Summary: Missions and outreach has both an internal and external component. This sermon will explain the manner in which one is to GO into all nations and fulfill the Great Commission.
MISSIONS AND OUTREACH
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Missions and outreach to have both an internal and external component. Since not everyone who says Lord, Lord is saved (Matthew 7:21), internally we need to preach to the lost souls, plant the seeds and pray that they will make a decision for Christ. Also, inside the church we need to make our love sincere for Jesus by practicing to obey everything He commanded us to do. This world can smell a hypocrite a 1000 miles away and hypocrisy will not entice them to leave the pleasurable, broad path they are on.
Missions and outreach also has an external focus to it as well as an internal one. In the Great Commission we are commanded to “GO” to all nations. Every member of the church must be ready to give the reasons why they have hope in Christ (1 Peter 3:5). We all have an obligation to God to love our neighbors by feeding the poor, helping the widows and healing the broken hearted. Since we believe that no one is too evil that the blood of Christ cannot cleanse their sins, we believe the Gospel message should be preached to all people without prejudice. The message we preach is the risen Christ. Not everyone has the spiritual gift of evangelism but everyone has spiritual gifts that can be used for missions. Let’s turn to both of these internal and external aspects by reviewing the Great Commission.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
INTERNAL FOCUS OF MISSIONS AND OUTREACH
Unbelieving Church Members
The Great Commission begins by stating there was only eleven disciples. Jesus started out with 12 disciples so what happened to one of them? Even after having experienced the presence and teaching of the Good Shepherd who promised to lay down His life for the sheep (John 10:11) Judas still rejected the Gospel message. Romans 10:9 states to become a Christian one must declare Jesus Christ as Lord of their life. This means to become born again (John 3:3) one must have decided to deny oneself the ability to choose one’s own path in life (Matthew 16:24). By being a member of the 12 disciples Judas had an appearance of religion but inside the cup remained filthy. The Pharisees had a similar problem. They loved places of honor in the Synagogue (Matthew 23:2) or in public settings as ones deemed “religious” but in reality there were “full of dead man’s bones and all things unclean” (Matthew 23:27). Judas betrayed Jesus for a meagre 30 shekels, the equivalent to four months’ wages. Obviously when Jesus told the disciples to not love the world or anything in it in 1 John 2:15 Judas ignored the command and remained with both of his feet in Satan’s kingdom.
Lest we think too little of Judas and too highly of ourselves let us look at what Jesus says awaits many people inside of the modern day church. According to Jesus not everyone who comes to church, worships God, prophesies or even does miracles; will make it into heaven (Matthew 7:21). Some of the reasons people come to church have nothing to do with loving God. Some come to socialize, some to obtain positions of honor as church leaders, some to appease parents or spouses and even some to try and “buy” their way into heaven by doing good deeds. To those who are still dying in their sins inside of the church (Romans 6:23) I believe we have an obligation to show them the light (Matthew 5:14-16), plant the seeds or righteousness (1 Corinthians 3:6-9) and pray that they will receive the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 1:22) and become His children (John 1:12). Our mission and outreach field begins inside of our own church!
Cleaning the Cup
To teach this world about the Gospel message is a command that is not easily accomplished. First, before one can reach a lost soul one simply must understand the broad path that they are travelling on. Paul tells the church of Rome that God has given them over to a depraved mind and as such they have become gossips, slanders, God-haters, insolent, arrogant, boastful and full of all kinds of evil (Romans 1:27). Now not all non-Christians fit this description to the same extent. Some are very nice people who have integrity and do some amazing deeds of love for their neighbors. That being said they all share the same characteristic in common: