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Summary: The central core of the purpose of the church is outlined in these verses. Here we discover that the three components of the Great Commission are; Evangelize, Incorporate and Disciple.

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27 August 2005

Follow Me and I Will Make You Fishers of Men

Matthew 4:19

Just before He returned to heaven, Jesus gave us what we call the Great Commission which states: "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).

The central core of the purpose of the church is outlined in these verses.

Here we discover that the three components of the Great Commission are; Evangelize, Incorporate and Disciple.

First, Jesus says “go, therefore and make disciples of all nations.”

We have to reach them with the gospel, we have to evangelize.

The second thing Jesus says that we must do is “… baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”

In the command to “baptize” we see the importance of not only reaching the lost with the message of the Gospel, but the need of incorporating these new believers into the body of Christ.

The final part of the Great Commission could be called discipleship, “… teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”

The word “teaching” here means “instruction.”

This is to be instruction in “observing” or “keeping” the commands of Christ.

That raises a question in my mind: “But just what is it that we are to teach these new believers in Christ?”

In a sense, discipleship is helping someone become conscious of “all those things commanded by Christ?”

Jesus’ first command is found in Matthew 4:17, which is “Repent for the kingdom of God is at Hand.”

Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, led a crusade in Australia during the spring of 1996.

At one of the invitations, a fifteen-year-old boy told a counselor he came forward because, as he said, “I haven’t been decent to Jesus.”

Repentance starts with a confession that we “haven’t been decent to Jesus.”

When it comes to repenting of our sins, our greatest struggle may come after we have repented.

I’ll illustrate what I mean with a story I read.

Gary Richmond gained an interesting perspective on snakes while working with a snake handler at a zoo.

The curator was joined by Richmond and three other professionals as they milked the venom of a king cobra.

The tension was high because of the deadly potential.

The man noted that in Africa, several elephants die every year as a result of the king cobra.

While clenching the snake’s neck, the curator explained the need for milking the cobra as quickly as possible because “no man could ever survive a bite from a full load of venom.”

The snake’s venom glands contain enough poison to kill one thousand adults.

Once the rags were saturated with the lethal venom and they were ready to release the snake, this skilled curator gave a profound warning.


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