The Vision of the Church in the Context of God’s Overall Vision and Purpose
The distinction between Purpose, Mission, and Vision (and Values)
Purpose: The original reason for bringing about something.
Mission: What we do to achieve Purpose.
Vision: What is impressed on our hearts, what we see in order to accomplish what we desire.
Values: All the internal and external characteristics of personality.
Introduction: It all starts and ends with God
Genesis 21:33 El oham (The Everlasting One) God existed from eternity past to eternity future.
God places eternity in our hearts. Ecclesiastes 3:11 (AMP).
- Placed in time
- For a purpose
- But not created for time
Nothing in time outside God’s purpose truly satisfies.
God is greater than time, lives outside of time, steps into time, and will put an end to time.
Now, we will look in detail at three things:
- God’s Purpose
- Our Problem
- God’s Plan
- God’s Purpose
Genesis 1:1-2 “In the beginning, God…” Everything starts with God.
“…God created…” God is the source of creativity and creation.
“… the earth was without form” (Empty, lacking shape or form, no clear purpose or value).
V.2: “The Spirit of God was moving (hovering, brooding, like a hen incubates eggs before they hatch) over the face of the earth.” (Brooding takes time. Never rush. Catch the vision and wait for the appointed time. While waiting:
– Pray (Matthew 4, Luke 4, Mark 1:35)
-Prepare (Proper Preparation and Practice Prevents Poor Performance)
– Project (Verb form: Begin to place yourself in the relevant place(s)
– Partner (Build a community of fellow visionaries)
-Plan and Programme, and once stated,
-Persevere (Stick to the vision). Noah’s example.
If you change what should not change, you’ll end in unhealthy compromise.
If you refuse to change what ought to change, you’ll become irrelevant.
Genesis 1:28 “And God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man]; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.’” (AMP)
Be: Fruitful + Multiply+ Fill the earth +Subdue +Domineer (over the Seas, Space and Land)
- Our Problem
Genesis 3. Paradise Lost. The Tree of Life is removed from our reach, fulfilling Genesis 2:17 and verse 3 of Genesis 3.
- We lost fellowship with God through sin. Genesis 3: 8-10
- We lost access to the Tree of Life. Genesis 3: 22-24
- We became utterly and continually depraved. Gen 6:5
- Without God’s help, we are doomed forever. Gen 3:15, Matthew 1:21
- God’s Plan (and how we, the church, fit in)
After bringing us into His salvation, God commands us to join Him in rescuing humanity. Matthew 28:18-20
- Go (Don’t wait for them to come. Go “to all nations.”
- Make disciples (not just churchy or religious people) (Stage 1 of discipleship: Conversion).
- Baptise them (these new disciples)”… in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Baptiso – immerse, bury).
- Teach them (the new disciples) “to observe (obey) all things I’ve commanded (taught) you.” Christ must be formed in you first and then in them. (Galatians 4:19). (Stage 2 of discipleship).
“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me, for He has anointed me to preach … Luke 4:18 cf Isaiah 61:1
“I But he replied, I must preach the Good News of the Kingdom of God in other towns, too, because that is why I was sent.” Luke 4:43 (NLT)
“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!” 1 Corinthians 9:16 (NKJV)
Conclusion: The Eternal State
Revelation 19: The Beast and the False Prophet cast alive into the Lake of Fire.
Revelation 20: The devil is bound for 1000 years, released for a short time and finally cast into the Lake of Fire.
All humanity not written in the Book of Life also cast into the Lake of Fire.
Revelation 21: New Heaven and New Earth.
Revelation 22: The River of the Water of Life provided and the Tree of Life Restored! Paradise Restored! Halleluiah!
Summary: The Vision of the church is to bring the Purpose of God to pass through the Great Commission.
“Welcome! Well done!”