Title: Disciples Advance The Gospel Using Every Opportunity
Scripture Text: Philippians 1: 1-18
Preacher: Rev Ashok Amarasingham
We are celebrating Holy Communion this weekend. Please prepare the elements before starting the video.
1.1 Let’s Discuss Covid-19 and Church Worship Service
1.1.1 PTL! The government allowed churches to open the doors (as of June 2020)
1.1.2 Pre-MCO Days (before March 18, 2020)
• Church doors open wide. All are welcome.
• No pre-recorded service. No house family worship.
• Average weekend attendance = 280.
1.1.3 MCO Days (until July 11)
• Church doors are shut by Order of Government
• Everyone worships at home using pre-recorded service
• Some people don’t know how to use internet, etc
1.1.4 RMCO Days (July 11 till now)
• Dual system: Come to Church OR Worship at home.
• SOP states only Malaysians are allowed in church!
• Hence, life-streaming continues
1.1.5 What happened to the average attendance…
• Pre-MCO = 280 pax
• Now = 95 pax
• Difference about 185 pax?
220.127.116.11 The SOP bars people from coming to church…
• Red MyKad holders (PR) & Foreigners.
• People in the list of medical conditions.
• Temperature of that day more than 37.5 degrees Celsius.
• Having issues wearing mask in church.
18.104.22.168 More Reasons…
• My children cannot sit still
• No family bubble seating in church.
• If one family member cannot come to church, all stay at home.
• FEARFUL of Covid-19 in church
• If I don’t come to church, the seat can be given up for another.
• TOO COMFORTABLE & TOO CONVENIENT worshipping at home.
1.1.6 A Final Note
• Life streaming is only meant for people who genuinely cannot come to church and have to worship God at home- but not for ALL & SUNDRY!
• Where there is a will, there is a way!
• God forbid but if Klang becomes a Red Zone or there is a lockdown – then the church doors will close for worship service. Let us return to church NOW to worship God.
1.2 Focus for Today
Discipleship fosters closer fellowship that strengthens partnerships to advance the gospel by any means.
2) PARTNERS IN THE GOSPEL POSITIVELY BUILD UP EACH OTHER TO ADVANCE THE GOSPEL
2.1 Paul could not be Apostle to the Gentiles (Gal 2:8) alone. He needed partners in the gospel.
2.2 “In my mind” (1:3)…Paul used good memories of the Philippians to tell them…
2.3 “In my heart” (1:7)…Paul acknowledged that the Philippians stood with Paul in his current imprisonment and defence/confirmation of the gospel.
2.4 “In my prayers” (1:9)…Paul knew the power of prayer that cannot be shackled by imprisonment or anything else.
2.5 Practical Application
2.5.1 There can never be discipleship and partnership in the gospel advancement without building up each other in love.
• Avoid the black dot on the white paper syndrome. Begin by celebrating good effort/work done by people.
• Learn how to use the five languages of love to strengthen people. They are words of affirmation, acts of service, spending time, physical touch & giving gifts.
2.5.2 Never underestimate the power of prayer where God can do the ultimate because the gospel is God’s gospel.
3) THE GOSPEL CAN AND MUST ADVANCE DESPITE NEGATIVE SET BACKS
3.1 Despite Paul’s imprisonment, the gospel has been proclaimed by Paul and others (1: 12-14).
3.2 There emerged two groups of people proclaiming the gospel motivated by diametrically opposite forces (1: 15-17)
3.3 What was Paul’s conclusion? Praise God that as long as the gospel is proclaimed (more & more)- Paul rejoices! (1: 18)
3.4 Practical Application
3.4.1 Stephen (Acts 6-7) and Paul are sterling examples of witnessing for Christ (Acts 1: 8). Only difference was Stephen ended only in Jerusalem but Paul, to the ends of the earth.
3.4.2 For gospel sharing and salvation, the bottom line: “the more it is done, the merrier” eg Evangelistic Dinner, Healing Rally, XEE, over the internet (motivation does not matter).
3.4.3 However for long term discipleship – we all need good solid Biblical teaching and learning – so that we become fully mature disciples of Christ.
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