Summary: We please God when we do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission.
This morning I begin with what might be to some of us a loaded question that I am asking for you to verbally respond to: When you hear the words missionary or missions what do you think of?
(Allow for responses)
Thanks for your responses. Now can I ask you to think about the following statement during the sermon? Somewhere along the line of your family history someone who did not speak English or live in here America shared the gospel with a distant member of your family or someone who would get to know a distant member of your family.
This fall, we have been looking at ways we please God. (Overhead 1)
We please God by examining (and allowing the Holy Spirit to examine) our motives and standards against God’s standards. We looked at some churches in the opening chapters of Revelation who were in various states of spiritual growth or decay and who God was both pleased with and concerned about.
We also please God by following God’s plan of salvation. We preach Christ and the Gospel at our church not some current philosophy that changes tomorrow!
We please God by putting the Bible into practice. The Bible stands at the center of our congregational and personal lives. We teach and study the Bible, the true and infallible Word of God. It is the heart of our message and mission.
We please God by allowing Him to make us “new creatures in Christ.” We must be “born again.” We must be changed by the work of the Holy Spirit into people that are different and more like Jesus as the years go by.
We please God by cooperating with and proclaiming the work of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit works to filter out the impurities in our lives so that we are better able to serve God.
Finally this morning we will learn that we please God by doing our part in fulfilling the Great Commission. The Christian faith is a global faith and each of us has a role in fulfilling Christ’s command to “go and make disciples.”
As we continue this series I want to give credit where credit is due for this series as the idea for it originated in the writings of Dr. Gil Stafford one of the leading Church of God teachers and preachers. In his book, Vision For The Church of God at the Crossroads, he outlines a sermon series entitled, “The Church That Pleases God.”
I have used his suggested outline and personalized it because as each of one of us makes the decision to please God in these ways, we as the Church of God here in Kendallville are better able to please God.
Still thinking about that statement I gave you a few moments ago? Let’s look at some important ways fulfilling the Great Commission is a way we please God.
Rick Warren has written, “You were made for a mission. God is at work in the world, and he wants you to join him. This assignment is called your mission…”
“Your life mission,” he goes on to say “is both shared and specific. One part of it is a responsibility you share with every other Christian, and the other part is an assignment that is unique to you…”
The shared part is addressed in this sermon and the unique part will be addressed in the final sermon in this series. Let’s briefly look at our text for this morning.
Jesus is preparing to return to heaven to be with the Father. One chapter in the story of salvation was complete; a new one was about to be started.
And in this new chapter there were two key elements – the Disciples and the Holy Spirit. Our text deals with the disciples but we will briefly look at the role of the Spirit as well.
Jesus is standing before the remaining Disciples (Judas is dead) and He gives them a commission that is, He gives them an order to obey, which has been behind the movement of the Christian faith throughout the world in the 20 centuries since Jesus first gave it. It has been called “The Great Commission.”
This particular passage of scripture has been used by the Holy Spirit to call thousands of men and women, including some from this congregation, to go far from home and tell people of other cultures and languages that there is a God who loves and cares for them in a variety of different ways. Obeying then this commission is a very important way we please God.
Now I know that there are those who say, “There is so much need in this county why go to another country when there is so much work to be done here?” It is a fair question. Let me offer two responses.