Description / Transcription
Father, we come before You this morning. We want to hear a word from You. We pray that You will speak to our hearts as we look at Your Word together. We pray that You will ___ our minds so that we can understand Your Word. But not only understand, but also apply it, Father. We need You, for without You we cannot do much, but we know with You, we’ll be more than conquerors. Be with us, Lord, now. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Good morning, church. It’s a pleasure for me to be here this morning and to share with you from God’s Word. I thank you for your faithful support over the years. Because of you, many Haitian have heard the Gospel and many not only have heard but have come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, and we praise God for that.
This morning we are going to be looking at the book of 2 Corinthians, chapter 5. We will focus on verses 11 through verse 17. Let’s read God’s Word as we look at it together.
“Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others. But what we are is known to God, and I hope it is known also to your conscience. We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us, so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart. For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
Hear the reading of the Lord.
2 Corinthians reveals Paul’s passionate concern for God’s people. If I were to give a title to this text this morning, it’s what motivates you to preach the Gospel. We see here Paul in this book, he was very concerned about the spiritual growth and spiritual health of the Corinthian church. He was focused a lot on their practical living. Paul in this book is also defending his integrity as an apostle because of those who attack him.
As you know, Corinth was a very rich and a very populated community. It was a very large, commercial city. It was a controlled by the trade route from the northern and the southern part of Greece. It was the capital of the Roman province of Achaia. But Corinth was also known as an immoral city, where the goddess of love reside.
But as we look at the book of Acts, from chapter 15, chapter 16, we see Paul as he traveled to the different communities, but we saw he persevered from Philippi even though he was in prison, but God delivered him and Silas, and we saw that he goes in chapter 17, entering Amphipolis and Apollonia, then entered Thessalonica, where he was ridiculed and riot based and he ran to Berea, then Athens.
Then as we enter in Acts 18 we see that Paul had the privilege to reach the people in Corinth. Where he was able to preach the Gospel, as his custom was in the synagogue, and many believed and were baptized.
But then Paul had to leave Corinth. Then he went to Ephesus where he heard about the news about the church in Corinth. Then he sent a letter to them by Timothy. We see that Paul himself returned back to Corinth where he did not receive well and he was insulted, then he left and wrote a letter.
There were a lot of problems in that church. There were divisions, there was not true unity. You imagine in A.D. 56 when Paul is writing this letter and where the Judaizers were promoting legalistic teaching were in control, but real purpose Paul was writing is so that the Gospel will be crystal clear in the mind of the Corinthians.
As we started this text this morning in 2 Corinthians 5, verse 11 to verse 17, this should motivate you and me to reach the nations as the scattered and come into our shore by preaching to them the Gospel. Paul has given us in this text that we read three truths that will motivate us to preach the Gospel as the nation is coming to our shore, and as we reach them in the shore, then when they return back to their homeland they will carry with them the message of the Gospel. There’s over 210 different nations in the USA today and God brought them in our background so that we could reach them for His glory.
But as we look at this text here, the first truth that Paul reveals is in verse 11. It says that, “Therefore knowing the fear of the Lord.” We see here Paul is talking to the Corinthian believers because only the believers will know the fear of the Lord. Paul here is challenging them as they know the fear of the Lord is not the fear of terror, but is the fear of reverence. It’s a fear of respect. It’s a fear that knowing that because as you look at the word here it means a fear that’s standing in awe in the presence of God. It does not mean terror or tremble before God’s presence. Paul knows that one day as you look at in verse 10, because as it started with “therefore,” which means there is something before that. Paul is saying that knowing the judgment of Christ will come.
In verse 10 he said “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ so that each one of us will receive what he is due, what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
Paul had a pure motive. Paul has good conduct. Paul was a very good teacher of the word of truth, but Paul’s motivation was to preach the Gospel so that people will know Christ.
Paul also knew that one day he will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, not to be judged so that he for eternal life, for he already has received eternal life, because he already has been saved. For the Scriptures say there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and all Christians will stand before God and before the judgment seat of Christ. It was not for condemnation, but it is for reward of the good things that God has called you to fulfill.
Are you faithfully fulfilling your call that He has given to you?
In verse 19 to 21, this is what it says: “That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
When we stand before God in this judgment, for we all will appear, will He call you good and faithful servant?
So the first truth here, the fear of the Lord, a fear of reverence, should motivate me to preach the Gospel, for as we read in Acts 18, we see Paul himself had a strategy. His strategy was to go to the lost. He went to the synagogue where he will study the Scriptures and with the Jews and many were persuaded, both Jews and Greeks. Do you have a plan and a strategy, because in verse 11 he said, “Knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade others that we are is known, what we are is known to God.” We are naked before God.
I hope it is also known to your conscience. We are open before the omnipresent God. He knows why we do what we do. He knows your thoughts, He knows your mind, He knows your heart. He knows everything about you. He knows why you are persuaded to reach the lost. Is it for your glory or is it for His glory? But Paul was persuaded so that the message of the Gospel might be proclaimed and so that world around him might come to know Christ. He did it with a heart of respect.
In verse 12 it says Paul preached with humility. He did not preach with arrogance. He said that in verse 12, “We are not commending ourselves to you again but giving you cause to boast about us so that you may be able to answer those who boast about outward appearance and not about what is in the heart.”
Here we see that Paul simply was a messenger of the Gospel that gave his heart out to minister to people because he knows what their needs were. Do you know the need of the people of your community?
There is an author, he says, “As a man is in his conscience, so is he before God.”
Are you ministering with a heart of integrity and with a heart of sincerity?
In the book of John, chapter 5, in verse 24, he said, “Truly, I say unto you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment but has passed from death into life.”
Many of those who opposed Paul, they were opposing Paul because of their ___ ideas because their heart was not set upon Christ. Their heart was sent upon themselves. As we move forward and preach the Gospel, may we preach because we know lost people matter to God.
Then in verse 13 we see another truth that Paul’s revealed. Paul’s revealed that we preach the Gospel because of the need of the people. It is not only because of their fear of judgment, it is not because that he knows that, as you read in Romans 2 verse 16, he said all secrets will be revealed. It is not because of the fear of judgment because he knows that once you have come to know the Lord, no one can take away what God as imputed in you. But lost people matter for God. Many will die without knowing Him and that’s why He has called us to go as they come into our way.
In verse 13, Paul shows us that we should preach the Gospel because of the need of the people. Look at what he said in verse 13. He said, “for if we are beside ourselves, it is for God.” Paul said I’m serious it was because of God. I’m serious because I’m a steward of what God has given to me, the word of truth, so I am excited to preach that word so that many people will come to know Him.
He could not preach that truth without passion and conviction because he understood that God is honored when His Word is proclaimed and His Word is preached. So he said if I am out of my mind and beside it, it is for God. I am excited for what God has done for me. But if I am in right mind and in my right mind, it is for you. So when I look at it in the Scripture, he said let your shine before men so that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
So on the other hand, Paul is saying to the people, if I am in my sound mind, thinking sensibly, it was because of the Corinthians’ sake. It was because Paul knew the need of the Corinthians. Because of them, he was humble, he was gentle, he was patient, so that through him the message of the Gospel would be proclaimed.
Jesus said in John 9, “I must do the work of Him who sent me while it is day, for night is coming when no one can work.”
Do you know the need of the people in your community? God is sending the world here. In Miami, in a community where we have a church plant, there is over 80 different nations that come into that community. As we go and minister and share the Gospel and sometimes we come to people that speak a different language that we don’t know how to share the Gospel with them. I took a team with me out where we go and evangelize and we knock at the door and the person who was with me knocks at the door and it was a Haitian that opened the door. We shared the Gospel. Then we go next door, it was someone a different language, a different nation, and as they come, they said, “Oh, we thought you were Haitian. We only have the Gospel for Haitian people.” The Gospel is not only for the Haitian people; it’s for each one of us. It’s the same Gospel. There is not a Gospel for white, a Gospel for black, a Gospel for Africa, but we have the same Gospel and the same Master.
Do you know the need of the people?
I know the need of my people in Haiti. I know, first of all, that they worship Satan because of voodooism. They worship in witchcraft. I was traveling to Haiti the other day in the month of November and there was a young man that sat by me and this young man is returning to Haiti to renew his vow with the witch doctor. Every year he has to go back so that he can renew his vow by wearing something so that other spirits will not harm him.
People around us, they are blind. They need to hear the message of the Gospel and we cannot trust from them, but He can trust from them.
Twelve years ago my wife and I, we moved to a city of Jeremie. Brother Mike and many other members here ___ work. We purchased a piece of land and the land that we purchased was right in the heart of witch doctors. As we started to share the Gospel, people started to come to know Christ and we started to have a worship service. The witch doctors joined together and came to us and said we finished too late, because at 6:00 that is the time that they need to start their witchcraft ceremonies and we finished too late, it was only 6:00 p.m. That was 12 years ago. Just in the month of May we had our general assembly where all of our churches we joined together to celebrate and we had a 5-day ceremony and we worshiped until 1 p.m., 1 a.m. We worshiped until 2 a.m. and many of those who told us we could not worship past 6:00 were now part of the worship service because their life has been transformed by the power of the Gospel.
There is power in the Gospel. But do you know the need of your people?
But the greatest need, we see it in the Scripture here, is not only do they have the physical need, because you know Haiti, many hurricanes, many earthquakes and many different natural disasters passed through us. We know those physical needs, but as we meet those physical needs, the goal is to go to their spiritual need, which is their real need. For the Scriptures say that we all by nature are children of wrath, born in sin, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no, not one. We are all slaves to sin.
Do you know that we all spiritually were dead? We had no spiritual life. We were alienated from God. We were under the wrath of God. But God in His grace has shown mercy to us. To His Son, He left His glory. While we were enemies, He came and He died so that through Him we might have life.
Do you know the need of your people? That ___ corrupt, their conscience is dead, their will is corrupt, their emotion is corrupt. There is no desire for God, but God in His love sent His Son, born of a virgin, lived just like a man, suffered. God punished His own Son on the cross so that through Him His life might be imputed in us. He was despised. He was smitten, he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that we deserved was upon Him. It was by His wounds that we are healed. On the cross God punished His Son in our stead and showed that through Him we have life. He had become sin for me, and every time I see a cross, it reminds me I am the one who was supposed to be on that cross.
Do you know the need of the people in your community?
But it’s not only to know their need, but also is to present to them the Gospel that can transform their lives and give them hope.
There is an old man, he was 93 years old, and he got COVID. He spent weeks at the hospital and they put him on a ventilator. The insurance paid for all of his bills. They charged him $600 because the insurance did not cover one day that he was on the ventilator. That old man, he was 93 years old, and he started to cry. He said that I’ve been earth for 33,945 days and if God, if I had to pay God, I would need $20 million, $367 million dollars, to pay God, but God gave it to me free of charge.
Our people, they don’t know that Christ’s death is enough to pay the price. Our work avails to nothing and many are trying to work, many are trying to do good deeds, but our good deeds cannot do anything, so Paul said if I’m in my right mind, it is for you. If I am in my right mind, it is for me to share with you that Christ is the only way, Christ is the way to the truth and the life, and there is no other. He is the only, only way.
As I work in Haiti and we have ministered to so many different young people, and one of them is Stanley, and Stanley lost his mother and father in a hurricane. He was living under the bridge and Stanley, the only way he survived was wiping windshields off of cars under the bridge and they would give him something. Under 7 years old. So they took him to one of our children’s homes and we received Stanley. One day I drove nine hours and my car was very, very dirty. The windshield was very dirty. Orphanage, the children’s home, where we put Stanley, was a home where there is no water. As soon as I pull in and my windshield and my light could not see well, then Stanley went under his bed and took a clean shirt, white shirt, and he started to clean my windshield and started to clean my car. I said, “Stanley, why you doing this? You know we don’t have water here.” With tears in his eyes, he said, he called me Papa Dony, he said, “Papa Dony, you know I was living under the bridge and I had no friends. I was all alone. I was living under the bridge. I could not go to school. I was living under the bridge; I had no food to eat. I had no friends. I was all alone. I had no hope. But you opened the door here and as I come here not only now I have friends but I have a mother to look after me. I have a church to go to and where I have come to know the Lord Jesus as my Lord and Savior. But I am wiping your windshield is just to say, thank you, Daddy, thank you, Papa Dony, for receiving me and giving me hope.”
Many of our people, they need to hear the Gospel. They need to hear the truth. In return, they will thank God and give God glory because His Son has given everything that is needed so that they have life.
So Paul did not stay here. Paul went even farther. He says that we should preach the Gospel because, not only because of reverence to God or the fear of the Lord, we should preach the Gospel not only because of the need of the people, but we should preach the Gospel because the One who has given His life for us has called us to do so.
In my country they will say “Amen.” But it’s okay. [laughter] It’s okay.
The One who called us is the One that has given Himself so that through Him we have life, so therefore we should preach the Gospel because of the love of God compels us. When we come to understand His love, that He left His glory, He left everything to come on earth, to be born of a virgin, to live like a man, even though He was 100% God, but He emptied Himself so that He lived not using His power to defend Himself. He suffered, He hungered, even to the point of death on the cross. That to be separated from the Father. For eternity they have been together, now He has become sin because your sin has been imputed in Him. The Father could no longer look at Him, but on the cross He cried ” ___ it is finished! The ___ has been paid.” Then He died. Then He was buried. But the power that raised Him from the dead is the power that lives in us.
So because of the love of God, we should preach the Gospel.
In verse 14 this is what he says: For the love of Christ controls us because we have concluded that One has died for all, therefore all have died; and He died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for Him. We should no longer live to please self but to please Him, for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
The love of Christ – that’s what compels Paul to preach the Gospel to the nations and that’s what should motivate us to preach the Gospel as the nations scatter and come to our homeland. Let’s reach them so that when they return home, they take the Gospel with them, because there is power in the Gospel. If you want to transform the world, transform him, transform the world through preaching the Gospel.
But many people do not know the Gospel. Many churches today they don’t know the Gospel. So that’s why as ministry, and as a missionaries, we are giving ourselves to preach, to teach, and to educate the world around us for their need is the true Gospel that can transform lives.
As I conclude, because I preach hour and a half in my homeland, [laughter] but here I have to land. But I want to conclude with this story of this young lady. Before I conclude with this young lady, I just want to be reminded of what Paul said in this text, the love of Christ compels me. Because when you come to know the love of Christ that compels you, it gives you security. It gives you a guarantee that though what you have received can never be taken away.
I like the way Paul said it in Romans 8. It says what shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
My friends, we are well secure. Nothing can take away what God has given us. So therefore let us go with power and strength. Let us go with boldness, knowing that all will face the judgment but for us it is not for condemnation, but it is for reward for the faithfulness of our work. But not only we’ll face the judgment, but the motivation for us is that the people around us, they don’t know Christ. They need the Gospel. So that alone should motivate us to reach them.
But thirdly, the love of Christ should compel us.
There was this young lady, her name is Joanne, and Joanne came to our university in Jeremie. Her father was a witch doctor and she was the only student that came to the school and her father paid for her full tuition. While she was in the school, she, as a student you have to attend church, and she attended church in one of our church in the mountain, and as she come to worship, she came to know the Lord. Her life has been transformed and she started to involve in the life of that church.
The school year ended and so she had to go for the summer back to her home. She did not want to go back because at home her father, witch doctor, used her as a means to call certain spirits. She did not want to go back to this environment. But also he used to abuse her very sexually many different ways. She said, “I don’t want to go back” but the campus was closed. She had to go back and when she got home, her father told her she has to live with him and she has to go back to witchcraft and she stood up and said to him, she said, “Father, I am a new person. I’m not the same Joanne you knew. I’ve a new Father, who has given me a new life, and my body is His temple for His Spirit lives in me. I can no longer let you do what you used to do to me.”
The father said, “If I can’t, I will deny you as my daughter and I will not pay for your school and I will kick you out of my house.” She said, “If that’s so, father.” He took all of her belongings and threw her out. With tears when I was at home and one of the pastors came to my home and I knocked at the door and said, “This is what happened to Joanne,” so we received her and we give her full scholarship, we keep her in the dorms, and the Lord provided for her. Two years ago she graduated with honors from the school of agriculture. Last year, after she came to know the Lord, she said, “Now I’m living and I’m going to get married, but my father needs to know that truth,” and she went back home and she shared the Gospel with her father, and her father came to know Christ. His life has been transformed. She got married last year and the father was the one who walked her into the aisle.
My friend, the love of Christ compels us, for we know, we know our personal need, but also we know the need of the people around us. If they die without Christ, in the day of judgment they will be sent away from the presence of the Lord. But if they died in Christ, they would have hope that cannot be tarnished, that cannot be taken away.
So as the nations scatter and come our way, let us reach them with the Gospel. As we ourselves go back to the nations in which we are parting, may you pray and join hands with us so that we can proclaim the Gospel with power and authority so that many lives will be transformed ___.
Let us pray. Father, we thank You for Your Word, for we know Your Word is powerful and Your Word never returns void. It accomplishes its purpose. May You encourage each one of us, Father, to be motivated today to be involved in Your work, not only because of the fear of the judgment, but because of a heart of reverence for what You have done for us. In return, we want to serve You boldly, like Stanley wanted to serve me because of what I have done for him. May, Father Lord, that we return in our communities and seek to find and remember the real need of the people, for they are sinners without hope. May You also help us, Father, to remember Your love for us. Even though we were enemies You died so that through You we have life. May, Father, we go and live boldly in this world for You, not for our sake, but to do all we do in a heart of humility and a heart of servanthood so that the Gospel may be proclaimed. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.