Summary: A look at the fact that christians want Jesus only for themselves.
Text: Matthew 28:18-20 Subject: The Great Commission
Theme: Responsibility of Christians regarding... "Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!"
There is a story told of a man who was awakened one night by the sound of a gunshot in his room. On inquiring the cause, his servant replied that there was a rat in the room, and, fearing it would awaken his master, he shot it.
Do we as believers do the same thing? Do we do rash things for the wrong reasons?
1.Background (Post-resurrection Christ)
2.meaning of authority (Jesus now had authority over all things)
3.teach and make disciples
I.The "Mine" Syndrome
1.(illus.) One man came out of his house on his way to church on Sunday morning, just as his neighbor came out of his with his golf clubs. The golfer said, “Henry, come play golf with me today.” Henry, with an expression of horror on his face, replied, “This is the Lord’s day, and I go to church. Certainly I would not play golf with you.” After a moment’s silence, the golfer quietly said, “You know, Henry, I have often wondered about your church, and I have admired your fidelity. You know also that this is the seventh time I have invited you to play golf with me, and you have never invited me to go to church with you.”
2.We have made Jesus someone that is only ours (Pride)
3.Application: (illus.) Christopher D. Green recalls this incident: “It was my gut reaction to become tense as the dark figure approached. Walking down the street late in the evening, I assumed the worst. I figured it would be at any moment that I would have a knife or a gun plunged into my side. I had to keep walking because stopping would mean certain death! “Walking toward each other, my heart raced as I took a deep breath. He had shoulder-length hair, a ruddy beard, and wore dark clothes. Within six feet of one another, I looked into his eyes. I had vowed not to speak. It was he who spoke first. ‘Good evening, how are you?’ he said. After a startled pause, I managed to squeak, ‘Fine, and you?’ We walked on without incident, my shame growing more intense with each passing step. One hundred yards later, I began to pray. I remembered that Christ died for that man! “Anger swelled within me as I watched the newscast. Gay rights activists had marched into a city council meeting demanding to be heard. They demanded attention and charged the city with discrimination. Charges were made that physical abuse at a recent rally had gone unprosecuted. At this point, an individual stood and shouted, ‘If they hurt us again, they will have to pay. We will fight back!’ My gut reaction was to think, ‘Go ahead, and see who gets the beating!’ Moments later, I began to pray. I realized that Christ had died for that man, too. “When I see individuals I am afraid of or individuals I disagree with so severely I feel like ‘punching them out,’ I have to realize that what they need is not a poke in the nose or judgment from me. They need Jesus. They need me to tell them about Jesus! Lord, help me remember that you died for them, too!”
II.The "Ours" Vaccine
1. Remembering that speaking is not the only way to preach
a) St. Francis said one day to one of the young monks, “Let us go down into the town and preach.” They passed through the streets and returned to the monastery without having said a word. “You have forgotten, father,” said the young man, “that we went down to the town to preach.” “My son,” Francis replied, “we have preached. We were preaching as we walked. We have been seen by many: our behavior has been noticed; it was thus that we preached. It is no use, my son, to walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere as we walk.
2.Be Willing to think of the other person
a) A preacher, one Sunday morning, noticed a man in the congregation in his Sunday best. In the evening that same man was there in working clothes. The preacher afterward spoke to him. “Are you going to work?” “No,” was the reply, “but this morning something was said that stirred me to go and seek my brother. I knew he had no Sunday clothes, and I knew he would not come if I put on my Sunday clothes. So I put on my working clothes for him, and here he is.”
3.Application: (illus.) Tom Carter, the evangelist, told this in one of his messages: While he was holding meetings in a Pennsylvania town, a young man who had formerly lived next door to the parsonage committed a murder. The whole community was stirred. Mr. Carter and the pastor obtained permission to visit the young man in his cell. After telling him his own story of conversion in a prison, Mr. Carter and the pastor succeeded in leading him to Christ. Then the newly-saved man addressed the pastor and sadly said, “To think I lived next door to you for months and you never told me anything about Jesus until I came here! If you only had, I probably never would have become a murderer.” Are we overlooking any close-by opportunities?