Summary: Missions Sermon
Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20
I’ll Shout It From the Mountaintop
Introduction: A British writer named Derek Ratcliffe recently analyzed our television viewing habits. He spoke of "the mindless, shallow hedonism that seems to be the way our society is heading: a restless search for instant gratifications, trivial and short-lived pleasures that leaves no lasting satisfaction, let alone fulfillment." He described today’s entertainment as "a decadent media culture of soap operas, quiz games, police action, cooking shows, home makeovers ... football, pornography, and other expressions of the current intellectual and aesthetic development of modern western society." Most of us want something more in life than what we see on television. We want to make a difference. We want to make a mark on our empty, mindless age. We want a cause bigger, purer, and nobler than we are. We want to change the world and to impact eternity. In the words of a popular book, we want to live a purpose-driven life. There’s only one way to do this. We’ve got to rediscover the Great Commission. Everyone who is committed to Jesus Christ is by logical ex- tension connected to His great purpose. In fact, perhaps the only reason He is leaving us on this planet is because we have a part in fulfilling His worldwide plan (Phil. 1:2124). So let’s look again at this familiar passage at the end of Matthew’s Gospel, our Lord’s final instructions to His church.
There are three aspects to Christ’s words:
1. The Authority behind Us. Jesus began the Great Commission by telling us that all authority had been given to Him. The implication is that we will be going, working, preaching, sharing, and ministering in the power of His name. Later, Jesus explained that this power is communicated to us by means of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). It’s highly motivational to read through the Book of Acts and the Epistles, looking for the 95 occurrences of the word "power." Here’s some of what you’ll find:
By what power or by what name have you done this? By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes. My speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power. For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance. Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Christ, the power of God, and the wisdom of God. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.