header image
Home arrow Sermons (Main Index) arrow Articles & Topical Series arrow Topical Series - Faith on Mission arrow Faith on Mission - William Carey
Faith on Mission - William Carey Print E-mail
Faith on Mission

I.  Introduction:

 Over the next few weeks I want to spend some time considering the importance of being on mission with our faith. My simple goal is this: we will be more faithful in sharing our faith with the lost. Of course, this may look different for each of us, but I want us to always be challenged to be taking the gospel to the lost. I was encouraged by Jesus’ familiar words in Matthew 9:35-38. Look at that with me. Even now, the harvest is plentiful. May we be faithful laborers in our day. In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the twelve to be on mission and teaches them about the persecution that they will face. Notice what He says in 10:26-27. The time has come to proclaim on the housetops. I love that imagery. We are not to keep the good news to ourselves. No, we are to share it every chance we get. 

 Over the next few weeks I want to spend some time considering the importance of being on mission with our faith.  My simple goal is this: we will be more faithful in sharing our faith with the lost.  Of course, this may look different for each of us, but I want us to always be challenged to be taking the gospel to the lost.  I was encouraged by Jesus’ familiar words in Matthew 9:35-38.  Look at that with me.  Even now, the harvest is plentiful.  May we be faithful laborers in our day.  In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the twelve to be on mission and teaches them about the persecution that they will face.  Notice what He says in 10:26-27.  The time has come to proclaim on the housetops.  I love that imagery.  We are not to keep the good news to ourselves.  No, we are to share it every chance we get.  

 Let me then begin with a personal challenge.  I want you to think of three people that you have contact with that do not know the Lord.  I want you to write their names down somewhere (in your Bible or where you take notes or prayer journal).  I want you to commit to two things.  First, I want you to pray for them.  Not just randomly, but intentionally.  Pray for them and their salvation.  Second, I want you to share with them.  Look for opportunities to speak the gospel with them and take advantage of those opportunities.  Invite them to Church, pray with them, study the Bible with them.  Invest in them by sharing the gospel with them.  We will return to this challenge as we go through the series, but I want you to begin even now.  Also, I want to pose one question that I want to address even tonight, namely what is it that keeps you from sharing with them?  Write that down too.  We will come back to it in a moment.

 For this series, I want to begin by looking at four missionaries who lived on mission.  As the author of Hebrews tells us, I want us to consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.  Thus, each week I will start with a brief biography of each missionary and then we will close with this question: how can we imitate their faith on mission?  Tonight we will begin with William Carey.

II.  Biography of William Carey

 A.  Birth and beginnings: William Carey was born in 1761 to a poor family in England.  Although he was intelligent and loved to study (particularly languages), he would eventually become a shoemaker.  As a cobbler, he would work on shoes while teaching himself several different languages and reading about famous world travelers of his day.  He grew up going to the Church of England, but would later be influenced by the Dissenters and finally become a part of the Particular Baptists in England.  His passion for languages and travel and the gospel, all came together and became one passion to go and preach the gospel to the ‘heathen.’  Yet, in his day, the Church simply did not send people to these ‘pagan’ countries.  But Carey was convinced that the gospel must be preached to the nations.  In 1792 he published a book entitled An Enquiry into the Obligation of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathen.  Shortly after this, his dreams of going to the nations would become a reality.

 B.  Missionary to India: Even though there were many in the Church who thought his ideas were crazy, there were others who also wanted to see the gospel preached to all.  With some of these fellow brothers (including Andrew Fuller), Carey formed “The Particular Baptist Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Heathen,” which was later shortened to “The Baptist Missionary Society.”  In 1793, the BMS decided to send Carey and his family to India.  Since no one had ever done anything like this, Carey’s efforts included a lot of trial and error.  But, as he had preached earlier in his life, he was determined to “expect great things from God and attempt great things for God.”  Thus, they went to India and spent their lives taking the gospel to the people there.  The ministry in India was terribly difficult (see below), but Carey endured.  He was joined by a couple of other missionaries and they worked in translating and printing the Bible in various languages.  They fought against cultural practices, against the East India Company (who had control in India), against the elements, all the while working jobs to support the ministry and their families.  Due to these pioneering efforts in foreign missions, Carey is known as ‘the father of modern missions.’

 C.  Difficulties and Suffering: As I have noted, very few at this time supported the idea of foreign missions.  Apparently his wife agreed with them.  She did not want to leave for India with her four children.  Yet, she eventually agreed.  She continued to struggle after they arrived and after losing one of their children was given over to insanity.  She remained this way for the last thirteen years of her life.  Added to this Carey would bury another wife and two more children.  He would spend seven years in India before he would see his first convert.  At one point he lost everything in a fire and later in his life he had a falling out with the BMS, which he had formed so many years earlier.  His suffering was indeed great.

 D.  Death:  He continued to minister in India for the rest of his life (for 42 years).  He died there in 1834.  On his death bed, he told a friend: “When I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey.  Speak about Dr. Carey’s Savior.”  He spent his life telling others about Christ and he longed for the same to be done after his death.

III.  How can we imitate his faith on mission?

 Instead of listing several lessons we could learn from William Carey’s life and faith, let me just mention one: do not be deterred.  Whatever it is that you listed earlier as the reason, or reasons, why you struggle sharing your faith with others, it is nothing compared to what Carey faced.  He was poor and lacked any formal education, yet, he spent over forty years in India ministering and translating the Bible into numerous languages.  He lived in a time when foreign missions were actually frowned upon by the Church, yet, he went back to the Scriptures and obeyed the commands of Christ instead of the traditions of men.  He faced suffering like most of us will never know, yet, he persevered in the ministry and was faithful to the end.  We should imitate such determined faith.  Like Carey, we should be committed to preaching the gospel to any and all wherever the Lord calls us.  And like him, we should never be deterred from that glorious mission.  Amen.

Last Updated ( Friday, 07 October 2011 )

User Comments


Page 1 of 0 ( 0 User Comments )
©2006 MosCom

Add comments to this article: Faith on Mission - William Carey ...

Enter your comment below.

Name (required)

E-Mail (required)
Your email will not be displayed on the site - only to our administrator
Homepage

Comment (supported) [BBcode]

Newsflash

We invite you to visit our new Facebook page

Read more...

Click below for the Advent Daily Devotional written by our pastor

Read more...

Download or read our new church covenant

Read more...

Don't Waste Your Cancer

Read more...
ESV Search

 
(e.g., John 1 or God's love)

Polls
Who's Online
We have 5 guests online
Visitors: 8585154