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Summary: MY316 is a 5 week Small group study put out by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma that we did at our church. It's a study that focuses on evangelism. I preached 5 sermons that went along with each weeks study.

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MY316

“GREAT COMMISSION OR GREAT OMMISSION?”

Matt. 28:18-20

When he was the pastor of the Methodist church in Scarborough, William Sangster had an eccentric member who tried to be a zealous Christian. Unfortunately, the man was mentally deficient and usually did the wrong thing. While working as a barber the man lathered up a customer for a shave, came at him with the poised razor, and asked, "Are you prepared to meet your God?" The frightened man fled with the lather on his face!

George Sweeting, in his book The No-Guilt Guide for Witnessing, tells of a man by the name of John Currier who in 1949 was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Later he was transferred and paroled to work on a farm near Nashville, Tennessee. In 1968, Currier’s sentence was terminated, and a letter bearing the good news was sent to him. But John never saw the letter, nor was he told anything about it. Life on that farm was hard and without promise for the future. Yet John kept doing what he was told even after the farmer for whom he worked had died. Ten years went by. Then a state parole officer learned about Currier’s plight, found him, and told him that his sentence had been terminated. He was a free man. Sweeting concluded that story by asking, "Would it matter to you if someone sent you an important message -- the most important in your life -- and year after year the urgent message was never delivered?"

We who have heard the good news and experienced freedom through Christ are responsible to proclaim it to others who are still enslaved by sin. Are we doing all we can to make sure that people get the message? Nineteen out of every twenty who become Christians do so before they reach the age of 24. After 25, only one in 10,000 After 35, only one 40,000 After 45, only one in 200,000. After 55, only one in 300,000 After 65, only one in 500,000 After 74, only one in 700,000. There is a tremendous urgency when it comes to carrying out the Great Commission. One of the reasons our children and youth are vital to this church is because they are ripe for the gospel. They have not become "set in their ways". With that said, we need to begin focusing on the story of the Gospel now.

Before His ascension, Jesus issued what has come to be called The Great Commission. A “commission” is “an authoritative command; a directive; a command.” When Jesus spoke these words directly to His disciples, and indirectly to us, He was giving the church her marching orders. He was telling exactly what He expected us to do in His physical absence. The disciples took the Lord’s command seriously. They went into the world and shared the Gospel of Jesus and thousands upon thousands were saved by the grace of God. Their message was so powerful and their witness so effective that their critics accused them of “turning the world upside down”, Acts 17:6.

That was then, and this is now! What was given as The Great Commission has turned into what some have labeled The Great Omission. When something is “omitted”, it is “left out, undone, neglected”. Instead of taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth as the Lord commanded, the modern church won’t even take the Gospel to the end of the street. Consider the following: 95% of all Christians have never won a soul to Christ. 80% of all Christians do not consistently witness for Christ. Less than 2% are involved in the ministry of evangelism. 71% do not give toward the financing of The Great Commission.


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