TEXT: Matthew 28:18-20
INTRO: Are Christians supposed to share their faith with others or not? Jesus has a direct and defining answer to that question in Matthew 28:18-20, “The Great Commission.”
I.BE AWARE OF THE POWER BEHIND THE COMMISSION.
A.READ VS. 18. THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT THINGS WE NEED TO DRAW FROM THIS VERSE. 1.) Who is responsible for the very idea of outreach as set forth in this Commission: a church or an individual?
2.) Jesus makes an incredible claim: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Jesus is clear: because He is in charge, His plan and purpose is to get the truth out to everyone, even if they don’t want to be “bothered by it.”
Authority is to “empower” the work or be done.
II. ACKNOWLEDGE THE DEMANDS OF THE COMMAND.
A. Jesus is commanding His followers to share their faithTo evangelize, to reach people with the gospel, however you do it, is not an option if we want to obey the Lord.
B. 1.) First, the guidance. Vs.19, a.) “Go therefore”: Simply put, be proactive and intentional. (Don’t only sit and think about it, don’t ignore it). Look how these things are necessary to do the work.
b.)“and make disciples of all nations:” Make: put the effort into it see it work. Disciples: Its not just an introduction, it is a step forward [maybe many steps if you have opportunity to share with another for an extended time] to make a student out of former enemies of the gospel. It is “international in scope.” it will take everyone and various approaches to get it done. Proactive and intentional.
c.) “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:” Baptism was first a call to repentance, an acknowledgement of turning from where we are to where we need to be. It is the public introduction of an individual as a disciple of Jesus. It involved revealing one’s sin and how it can be overcome. Proactive and intentional.
d.) “teaching them to observe all that I commanded you:” It took Jesus 3 1/2 yrs. to teach His disciples and He was a great teacher! You are sharing something that will involve the rest of their lives! Proactive and intentional.
e.) The degree of importance. a.) “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age:” That’s Jesus saying, “I’m waiting on you with the truth and power.”
C. Of course, it would not be fair if we did not look at the exceptions, those who are exempt from having to do what Jesus is putting forth in this passage. There are none.
(Lk.22:33) Simon Peter never thought he would deny the Lord – but it proved more difficult than he had thought. I believe we all intend to obey the Lord, but it can be difficult. Nevertheless, He calls us and will empower us, so we must listen and obey.