For those of you who wanted to see the intro Nic gave about missions at High Point Church the Sunday Vince Burke was here, see below:
High Point is a missions church. We believe the message of the Gospel must be offered persuasively and non-coercively to all peoples, in all nations of the earth, in every generation.
God makes provision by means of our willingness to sacrifice as missionaries and to support the work of missions through our sacrificial generosity.
We do not accept that bringing the message of Christ to all people persuasively and non-coercively offends right affirmations of pluralism and tolerance. Instead, to withhold the Gospel is to disengage from plurality into isolationism. And isolation produces the intolerance of neglect and separation. Missions is compassionate and truthful and worthy of our greatest treasures, whether our lives and our years, or our financial treasures that procure comfort, pleasures and security.
The Gospel’s first principle is that God, revealed in Christ, is the most valuable thing in all of creation. God is the greater source of all life, beauty, goodness, truth and light. And we are always better off, no matter what the sacrifice, for making this Christ known. And we must give all people the choice to become blessed and redeemed in Christ, and trust to God and the hearers the responsibility of faith.
We are heralds bringing news, but it is news that, if believed, changes everything.
This was true from the beginning of the Bible:
5 See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. 6 Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, “Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.” 7 What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? 8 And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
The people of God were always to make God visible to the whole world through his effects in and through us.
We cannot save the world. Jesus did not call us to create Utopia.
He did call us to spread the redeeming message throughout the whole world to save all who would believe, and to see how people changed by the Gospel might be part of remaking the world in redemptive ways.
And like our savior, we are not allowed to win people over with force.
Yet change almost always only comes through blood.
Jesus chose that it would be his and not ours.
That is, the Gospel spreads not through conquest, but sacrifice.
And that same gospel goes out the the nations through our blood, sweat and tears – for the good of all people and the Glory of God.
To one who doesn’t understand the Gospel, this is an odd idea and a weighty and costly message.
To one who sees Jesus for who he is and sees the worth of the Gospel, it is literally a privilege to suffer like and with the savior, the greatest privilege God could offer to us in his plan to redeem his creation.
We don’t do it because anyone forces us. We do it out of conviction.
And so to remember and to foster that conviction, we confront ourselves with God’s work among and passion for the nations. This is why we have missions Sundays, and why we have decided to spread them out throughout the year rather than having them together in one month.
Today, we’ve invited Vince Burke to speak to us.
Vince came to faith here during the ministry of Dick Sisson. He was a youth pastor of HPC 1980-88, did seminary, and has served in the Philippines from 1992 to the present.
Vince is a pastor in the Christ Commission Fellowship Church movement based in Manila that is spreading throughout the country, has planted a church in Singapore, and is planning to spread even more widely in the Pacific Rim.