to judge the world. That’s why missionaries, that’s why we are to go, so that all will hear the Gospel. Every other religion and every church that doesn’t teach that Jesus is the only way to God is false. Those who claim no religion always have a religion, everyone worships something. We have the truth, the only truth. Everyone else is wrong and deluded. That’s why we must be bold witnesses. That’s why everything in our lives must be secondary to being a courageous witness for Jesus everyday. We must go to St. Louis, to America and to the entire world.
Today, let’s watch a short video of Assemblies of God missionaries Mike & Anita James in the Netherlands, entitled Investing in Children. I trust that you were encouraged by the James’ commitment to reaching the next generation in the Netherlands with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Today, we’re going to look at Psalm 96 to talk about the greatness of God. When we understand how great God is, it will motivate us to go and tell others about Him.
Psalm 96:1 (ESV) Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
The psalm begins not with a suggestion, but a command to sing to the Lord. To worship Him in song. Singing engages both the intellect and the emotions in worship. Singing in worship is not just for Sunday mornings. You can sing with your mind and you can sing in the Spirit on many different occasions. Notice who is commanded to sing, it’s all the earth. As we’ll see this includes all nations and all of creation. Everything created is commanded to sing to the Lord in worship. As we worship, our eyes begin to be opened to the greatness of God and we can …
Psalm 96:2 (ESV) Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
This psalm is written to believers. It is only a believer that can tell someone else about God’s salvation. You’ve experienced it and you can explain to someone else how they can experience salvation. Tell others about salvation should be a daily part of our lives, just like getting up in the morning and going to bed at night. Not a day should go by that we do not tell others. We are to …
Psalm 96:3 (ESV) Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
To declare something is more emphatic than just explaining it. We are to declare God’s glory, not just to our city, not just to our country but among the nations, among all peoples. God’s glory speaks of His attributes, such as His love, His holiness, His mercy. To declare His marvelous works speaks of the things He does, such as salvation, healing, answers to prayers and miracles.
This is how you prepare to be a witness for Jesus every day. You get up early enough in the morning to spend some quality time reading the Bible and praying. As you do, your eyes and heart is opened to the glory and works of God. Your faith and commitment to Him grows as you worship. You have prepared yourself for the day. As you go throughout the day, everything you do at work is part of your worship, part of serving first and foremost not your boss, but the Lord. You are praying for opportunities to be a witness for Jesus, to tell of his salvation to others. As you pray, God is working, in you, in others and in the situation. God will open the door every day that you prepare yourself, to let your light shine for Him.
Not only should you pray for yourself, but you should pray for your church and the missionaries that we support in America and around the world. Expressing praise to God prepares you for the upcoming day.
Psalm 96:4 (ESV) For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
The prevailing view today is that there are many religions, all are equally effective ways to reach God. The politically correct view is the only religion that should be opposed is the one that claims to be the only way. But that’s exactly what the creator God and His Word in the Bible teach us. We are to worship only the one true God. He alone is to be feared because …
Psalm 96:5-6 (ESV) For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
The gods of many nations are worthless idols, they are nothing and can do nothing. Those who worship Allah, Buddha, the Hindu gods, man, the earth and on and on are worshipping worthless idols. Not only do they gain no benefit from this false worship, they will eternally lost if they do not turn and worship the only true God. For of all the possible gods that one may worship, only the Lord created everything. He dwells in majestic splendor in heaven above and nothing can withstand His power.
Psalm 96:7, 9 (ESV) Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
All peoples must be told to worship the Lord and give Him glory. All the earth must tremble before Him in feature. The Lord may only be worshipped in holiness, by those who have been forgiven and cleansed from their sins.
As believers, we must be convinced that the Lord we worship is the only true God, the creator of everything. We must communicate the unpopular truth that Jesus is the only way to God. All the other religions are completely false and lead people away from the true God. In today’s world, words have become corrupted and many no longer mean what they once meant.
The word Christian has lost its biblical meaning of being a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. Most of the people who claim to be Christian are not according to biblical standards. For a while the word evangelical meant a Christian with a biblical world view. But now heretics who deny the existence of hell, who deny that Jesus is the only way, who deny that those who practice sin such as homosexuality are lost claim the word. A true believer is someone who trusts in Jesus as Savior and Lord and who obeys all of God’s Word. The majority of people who claim to be Christian in this country, but are not, are just as lost as the billions following other religions around the world. So, a large part of being a witness for Jesus in St. Louis is convincing people they are not saved, so that they can be saved. Our goal in missions is the create more genuine worshippers of the one true God.
Psalm 96:10 (ESV) Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”
We don’t have to wait until Jesus returns to say to the entire world, the Lord reigns. Jesus has all power and authority in the universe since He rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. We are to declare that everyone must bow the knee and submit their lives to King Jesus. Not only is Jesus reigning now, but He is coming again. At Jesus’ second coming, He will not come as a baby but as King who comes to judge.
Psalm 96:11-12 (ESV) Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
The thought of the Lord’s return is anticipated by the whole of creation. Even now we can begin to rejoice at His coming. All those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord can rejoice in the hope of His coming. Why? Because at His coming, Jesus will remove all evil, all sin, all unbelievers from His kingdom and exile them forever into the fires of hell. The result will be new heavens and new earth in which righteousness dwells, it will be paradise restored. A place of enjoying God’s presence forever for His children. At His return …
Psalm 96:13 (ESV) before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
The Lord will come and will judge with absolute justice, righteousness and faithfulness. No one will be able to question His judgements. While the righteous believers rejoice at the thought of Jesus’ coming, the unrighteous unbeliever should tremble in terror. For every person who has not bowed the knee to Jesus in this life, will acknowledge Jesus as Lord at the judgment, but it will be too late. The eternal destiny of every person is sealed, either at their passing or at the coming of the Lord. The is no and I repeat no second chance in hell. There is no such thing as purgatory either, nowhere mentioned in the Bible. The Lord reigns and His judgements are just and final.
We support the Kingship of Jesus over the nations by giving offerings to Missions, over and above our tithe to our church. We encourage and empower our missionaries, who have sacrificed their lives to the call, by praying for them. I encourage you to come and join us in prayer this coming Wednesday for our monthly Prayer and Praise night. We’ll be praying for St Louis, America and missionaries around the world. Why? Because the Lord reigns and we want everyone to hear.
Our God is great, there is no other God. It is only through His Son Jesus that people can be saved by trusting in Him as their Savior and Lord. The greatness of God is why we must obey His command to be His missionaries right here in St Louis and to be support others He’s called to the rest of America and the world. God has called us to worship Him and tell of His salvation every day.