in the 21st Century
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- Session One
- Go into all
and make disciples
Reading: Matthew 28:19
1. What kind of world is
the 21st century ?
- FUTURE (adapted from Dr Patrick
- Matthew 16.2 "When evening comes,
you say, `It will be fair weather, for the sky is red,'
and in the morning, `Today it will be stormy, for the sky
is red and overcast.' You know how to interpret the
appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs
of the times. (Jesus)
Proverbs 27.12 The prudent see danger and take refuge, but
the simple keep going and suffer for it.
- Fast - speed of change in
communications, norms, politics, commerce.
Dan. 9.2 "At
the end time many will go here and there to increase
- Urban - worldwide migration to
city life thus creating massive inner-city issues.
- Jonah 4.11 Nineveh has more than 120,000 people who
cannot tell their right hand from their left.
- Should I not be
concerned about that great city?
- Tribal - not WW, or cold war -
now it's ethnic rivalries, eg. Ulster, Kosovo.
- Matthew 24:7 Ethnos
will rise against ethnos, and kingdom against kingdom.
- Universal - Alliances of
trading blocs, m/nationals, airlines . . a march towards
- the one world government of Revelation 13 .
- Radical - Single issues
dominate the media - environment, animal rights,
- capitalism - provoking protest,
violence and terrorism, eg. EU/G8 summits.
- Ethical Conflicts - GM food,
cloning, 60 year old mothers, body parts - all spiritual
- How will the 21st Century
Church change and adapt . . . .?
2. In this kind of world
- the command of Christ is still:
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make
disciples of all nations, baptising them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
and teaching them to obey everything
I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always even to the
end of the age.
- If you are a churchgoer . . . good -
you will benefit from the Word, Spirit and fellowship
- If you are a believer . . . very good,
even better - however . . .
- Jesus is looking for disciples . . .
- The marks of a disciple (Luke
- Three-fold entry point: Turn from sin to God + be
baptised + receive the Holy Spirit (Acts 2.38)
- Then the Lord has someone He can turn
into a disciple.
3. The Marks of a
a. A disciple loves Jesus more than any
Luke 14, 25-27: Large crowds were travelling with
Jesus, and turning to them he said: "If anyone comes to me
and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children,
his brothers and sisters--yes, even his own life--he cannot be my
b. He will carry his own cross and
Anyone who does not carry
his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
A man was at the end of his rope, seeing no
way out, dropped to his knees in prayer. "Lord, I can't go
on," he said. "I have too heavy a cross to bear."
The Lord replied, "My child, if you can't bear its weight,
just place your cross on the counter. Then, open that other door
and pick out any cross you wish." The person was filled with
relief said, "Thank you, Lord," and he did as he was
told. Upon entering the other door, he saw many crosses, some so
large the tops were not visible. Then, he spotted a tiny cross
leaning against a far wall. "I'd like that one, Lord,"
The Lord replied, "My child, that is the cross you just
c. He or she is willing to give
everything up for Jesus.
31 Or suppose a king is about to go to war against
another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he
is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against
him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a
delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask
for terms of peace. In the same way, any of you who does
not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.
- The three terms of peace with Jesus
and with your own self are to surrender all
- to the coming King, submit to
His rule and serve His interests.
d. The reward of discipleship is
friendship with Jesus.
John 15.14 You are my friends if you do what I command. I no
longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his
master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for
everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go
and bear fruit - fruit that will last. Then the Father will give
you whatever you ask in my name.
To live in His presence + peace + provision
+ protection - is truly priceless.
4. How we can make
disciples in the 21st Century ?
WWJD ? (What would Jesus do) ? WWJD if He
were me, here right now and in this situation.
- We must 'Be disciples' before we can
- as only disciples can give birth to
- By doing what He commands,
- By loving Jesus above all else,
- By carrying that Cross,
- By following Him where ever He is
going - as often as not to the last, the least and the
5. Prayer and
And surely I am with
you always even to the end of the age. The disciples went out and preached
everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word
by the signs that accompanied it. Mark
- Session Two
- Reading: Genesis 26, 1-33
Discipleship in the 21st Century
will be accepting the challenge to move from advancing dryness to
Prayer: Hebrews 4, 12-16
After years of Bible reading we truly need
the Holy Spirit to bring the Word to life. For the word of God is living and
active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even
to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the
thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
The context of famine in the land and what
that means in practice, Genesis 26.1 Burkina Faso testimony of
famine today. In some nations including the UK there is a
spiritual famine of the word of the Lord and power of God. In a
famine that demanded action:
- Isaac heard the word of the Lord,
- Isaac chose to obey the Lord above
common sense, 26.6
- Principle of prosperity - hear, obey
and expect the Lord to act.
- Isaac received the reward of his faith
and trust, 26.12-15.
- Isaac overcame personal failures,
- 1 John 1.9 9 If we confess our sins, he
is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins
- and purify us from all
- But not everyone was happy about
Isaac's freedom and prosperity
- which came from serving the Lord. (See
Genesis 26. 14-16)
2. Isaac reopened the
wells of Abraham.
- The blessing of the past generation
had been lost.
- Under our feet in the UK hidden by
space and time is a tremendous heritage of:
- Monks - who evangelised Ireland, the
British Isles and much of Europe.
- Martyrs - Alban in C4, Cranmer,
Tyndale, Latimer & Ridley 1555,
- Men of God - Wycliffe, Mueller,
Wesley, Whitfield, Smith Wigglesworth
- Missionaries - Carey, Taylor, Studd
- Moves of God - Wales, Hebrides,
Sunderland, Booth and Salvation Army
- Under our feet hidden by space and
time are reservoirs of faith and prayers yet to be
- eg. the link between Llanelli Revival
in 1900 which contained the world's biggest prayer
meeting for world mission and the birth of World Horizons
in remote Llanelli nearly a 100 years later.
- It is time for the disciples of
2001 to reopen the wells of Abraham.
- Wells of Pioneering, (Genesis 12, 1-4)
- Wells of Believing God, (Genesis 15, 5-6)
- Wells of Intercession out of
compassion, (Genesis 18, 20-33)
- Wells of Sacrifice for the Lord, (Genesis
- Are we willing to offer to Jesus the
'Isaac' that we have waited a lifetime for,
- and maybe love the most? Education,
job, career, home, retirement ?
3. Isaac also dug new
wells for his generation.
- First named Esek - means argument or
dispute - was a failure , 26.20
- Second named Sitnah - means opposition
- also a failure, 26.21
- Third attempt was Rehoboth - means
"Now the Lord has given us room and we will flourish
in the land."
The Lord appeared to confirm Isaac's
prophetic naming of Reheboth, 26, 23-25 but one more key thing
had to happen - the key to the release of the blessing of God.
4. Isaac was kind to his
enemies, (Genesis 26, 26-31)
That same day by no coincidence they found
water, enough for a whole town (26.32-33)
5. Prayer and Ministry
to release the blessing of God upon churches and people
- Have churches, church leaders or
Christians ever been -
- insensitive, uncaring or unsupportive,
especially when you stepped out to flow with the Spirit
before they understood what they embrace today.
- If you are - Black, Asian,
homosexual, or have fallen into drugs, drink or have
chosen partnership instead of marriage - some parts of
the Church may not have been very kind to you.
- I apologise for those insensitive
- Will you forgive us ?
- Have families, friends and people
- let you down or failed, disappointed,
betrayed, robbed, deceived or hurt you?
- Will we forgive all those who have
hurt us - in Jesus' name
- "Lord, how many
times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me?
- Up to 7 times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not 7 times, but 77
times. (Matthew 18.21)
- 1. Ask forgiveness for holding
feelings against others.
- 2. Receive forgiveness for your self.
- 3. Give forgiveness to others in
- 4. Now claim the promise of 2
- If my people, who are
called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and
seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I
hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal
their land. Now my eyes will be open and my ears
attentive to the prayers offered in this place.
- Session Three
- Pathway To
- Reading: Matthew 21, 1-11
Context: Jesus was
approaching his earthly destiny in Jerusalem
Where Gethsemene, Pontius Pilate,
injustice, pain, suffering, the Cross, death, resurrection and
eternal destiny waited.
Isaiah 53 10: Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause
him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt
offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days,
and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After
the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be
The Head of the Church has gained His
earthly destiny, now the 'Body of Christ 'must' catch up.
- Individuals have an earthly
destiny to attain in Christ.
- Jeremiah 29.11 For I know the plans I have
for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a
- Psalms 139:16 All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
- Ephesians 2:10 For we are God's
workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,
which God prepared in advance for us to do.
- Churches also have a destiny to
attain in Christ. (Rev. 2 and 3)
- The Church has a destiny to
attain in Christ:
- Matthew 16. 15 "on this rock I will
build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome
- See also The Kingdom Parables that
tell us that:
- It is the Kingdom that is advancing,
it is the gates of Hades that are defending.
- It is Jesus who is advancing, it is
Satan who is defending his territory.
- How will be reach our
1. We will have to untie
whatever the Body of Christ needs.
We do that by prayer, by obedience, by
following the path the Lord gives and by using the authority of
the name of the Lord.
- We will have to untie the men and
women to serve the cause of Christ. Jesus said to his
harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the
Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into
his harvest field."
- We will have to untie the money and
materials to make their work possible: Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given
to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and
running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the
measure you use, it will be measured to you."
- We will also have to untie the
spiritual resources, even more difficult.
- We will have to loose new creativity
and embrace change.
- We will have to loose a new and deeper
surrender to the will of God
- We will have to untie a willingness to
pay the price of following Jesus.
- We will have to untie the courage to
persevere to the end.
- We will have to untie a new unity and
a new life in the fruit of the Spirit.
2. We will only move
forward in the power of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 21.7,8)
They placed their cloaks
on the means of carrying Jesus to his destiny, Matthew.21.8.
The word' cloak' is Bible
imagery for the power or anointing of God.
Understanding is: The anointing of God must be on the means
of carrying Jesus
and also on the way we go.
(2 Kings 1.13,14) Elijah took his cloak, rolled
it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the
right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry
ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, "Tell
me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?"
"Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,"
Elisha replied. "You have asked a difficult thing,"
Elijah said, "yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it
will be yours otherwise not." As they were walking along and
talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire
appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to
heaven in a whirlwind. Elisha saw this and cried out, "My
father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!" And
Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his own clothes and
tore them apart. He picked up the cloak that had fallen
from Elijah and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan.
Then he took the cloak that had fallen from him and struck the
water with it. "Where now is the LORD, the God of Elijah?"
he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and
to the left, and he crossed over. The company of the prophets
from Jericho, who were watching, said, "The spirit of Elijah
is resting on Elisha."
Understanding is: The anointing of God must
be on the means of carrying Jesus and also on the way we go. Acts
16.6-9 shows the difference between good ideas and God ideas.
Paul and his companions
travelled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having
been kept by the Holy Spirit from (their plans for ) preaching the word in the province
of Asia. When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to
enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow
them to. So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. During
the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and
begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us."
One evangelist said, " I am a donkey
for Jesus - "I have the legs, I seek the anointing on my
back and I carry Jesus into the city. He does the rest."
3. We must keep Jesus in
the centre of every movement forward. (21.9)
Some went before, some went behind, they
kept Jesus in the place of highest honour in the centre of the
procession. All that matters is what He wants to say and do,
where He wants to go.
4. We must unite our
prayer with the prayer of the crowds - worldwide.
- Hosanna - means "Save now "
- the language of intercession.
- Blessed - the language of praise
5. By faith just as Noah
prepared for a coming event he could not understand,
we also must be prepared to answer the question in the city.
- Who is this ?
- Are we prepared ?
- If we are not ready it will the crowds
themselves via the media experts that answer the question
for themselves with an answer that will satisfy the mind
but will give only a part of the truth. It will an answer
that can never save nor even awaken the soul.
- The crowds said, "It is Jesus -
- It must be the Church that answers the
question on the day that the city is stirred:
- Prophet - yes, but more than a prophet
Jesus is the Son of God, Saviour, Lord and Coming King.
- Can such a day come when God moves?
Marion Male, Northern Training School, Fiji <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- The Lord
continues to amaze us in what He is doing. Something
extraordinary happened to our President a few weeks ago -
he woke up one morning and wanted to speak to a national
church leader first thing that morning. When they met,
the President said that the key to solving the crisis in Fiji
is with the church and he would like something done
about it. Church leaders think that he either had a dream
or vision. According to one pastor, all who were at
the meeting were a bit dumbstruck as they almost could
not believe what they were hearing. The pastors have
agreed to mobilise their churches to rally together. They
are encouraging the prayer groups and opening major
church buildings for them to use. Every minister and
pastor is being informed and the government is helping by
providing boats, cars and administration.
Graham Crosbie, Surrey, England <Graham@doulos-web.co.uk>
- This may interest you about Ghana,
from John Kpikpi who leads the NFI church in Accra.
"When I wrote I said that I was expecting 100
visitors on Sunday morning and I wasn't sure how many the
Lord wanted to save. We had a week of dawn
prayer for the Biggest Ever Guest Service. At the first
dawn meeting we had a word that we should expect a 1000
people at the meeting. We had three similar prophetic
messages that we ought to set up extensions and hire more
chairs. So we hired 240 more chairs, just as well we did
because on the day our hall was packed with
people from all over Accra, 750 at the church with 210 of
these being children. It was big and awesome. The
Holy Spirit made preaching very easy and 52 were saved on
Pastor César Oviedo, Sáenz Peña, Argentina <email@example.com>
- In our city
we are in the middle of a tremendous time, the fire of
the Holy Spirit is moving with power. We had a two day
campaign with Carlos Annacondia and 20.000 people came
seeking the Lord Jesus.
Prayer and Ministry Time: Acts 2
37 ¶ When the people heard
this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other
apostles, "Brothers, what shall we do?" Peter replied,
"Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of
Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will
receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for
you and your children and for all who are far off--for
all whom the Lord our God will call." With many other words
he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves
from this corrupt generation."
- Session Four
- Doing what
Jesus Did !
- Reading John 14. 12
I tell you the truth, anyone
who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.
He will do even greater things than these, because I am
going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name,
so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
What had Jesus been doing that we can also
do in greater measure ?
1. What did Jesus do ?
Jesus brought change
- OT law gave way to faith in God's
- Static synagogue worship gave way to
- Church threw off the exclusive past
and embraced a world of people
- in our 21st Century FUTURE a mobile
society clashes with a static church.
- We must go and meet the people - where
they are - at whatever hour.
2. What did Jesus do ?
Jesus made a priority of making disciples.
- How did Jesus make disciples?
- He attracted men and women by his
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
- faithfulness, gentleness and self-control
+ miracles. (Matthew 9)
- He created a hunger for God in the
people, the theology and legend of God's power
- in the past became reality before
- He called men and women to be with him
24x7. (Matthew 10.1)
- He gave them spiritual gifts and
authority. (Matthew 10.1)
- He knew his disciples by name. (Matthew
- He sent them with instructions. (Mathew
- He took a keen interest in how they
got on. (Luke 10.17)
- He later released them, left them and
related to them through prayer and the Holy Spirit.
- Pastor César Castellanos, Bogota
( 8 - 120,000 members in 10 years) says:
- "I began to see Jesus' ministry
with clarity. The multitudes followed, but He didn't
train the multitudes. He only trained 12, and everything
he did with the multitudes was to teach the 12. Then the
Lord asked me another question: "If Jesus trained 12,
should you win more than 12 or less than 12?" Jesus
chose 12 to reach the multitudes. He stayed with these 12
permanently, until they were trained and He released
them, gave them authority and empowered them to disciple
the nations. The call is to find 12, to consolidate their
faith and commitment, to reproduce Christ's character in
them by discipleship and then to release them to win 12
more each whilst staying in fellowship with their own 12
3. What did Jesus do ?
Jesus sent disciples - to change the world.
Jesus has no Plan B in case of failure!
- In John 20, 19-22
- On the evening of that
first day of the week, when the disciples were together,
with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came
and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you!"
After he said this, he showed them his hands and side.
The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the
Father has sent me, I am sending you." And with
that he breathed on them and said, "Receive the Holy
Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are
forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not
- By his arrival Jesus showed them the
power of His resurrection
- By his hands and side he showed them
the price of their salvation.
- By his command he showed them the
purpose of God from now on.
- In Romans 10, 9-15:
- "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
will be saved." How, then, can they call on the one
they have not believed in? And how can they believe in
the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they
hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they
preach unless they are sent?
- In the context of the gospel, the
scripture divides the whole world, everyone, into three:
- 1. They - who need to
call on the Lord - the unreached, the untaught and
- the lost, least and the last.
- 2. Those - the
disciples, who need to go to them.
- 3. Those - the other
disciples, who need to send those who are called
- We send by giving encouragement, by
practical help, by giving, by prayer, by communication
- and by making homecoming as easy as
- Sending is not a second class role.
One front line pilot -needs 400 men behind him.
- Isaiah 6, 8 Then I heard the voice of
the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send?
And who will go for us?"
- And I said, "Here
am I. Send me!"
- Voice of young Isaiah is nowadays the
voice of young Africa, young Asia and South America.
- Oswald Smith said: "If you can't
go yourself then for God's sake send someone else."
- Voice of young Isaiah is nowadays also
the voice of a host of people in the pews of our churches
- "I want more than sitting here
every week in the midst of a perishing world - Send me."
- Ideal candidates for the church of the
4. What would Jesus say
to do today ?
- (Hebrews 10, 19-25, The Message)
- So friends, we can now without
hesitation walk right up to God, into the Holy
Place. Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his
sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The curtain
into God's presence is his body. So let's do it - full of
belief, confident that we are presentable inside and out.
Let's keep a firm grip on the promises that
keep us going. He always keeps his word. Let's
see how inventive we can be in encouraging love
and helping out, not avoiding worshipping together as
some do but spurring each other on especially as we see
the big day approaching.
- 1. We have entrance to God himself
through Jesus - let us use it.
- 2. We have unfailing promises from God
himself - let us rely on them.
- 3. We have a call to "Let us see
how inventive we can be."
- These men and many others too picked
up just a little of the inventiveness or creativity
- of the Creator who lives in every
- Pastor Cesar Castellanos in Bogota -
from 8 to 120,000 people in 10 years by G12
- Kensington Temple's Spanish
congregation has grown from 200 -2000 since 1999
- Unknown Curate Nicky Gumble - caught
the creativity for Alpha groups, swept through Britain.
- Agape - caught the creativity for the
Jesus Film, the world's most watched film.
- Message Tribe in Manchester caught the
creativity for young street people.
- Bob Gass and UCB - caught the
creativity for the hugely popular Word for Today booklet.
- Les Norman in Nottingham caught the
creativity for globally training small groups via the
Internet with the 2 Tim 2.2. principle - G12 in other
words - and 1000's are learning God's ways.
- Call to me and I will
answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you
do not know.
- © Les Norman, June, 20001 (http://www.dci.org.uk)
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