North Anderson Baptist Church
Pushing Back The Darkness
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  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, United States
    Sunday 10:30 AM
For most of this year we will being centering on this concept of pushing back the darkness and working on a strategy of fulfilling the Great Commission right here at North Anderson Baptist Church. There are four parts of this strategy to “Push Back the Darkness.”
1) Active Discipleship Making - Matthew 28:20; Mark 8:34-35; 2 Timothy 2:1-3
2) Missions and Evangelism - Acts 1:8; Luke 18:10
3) Biblical Stewardship - Matthew 6:20-21, 6:33
4) Intercessory Prayer - 1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4; John 17:1-4, 20; Ephesians 6:19-20

How do we push back the darkness in this world? To do that we will have to re-focus our lives, all of our lives, the whole church. These four strong focal points for the church of Jesus Christ here at North Anderson will have to be a priority for all of us if we are going to be a part of the Christians who are pushing back the darkness from the lives of the lost. What I want to do this morning is to introduce each of the four focal ideas to you and set the stage for how we will reach our goal.
1) Active Discipleship Making is the heart of Jesus’ earthly ministry and the centerpiece of the Great Commission. Jesus said, “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you…” Matthew 28:20 (Some versions say “observe” or “instruct them.”) As disciples we are to teach others to “follow Jesus” (be disciples) as we personally follow Jesus. We are to help others to understand discipleship is to die to self and live for Christ. The way we are going to “push back the darkness” in lives of many is through bringing them to the Lord and then discipling that believer as Jesus commanded us to do. We have to help them to “obey or “observe” in their lives the things Jesus taught while He was alive. Disciple is a word that means “to learn” in Greek. A disciple is a pupil or a learner. As a Christian disciple we are to learn of those things Jesus taught His disciples while here on earth and as well as through the Word of God. To be a disciple maker then we are to help others and lead them to become that “learner” of the Christian life and faith of which the Holy Spirit has taught us.

As we look at this first step in pushing back the darkness we are going to use two verses, Mark 8:34-35 and 2 Timothy 2:1-3.
My hope is that each believer, who is supposed to be a disciple, enlists others on a one-to-one or one-to-two basis and teach them how to grow in Christ and become the disciple God desires us to be.

Years ago The United States Department of Labor came out with the following statistics. 83% of Americans must be shown a project and then be supervised. 14% must be shown a project and then left unsupervised. 3% can figure out what to do without instruction or supervision. This indicates that disciples are made 97% of the time, yet we often expect them to develop on their own. Jesus said, “MAKE disciples”
2) Missions and Evangelism will be our second area of focus.Taking our thoughts from the key passages, we will see how Jesus commands us to go out to reach the lost and as we do we are to touch lives of others to not only affect change but push back the darkness of evil in their lives so they may know the one true God.
God calls us all to be “on mission” in all that we do, as a church body or individually, and as we go on mission we are to evangelize the lost of the world as we care for not only their physical needs but their eternal spiritual needs. (Matthew 28:18-20)

Jesus’ great desire while on this earth was to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). We, the church, ought to focus on reaching lost boys and girls and men and women for Christ. God sought us and brought us to Himself and we in turn are to “go and make disciples of all nations” with the Gospel, starting right here in Anderson, reaching all we can wherever they are with His love and truth. Our marching orders are from several verses but one of them is Acts 1:8 which calls us to go everywhere not necessarily one place at a time but we can try to go to all at the same time. We are to proclaim redemption from sin through the atoning death of Jesus Christ, His burial and His resurrection, so that darkness can be pushed back the from many hearts and lives and the light of Jesus can be seen.

My hope is that many of us will GO on missions with a group or work here in Anderson caring for those less fortunate. That each of us will be willing to tell others about Jesus so they can be children of God. Doing what God calls us to do is to spread the Gospel in these two ways.

“The evangelistic harvest is always urgent. The destiny of men and of nations is always being decided. Every generation is strategic. We are not responsible for the past generation, and we cannot bear the full responsibility for the next one; but we do have our generation. God will hold us responsible as to how well we fulfill our responsibilities to this age and take advantage of our opportunities.” Billy Graham
3) Biblical Stewardship will help provide the proper financing for our personal lives and our church pulling people away from the darkness and reaching them for Christ. God has taught us in His Word what we are to do with His money that He has given us. It is not our money if we are His disciples but it all belongs to God. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20) There is a need for all of us to understand the principle of responsible financial stewardship of the money God has allowed us to have. That might mean we need to be discipled on how to budget and what to use our money for as well as how to invest properly for the Lord’s business.

Our hearts ought to be on Jesus first and His Kingdom work. (Matthew 6:33, ( “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”) We should use our resources to help push back against the darkness and allow the light of Christ to shine through. We ought to prioritize our financial resources so we can reach the lost with the Gospel and minister to them in the name of Jesus. Biblical stewardship will advance the cause of Christ by not only being obedient but by being generous and faithful to Christ’s call on our lives. We will use these scriptures to support pushing back the darkness: 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8:1-6,12, 9:6-8.
My prayer is that each family unit will raise their giving level, to the Lord Jesus, up until you are at a tithe level. If you are presently tithing, then my prayer is that you will then begin to give more in offerings over and above your 10% give.
4) Intercessory Prayer was a part of the life of Jesus. (John 17:1-4, 20) there was a time that Jesus went off by Himself to pray all night. When He returned He chose the twelve to follow Him. Surely Jesus was praying for them and seek His Father for their lives. He interceded for them. (Luke 6:12-16)
Paul writes to Timothy a “call to prayer” in order that all will be saved.(1 Timothy 2:1, 3-4, “I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people… 3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”) Focused prayer penetrates the darkness, preparing the way for spiritual battle. Part of our prayer life should be focused in on lost people and call them by name before the Lord allowing the Holy Spirit to guide us to those who are caught in the throes of darkness. Surely you know people who are lost and if you will ask God He will give you a burden to pray for them and to have them come to know the Father through Jesus. Our prayer life should be connected to all around you being led by the Holy Spirit who leads us to be rich in prayer for the lost and hurting of this dark world. Prayer pushes back the darkness that covers many lives.

My great desire is that our prayer room will be used much more. Also, that each of us will make it a practice to choose people who are lost for whom you will pray regularly. If we go to the Father in intercessory prayer we can be a part of pushing back the darkness from someone’s eternal soul.

D. L. Moody said, “Behind every good work of God you will always find some kneeling form.”
As we go forward, what can you do to fulfill the Great Commission right where you live? Our mission here at North Anderson Baptist Church will be to be a part of that larger mission that Jesus gave His disciples when He said, “Go.”
If you are willing to make that commitment today, I ask that you will move to an aisle and come forward and stand with me saying to the Father and to your fellow believers, “I will do my part, as the Lord leads me, to help fulfill God’s commission to us all.”

Invitation

Dear friend if you are reading this by way of the internet please know that you are loved and cared for. If you have no relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ His Son, then I invite you to trust Him by faith and receive Him as your personal Savior. Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sin of everyone in the world that they may have eternal life. All of us have sinned and all are guilty before Almighty God who made us to have fellowship with Him. But sin broke that ability to have a relationship and Jesus has restored the possibility to know God personally through His sacrifice. Please know that if you will seek God and turn from your sin and pray He will respond with His love and give to you a personal relationship through your belief in His Son and the sacrifice He made just for you. He will call for a change in your life too. He wants you to follow Him, not the world, not your own desires, but to follow Jesus. That brings a life change when you turn from sin and self and by faith believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. There is no Savior without Him being Lord of your life. Your willingness to change by following Him daily in your life will be the proof of your faith. When life throws its curves your way and you have found yourself broken by others or by the world let us introduce you to the only One who can help you…Jesus! You can write or call the office and we will follow up by contacting you. Office phone number is 864-225-2575 and the website address is www.northandersonbaptist.com and the physical address is 2308 N. Main St., Anderson, SC 29621. Dear friend if you are a believer and you have been touched by the Lord and you would like to talk to someone at the church just contact us in one of the ways you see above. If you are a believer and would like to talk about the church and your interest in being a part, please call and we can set up an appointment for you and get to know you. It would be a great pleasure to share our Lord’s love with you. This is a loving church and you are important to us, so please let us know what we can do for you in the Lord.Pastor Bill Rigsby

http://www.northandersonbaptist.com