Summary: Exposition of Matthew 28:18-20 about our church’s vision point to do missions and plant churches
Text: Matthew 28:18-20, Title: Famous Last Words, Date/Place: NRBC, 7/13/08, AM
A. Opening illustration: “Hey y’all, watch this…” “Go on, get out - last words are for fools who haven’t said enough.” To his housekeeper, who urged him to tell her his last words so she could write them down for posterity.-Karl Marx “They couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist. . . .Killed in battle during US Civil War.
~~ General John Sedgwick, Union Commander, d. 1864 “I am ready to die for my Lord that in my blood the Church may obtain liberty and peace.” -Thomas à Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury “We’ve never done it like this before.”
B. Background to passage: This is our final message on our vision statement that is printed in your bulletin. My hope is two fold at this point. First that our church would own this vision and when we read it on Sundays recall the meanings of these phrases, and view them as direction and not just something good and really spiritual to print on a bulletin. Secondly, I hope that some of you will feel led to help make these ministries happen, and you will feel led and called of God to minister in these areas at New River for the foreseeable future. The setting is about 25-35 days after the resurrection on a hillside in Galilee. And these are the final words of Jesus on earth said a couple of times in different locations. They are the mission of the church that will lead to the glorification of Jesus (which as we mentioned before is the reason for the existence of the church). As Southern Baptist is has historically been the heartbeat of our denomination. And yet, evangelism, baptisms, growth in general is declining. And there is talk now, after the Conservative Resurgence of the need for a Great Commission Resurgence; and it is being spread around as the ground of unity and purpose for our denomination for years to come.
C. Main thought: Hopefully we will see this come to pass on a national and international scale, BUT regardless of denominational and international church happenings, New River Baptist Church must set its face like flint with great diligence and determination to carry out the Great Commission in our church and in our lives. And taking the gospel to the nations and to the South Georgians will necessarily result in church planting. The Kingdom creates the church.
A. All Authority Has Been Given (v. 18)
1. Before Jesus gave instructions on exactly what to do, he gave them the under girding truth of the ages. Note he did use the word “therefore” to show the link between these two statements. The word exousia translated “authority” means the right to do and speak as one pleases, and the ability to command others and have dominion. Jesus was clear that every bit of authority that He possessed before eternity past, and all authority that God possesses now belongs to him. He has the absolute right to rule and reign and command in “all” things.
3. Illustration: quote from Piper and Kuyper about “not one square inch…” Sex and the Supremacy of God, p. 40-41, I used to have problems getting my son to clean his room. I would insist that he, “Do it now,” and he would always agree to do so, but then he wouldn’t follow through – at least, not right way. After high school, he joined the Marine Corps, which is where he is now. When he and I were on the plane together coming home for his leave after Boot Camp, he said to me, “My life makes sense now, Dad. Everything you said and did when I was growing up now makes sense. I really, really understand.” “Oh yeah, Dad,” he added. “I learned what ‘now’ means.” On the first day of school, a first-grader handed his teacher a note from his mother. The note read, ’The opinions expressed by this child are not necessarily those of his parents.’
4. This statement provides comfort and security to evangelists like you. It provides surety that whatever Jesus commands and desires He can bring it about; and that the Great Commission is a sure thing. It provides the basis for the command to follow about going, teaching, and baptizing. It gives us a great motivating factor: that if you didn’t fear hell for others enough to tell them, if you aren’t committed to the church enough to tell others, and if the shear numbers of lost people going out every minute into eternity, and the number of people being born that don’t have access to the gospel doesn’t catapult you into evangelistic fervor, at least do it out of obedience, because Jesus has authority over your life. And not only do you have to do what He says, but you want to! The core of the Christian life is transformed want to’s. And any child with great admiration for parents wants to please them. If you have no desire to please Christ, you are not a child of His. If you are His child, He has bought you with a dear price, and you have the responsibility to submit willingly to Him and desire to do all that pleases Him.