Sermon for Sunday 10.31.21 “Refor’mission'”

• Sermon for 10.31.21 (Reformation Day—Morning Service)
Text: Romans 10:5-15
Theme: Refor“mission”

• *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*

• *Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:*

• *We praise You, O Lord, for welcoming us through the
words of all those who bring to us the Good News of Your love. Place that
Word that creates faith on our lips, that we may speak to those who have
not yet heard or believed in Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.

• *Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father
through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.*

• *Today’s Scripture text: Romans 10:5-15*

*For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that
the person who does the commandments shall live by them. (6) But the
righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will
ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) (7) “or ‘Who will
descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
(8) But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in
your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); (9) because,
if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart
that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For with the
heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and
is saved. (11) For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will
not be put to shame.” (12) For there is no distinction between Jew and
Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who
call on him. (13) For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be
saved.” (14) How then will they call on him in whom they have not
believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching? (15) And how are they
to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the
feet of those who preach the good news!”*

• *Introduction*

• A missionary in China once said:

*Every heart without Christ is a mission field. Every heart with
Christ is a missionary.*

• These two sentences sum up what this Bible passage
from Romans 10 is all about.

• Let us take a further look into what this all means.

• *1.1 Every Heart Without Christ is a Mission Field*

• *This phrase means that every person who does not
know Jesus Christ as his or her Savior, is lost. *

• A “mission field” is a person or people who do not
know the real God and who are, to put it bluntly, going to hell.

• *Now, that sounds like a very arrogant and intolerant
thing to say. *

• “Pastor, you mean that just because I don’t believe
like you do, I’m going to go to hell??” No.

• *1.2 Every Heart Without Christ is a Mission Field.*

• The reason people are in danger of going to hell is because
of a little three-letter word.

• It begins with “S” and ends with “N,” and has a great, big
“I” (as in “me, myself, I”) right in the middle.

• “Sin” is the problem.

• Sin means doing wrong or not doing what is right.

• There is not one of us here today who can claim that they
have never screwed up.

• Morally, we all stick our foot in the doo-doo every single

• A nasty remark, an impure thought, a selfish refusal to help.

• Illustration: Mexico City, one of the world’s cities with the
highest amount of pollution:

• You could clean the house in the morning but by afternoon
once again there would be this gritty black dust all over.

• That’s how it is with us, morally.

• We are sin magnets. Not a day passes but that we get dirty.

• *1.3 **Every Heart Without Christ is a Mission Field.*

• *Now, at this point you may be saying, “Wait a minute,
pastor! *

• Sure, I’ve got my faults, but I’m not all that bad.

• At least I’m not as bad as so-and-so over there.

• At least I’m not as bad as the terrorists who have killed so
many people!”

• *Jesus had something to say about that. *

• He said, *“You have heard that it was said to the people long
ago, ‘Do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment.’
But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to
judgment…, and anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ Will be in danger of the fire
of hell.” (Matthew 5:21-22)*

• According to Jesus, you can kill with your tongue as well as
with your hands.

• I have done it all too many times.

• *1.4 **Every Heart Without Christ is a Mission Field.*

• *It does no good to compare ourselves with other people. *

• *We need to compare ourselves with what God says in his Word. *

• When we do, we see how far short we have fallen.

• *Look at it this way. *

• If I let go of this book, it will fall to the ground.

• Because of gravity, it will not remain in the air or
float off. It will fall.

• This is what is known as the law of cause and effect.
Cause, I let go. Effect, it falls. Cause, effect. It will inevitably fall.

• It does not matter if so-and-so over there has a heavier
book than mine.

• If he lets go of his book, it will fall, and if I let go
of my book, it will fall.

• Well, there is also a moral law of cause and effect, as
verse 5 of our text says.

• If I do wrong (cause), I will suffer the consequences
and go to hell (effect).

• It doesn’t matter if so-and-so over there has sinned
more than me.

• He suffers the consequences of his own actions, and I
suffer the consequences of mine. Period.

• *1.5 **Every Heart Without Christ is a Mission Field.*

• *But let’s take this one step further.*

• *Suppose, when I let go of this book, one of you reaches out
your hand and catches the book before it hit the floor?*

• Aha! You, an outside force, have intervened in the law of
cause and effect!

• Just so, Jesus Christ has intervened in the *moral* law of
cause and effect.

• On the cross, Jesus suffered for our wrong doing.

• We have failed, but Jesus suffered the consequences for us.

• And having suffered, he then rose from the dead. [lift

• Even though I have sinned, I know that I will not go to hell
because Jesus has caught me and Jesus will raise me up to be with him.

• *Romans 10:9 says, “If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is
Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you
will be saved.”*

• *1.6 **Every Heart Without Christ is a Mission Field.*

• *It is only Jesus who can make this difference. *

• Without Jesus, there is nothing to stop you or me from
suffering the consequences of our moral failures.

• That is why, more than anything else in the world, we
need Jesus Christ.

• Every heart without Christ is a mission field.

• *But then remember the second sentence:*

• *2.1 Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *This means that every person who does know Jesus Christ as
his or her Savior, is Christ’s representative, his ambassador. *

• It is our job, our mission in life to bring Jesus’ love
to the people that God has placed around us.

• *“How can they believe in the one of whom they have not
heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can
they preach unless they are sent?” (Romans 10:14-15) *

• *2.2 **Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *All of you who know Christ are missionaries, sent by God to
bring good news. *

• God has sent you as his representative in your family,
in your place of work, among your friends and acquaintances.

• *At the time of the Reformation, Martin Luther
understood this very well. *

• When Luther came to understand that he was saved
through Jesus Christ, he could not keep this to himself.

• He talked about it all the time, in his university
classes, in church, on the street, with his family.

• Even when powerful people told him to shut up or die,
Luther said, in effect, “Even if it costs me my life, I must tell people
about this!”

• In the words of Pastor Steve Hughey, there was not
only a “Reformation,” there was a “Refor-mission!”

• *2.3 **Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *We Lutherans need to follow in Luther’s footsteps.*

• *Luther brought the message of salvation in the language of
the people, in German for the Germans, not in Latin. *

• *We also need to bring the message of salvation in the
languages of the people whom God has brought to our doorstep. *

• *2.4 **Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *The fact is that today, we need a “Refor-mission.” *

• We all need to support our own church, because the very
purpose of being together in a church is to preach about Christ.

• We need to pray for our church, be here on Sundays,
help out when we can, and make our offering a priority.

• In these difficult economic times, it is tempting to
keep our money for ourselves and let God’s mission fend for itself.

• Be encouraged to trust in the Lord, that he will
provide, and make God’s mission a priority.

• God is giving us an opportunity to be partners!

• Everything that this church does, is a result of all of
us working together as partners in God’s mission by the power of the Holy

• *2.5 Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *We need to show Christ’s love not only as a church but also
as individuals.*

• It is not only the pastor who is a missionary.

• As pastors, we have our jobs, but each of us also has
a task.

• Every day, God puts us in contact with people who do
not know Jesus Christ as Savior, who are our “mission field.”

• These are opportunities to *show* Jesus’ love and to
*speak* about Jesus’ love.

• Do our neighbors and friends see us reading the Bible,
putting it into practice, ready to discuss our faith or to help out as

• Or are we lazy Bible-readers, angels in church but
grumpy devils during the week, hoping the subject of God never comes up
because it embarrasses us to talk about faith, hoping nobody comes along
asking for help because we are too busy?

• *2.6** Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *You do not need to be a Billy Graham or a professional church
worker to share the love of Christ.*

• The fact is that most people do not come to trust in
Jesus as their Savior because of the pastor.

• What reaches people’s hearts most is the love of Christ
shown by ordinary Christians with whom they have personal contact.

• *2.7 Every Heart with Christ is a Missionary*

• *In Venezuela, was a missionary, who for many years was
working at a church, and the church secretary, Dyna, became a Christian
because her mother Dinorah, talked with her about Jesus.*

• Dinorah became a Christian because her neighbor Carmen
spoke with her about Jesus.

• Carmen became a Christian because her aunt spoke with
her about Jesus.

• It is the same with us.

• If you are a Christian, it is probably because someone –
a parent or a friend or a neighbor – someone showed you Christ’s love and
spoke with you about him.

• Now, what if they had not done that?

• *2.8 **Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *Unfortunately, sometimes we have not been the best
missionaries in the world. *

• Manny, a student at a school for missionary studies,
once went to another Lutheran church.

• He told his pastor the other day, “Pastor, I feel so
bad for the visitors at that church.

• The pastor is the only one who welcomes visitors and
talks with them.

• How can we possibly have people come into the doors of
our church and not talk with them about Jesus?”

• It’s true. Sometimes we have missed opportunities.

• So what can we do?

• *2.9 **Every Heart With Christ is a Missionary*

• *We go back to Christ, of course, confessing our sins,
repenting of the wrongs we have committed, and ask for forgiveness.*

• Jesus died and rose again also for our failures to be
good missionaries.

• He forgives us, he cleanses our hearts, he gives us the
desire to do better.

• This forgiveness is the wonderful thing about being a

• It is precisely what the non-Christian does not have,
and needs.

*Conclusion *

• *We all need Jesus Christ.*

• We have often failed, but Jesus has intervened.

• And now Jesus is giving us opportunities to share his
love and forgiveness with others.

• We Lutherans have not only a Reformation but a

• Every heart without Christ is a mission field.

• Every heart with Christ is a missionary. Amen.

• *Let us pray:*

• Almighty and gracious Lord, pour out Your Holy Spirit on Your
faithful people. Keep us steadfast in Your grace and truth, protect and
deliver us in times of temptation, defend us against all enemies, and grant
to Your Church Your saving peace; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
forever. Amen.

• *Prayer*

• *2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus
Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with
you all.*

• *The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep
your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen. *

• *In the Name of the Father…Amen.*