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Report to Headquarters

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Sermon shared by Ed Vasicek

February 2011
Summary: The Great Commission Jesus left his followers is about discipleship. Making disciples, baptizing disciples, and teaching disciples the whole counsel of God is the particular way the church is to focus her efforts to glorify God.
Denomination: Independent/Bible
Audience: Believer adults
Sermon:
Report to Headquarters
(Acts 14:21-28)

1. Many Americans do not take honesty seriously. A boss asked one of his employees, 'Do you believe in life after death?'
'Yes, sir,' replied the new employee.
'I thought you would,' said the boss. 'Yesterday after you left to go to your brother's funeral, he stopped by to see you.'

2. But sometimes we Christians fudge too. Even about church. It is easy to think we are doing God's work, yet fail to connect our goals to the Great Commission.

3. Matthew 28:19-20, "Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.'”

5. Paul and Barnabas were called by God to bring the Gospel to other regions with the church back home in Antioch, Syria supporting them. Show Map Here

Main Idea: The Great Commission Jesus left his followers is about discipleship. Making disciples, baptizing disciples, and teaching disciples the whole counsel of God is the particular way the church is to focus her efforts to glorify God.

I. The Individual Church is God's BASE of Discipleship in a Community (21-23)

→Biblically, government's role is to punish evildoers, provide justice and protection; Modern governments do much more, sometimes at the expense of their basic calling.

→The church is about developing disciples. The modern church has taken much more upon itself, but sometimes at the expense of our basic calling.

A. Disciples need to be DISCIPLES

1. A group of tourists were visiting a picturesque village. They walked by an old man sitting beside a fence. In a rather patronizing way, one tourist asked, "Were any great men born in this village?" The old man replied, "Nope, only babies." (Gordon Curley, SermonCentral)
2. Disciples are made; modern Christianity understands little about what it means to be a disciple. It does not necessarily mean to be a leader.
3. A disciple is a learner, a student of a Rabbi, a memorizer, and an imitator.

B. Disciples need to be STRENGTHENED, encouraged, and FORTIFIED (22-24)

He could have headed back to Syrian Antioch, the home church, through Tarsus. But Paul understood that the Great Commission is not just about evangelism, but making disciples. He was not going to substitute a part of the commission for the whole. He wanted a solid, maturing and outreaching church to be established in each location.

1. Alerted to the DANGERS intrinsic to our faith

2. Learning about and how to defend the FAITH

3. SHEPHERDED by elders (24) (show Early, Tanzanian, and American elders)

a. Shepherds are both disciples and leaders
b. Were these elders new believers (yes).
c. How does this mesh with I Tim. 3 (the ideal).

The Great Commission Jesus left his followers is about discipleship. Making disciples, baptizing disciples, and teaching disciples the whole counsel of God is the particular way the church is to focus her efforts to glorify God.

II. Disciples Are To SHARE the Attention of God's Servants As They Reach Other People Groups (24-25)

A. The Elders could not possibly teach like PAUL what a let-down!

B. But the individual church
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