10th December 2023

Being called to a particular ministry

Passage: Mark 3:13-15
Service Type:

Automatically Generated Transcript

One of the things I've been conscious about is not to let us in the evening service fail to have somewhat of a participation in what goes on in the morning services. And in the morning services, as you will well know, we've been looking through the Beatitudes. And by and large, the Beatitudes, they're mostly found in Matthew or in Luke. But tonight we can look at a place where there actually is a snippet of the same material that was said by Jesus up the mountain, recorded in Matthew. And here it is in Mark's Gospel and in Chapter 3. So we'll start with Mark and Chapter 3. Alright, so as you see, it starts with Jesus going up in the mountain. And what it is about is about... discipleship, because it's about the calling of his disciples. In particular, to appoint twelve of those that he'd called to be apostles. And so what we're actually looking at here is Jesus seeking to call people into ministry involvements. To be an apostle was a specialty of serving Christ. And though there were many Christians at that time, later to become Christians, in the era after the day of Pentecost, yet there were only twelve that he picked. And it's interesting to begin to understand that when it comes to getting a call from Jesus, there is a general call that calls us to become Christians. And the Bible often refers to that as how you're called, called to belong to Christ. But there's also use of the word calling for the sense in which Jesus appoints you to do something more special than just being a Christian. Now, there's nothing more special than being a Christian, but it is a part of your Christianity that we're talking about here, where people experience communication from Christ to some particular type of service. I think the Christian Church has struggled across the years for people to understand that not everybody has the same experience of a calling to one specific thing. Maybe everybody does in the sense that there is a gift that each of us in the body of Christ has, and we all are gifted in some sense or another, and it's part of our duty to discover what is that gift. But some are more aware of a particularity of that calling, and certainly the apostles were. And this passage is about Jesus' call to people to be disciples in ministry. And so I want to read it to you. I wanted to share a little bit about this because it's from the Beatitudes, and it is a very familiar passage. I know it's one that I like to preach on and have many times, but there is something about finding where Jesus might be calling you to something specific. And the sorts of things I'm talking about are times when people are sitting in church, and it's just a regular church service, and during the communication somewhere, there comes a conviction that God is asking them to do something specific, that he doesn't necessarily ask other people. And that's a particular calling. And so there are those who will report how God called them to go as missionaries. One of the difficulties of missionary organisations is to distinguish between people who volunteer to be their missionaries because it's a good thing, and people who have actually been called of Jesus to that role, and why is it important to make the distinction? Because when you get out on the mission field, how much you find Christ is there helping you and doing the work through you is that if you've been called to it, he has given his commitment to make it happen. And there's always been times when someone spectacularly has the Lord communicate with them, and in terms of going and being an itinerant person walking around preaching, there are some very interesting things. There are some very famous occasions of people who felt God talk to them and say, get up and go out of your town and begin to go where I lead you to. And so that's been the case with some people who then left their town and God has guided them and they've done all sorts of things which later turn out certainly to have had God's hand on it. And when these people write up their books, and God was the title of one book I read by a fellow who felt he was a young man, he wasn't yet 20, and he had a widowed mother, that he was the only one with an income, and yet he felt the Lord spoke to him rather dramatically to take his bicycle and ride out of town and keep going and the Lord would show him where he was to go. And this particular fellow rode out of the town, he made some objections to the Lord and said, who's going to look after my mother? It's my salary that if I quit my job and do as asked. And he sensed that God promised him that God would help him always to send back money to his mother. Well he did. He ended up going around the world. He wrote a book, Can God, and the book was about can God keep giving him the funds to send back to his mother and the money he needed to live. And some of the events in that book are spectacular. That fellow came through Australia and he became a preacher everywhere he went. As a matter of fact, we had people in our church who were converted, or one lady who was converted. She's passed away now, but she was in our church. It happened up in Rockhampton, but this particular fellow had a journey up to Rockhampton, spoke in a meeting, and she became a Christian. And all around the world, things happened that proved, yes, it really was God. He had some amazing stories in those books. And some of the stories read, for example, that he was getting wearied and finding the walking hard. He ditched the bike long back, and he prayed for God to help. And there was a light aeroplane that landed in the field next to where he was walking. The person tumbled out and offered him a ride. He was going to where he had to get to. And he flew in. Talk about examples that are just absolutely miraculous. Well, that particular fellow, I've met him. And he came out, he became an expert about revivals because the chief ministry he had was not just winning people to Christ, but also stirring up the Christians to listen to God and maybe answer the calls that they may get. And he came and spoke at the church. He came and spoke at the University of Queensland. And he'd had a chance to study. He had several doctorates that are on revivals. And you can listen to him on the YouTubes. If you scratch around, you'll find it. And in a minute, I'll remember his name and tell you so that you can do that. But he's a revivalist, and God used him. Now, the trouble was these books, and he kept writing them as he went around the world different times and was being used of God. He'd write another book for the latest episodes. And young people like I was then would get the books. And we got excited. And quite a number of different young people felt led of God to try and do the same thing. As a matter of fact, one of my lecturers from the Baptist College here in Brisbane, at Brookfield when it was there, he was one who went and tried to go over to America because he read this fellow had been over there to America and done things. And he got himself to go, but he almost starved, he told me. He had a family and he couldn't feed them. The trouble was that God had never told him to go. But he assumed if someone else did it, wrote the book, I'll give it a try. It brings to light the fact that there is such a thing as a particularity of calling that God gives to some and not others. Or you say, is that just your idea, Jim? Well, we've got a passage where it's happening to 12. He went up to a mountain. He called to him those whom he wanted. He desired. So this is not a case of everybody can come and do this. Opportunity here for you to get something done. Others have. Why not you? No, it says he called to him those whom he desired and they came to him. This is actually a parallel to the passage we're doing in the Beatitudes in Matthew's Gospel in Chapter 5 and the same information is given. That Jesus chose whom he wanted. And it says here in the next verse, He appointed 12 whom he also named apostles, so they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to cast out demons. He appointed the 12 and it goes on to list them. Simon, whom was also called Peter, James, the son of Zebedee, and John, his brother, and so forth. It goes right through the names and that's the rest of our passage. Now realise what's happening here is that there's a specificity of the calling of Jesus back then on that occasion to 12 people. Only 12. One of whom was Judas, by the way. And when Judas did betray the Lord and was so sorrowful about it that he committed suicide, eventually God, the disciples, thought that they should fill the gap that Judas' suicide had made and so they cast out. And so they cast lots to see whom God might have chosen to be the replacement. The idea of casting lots was something from the Old Testament days where people wanted to discover the will of God in some matter that they would use some flipping of whatever little materials were, you know, as a way of flicking a coin in the air would be another one and see how it lands. The idea of it is if there's a sovereign God, then he can make the coin turn up on the right way. And it wasn't actually a coin they used, but they used to have this thing that the high priest could do to decide, make the decision. And that was the way they'd find the will of God. Now, interestingly, that way of finding the will of God has never been repeated past the day of Pentecost. The day of Pentecost was when God gave his spirit to his believing disciples and they had a method of communication from God through the Holy Spirit who lives within. And after that moment, it just happens to be the case that they never revert to, the Urim and the Thummim or the casting of lights or those sorts of ways of getting an answer by doing, you know, a bit of chance. Now, I've often thought about that way of getting God's will by flipping, you know, a coin or something. I think God can be sovereign. But he doesn't want us to do that, I think, because he's given the Holy Spirit for there to be a way for us to know if he's given us the particularity of a calling. If there's something he wants us to do, then you can be told by the Holy Spirit. And there's such a thing as waiting on God to give you a sense of leadership by the Holy Spirit. And when he so does, he often combines there being circumstances, the advice of other Christians, all sorts of things that help. But you can know what is the will of God. And there is such a thing as having a particular calling, like being called, they were called to be an apostle, that happens in your life. And just as my life, a lecturer who I used to have when I was a student at college talked about the fact that he had tried to copy that scene and discovered that because others had packed up and gone to America that God supported them when they did their studies. You shouldn't assume that that will be you. Now, I can need to report to you that I felt led to go to the US to have my studies, do my studies, and I went at the expense of my bank card, and I didn't have much money, and God did support me. And I started getting letters in the mail from places in the United States where I knew nobody and nobody knew I was where I was. And there came times when I had no food and people put cans of soup outside the door of the room that I was in. There were times when God did support. And I learned from that that yes, I'd been right to travel, because it was something God directed me to do, but there's a danger in taking on board something that's really just you whipping up the enthusiasm and not necessarily the Lord. Now, we have this idea of the appointing of the Twelve. What can we learn from it is that when God appointed the Twelve Apostles, there is another one that comes along who's called the Apostle to the Gentiles, and these ones were to be the Apostle for the Jews and presumably the person that they understood from God by the Urim or Thummim or casting of lots. I think it was that he was chosen, perhaps was the right one. So they ended up with Twelve. And the reason why I think Twelve was important for there to be Apostles, particularly for the Jews, is because the book of Revelation speaks about twelve names of people who are heading the tribes of Israel, the twelve tribes. And even though there may be reasons that you might think that God doesn't have to do that, I'm going on what he did do, not what he has to do. And if the Scriptures tell us that he has a plan, he has appointed a people to be Apostles for the Israelites, and there's twelve a number, I believe that's the total number. Now it's interesting that... Let's look for a moment at that place in the book of Acts about how when they did want to replace Judas, who'd become a swinger, become hanged himself, when they did set themselves the task of getting someone to fill the gap, exactly what did they say was the role of those twelve Apostles? I mean, what were the qualifications? So turn with me please now to the book of Acts. And if I've got the spot right, and I've given it to our friend... Yes, it's in the book of Acts in chapter 1. And it's speaking here about those days. It says, In those days Peter stood up amongst the brothers. The company of the persons was in about a hundred and twenty, these are the ones who witnessed the very day of Pentecost, and said, Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David concerning Judas. So Judas had betrayed the Lord and then committed suicide, and because the Scriptures had predicted it, Peter's saying that in the Old Testament prophecy it had to happen. And this Judas had become a guide By the way, the word there for guide could be translated traitor. He was the one that led the enemy to capture Jesus. He became a guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered amongst us, and was allotted his share of this ministry. Now this ministry being talked about here is that which Jesus gave to them when up on the mountain he appointed twelve, that they should be apostles. Now this man acquired a field, with the reward of his wickedness, and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle of the field, and his bowels gushed out. Actually there was a story following the death of Judas, that he'd hung himself. Another story was that he'd fallen a distance and injured his internals, and all his intestines came out. And for some time, the people who criticised Christianity would say, Oh, there you go. One place says that, you know, he committed suicide and hung himself, and the other one says that he had some accident and his intestines came out. And there's an example for you, they would say, of the Scriptures having a mistake. Well I had another, I had a lecturer in Wheaton grad school, a man, very learned, who'd got his doctorate from Chicago University, and he'd come from a Christian family which taught him to trust the Bible, and he'd gone off and done all his study. And when you do those higher studies, you get to hear a lot of stupid ideas. You get to stretch your mind on a lot of possibilities that are human reasons, and if they don't obey the Scriptures, if they don't take note of what the Bible says, they're likely to get off the track. And that had happened to him, so he went in to do becoming a teacher in Christian things as an evangelical, but he came out the other end as someone who didn't believe the Bible. You call that someone liberal-minded, believing the Bible. And he became a lecturer who had to ditch his evangelical faith. Anyway, this was a very difficult thing for him because it caused him all sorts of heartaches about what somehow he'd ceased to be able to believe. And in his studies he was sent to go back to the land of Israel to do another look over some of the scenes where Jesus had walked and all. And the guide took him to the place where they say Judas committed suicide. Now, we don't even know if it was the same place, but the people who make money out of showing you all the spots say that it is. But what was of interest to him, they said to him, this is the field of blood that the book of Acts talks about, there being where Judas had his accident. And in the idea of him bursting at his bowels, it was that he'd fallen some height and on the impact he's, you know, disembowelled himself. Well, at the particular site, now whether it was the right one or not, my lecture friend couldn't tell, but he looked and saw that it was backed up against a cliff. And then up the top was grass and cows and things going on, you know, or sheep perhaps grazing. And there was someone who'd cut, put a rope on just where there was a root that came out of the cliff. And someone had tied a rope. But it was a broken rope. Now whether one of those crafty men that showed people the sites of Jerusalem for the gullible Westerners who came to look or not, well, I don't know. He didn't know. But the interesting thing was that those roots that came out looked brittle and not likely to stand any shock weight. And as he looked at it, he suddenly realized that it was so very possible that if that was where Judas committed suicide by hanging himself, the root would have broken. The fall would not have finished in his broken neck. He would have fallen down and his bowels could very well have gushed out. And the poor man, I don't know whether he wept or not, but he realised that he ditched his evangelical faith for no reason at all because it just was told to him in the Chicago University in his PhD degree in that wonderful, big, important university that, see, the Bible's got mistakes in it. And he suddenly saw that maybe the Bible was not mistaken. Maybe it was both true that he committed suicide, but also he burst his bowels open and died of it. And he went back to America and went back to find his evangelical faith. And he became my lecturer. In the grad school at Wheaton College, he was very good. But he told his story. His story influenced me just as much as his teaching. As we went through, actually, the book of Acts. He was my teacher of the book of Acts. And, you know, I reckon there are a lot of people in the world who get told by people, oh, there's mistakes in the Bible. And they have some little spot to look at, but they've never understood it properly. They've misinterpreted it or maybe they had an uncle that said that it was wrong. And they just believe the statement the Bible's full of mistakes. But one of the things we do in apologetics is that we look at all these reasonings and all these arguments and we find the truth. And you don't have to be afraid of the truth when uncovered because the truth is that the Bible is true. And the more you look, the more you discover that the Bible's been correct all the time. There's many a person who's made a study. Like, for example, we're talking about the book of Acts since I'm repeating things I learned from Dr. McCrae. I think his name was this particular fellow. From the book of Acts, do you know that they used to, the liberal people who did not believe the scriptures, used to say, well, the book of Acts writes as though it's, you know, fairly early in the storyline and that these people saw these things and wrote up these things. But probably it was written, you know, the next century or something or a later author. And you couldn't really trust it. But there was a man who went and studied the geography, the settings of where the book of Acts keeps on speaking of. And only as he did that did he discover that the writer of the book of Acts actually had exact little things that he knew about the geography and also about the history at that proper time that were accurate. Names of towns or the names given to the governor or other little things to do with the language that was used. And he came away understanding the book of Acts was the best piece of accurate history that he'd ever read. And yet there have been millions of, well, not millions, there have been many, many scholars who've gone off to theological colleges to be taught, you know, the truth of Christianity. But they've been brainwashed with people's theories. Sometimes they write books because of their ideas, but they're just guesses. And what we need to do is to be sharp enough to investigate, to find out what there is to be done. I've come to the belief that the scriptures are accurate in everything they say. And there is an explanation for the things that are said in there that look like they're wrong. You know, when Michelle and I were travelling in London at one particular time, the Graham team had sent all their various associates to do some British evangelistic missions and they all had a different place to go to, a different city. Billy Graham actually had one spot where he was also the preacher, but the others also had their places. Part of the rationale was that Billy Graham was getting older and they wanted to know who would have the gifting of God to take over. So they were letting all the associates have somewhere to have an experiment to see what God used in them. And I was able to listen with Michelle to the radio broadcasts of some of those different towns and to hear the interviews of the local news people interviewing the person who was assigned to be the preacher in their area. One of the preachers was Luis Palau. Luis Palau is an Argentinian who was an associate evangelist to do with Billy Graham for a while. And he was given a certain place and he was being interviewed on TV. And they asked him the question. The man who was the reporter was very well educated about Biblical stuff. He perhaps had done a course in a Bible college and told all the places where it was wrong. And he was out to catch Luis Palau as not really knowing his stuff. So he asked him the question, the story about blind Bartimaeus. And he asked him the question about, you know, do you believe it? And Luis Palau certainly did. But then he asked him a question. Was Jesus going into the city or was he going out of the city? And Luis Palau didn't quite know then what was behind the question because you see there's two accounts in the Gospels. And in one he's going into the city and the other one he's going out of the city. And Luis Palau really got to know and really got embarrassed because he didn't know how to answer the question. Now apologetics is when you get into those issues. Now I've since learned, I didn't know listening to the radio, the TV happening for poor old Luis Palau, that the actual town, the place of where it all happened had two parts to the city separated by a road in between. And if Bartimaeus was on the road in between, and Jesus had just come out of the city in one spot and was yet to go into the city afterwards, then both of those possibilities could be true at the one time. And Luis Palau lost a lot of faith. I don't know what that did to his crusade but the fellow interviewing him went on, you know, more to disbelieve in all this modern day evangelism. But apologetics would go into that geographical information and allow us as Christians to have something to say. And I think that we have an authority from God to be people who bone up enough to have answers to these issues. Sometimes there's various ways you can answer it and sometimes the task of apologetics is to weigh the weight of the arguments in each case. And there's a need for people to study these things. And this is what we're actually doing here because we're in the well, we've been looking at the bowels cushing out. But nonetheless, that was where the apostles were appointed. I actually wanted us to read this passage not for the bowels coming out. I just caught my eye. But it's very interesting about the people who were chosen and the rationale for choosing the replacements for Judas. And the rationale is there in that passage somewhere if my eye can spot it. Yes, there it is down in the lowest one on that screen. And okay, here it is. You've got it. So one of the persons, one of the men, by the way, that's not insignificant, one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out amongst us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us, the resurrection. One of these ones must become with us a witness to his resurrection. And the rationale is that the people who give a witness to Jesus' resurrection is that they'd seen him before he died and they'd seen him after he'd risen. And you can't be a useful apologetic style witness to Jesus rising from the dead if you didn't see him before and after. That's what this is needing these 12 to be. And they put forward two people, Joseph called Barzibas, not Barabbas, but Barzibas, who was also called Justice, and Matthias. And Matthias, another word for Matthew, whether that's the same one or not, I don't know. And they prayed and said, You, Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which one of these two you've chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned us in. And he decided to go to his own place, went to hell, Hades. And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven. By the way, down in New South Wales, in Sydney, there is a ministry that helps you do apologetics, and you can sometimes get a good book from Matthias Press, taking his name for the name of the press. But can you see, who is to be someone who is an apostle has been seeing Jesus before, from his baptism on, and before his death and resurrection, and seeing him alive afterwards, because a part of the role of being an apostle is to be a witness to his resurrection. Saying, yes, that Jesus has risen from the grave and I have seen him. Now the apostle Paul fits in because he's called to be the apostle to the Gentiles, and Jesus appears to him, so he does have a sense in which, after his resurrection, Jesus appears to him, but he's not one of these twelve. And I don't know that the apostle Paul saw Jesus before his death. Possibly did, but we don't know. But I do know that he is an apostle because Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him, but he's the last or the least of the apostles, and he, Paul, admitted to that. There are no more apostles. Now what that means is, if you have someone advertising, and they want to come and speak in your church, and they say they're apostle Habakkuk or whoever they want to call themselves, don't believe them. There are no more apostles because of that definition, and because Paul looked at himself as the least. He's least in two ways. One, because he's last, and two, because he had persecuted the church and he saw himself as the least. And so we have here before us scriptural evidence that God gives some roles to people, but he doesn't necessarily give all the roles. And why would that be the case with these men? It's the case because Jesus came from heaven. He's the one that came down from heaven, as he himself said, and he came to bring God amongst us. And at Christmas time we say Emmanuel, which means God with us. And he became the God-man. Both man and God. And those who saw his death on the cross and saw his resurrection from the dead are the hinge between the incarnation of God coming amongst us and doing it, and it's visible, and the rest of the era of the church. And the apostles give us the authoritative story of what Jesus has done and is coming. There are no new apostles. Now you need to be aware of the fact that the word apostello, which gets translated apostle in its, I was going to say innocence, but in its simplicity just means sent out one. And the first apostle is Jesus because he was sent out from heaven. The Bible calls him Apostle Jesus, but he's not one of these. The other apostles are called Jesus because of what is the Great Commission. And at the end of Matthew's Gospel, the Great Commission is also in Mark, is where it's clear that Jesus appointed them. And there's 11 of them. And there's 11 of them at that stage because Judas has now killed himself. And there's 11 whom Jesus gives the Great Commission, which is go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and, or go, sorry, that's Mark's translation, but the Matthew's one is going, therefore make disciples of all nations. And these people had a calling of Jesus that's particular in discipleship, that they were going to found the church, that they were going to set what was the teaching. They were going to teach the things that were to be taught. And so we have the things that they've written. We've got Matthew, we have amongst Matthew, Mark, Luke and John from these people. And there's Paul that comes along as well. But we have our New Testament scriptures and we do not have any more apostles to add to it. And as I've told the church previously, there was another Baptist pastor up at Rockhampton. I don't think he's there anymore, so don't think through who you know up there. But there was another Baptist pastor who used to send out to the rest of us little missives, little messages. He says, there's new light coming. I'm going to send you one. I've been told because I'm an apostle. And I just put it in the bin. There are no new apostles. Some people say, oh, Jim, aren't we meant to understand from Ephesians 4 that there's a five-fold ministry? Five-fold ministry of the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers. And you're ruling out two of them, the apostles and the prophets. Does that mean that we only have a three-fold ministry left? Well, my answer to that is the other two are still ministering. That's what we have in our New Testament, the apostles and the prophets. And then usually people come back and say, oh, I've had students who test me when I've been teaching this. And they say, oh, but how do you know? Or have you just made this up? And then I say, please turn to Ephesians 2 and verse 20, which we'll do now. Ephesians 2 and verse 20. And it's just talking about the church. And this church being talked about is talked about in terms of buildings, of how you have building blocks. And it says, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the way they had foundation stones back then, the building that they get a very beautiful big stone. I don't know whether they got cancer out of cutting it up or not, but they had a big stone and they cut it exactly orthogonally, meaning with proper right angles every corner. And they make it the cornerstone. And because so carefully they made this cornerstone with exact right angles, that's what orthogonal means, a right angle, that this would be the thing that set the angles of the walls. And they'd have a cornerstone, that's Jesus, and they'd have one big foundation block and that's the apostles. And the other one would go orthogonally down that direction. It would be the prophets, their New Testament prophets, people that gave them the word of God before the New Testament was written. And they were people who sat in the church and would have prophecies. And those two, the apostles and the prophets, were the foundation on which the church was built. And their prophecies, what we have is our New Testament scriptures. And so we have, for example, I think Luke was one, probably with prophetic work. He was a medical man as well. But he's not an apostle, but he might be a prophet. But a prophet was far more than just someone who prophesied now and then, because the scriptures teach us that on the day of Pentecost, it was the case of all the people the Spirit came prophesied. The young men's prophesied, and the old men dreamed dreams. And so there is a sense of the spirit of prophecy coming upon the church. And there are times when maybe you or maybe me or maybe anyone in the fellowship might be moved of God to say something that turns out to come from God. But it doesn't mean that you call them one of those prophets. They were chosen to be the foundation building blocks of the church. They were once off for that generation, chosen. So there are no more modern prophets. There were plenty of Old Testament prophets, different people whose names you know. But the New Testament apostles and prophets provided the word of God for that first generation until at last we had the New Testament canon finished. And then there was no need for them. That doesn't mean there's not prophecy. You could catch me out and say, but Jim, I think sometimes God does have prophecy. I know that's true because it's happened through me. But I'm not a prophet. I don't claim to be anything other than an evangelist, a pastor or a teacher. And so if someone comes to you and says this is apostles on, so just put the brochure in the bin, which is what I do. Now some of those people are sincere and some of them do have good ministries. And one of the things that happened at the college was that I had students who were all out in the churches and some of the pastors of those churches thought that they were modern-day apostles. And I gave the students, I don't know whether I did this on purpose, I think it was in the New Testament, I think it was in the New Testament, I think it was by accident, an essay to write to find someone who thinks they're a modern-day apostle and investigate and write up what you think. Made for very interesting reasons, reading, because some of the people who were ministers around were thinking they were apostles and one of them happened to be from a church that I was going to. And I went to talk to him about it and he said, I think just in the case of not really a prophet but someone who's had a lot of experience and can give advice. A sort of explanation. Which he's probably right about. I think it was a good description of that man. That he was someone who had graduated through the ranks of being a successful pastor and he was someone who had lots of good advice to give. And that is true of people who are very long in the tooth and I'm referring to some of the experts overseas that I've seen at conferences and people who have much to say that they've gotten from the Bible but they're not exercising any special ministry like being a modern day apostle. So it's important for us to recognise that yes, God can call people to specifics and he does call people, he can call you to be a missionary. Now the idea of missionary, listen to this. The word missio is just Latin for the word if it were in Greek, who can help me what would the Greek word sound like instead of missio? I bet someone here knows this. What's the word in Latin if you're not going to say apostello for apostle? Come on Ian, I thought you'd know this. Okay, I'm not meaning to rubbish you for not knowing it because actually most people don't. Well I probably already told you the word that's equivalent to apostle but in Latin is missio and a missionary and so we have got Bethany we all know she's a missionary because she's been sent out. Her home church which is in Sydney is the sending out church but we support her as well and she's a person who has been sent by the churches and you'll discover that there are actually times in the New Testament where it talks about missionaries or it talks about messengers and the actual word in the Greek is the Greek word is apostello, it's the word for apostle. So apostle in just the sense of the fact that they're sent out to take the gospel does exist broader than the set of twelve that we looked at and indeed in church history if you were to get to an encyclopedia and find who was the missionary to England and Richard might be someone who knows this who was the first missionary to England and there's a name that's given but he wasn't one of these people he was just the first missionary to arrive and bring the gospel and so in popular culture the word apostle was the first people sent out and especially if you're the first one to go to a foreign land but just be aware of these things because if we're going to interpret the Bible especially if you want to be able to do a good apologetic you've got to find to use the words as they were intended in the original language and you use them carefully and don't make a mistake of interpretation so Ephesians 2.20 is a very important verse to put together with Ephesians 4 and Ephesians 11 and 12 which gives you the five-fold ministry of apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher but of the first two they are once and for all right at the beginning the others are ones that keep being replaced by Jesus so if you come to me afterwards and says I think I'm called to be a pastor I won't necessarily disbelieve you because God goes on calling pastors and he has various ways he can get through to you that you might be one but it is that the church hounds them and one man who was a marvelous pastor up in Barocco Baptist Church in Port Moresby and he was somebody who got there because he went there to be a carpenter and he went there to use the saw and the hammer to help the buildings that were needed but the church at Barocco came to him when the previous pastor left and they said you've got the gift I don't know how they worded it but they pressed him to be a pastor and he became one and he was one of their very successful pastors so God does call people to be pastors and who knows whether there's not someone here to whom God's got some specific and it might not be a pastor it might be something I don't even know the name of but he does call people to specifics and what you do to find out if that's true of you is first of all you read the scriptures and ask the Lord to speak to you and ask Christ whom you respect their opinion see what they tell you thirdly try experimenting and have a go if you think you're meant to be a pastor come and see me and I'll put you on deck to be a preacher and then tell you whether you did good or bad alright a lot of people end up as preachers nonetheless do bad for a start that doesn't mean they're not but there comes about some witness to the body of Christ and we see someone we've seen in you something that you might not realise is true you should go and pray about it but maybe God wants you to go into the ministry the pastoral ministry who knows if one of you isn't what I'm talking to I don't and I'm not going to ever elevate myself to have to say and particularly for the case that I've had many people tell me that I was not because I was a bit of a mischievous scamp playing jokes on people and because I was immature I could give you a number of reasons why I had all sorts of people tell me that I wasn't and yet God ignored them and he is able to indicate to people and you can find the will of God sometimes it takes a bit of time for it becomes clear but maybe the reason why he's got me to talk on this topic today is for someone here that he's actually been working at you and there's a purpose he's going to show you along the way let's have a prayer Heavenly Father I do thank you for the passage and I thank you for Jesus says that he called unto him those that he wanted and Lord the thing we all of us I think most want to be is where you want us to be we want us to be what you want us to be and Lord if there's something that you want to communicate with us we ask you to make it clear Lord we are pretty confused and Lord sometimes we thrust up our ideas and we mix them up with your ideas Lord make it clear and Lord bring about the evidence and if we don't get the message the first time do what has to be done to make us understand that you're serious and we find where you want us to be we pray that in Jesus name Amen.

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