Outnumbered but not outmanned
Posted By Sparta Live | September 9, 2019 2:35 pm
By Steve Qualls -Christpoint Church
A stampede is a collective group of animals – namely horses – that band together to form a single unit. They run together fluidly with a common goal and rhythm. A single horse in the distance is barely noticeable. He can’t be heard, very difficult or impossible to see, and has little or no presence at all. However a stampede creates a presence. The sound of many hooves beating the landscape thunders across the earth. They are majestic yet feared. They move as one and can be seen and heard from great distances. A cloud of dust boils under hoof and precedes them to announce their arrival. They’re coming – hungry, beaten down, weary, and worn – they’re coming. It’s the stampede, and, in this life, there’s two of them. The question is, which stampede will you be in? Which team will you be on when the kingdom of God passes near?
These two stampedes are laid out and explained by Jesus himself in the book of Luke chapter 10. He sent one stampede out ahead of him. Seventy-two individuals were prepared and equipped for service. Their job – to reach the towns and cities for Jesus – to prepare the town’s people for the coming of Christ. He told them that their stampede would be much smaller than the stampede they would be up against. In verse 2 his words were that the harvest would be plentiful but the laborers few. In other words, the world then is the same as the world now. The stampede the world creates is greater by far in size than the stampede being sent out by the church. Statistics have given the church attendance rate in America at roughly 40 percent. However, after an in depth Gallop study, the number of faithful weekly church attendees is actually closer to 17 percent. So how do we fight a battle where we’re out numbered 4 to 1? Jesus even said in verse 3 that the comparison would be like sending sheep among wolves.
So how do we assemble a stampede and be effective to reach the lost? The answer was given by Jesus 2,000 years ago, in Luke chapter 10. Yes, you’re out numbered but not out manned. Yes, this will be difficult, but it will be necessary. It will be impractical but nowhere near impossible. He sent them “out” into the towns but sent the “to” the homes. He commanded them to stay with and share meals with a household. When we share a meal, it is one of the most intimate things we can do with another person. Jesus told them that some would receive them, and some wouldn’t. Some would reject them. He speaks about this in verses 9 and 11. The one that receives the stampede when the kingdom of God comes near is the one that will be changed. The one whose life will never be the same. And, in verse 11, the ones who rejected them will also have had the kingdom of God come near. However, the ones that rejected the gospel will only experience a close encounter that never was. How sad to know that something that lifechanging and great came that close, and you ignored it. Where will you be when Jesus comes close by? Will you be in acceptance mentality or rejection mode?
Stampedes are forming all around us. The world is hard at work building teams to pull people away from Christ, but rest assured the church is assembling its stampedes as well. Yes, we may be outnumbered, but remember we are not outmanned. Jesus himself told us we would have a numerical disadvantage, but he sent teams anyway. Against all odds, the message went forth, and the church grew. It all happens because the kingdom of God came near, and stampedes were formed.
Let’s join together this Sunday, at Christpoint Church, on the square, in Sparta, and we’ll form a stampede together. Pick a service time, and we will see you at “The Point.” We’re real people, living real lives, serving a real God. Welcome home.