“Call it the gateway for it will be a gateway for the gospel to goto the nations”
Those were the words the Lord spoke to me clearly the first time I drove to King’s Lynn in 2006 as I drove under the South Gate on the way to a leaders prayer meeting.
That day was a life change for me. God called me privately and publicly to come here to plant The Gateway and see the Lord grow it to over 500.
You need to hear God clearly when it’s a big job. a tough job.
We’re going to look at a Biblical foundation for the gospel going to the nations and then see how it outworks for us here in The Gateway family.
Please turn with me to Gen 12:1-3
God spoke to Abraham clearly with a huge promise
* Great nation – the guys was a childless 75year old.
* Bless you, so you will be a blessing
* Bless those that bless him and curse those who curse him.
* All familes on earth blessed through him
Rely in God in faith and wait 25 years for the beginning of the fulfilment. We’ll see that we are part of the greater fulfilment now too.
The story starts with a beautiful creation of the heavens and the earth and it was all good, especially mankind. Adam was given the job of ruling it well, but they chose to do the one things that were told not to do when they were deceived by the Serpent.
That 7th day of rest that was meant to go on for ever – the only day that doesn’t have and there was evening and there was morning, was wrecked. And rest became toil.
God loves the world so much that his rescue plan started straight away.
The first sacrifice – to make skin garments and a prophetic promise of Jesus coming to be bruised, but then crush Satan.
Meanwhile sin increased – and where sin increases, God’s grace, Romans 5 tells us increases too
Cain & Abel, the flood and Noah
Just before Abraham we get the tower of Babel in Gen 11 – man’s sin is so bad that he is trying to reach God completely by his own efforts by building a tower. So God scatters people across the earth and bringing in languages – the curse of Babel.
Sin increases, grace increases. Because the next thing God does is call Abraham to be a great nation, so that all the nations could be blessed.
Fast forward 2000 years. The Jewish nation has thoroughly cut itself off from the nations. There is no interest in blessing the nations.
So God sends Jesus who for the joy set before him endured the cross on our behalf, dying for our sin in our place and rising again.
It was as the book of Romans declares at just the right time – because the Roman empire had spread far and wide, bringing peace, migration and a common commerce language.
Jesus ascended to the right hand of the Father, job done and sent the Spirit
Turn with me to Acts 2 – the scene is a Jewish festival – Pentecost and teh city of Jerusalem is swelled with Jewish pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire – verse 8 brackets the known world. So God has brought the nations together to be blessed.
Boom! The Spirit comes, the disciples speak in tongues – decalring the good news in languages understood by the nations and 3,000 are saved and added.
The new church grows fast, but they don’t want to leave the city – so God allows persecution to cause the Christians to be dispersed widely and spread the good news as they go! Acts 8v1-2
They are still unwilling to talk to non-Jews about the good news of Jesus, despite the fact that Jesus himself healed, delivered and forgave lots of non-Jews when He was on earth. So Peter gets a vision and an audible voice – the gospel is for all the nations!
So we see Gen 12 getting properly fulfilled.
One day we will see Jesus face to face and the church will be gathered in the new heavens on earth and every tribe and tongue will be represented. That’s the goal, the prize Paul was straining for.
That’s what we are living for – to be a gateway for the gospel to goto the nations.
We have 21 nations among the 80 people connected here – and I am passionate about building a multinational church – one new man in Christ, made up of every nationality in the area and sending people to unreached nations.
I want to see dividing walls of hostility coming down – because Jesus has done it! When you look at the Old Testament design of teh Temple, you can see the Most Holy Place, where the presence of God dwells, the Holy Place where the sacrifices were made and then the largest part was the court of the gentiles where non Jews were supposed to get to hear about God’s love. There was a wall between the court of the Gentiles and the rest of the temple, but over centuries it became a dividing wall of hostility and the court of the Gentiles became a place to rip off people wanting to worship. Jesus cleared it to get rid off the corruption and to make space for it’s intended purpose.
And then Paul tells us in Ephesians that Jesus “broke down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility” by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances so that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two.
When we first started I was preaching that passage and unbeknownst to me the local BNP candidate was visiting that wek – I felt prophetically burdened to labour the point and he didn’t come back. I’ve since heard he has come to the Lord and is part of another church!
We want to see dividing walls between the nations here coming down as the gospel brings the nations together in Christ!
I’ve always been passionate about hospitality – the biblical word for hospitality is philoxenia – love foreigners. Show love to the foreigner and the stranger with your hospitality so they get to be part of the family. That’s why food and eating together figures so much in what we do. I want us to be the most welcoming hospitable church in the area
Sundays – as we gather to worship, exercise spiritual gifts, sit under Biblical teaching and minister to one another. Let’s show amazing hospitality and welcome!
Practically – come early. Visitors are always early. Be here to welcome them. Don’t just sit staring at the head in font at the start – talk and listen to people. Be on the look out for those who are new or on their own!
In a couple of weeks time we are starting out “There is hope” series, responding to the seven most common hurts we heard about when we asked “What hurts the most?”
I’ve got lots of leaflets – some of the small groups are leafleting South Wootton, Fairstead and the south Gates areas and I’ve done Springwood this week – please grab 100 and do your immediate area over the next week or so.
Most important personally invite family, friends and colleagues to here about the hope we have.
Life Groups – we have four life groups meeting in the town and a daytime group starting soon. Why not get plugged in – for fellowship, applying the teaching and reaching out to your friends and neighbours.
International Cafe – Mike & Debs spoke about our international cafe and then showed this powerpoint presentation…
International cafe pres
Hope Team – Andy King shared about our hope team
We’ve been looking at a fantastic weekday hub for The Gateway to use at 31St James St – which is on the corner of St James and Tower Street – opposite the bingo hall!
It’ll be a good base for an office, social action projects, the international cafe, prayer and training.
We’re looking at renting it and then possibly buying it later on.
We’re going to need a deposit and then to increase our monthly income by £750 to get in there and begin using as a gateway for the Gospel to goto the nations.
Can I encourage to pray about your giving – what does the Lord want you to give, what will he give you grace for? We’ve got giving leaflets here especially for those who are regulars and not yet giving regularly.
We would love to be able to make a bigger kingdom impact in the town and I am believing that a hub will make a big difference in our ability to do that.
Individuals working together in the power of the Spirit.
The gospel spread to the nations as individuals and small teams like Peter and John healed a beggar, Philip talked to an Ethiopian confused about Isaiah, Ananias brought through Saul, Priscilla and Aquila explained the way of the Lord more adequately to Apollos. they were ordinary people – fishermen, tax collectors, craftsmen and women who had encountered the Lord Jesus and been transformed and were filled power to be witnesses by the precious Holy Spirit.
We are The Gateway – ordinary people transformed by the gospel, filled with the Spirit. Let’s go for it and see the Gospel go to the nations.
I’m going to ask the Spirit to manifest his presence amongst us and fill us afresh with fresh passion to follow, serve and be a gateway for the Gospel to goto the nations