Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Great Commission 'How-to'

The Great Commission

Part 1 – The Great Commission ‘How-to’

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

July 27th – Grace Steadman

August 3rd – Lori Ulman

August 10th – Lynnette Higgins

August 17th – Walker Spriggs

August 24th – Deacon Kurt Ulman


The Resurrection – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry

Jesus calls the disciples to meet Him

Jesus gives the Disciples their mission in life…The Great Commission

Matthew 28:16 – 20 The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


Why are we here as a church?

To worship and praise God.

To sing songs to Him, and call on His name.

To build each other up, and strengthen each other.

To hear Gods word so that we may grow closer to Him.

And what is this all for?

I can worship and praise God at home…I can sing all day to Him, no matter where I am at…I can call on His name wherever I am…I can read His word and pray and get closer to God…

Why church? Why are we here?

  1. The spiritual gifts He has given us are for the other believers, not ourselves.
    1. To BUILD (meaning bringing MORE people into the Kingdom)
    2. To Strengthen (Other believers…lifting them up)
  2. To call on God as His people…not an individual.
    1. God wants us to call on Him as a group…a body, called the body of Christ.
    2. Working together in unison, seeking Him as a body of believers.
  3. To have a meeting place where the lost can come.
    1. Bringing in the lost so that they may discover the Lord.
    2. Surrounding them with the Love of God so that they may experience the Lord and make a commitment to Him.
    3. It is an emergency room for the sinful.
    4. A healing place for the hurt.
    5. A place where the lost can be found.

God has called this church to be here for a purpose.

And He has made that purpose known to us.

And over the next few weeks we are going to talk about this purpose, the purpose of this church and why we are here, and how we can achieve what God’s has called us to do.

The steps we need to take to move forward and closer to God.

  1. Some doubted
    1. Some of the disciples had doubt

i. Miracles don’t happen everyday…

ii. They should have trusted what they had seen for 3 ½ years

iii. God proves Himself to us daily

    1. Thomas needed convincing

i. Sometimes we ask God for proof

ii. But He has already given it to us if we look

iii. Thomas needed convincing because he didn’t trust what the Lord already had done.

    1. Sometimes we doubt…

i. Do you struggle with doubt?

ii. You need a boost of faith.

iii. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God

iv. And remember what He has already done for you in your life and in this church.

We have seen many prayers answered over the years here, both in our Bible Study before this church was even conceived, and many afterwards.

God has proved Himself over and over.

He is a God who answers!

  1. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus
    1. THEREFORE (a command)

i. Jesus is in control…He is already King

ii. The King is King of all

iii. He said…”THEREFORE” a command

iv. We are at war in the spirit.

    1. Jesus has called those who are His

i. If you belong to the Lord, this command is for you

ii. If you are a follower of Christ, you will obey this command

    1. If you love me…you will obey my command

  1. GO and make disciples
    1. How we are to go

i. To our friends, family & neighbors

1. Inviting them to Church

2. Inviting them to Church events

3. Pray for them and with them

4. Fulfill a need in the name of Christ

ii. Community outreach through the church

1. Food Pantry

2. Open House

3. Community picnic

iii. Ministries through the church

1. Mission trips

2. Meet community needs as a church

3. Door-to-Door invitation ministries

iv. Special events at the church

1. Christmas plays

2. Christmas Eve services

3. Resurrection Day services

4. Week of renewal

5. Garage / Bake sales

v. Missionaries

1. Give money to missionaries in other countries

    1. Where we are to go

i. Into all the world

ii. Jesus’ parable said, “The King commanded that they invite ALL, GOOD AND BAD”

    1. Who is to go

i. All who belong to the Lord

ii. Choose from among the 5 ‘How we are to go’

  1. THEN baptize them
    1. THEN teach them to obey all I commanded you

And lo, I am with you always until the end of the age.

So we see that this church, this building is necessary for us, the body of Christ to fulfill Jesus’ command to us.

So next week we are going to look at our first responsibility as a follower of Christ.

If you have never made that commitment to follow Christ, or you feel you have lost your commitment because of sin…

It’s easy to do.

Simply confess to the Lord. He already knows.

Repent of your sin, and believe in your heart that Jesus died to pay the debt for you.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Great Commission

The Great Commission

Part 28 – The Great Commission

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

July 20th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

July 27th – Grace Steadman

August 3rd – Lori Ulman

August 10th – Lynnette Higgins

August 17th – Walker Spriggs


Jesus Curses the Fig Tree – Warning to followers to produce fruit

Jesus Teaches the parable of the Marriage Feast – Calling all good and bad

The Last Supper – Accepting the covenant the Lord

The Crucifixion – Sealing of the covenant, atonement for separation

The Resurrection – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry

Jesus calls the disciples to meet Him

Matthew 28:16 – 20 The Great Commission

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."


Today you will learn what it is the Lord wants us to do.

What command Jesus has left us with.

Today we will discuss the “TRUE” mark of a follower of Christ.

We see that the disciples had been told by the women that they were to meet with the risen savior, and so they went, into the mountain in Galilee to meet with Jesus.

This meeting took place at least a week after the betrayal, because the scriptures mention the “11” specifically, reminding us of the betrayal and the betrayers demise.

The scriptures say it would have been better for him if he had never been born.

Betraying Christ continues to happen today.

The scriptures warn that anyone who puts his hand to the plow, then turns away is not worthy of the Kingdom.

This message is not for the lost, but those who have tasted the kingdom, and know the truth, yet walk away from Jesus for whatever reason.

I know people who had served the Lord for years, then walked away because they wanted to live the way they wanted to live, they desired the worlds offerings.

And it isn’t because they don’t love Jesus, because they do. But they love the world more, and therefore the world has become their master.

They believe they are OK because they still love the Lord, but Jesus said you can not serve two masters.

I. They Worshipped Him, but some Doubted

a. You are the biggest obstacle in serving the Lord

What is the biggest obstacle in serving the Lord? Doubt

Who is the biggest obstacle you will have to overcome? Yourself

You are your worst enemy.

Romans 7:21 – 25

21…When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God's law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Your flesh is the enemy of your mind.

You are your worst enemy.

Your life will be a battle between your spirit and your flesh.

We see this in the people who surrounded Jesus in life, and hear of His resurrection after death.

b. Doubt = lack of faith

Many scholars disagree on who it was that actually doubted in the scripture here.

Some say it wasn’t the disciples, but they don’t know who the scripture is talking about.

Some say it had to be the disciples, because they were the only ones there.

I believe it is as it is written.

The 11 went to see Jesus, when they saw Him, They worshipped Him, but some doubted.

They saw the miracles, they heard the truth of God, they experienced relationship with God through Jesus Christ…

They witnessed the fulfillment of prophecy, the resurrection as Christ taught them would happen, Jesus in His resurrected body standing before them…

And some doubted…

Why? Because of what Paul said in Romans.

But the Lord understands your doubt, and the scriptures say, “If you seek, you will find…”

The Lord doesn’t expect us to live on “blind faith”, but to seek the truth.

He gave us intelligence, use it.

Seek the truth, the logic of the scriptures.

If you are seeking Jesus, you will find Him.

Will doubt arise? Of course it will, especially in times of stress, weakness, when you are not reading the word enough, or not spending enough time in prayer.

How do we fight doubt?

Spend more time in the Word, spend more time seeking the Lord, and spend more time in prayer.

Prayer is relationship with God.

Without speaking with and listening to, there is no relationship.

This group of believers will never grow if we as a group of believers are not seeking God through prayer.

Why would He do anything through this congregation if this congregation is not seeking Him?

You see, all that matters is that we DO what Jesus tells us…

He tells us EXACTLY what we are supposed to be doing in the Great Commission.

There are many means to accomplish what Jesus has commanded us to do, but if we are not doing it to accomplish what He has commanded, then it means nothing.

Let me explain,

Vacation Bible School, Church Choir, Pot Luck Dinners, Family Movie Night, Open House, Picnics, social events…

These are all great for accomplishing the great Commission…

BUT, alone, they accomplish nothing.

You may get more members, you may get more tithe, you may get notoriety and make a name for your congregation among the towns…

But if you are not saving souls, if people are not getting closer to the Lord, then you have accomplished nothing.

We look at mega churches and say “Wow, look at how many members they have…”

I went to a church once that had over 5000 members…but so what.

5,000 people can be lost and end up in hell just as easily as 20.

Just because a church is large, does not mean it is right with the Lord.

How can I prove that statement?

Well, look at some of the biggest cults in the world, or false religions.

Some having millions of members.

If you are not “DOING” what Jesus commanded, then anything you do from that point on does not matter.

God has 3 wills for you in this life.

II. The Three Wills of God

a. Will #1 – SALVATION

It is God’s will that all are saved and come to a knowledge of Christ Jesus.

God’s first will is that you are saved.

Being saved is this, recognize and acknowledge that you are sinful…

Scripture says we have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

Second, go to the Lord and ask for forgiveness for that sin.

You are asking to be in a covenant with God when you do this.

The covenant of His sacrifice and payment for your sin. You will receive the free gift of His payment for your sin.

Then repent of that sin, which means stop doing it!

There can not be forgiveness if there is no repentance.

Lastly, DO what the Lord commands.

That is how we love Jesus.


Read 1 Corinthians 13:1 - 3, everything is built upon love…

1 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

All of our actions if not based on Love, mean nothing…

So what is love?

We are told to love our neighbor (unsaved) as ourselves…

We are told to love our brother (saved) for anyone who says he loves God, yet hates a brother, is a liar, and the truth is not in him…

What truth? Jesus Christ is the truth, and if you hate your brother, Jesus is not in you.

Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey all that I command”

Love is an action…

To love Jesus, to show Him our love, He tells us we must DO all He commands.


So God’s first will for you is that you are saved.

His second, to show your love to Him, DO THE GREAT COMMISSION


Once you are saved, you must show your love to Jesus by DOING the great commission.

That is the first (getting saved) and the second (DO the great commission) wills of God.

The third will of God is different for each individual, and this is what Spiritual gifts the Holy Spirit will give you to accomplish the second will of God, which is DOING the great commission.

We have all received different gifts for the building (adding saved souls to the body of Christ, not a church building) and edifying (strengthening) of the body of Christ.

DOING the great commission can only be done through the Holy Spirit and the Gifts you have received from Him.

Remember we are the vine and He is the branch, apart from Him we can do nothing!

If you cut the branch from an apple tree in the spring, how many apples will that branch produce in the fall?

That is us.

III. The Great Commission

So to love Jesus, we must DO all He commands, our church MUST DO what He commands, or there is no purpose for us to be here.

We are not a social club, a get together, something to do when you don’t have anything better to do, etc…

We HAVE to be a collection of believers who have gathered together to ACCOMPLISH what the Lord has called us to do!

If we are not here to worship God, build a relationship with Him, and fulfill His calling on us as a people, then we may as well not even be gathering.

SO…our goal as a church, as the House of Faith, is this…

Love Jesus by DOING the great commission!

So what does Jesus say the Great Commission is?

a. Therefore, GO!

Remember Jesus’ parable of the King who was having a wedding feast?

The King said “Go and invite the people to my Son’s feast”

The followers of God, servants in the parable, are to call people to the wedding feast of the Son, Jesus.

We must GO…

Monks have it wrong. Their seclusion is selfish. Not sharing the Gospel.

We are to tell the world!

b. Teach ALL Nations!

Remember again the parable of Jesus and wedding feast…after twice the King sent His servants to seek His people, they would not come, so the King commanded…

“Go to ALL the highways and crossroads and invite ALL PEOPLE, good and bad”

We are to teach all nations…there is no one people who belong to God now, but all have the opportunity to be part of the wedding feast of the Son…

We become “invited” to this feast by accepting Jesus Christ through a covenantal agreement.

Saved by confessing, accepting, repenting and by loving Jesus (which means doing what He commands).

We are to take this basic truth to all people…good and bad.

We are not to judge, that is the Lord’s job, and the parable teaches the King will take care of that.

We are also told in Revelation, there are tears among the wheat.

In the church there are the lost among the saved. And you can’t always tell the difference.

This is told to us in scripture when we hear the story of the house built upon sand, and the house built upon the rock, which is Jesus.

They look the same until the storm comes.

And there is a storm coming, unlike any that has ever come before.

The devastation will destroy countless lives and most of the earth.

Are you one who has truly built their house upon the rock?

c. Baptize them in Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Full Gospel)!

Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit means they are to be baptized in the fullness of the entire Gospel of the Bible.

All that God represents, all that Christ came to accomplish and all that the Holy Spirit does so that we too may be counted among the followers of Jesus Christ.

d. Teach them to obey ALL Christ commands!

We must teach them (those who accept the covenant of Christ) to obey all that Christ commands.

Christ’s commands are not for the unsaved, but the saved.

We are so intent sometimes on trying to get the unsaved to obey Christ…

That’s not the way.

Jesus tells us, “GO, Teach them HOW to be saved, Baptize them into the full Gospel of scripture, THEN…THEN…teach them to obey all I command”

We get it backwards…

We try to get them to obey all Christ commands, and then get angry when they don’t.

They don’t because they CAN’T!

Remember Paul’s words…

It is only through the Holy Spirit anything is accomplished…


We as a church need to seek the Lord in prayer.

We as a church need to Love Jesus.

We, as followers of Christ, need to DO the great commission, because as Jesus said, this is how we love Him…by obeying His commands.

Over the next few weeks we will look at ways we ARE DOING the great commission, and ways we need to improve accomplishing this task.

We will look at different directions this church needs to go in if we are going to call ourselves followers of Jesus Christ.

And in all we work towards remembering Christ’s words…

And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age

Sunday, July 13, 2008

40 Days with Jesus - The Days After

The Great Commission

Part 27 – 40 Days with Jesus


Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – |


6:00PM Evening Service at the church –

“Seminary Students will be preaching”

July 13th – Walker Spriggs

July 20th – Deacon Kurt Ulman

July 27th – Grace Steadman

August 3rd – Lori Ulman

August 10th – Lynnette Higgins


Jesus Curses the Fig Tree – Warning to followers to produce fruit

Jesus Teaches the parable of the Marriage Feast – Calling all good and bad

The Last Supper – Accepting the covenant the Lord

The Crucifixion – Sealing of the covenant, atonement for separation

The Resurrection – Restoring the Lord’s Ministry


Luke 24:1 – 12 The Resurrection

1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5 In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, "Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6 He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.' " 8 Then they remembered his words.

9 When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

I. Resurrection Day

The story of the Lord’s atoning death on the cross and resurrection has been told many times, both in and outside of the Church.

But what we do not often discuss, is the 40 days the Lord spent with us AFTER His resurrection, where the Lord was with us in His resurrected body before His ascension into heaven.

The resurrection is the most important part of our faith.

Without the Cross, we would not be meeting here today.

Without the Cross, we would not have an opportunity to have a right relationship with our God and Creator.

Without the Cross, all we would have to look forward to, is an eternity of separation from God.

a. The Crucifixion

Jesus’ life did not end at Calvary.

He is living, and alive!

The final stage of His atoning span on earth, as flesh and blood, ended at the Cross.

But He would be the first to receive the resurrected body, the fulfillment of our Father’s plan, and lead, just as a shepherd, all of us down that narrow path that He traveled first, so that we too may be with the Father in Heaven.

John 14 Jesus tells us that He is going to the Father to prepare a place for us, and that He will return for us.

This chapter was to comfort the Disciples before the crucifixion.

b. The resurrection

Our scripture reading today tells us that the women were traveling to the tomb.

This was the custom to place spices on the corpse of the deceased.

But when they arrived, Jesus was not there.

c. The Facts

We have, at the least, 15 accounts of Jesus appearing before His ascension into heaven, within these 40 days after the resurrection.

Why 40 days?

The flood came by 40 days and 40 nights of rain.

Noah waited another 40 days before opening a window of the ark.

Moses was on the mountain with God twice, for 40 days.

The Israelites spent 40 years in the wilderness.

Goliath stood before the Israelites taunting for 40 days before David killed him.

Jonah warned Nineveh they had 40 days until God would overthrow the city. But the people repented and fasted for 40 days, and the city was spared.

Jesus fasted for 40 days in the wilderness.

A 40-something time period, whether days, months, or years is ALWAYS a period of testing, trial, probation, or chastisement (but not judgment) and ends with a period of restoration, revival or renewal.

Why 40 days?

Because when Jesus was resurrected, He sent the women to tell the Apostles.

(Which shows God does use women in Ministry)

And said for them to tell the apostles to meet with Him in the Mountain. (Matthew 28:10)

Upon hearing this, the scriptures tell us that the Disciples did not believe them…

We read that Peter ran to the tomb and saw it was empty, and the scripture says, “…and he wondered what happened.”

Why did they need 40 days with the resurrected Jesus?

Because they needed to be restored, and Jesus needed to jump start His ministry, otherwise those who were with Him in life, would not have begun the great work in which we continue today.

So they doubted…not just Thomas, it says all of them.

So they went to the place the women told them Jesus would meet with them.

Matthew 28:16 – 17

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

40 days, because although they knew Jesus, and walked with Him and talked with Him…and even though they had received Salvation, they did not have the Holy Spirit yet.

This 40 days was a period of revival to restore them to ministry, and a period of renewal, especially for Peter.

And at the end of this 40 days, they would be restored, renewed and ready to receive the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Spirit.

And they would receive the Holy Spirit, 10 days after Jesus’ ascension.

II. Are you looking for the living among the dead?

One of the things the angel said to the women at the tomb, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?”

a. The separation in our hearts

The separation from God has caused a void within each and every one of us.

A void that causes us to lack true love, for the Bible says “God IS love”, therefore if you do not have God, you can not truly love.

The scriptures also say that we are to love our neighbor (the unsaved) as ourselves, and that anyone who says he loves God but hates his brother (another Christ follower) is a liar, and the truth is not in Him.

What is the truth that is not in him if He does not love? Christ…for Jesus Himself told us, “I am the way and Truth and the life. And no man comes to the Father, but by Me.”

b. Filling the void

This void causes us to seek the Lord, the truth, the way, the life, love.

We seek, sometimes without even knowing what we are looking for.

And if Christ followers of this age do not fulfill what God has called and commanded us to do, these seekers will unwittingly try to fill that void with the things of this world.

Just as the devil plans it.

Convincing seekers that the desires are for things of the flesh, and have nothing to do with the spirit of a man.

Life and death, God says He lays both before you.

This is evidence of our free will to choose.

But if you do not know which to choose, He tells us in the next verse “Choose Life!”

This world offers nothing but sin, which leads only to death.

So we look for the living among the dead.

We turn to the 3 stooges of sin…sex, drugs & rock n roll

Trying to fill that void that only the Love of God can fill.

c. Where to look

Seekers look among the dead, because we as Christ followers have failed.

We have failed to show them the way to life.

Not to judge them and their sin, pushing them away from Christ, but recognizing they are lost, (by their fruits they will be known) and loving them into the kingdom.

There are those who claim to be followers of Christ, yet continue to live for the world…

The Bible refers to those people as tears among the wheat, and they will be dealt with by God.

Remember, the King has commanded us, His servants, to invite ALL to the feast! Good and Bad.

And He will judge them accordingly.

If they are true followers of Christ, then God will see Jesus’ righteousness when He looks upon them.

If they are tears among the wheat, then God will see their self-indulgent, living like the world, claiming to be a follower but lie, He will see their garments, not His, He will see their self-righteousness…

Instead of Christ’ righteousness.

And as the parable Jesus tells us reveals, they will be cast out into outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

You may be able to fool those around you, you may even fool yourself,

The scriptures say, “Be doers of the Word, not just hearers, and thus deceiving yourselves…”

But you can not fool God the Creator into believing you are a flower of Christ, while you live like the world.

So seekers look to the world for answers, because we as true followers have failed to provide the answers for them.

If you say to yourself…

Well, I’m going and that’s all that matters…

Then you are in trouble. Because that’s NOT all that matters, and that statement alone has revealed that your heart is selfish, caring only for yourself and putting yourself before others, which is not love.

That is self-righteousness…

And we know what the scripture says, if you do not love others before yourself, then the truth is not in you.

We have failed the lost.

We have failed the Church.

But most of all we have failed Christ Jesus.


If we show the lost the way to love by loving them, and they see that the way to fill that void is a path to Christ, then we are doing what the Lord has called us to do.

And we do this by first recognizing that someone is lost and they are a seeker.

We can tell this because of their fruit…the way they live their life reveals whether they are Christ followers or not.

Then we share our life with them, and what the Lord has done for us in our lives, and how we came to the Lord and discovered what living is really about.

Is God everything to you? If He is, then share Him with others.


God did not call us to be silent. But to share the invitation with all, good and bad.

He did not give us the Holy Spirit to do nothing, but to serve the Kingdom by building up others, strengthening them, and using your gifts for the service of the church.

God does not dwell within you to hide from the world, but to be shown to the world by the way you live, for you are the temple of God, and an example of God to the world.

It’s not newspaper ads, signs, community events and church cook outs that are going to bring people to Christ, but the sharing of the Truth, the invitation that we share to have a relationship with Christ Jesus.

That is what Jesus commanded us to do”If you love me, you will obey all I command…”