Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your part in it, will succeed.
Series: Vision 2022
In light of the start of Citylight’s Mission Conference, Pastor Matt highlights the encouraging fact (and BIG IDEA) that Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your part in it, will succeed.
1. Jesus has other sheep
2. Jesus must bring other sheep
3. Jesus will have one flock.
Pillar New Testament Commentary, The Gospel According to John, by D.A. Carson
Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, The Gospel According to John, by Andreas Kostenberger
The Tony Evans Study Bible by Tony Evans
Expository Thoughts on John by J.C. Ryle
The Biggest Story by Kevin DeYoung
I Have Other Sheep That Are Not Of This Fold – Sermon by John Piper
Peter Cameron Scott founded what is now known as the Africa Inland Mission near the end of the 19th century. Few organizations have done more to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ on the African continent in the last century than AIM. A Washington Post article from back in 2015 says, “Over the past 100 years, Christians grew from less than 10 percent of Africa’s population to its nearly 500 million today. One out of four Christians in the world presently is in Africa, and the Pew Research Center estimates that will grow to 40 percent by 2030.” This incredible transformation on the African continent can be traced in no small part to Peter Cameron Scott and Africa Inland Mission.
But Peter Cameron Scott almost completely gave up his mission to spread the gospel across Africa before it even got going. Scott first went out as a missionary to Africa as a young man, but got Malaria and had to return to Britain to recover. In his second attempt, Peter Scott brought his brother John with him to Africa. But John quickly became ill and died. Peter Cameron Scott buried his brother all alone in Africa and renewed his commitment to preach the gospel in Africa. Unfortunately, Scott became ill again and left Africa again. It seemed that his dream was as good as dead. He might never return to Africa. However, when Scott was recovering in London, he visited Westminster Abbey and visited the final resting place of David Livingstone, a pioneer missionary to Africa. And on Livingstone’s grave was written one verse. Only one verse. And when Peter Cameron Scott read that one verse, the Lord gave him the courage, confidence, and resolve that he needed to return to Africa, preach the gospel there until his death, and found the Africa Inland Mission. And that one verse that was on David Livingstone’s grave was our verse for this morning. “And I have other sheep who are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one slack, one shepherd” (John 10:16). This one verse had the power to fuel Peter Cameron Scott for a lifetime of frontier mission and it has the power to fuel us for a life-time of global impact for the sake of the gospel. The big idea of this one verse, and I’m greatly indebted to John Piper for this big idea, is: Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your part in it, will succeed. That’s why Peter Cameron Scott went to Africa a third time and stayed there until his death. That’s why we can give our money, our prayers, our time, and our lives to Jesus’ worldwide saving purpose. Because Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your part in it, will succeed. Now, during the rest of our time this morning, I want to consider one question that I think our one verse answers: How do we know? How do we know that Jesus’ worldwide mission, and our part in it, will succeed? We’ll never pray, give, go and send unless we know. How do we know? Once we answer that question, I’ll close with a few practical next steps with Jesus when it comes to worldwide missions. Ok – how do we know? Three reasons from our one verse: 1. Jesus has other sheep 2. Jesus must bring other sheep 3. Jesus will have one flock.
JESUS HAS OTHER SHEEP
John 10:16 begins with Jesus saying, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold.” To understand why Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your part in it, will succeed, we have to understand what Jesus means when he says that he has other sheep that are not of this fold. As is often the case when trying to interpret the Bible, context is critical. Earlier in John 10 Jesus refers to a sheep pen, representing Israel, or Jewish people. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calls his own sheep out of that sheep pen. In other words, Jesus calls Jewish people out of the sheep pen of Israel to himself – they become Christians. And now Jesus says that he has other sheep that are not of the sheep pen of Israel, which means that he must be talking about Gentiles. Jesus does not just call ethnic Jews to himself, but sheep that are not of the fold of Israel. The Lord Jesus has sheep from every tribe, tongue, and people. And the OT promised that it would be this way when the Messiah arrived. Isaiah 66:18 – “For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory.”
Friends – Jesus has other sheep. Jesus has a worldwide saving purpose that includes sheep from every tribe, tongue, and people – not just Jewish people. And that’s why all of Jesus’ followers have a worldwide mission. Jesus has other sheep and they are in grave need today. Two simple questions highlight this great need: Do you have access to Christian witness? Are you a Christian? People that respond “no” to both questions are considered “World A” by international Christian workers. These people live in countries like Iran, Bhutan, Somalia, Turkey, Afghanistan, Algeria, and more. Most of these people have no access to a Christian, a missionary, a church, or a Bible. They are virtually unreached and would need an outside witness to come and share Christ with them. We refer to them as “unexposed unbelievers” because they really do not have any chance of hearing about Jesus. And “world A” is no tiny sliver of our world. Rather, “World A” has 28% of the world’s population (over 2 billion people) and only 3% of current missionaries and 1% of missions dollars currently given go to world A. The task of reaching world A, and the rest of our world, with the gospel would be daunting to the point useless, except that Jesus has other sheep, including sheep in world A.
Jesus’ worldwide mission, including his mission to reach world A, and our role in that mission will succeed because Jesus has other sheep, including in world A. How can Jesus say, “I have other sheep?” When Jesus says this in John 10, he hasn’t called any Gentiles, they haven’t heard his voice, and they haven’t believed in him. How can Jesus say, “I have other sheep”? The answer is that though they haven’t yet believed in Jesus, Jesus has these sheep because they already belong to God the Father, chosen before the foundation of the world, and the Father will give them to the Son so that they will most certainly come to Him. Jesus makes this plain in other places in the Gospel of John. John 6:37 – “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” Friends – God the Father has chosen sheep from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation from before the foundation of the world, he will give them to Jesus, Jesus will raise them up on the last day, and that’s what it means that Jesus has other sheep. And that’s why we can pray, give, and go with confidence. That’s why you can generously give your money to send those who are bringing the gospel to world A. That’s why you can uproot your life and your family and your kids and your retirement and go where Jesus is barely named or known. Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your part in it, will succeed, because Jesus has other sheep!
JESUS MUST BRING OTHER SHEEP
John 10:16 continues, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.” There may be no more confidence instilling words when it comes to international mission, and our part in it, then Jesus’ words “I must bring them and they will listen…” It’s easy for me to mistake Jesus’ must for my must. When I say “must” it sounds something like, “I must eat dessert on the weekends only.” And by Monday night, my must doesn’t mean much. Not Jesus’ must. His “must” is unstoppable. His must will most certainly come to pass. Psalm 115:3 – Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases. If Jesus must bring them, then they must come to him. And that’s why Jesus’ worldwide mission, and our part in it, will succeed. Lose your life for his global cause with total confidence. Jesus doesn’t just have other sheep, he must bring them also. The gates of Hell will not prevail against his must.
Now, I want you to notice how Jesus will bring the sheep that he has that are not of the sheep pen of Israel. “…and they will listen to my voice.” How is that going to work since Jesus is no longer on earth? I love the way that the Apostle Paul answers this question. 2 Corinthians 5:20 – “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us…” An ambassador represents and carries the message of another. Christ is resurrected to heaven and we are his representatives, carrying his message on earth. How will they listen to his voice? They will listen to Jesus’ voice when they listen to your voice speaking about him. And those who are Jesus’ sheep, chosen before the foundation of the world, will hear his voice and come to him. What confidence we can have when we speak. We have to speak. We have to speak the gospel here at home and we have to speak to the ends of the earth because that’s the way that the sheep hear his voice!
Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we speak here and to the ends of the earth? Why don’t we devote money, vacation time, career, and retirement to Jesus’ global saving purposes? If I’m being honest about my own heart, the answer is “fear.” I’m not so much afraid to die as I am afraid to miss out what my money, my vacation time, my career, and my retirement might look like if I gave them to Jesus’ global mission. And because fear is our barrier, I love the story of the Apostle Paul in the ancient city of Corinth. By the time Paul was ready to take the gospel to Corinth, he had already been the victim of a murder plot (Acts 9), driven out of a city in an act of religious persecution (Acts 13), evaded an attempted stoning (Acts 14), survived an actual stoning (Acts 14), and suffered imprisonment (Acts 16). Understandably, Paul too is afraid as he approaches Corinth. What if he’s stoned again? What if no one listens? What if…Maybe that’s how you feel when it comes to your part in Jesus’ global mission. Listen to how the Lord Jesus instills confidence in Paul to keep speaking. Acts 18:10-11 – “I am with you, and no one will attack you to harm you, for I have many in this city who are my people.” 11 And he stayed a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. Friends – give your prayers, your money, your time, your career, your life, your retirement to advance the gospel in the hardest to reach places without fear and with confident expectation. Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your place in it, will succeed because Jesus has other sheep in this world and he must bring them – and they will listen to him through you!
JESUS WILL HAVE ONE FLOCK
John 10:16 – And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. In just those simple words, “there will be one flock,” Jesus provides us with a vision of the grand purpose and the ultimate end to which all of our praying, giving, and going is headed. Jesus is going to have one flock from every tribe and tongue and people and nation that worship him in joy and splendor forever. The gospel brings together diverse people – sheep – as family. We labor toward that end now. We press the gospel into our relationships so that we can enjoy rich unity in the midst of diversity. But our unity in diversity is only partial now. But one day it will be complete. Let John, the author of this Gospel, show you in his final writing where this worldwide mission is heading. Revelation 5:9-13
9 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.”
11 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, 12 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!”
13 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!”
14 And the four living creatures said, “Amen!” and the elders fell down and worshiped.
Jesus has other sheep and he must bring them so that he will have an eternal flock from every tribe and tongue and people and nation for his glory. Jesus’ worldwide mission, and your place in it, will succeed.
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
Remember when the Shepherd first called you by name. Remember the greatness of your salvation. Remember the relief of having your sins forgiven. Use that as a springboard for wanting others to share in so great a salvation.
Jesus promises to bring his sheep. Jack Miller – prayer puts the promises of God into motion.
By yourself, at home, or with your small group
With your church
Graphic – Wednesday prayer night – 7pm at Mishkan
Saturday Missions Seminar – Graphic
Citylight Church gives 5-6% of our church income to international missions (13.5% out the door total)
If we all gave 10% – God’s first covenant standard – we would be able to give away more money toward Jesus’ worldwide gospel-mission.
God above and beyond tithe, Reach, and give directly to one of our workers.
Are you feeling even the slightest pin prick of interest? Let us know.
The Good Shepherd laid down his life for his sheep, he must bring them, and they will hear his voice as we go and speak about him! He can’t fail!