Summary: Real Belief, Sharing Our Faith, Fear, Actions
I WILL – “I Will” Go
Matthew 28:18-20 (pg. 698) November 1, 2015
I have a really good friend named Mac that was a MASH helicopter pilot during Vietnam...Mac’s in his 70’s now...but he’s still as tough and good as they come. He used to have to drop that “Huey” (helicopter) into LZ’s (landing zones) that were barely big enough...and usually under fire so he could get wounded soldiers back to the MASH unit...bloody, shot up kids strapped to the sides of his helicopter...it was his mission to rescue them.
If you don’t know what a MASH unit is...I’ll show you...and many of you will remember this opening scene:
SHOW MASH OPENING SCENE
Although the TV show took place in Korea during the 1950’s, Mac did the same thing those pilots did...go get wounded soldiers and return them to a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Vietnam.
Here’s my question...what if those Doctors and Nurses decided they wouldn’t go out to the battlefield...what if they decided that it would be safer and more comfortable for them to remain in their own cleaner, more sterile hospitals...and what if Mac and hundreds of other helicopter pilots had said, “I’m not flyin’ into the danger zone...“Are you crazy...why would I risk my own safety...my own life to rescue wounded people...if they can get to the hospital on their own...good...but don’t ask me to do it.”
What happens to the Church of Jesus Christ when it stops operating like a MASH unit in the field and becomes more like a country club where doctor’s play golf?
What happens to individual Christians who stop being Helicopter pilots who consider it their mission to rescue wounded people and instead stay in the coffee room talking about “flights they’ve made in the “past?”
Wounded people die.
Jesus’ Great Commission really is the mission for His Church. It’s given authoritatively from our Supreme Commander...and it’s to be the driving force for our existence.
“Go and make disciples of all people.”
How do I know that this is the exact same commission as “Go rescue wounded people?”
I know because of the One who gave me the order...the One who gave you this order...modeled our mission before He gave His commission...Luke 19:10 says “Jesus, the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost.”
So I guess it’s urgently important that those who claim to be His disciples answer a vital question...
I. DO WE REALLY BELIEVE THAT THOSE WHO ARE NOT CHRISTIANS ARE LOST?
If we don’t answer this question first, there’s really no point in going further with this message.
You see we live in a world that continually stresses...“Don’t claim your way is the only way...don’t impose your beliefs on those who disagree.”
The world hates Christianity...and the world hates those who are seeking to rescue spiritually wounded people. Why? Jesus said, to His disciples...“I’m going back to my Father...to prepare a way for you to get there as well...there’s plenty of room for all of you there...if it weren’t the truth I’d have told you...you can’t go there now...but I’ll come back for you so I can bring you there myself...and we can be together...you know the way to get there! (John 14:1-6)
But Thomas, one of those disciples had his doubts...“Lord we don’t know where you are going...How can we know the way?”
Jesus’ response leaves no doubt...about how Thomas, Rick and every person in the world gets there... “Jesus told Him, I am the Way, I am the truth...I am the life...no one comes to the Father except through me.”
That’s the question...do we really believe Jesus? That He is the only way to heaven...the only way of salvation? Because that’s a very small gate...and that’s a really narrow road!
And if we who claim to be disciples aren’t urgently seeking and rescuing people morally wounded in our battlefield earth...Why not?
II. BECAUSE WE’VE ALLOWED EXCUSES TO SMOTHER OUR CONVICTION
Thom Rainer in our book “I Will” lists 5 excuses we offer ourselves...
That is not my spiritual gift. Really? You think you are not spiritually gifted in evangelism, so you decide you can leave that responsibility to others. Think about the logical inconsistency of that objection. Would you say that those who do not have the gift of mercy should never show mercy? Of course not. Do you think that a person who does not have the gift of giving should never give? Everyone is called to be obedient to the Great Commission. Including me. And you.
That is what we pay our pastor and church staff to do. I use to think this objection was more of an attitude than a specifically articulated issue. But when I started doing church consultation, I heard it several times. I challenged one church member to show me in Scripture where evangelism and going was limited to the pastor. His response: “That’s common sense. Everyone knows that’s why you pay a pastor.”