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Preaching Christ Beyond the Four Walls of The Church
Stats: 5,699 words / Reading Time: 28.50 mins

Published: Thursday, 23rd September 2021

By: Obayomi Abiola Benjamin

Preaching Christ Beyond the Four Walls of The Church is read 598 times on CentreNDL.org 598
  

PREACHING CHRIST BEYOND THE FOUR WALLS OF THE CHURCH

Understanding Our Role in the World as Disciples and Disciplers


Listen To Podcast: Preaching Christ Beyond The Four Walls of The Church

I just want to teach us very briefly from the Word of God on something that I believe is a message for you and I at such a time as this. But beyond you and I, it is a message for the body of Christ globally. And I believe that if you know in your heart that you are part of that body of Christ, you are going to receive this message with an open heart. The message has been titled Preaching Christ, Beyond the Four Walls of The Church. And I want us to begin like this. The very job of Christians in the world, our job, our role as Christians in the world is not only to impact the church alone, much more than we impacting the church, we also have a responsibility and a role to impact our world. And how do I know these? I want us to open our Bibles to Ephesians 4:11-12. I just want to show us why I made that emphatic statement. Our role as believers in the world is not to impact the Church of God alone. But it goes beyond the four walls of the church.

 

Ephesians 4:11-12. The Bible says: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry...” Now the work of ministry is in two folds, I believe, first and foremost, that work of ministry is to the body; to the church, and much more than to the church and to the body of Christ, that work of ministry also expands into the world. If you read verse 16, of Ephesians 4. it says: “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supply, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, cause growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Now, what can we glean from those three verses of the Bible? Much more than you having a responsibility and a role to the development or the growth and edification of the body of Christ; you and I also have a role to the world.

 

So, the whole earth today, the Bible says must be filled with the knowledge of God with the glory of the knowledge of God as water covers the sea (Habakkuk 2:14). Now how is this agenda of God going to happen? How is it going to take place? That is our responsibility as the church. So, the glory of the knowledge of God will not fill the earth if you and I will not take it as an assignment, as a purpose and a mission in life to spread this glory. So, the church as we have today, the body of Christ as we have it today have so many functions. But much more than these numerous functions are also the role of the church, or the role of the body of Christ to the world. Now, I want us to read these familiar Bible passages, it is going to form the basis for our teaching. We're going to read John 20:21-29, and then we're going to read Matthew 28:16-20; and then we will read Mark 16:14-16. These three Bible passages are going to be the basis upon which we are going to be discussing with ourselves in this meeting. But let us start from John 20:21-19. The Bible says:

 

The Bible says: “So Jesus said to them, again, Peace to you, as the father has sent me, I also send you...” Now please, I would love us to underline that statement in our Bibles, as the father has sent me, I also send you. The question we can raise from that place is: where did He send them to? Jesus said to His disciples, as the father has sent me, so also, I send you. Where exactly was Jesus talking about? Was he talking about Him sending them to the church, or him sending them to the world? Because if we understand what Jesus was talking about in that place, it is going to show us or help us to see our responsibility as part of the body of Christ to the world. Now don't forget, we are looking at PREACHING CHRIST BEYOND THE FOUR WALLS OF THE CHURCH. So, Jesus said, as the father had sent me, I also send you. Where did He send them to? Now let's go to verse 22.

 

22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” 24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So, he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”

 

There is a reason why we are reading till verse 29. It says further:

 

26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

 

Thomas was one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. The Bible says when Jesus came to them in the first instance, he did not believe. Are we following? You see, there are many today, who are disciples and disciplers who also are unbelieving. Now don't be tempted to think that it is everyone who goes to church on Sundays, who pays their tithes and their offerings that are actually believing. You could be a disciple of Christ and still have unbelief in your heart. Jesus may have worked with you one on one and still have unbelief in your heart. Thomas was a disciple. The Bible says he did not believe until He sees the signs. You see, believing is beyond the activities. Jesus said this is how I will know if you actually believe in me, he says, you will do the works that I do, He says greater than What I did you will do because I go to my father. How do we know that you are a believing disciple? It is by what you do. Thomas said, I will not believe until I see the signs in His hand now. Now look at verse 28.

 

28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

 

You see, the greatest challenge to world evangelization today is not because there are no disciples. It is because we have disciples and disciplers who are not believing. Are we getting the point now? We have so many followers of Christ, but yet, the impact of these people, this humongous number of people; cannot be felt in the world, not because they are not disciples. It is because they are not believing. The work of Christians in the world not showing so much result because there are many who did not believe like Thomas.

 

Now let's go to Matthew 28. We are going to read from verse 16-20. There is another thing I want to point to us in that place. See what the Bible says: “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. Did we see that? Out of the eleven, not the multitudes, not the crowd, out of the eleven that Jesus told wait for me, at Galilee. He says when they saw him, some worship Him, and some doubted. They had been with him for three and a half years. They saw him, they did miracles with him, they went to all manner of places with him, but when they saw him, some of them still doubted. Many of us today we are disciples and disciplers, but we still doubt, what exactly is our doubts, we have doubts whether God really can save the world, we have doubt whether our effects can actually be felt in the world.

 

He says some of them doubted. Now look at vs 18; and Jesus came and spoke to them and saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…” Now we are going to pieces these statements one after the other, make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the son of the Holy Spirit. He says teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you teach them to observe it, and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age. Now what exactly did I want to point out to us in this place? The Bible says out of the 11, there were some who doubted. They doubted the efficacy that Jesus was the one that appeared to them. A disciple may have been following Christ for so long, but still have doubts about the power and the efficacy of God, about how the world can truly come to Christ.

 

Now let's go to Mark 16:14-16 and then we'll tidy everything up. It says: “Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart…” Jesus rebuked their unbelief. What exactly was going on? because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. After he had rebuked their unbelief, He said to them “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”

 

Now, we are talking about preaching Christ, beyond the four walls of the church, because what we do now is we are raising an army of disciples who are comfortable in the church. Now, there is nothing wrong in being comfortable in the church because whether you like it or not, the moment you become a disciple, there are certain trainings, there are certain things that you must be taking through that will take place in the church. But the assignment that God has for us, on the face of the earth, is not to be confined within the four walls of the church. Church is good, the body of Christ is beautiful, but beyond us associating ourselves and say, “well I'm a believer, and a member of the body of Christ”, there is an expectation of God for us beyond the four walls of the church. And that was why if you read the book of Act when the church grew to a particular point in number, Jesus needed to step in, because the assignment for them is not to remain and congregate. The assignment is beyond having 5000 or 20,000; 50,000 capacities. The assignment of the church in the world is to be a light, is to disciple nations.

 

So, we cannot be comfortable with listening to the Word of God every Sunday and every church meeting, enjoying the paparazzi that is within the church walls, enjoying all the things that the church has to offer us and neglect the very assignment of God. Whether the whole nation of the earth will be discipled for God is dependent on us going beyond the four walls of the church. In 2 Corinthians 5:17-19, there is something I want to point to us in that place that is going to help our understanding. Apostle Paul said:

 

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

 

If the whole nation of the earth will be discipled for God, it is dependent on us taking seriously our ministry. And that's why if you go back to Ephesians 4:12, it says, we are to be first and foremost developed for the work of ministry. The work of ministry is to reconcile the world back to God, that ministry is not for the angels, that ministry is not for the 24 elders, that ministry God has committed into our hands; you and I. And there is no way we can fulfill that ministry. If we are comfortable in the church; within the four walls of the church, that assignment is outside, it is to the unsaved World, the unreached world. It says: has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”

 

HOW DO WE IMPACT OUR WORLD?

 

Let me show us something briefly. How do we impact our world as disciples and disciplers? I'm just going to show us one point, but that point has two umbrellas. How do we impact our world as disciples and disciplers? The answer is very simple. It is in PREACHING THE MESSAGE. I'm just going to spend few minutes on this and then I will show us a few things. How do we impact our world for God? How do we disciple nations as believers as Christians? How do we win souls? The answer is in preaching the message. Now the message is not many. The message is one, what exactly is this message? Acts 20:24 there is something that Paul said that I want to show us. The Bible says, “but none of these things move me this was Paul speaking in this place. None of these things move me. Nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy. And the ministry, which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the Gospel of the Grace of God.”

 

How can we impact our World? It is by preaching the message. The message is the Gospel of the Grace of God. The message is that the world can be reconciled back to God. The message is that there is an advantage for you, if you will receive Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. That is the message. The agenda of God is that no one should perish, but that everyone be saved, how can the whole world be saved? It is by the grace of God. Titus 2:11 says: “the grace of God that brings salvation, has appeared to how many men, he says to all men…” So how can we impact our world? It is by preaching the message, that grace has been made available, that men or mankind can leave the realm of darkness into the realm of light. Jesus said: they that be seated in the region of death or darkness have seen a great light.

 

The Gospel of the Grace of God is that salvation has been made available, and it is free of charge. Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden”, he says, “I will give you rest.” So, as believers, as Christians, how can we impact our world? How can we disciple nations for God? It is by preaching the message, not many messages, the message is one. And it is about the gospel of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said in Galatians 1:8-9 that “if anyone preach any other message other than this that we have preached to you, he says let such people be accursed.” The message of the gospel is one, that Grace has been made available, that salvation has been made available through the finished work of Christ. Now the second leg of that message is preaching about the kingdom of God. You know I said, the message has to umbrella. The first one is preaching about the gospel of grace. The second one is preaching about the kingdom of God.

 

Now, how do we know this? Throughout the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ, Jesus was only emphasizing about one thing, the kingdom of God. If you read Mark 1:14 the Bible says: “now after john was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God.” The message is about the kingdom of God. Now what is the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God talks about the domain, or the sphere of influence of God's power, and God’s authority. That's the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the domain of God's influence and God's power. And when you're talking about the kingdom, there are four things that are present or there are four elements that makes up a kingdom. Now I want to use this to explain a particular point to us; four things are always present in a kingdom. The first thing is the king, the second thing is a territory, the third thing is a people or the subjects; and the fourth thing is the law.

 

Now we are going to look at these four things, you know, from the umbrella of the earth and then we're going to understand what we're supposed to be doing as believers. When we're talking about the kingdom of God, that kingdom extends to the earth. Why? Because the Bible says in Genesis that God created the heavens and the earth, let me show you something in Daniel 7: 14, to explain to us, the first element of any kingdom talking about the king. The king is God Himself. And if you look at that Daniel 7:14 and the prophecy of Daniel. It says:

 

Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom,
That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him.
His dominion is an everlasting dominion,
Which shall not pass away,
And His kingdom the one
Which shall not be destroyed.

 

“To Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom…” talking about the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who would come in the flesh. So, the earth is an extension of God's kingdom and Christ came to restore dominion back to man. Now, don't forget, when God created the heavens and the earth, He made Adam and gave Him the dominion of the earth. But what happened, Adam disobeyed God and then he lost that dominion of the earth. And then Jesus needed to come in the form of a man to take back that dominion, and give that Dominion back to us. So, when we are talking about discipling nations for God, it is about bringing the people of the earth under the rulership and the dominion of the kingdom of God, because the earth belongs to God, not the devil. Satan did not create the earth. So, Jesus came and gave you and I the Dominion mandate, that we should bring all peoples, all nations under God. And that is why if you read that, Matthew 28:16, it says: go therefore into all the world, and make disciples of nations, he didn't say, make disciples of Israel, or Jerusalem alone, is that not what the Bible says? Look at what it says here. It says: the Dominion shall be all peoples, all nations, and all kingdoms shall be submitted to him.

 

So that tells you that our role and our job on the earth is to bring every nation under the rulership of God. And that dominion is in Christ Jesus, he says in him all things are complete, the fullness of God was complete in Him and it says we also, we are complete in him. Did you understand that? So, when we are talking about the king, it is God Himself. And then He has given us that Dominion mandate. And what is that Dominion? To bring every nation, and Jesus said to them in Acts 1:8, it says: “but you shall receive power, after which the Holy Ghost has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses on to me, both in Jerusalem, and in Judea, and in Samaria…” and if he had stopped there, we would have known that maybe that was the end. It says: “and to the utmost part of what of the earth.” So, if that agenda of God was not possible, God wouldn't say we should disciple nations unto Him. How do we disciple nations unto Him when we are comfortable within the four walls of our churches? Do we understand? So, the dominion mandate is to bring everyone every tongue, every tribe, every people under the rulership of God

 

Now look at the second element, the second element is the territory. The kingdom of God is the earth. Jesus said, you know, John was writing by revelation, and says, “He has made us kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth.” Did we say that? So, that tells us that on the earth as disciples and disciples, we are kings. Now what does a king do? A king rules over a territory. A king has a mandate to rule over a territory. If Jesus said, He has made of kings and priests, what are we supposed to be doing? We are supposed to be reigning, reigning over the people, the people that we bring under the dominion of God. Do we understand? Jesus said to His disciples, He says at the end of the day, the twelve of you will sit, judging the twelve tribes of Israel is, that not what He said to them? We are supposed to be kings, we're supposed to extend the reign of the kingdom of God on the earth.

 

That's why Jesus said: you are the light of the world, your light shouldn’t shine in the church, it should shine in the world. Jesus didn’t say you are the light of the church. He says you are the light of the world lest we think all we need to do after we are saved is to just lock up ourselves in the church. No, your assignment your ministry is outside of the church. You come to the church to be a edify to be trained to be groomed. And then after you are launched out, you are a king and you are a priest, you will rule on the earth.

 

Now let's look at the third element. The third element is the law. A kingdom is not complete without a set of laws that govern it. Now, how does this relate to us? Let's look at Zechariah 14:16-19. Look at what Zechariah said:

 

“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. 18 If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.”

 

You know, while I was meditating, this is what the Holy Sprit said to me: if we will not disciple nations and families unto God, we are simply opening them up to the punishment of God. Any family who will not submit itself to the rulership of the kingdom of God will be punished any nation, and that's why God is always nation conscious. He said we should disciple nations. When you have to disciple nations, it means disciple them, and the people in it. He says any nation will not come up, will be punished. Now if God will not punish any family or any nation. It means that you and I; disciples and disciplers, we must rise up to preach the kingdom of God to them. He says go and make disciples of all nations.

 

The last element is the subject, the people. A kingdom is not complete without the people that makes up that kingdom. Isaiah 2:2 says:

 

Now it shall come to pass in the latter days
That the mountain of the Lord’s house
Shall be established on the top of the mountains,
And shall be exalted above the hills;
And all nations shall flow to it.

 

How will they flow into it? When they have been discipled. When they have been preached to, when they have been taught the word of God, when they have been taught the ways of God, it says, they shall flow into it. Now, I want to end this piece with this statement and it is a familiar statement that we know. You see, when a great nation colonizes another nation, what exactly do they do? Number one, they try as much as possible to influence the small nation with their language, right; their culture and their ways of life. You see, when God says we should disciple nations, what God is saying is that we should colonize nations. That's exactly what he's saying. He says, colonize the nations of the earth. Make sure that they follow. Make sure that they are part of this kingdom. Make sure that there is nothing that they know outside the knowledge; don't forget Habakkuk 2 says: “the glory of the knowledge of God shall cover the earth…” not just a country, not just a continent, it says the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as waters the sea.”

 

So, when God says go and disciple nations in Matthew 28, what he's saying is that go and colonize the nations of the earth. How do we do this? We won’t sit in the comfort of our churches; we need to go out. When Great Britain wanted to colonize Nigeria, what did they do? They left Great Britain and they came down. They sent emissaries, they sent governors, they came down and influence. If we are going to influence our World as believers, we must leave the four walls of the church and go out into the world and I pray the Lord will help us in Jesus’ name.

 


Thanks for the gift of your time, I am Obayomi Abiola Benjamin!

Feel free to share your thoughts or testimony in the comment box below. I promise to respond to them as soon as possible!


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Word of Confession: (Optional)

Lord Jesus, I confess to you that I have sinned against the LORD God - in the rebellion of my heart, I have disappointed your expectations on my life. I have fallen from Your grace and followed wrong influences around me. Today, I retrace my steps back to you - and I ask that in your mercy you accept me as your son and give to me (again) the promise of the Father - the Holy Spirit. Lord Jesus, please, come and make my heart your home, and from there rule in the affairs of all men. In Jesus Name I have prayed.

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Disciples Disciplers Discipleship Nations Jesus Christ Soul Winning World Evangelizati


While carnal words may be logical and appealing to the senses, spiritual words pierces through; to the discerning of the thoughts and intent of the heart. You must connect to the Spirit to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.


Published: Apeh Francis Abah | Thursday 21st January 2021


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I am Abiola Benjamin Obayomi, a disciple of Jesus Christ, with a drive to mentor young believers into spiritual maturity. I am a student of God's word and a teacher as well, with passion in the areas of relationship & spiritual development. I am a worshipper, an ardent lover and follower of the Lord Christ.


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CentreNDL founding purpose is to see transformed Nigeria and World led by servant-leaders with Christlike character in all sectors of the society!

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