From a sermon by Wendell Kempton

My assigned topic, “Rekindling Our Passion for Missions,” has three major words. REKINDLING: With this word we admit our need. PASSION: This word refers to the intense, hot, lava fire of commitment toward either love or lust. MISSIONS: This word refers to worldwide evangelism. This third word lies at the heart of the believer’s mission–reaching a pagan world.

How can we maintain and sustain a passion for world evangelism? How can the Church maintain its focus and keep its fervor? Emotional highs last but a few days or weeks. The Church today must confront its number one responsibility–the mission of winning the world’s lost.

Paul addressed this issue in 2 Corinthians 5:9-20. In verse 9 he identified our aim: “to be well pleasing.” In verse 10 he addressed our appointment: “We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” And he completed the text by writing about our ambassadorship (vv. 11-20).

The key to the church’s past, present and future success is Christ’s love. Verse 14 reads, “For Christ’s love compels us. . . (NIV). The words that follow are perhaps the greatest eight words in all the Bible: “And that he died for all. . . and rose again” (v. 15). Christ poured out His love in His sacrificial death. Oh what love! Here we see unthinkable love (Rom. 5:7, 8), unfathomable love (Eph. 3:19), unbreakable love (Rom. 8:35), unsurpassing love (Rom. 8:37), unlimited, universal and unending love (Rom. 8:38, 39). The love of Christ on Calvary purchased our redemption, provided our justification, produced our reconciliation, promised our forgiveness, patterned our sanctification, presented our salvation and proclaimed our eternal life.

Calvary love requires Calvary living. Please note in 2 Corinthians 5:15 that Calvary living is directional. It is not living for self or others but “unto him.” Greatness begins when we live unto Him. Passion is sustained when we live unto Him. True evangelism takes place when we live unto Him.

Calvary love and Calvary living are divine twins that place the Church in the best possible position to carry out the commands required in the pursuit of worldwide evangelism.

From a sermon preached at the annual conference of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches, printed in the Baptist Bulletin (August/September 1994).