Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Great Commission

The Great Commission

Part 28 – The Great Commission

Pastor Bruce A. Shields

House of Faith – www.PS127.org | www.TruthDigest.org

ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

WHERE WE ARE AT

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."

INTRODUCTION

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.

Love is an ACTION…NOT A FEELING!

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.

b. Will #2 – THE GREAT COMMISSION

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

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

c. Will #3 – WHAT GIFTS YOU RECEIVE TO ACCOMPLISH WILL #2

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…

CONCLUSION

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

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