Summary: We are commanded to share the Gospel with everyone because their eternal destiny depends on them hearing the message of salvation in Jesus.
Our theme this year is Dynamic Disciples. We have been thinking about what it really means for us to be a disciples of Jesus.
This morning our focus is on the Making Disciples.
So the question to begin is: How can we Make Disciples?
How can we encourage others to discover Jesus for themselves?
How can we help those who are not in a saving relationship with Jesus understand the importance of knowing Him and trusting Him?
How can we help those who are unsaved and heading to a lost eternity turn to Jesus and be saved?
We need to allow God in the power of the Holy Spirit to work in us and through us, and by sharing the truth of who Jesus is with those we know and love.
Jesus said: “you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
Jesus said: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
Friends, we have a Mission that God has given to each of us as His followers, as His disciples.
These last words of Jesus are often referred to as the Great Commission. Sadly, many Christians treat these words as "The Great Suggestion".
It’s sad that in the 21st Century there are far too many Christians who think it’s ok to disobey Jesus, and the biggest example of their living for Jesus is actually bothering to turn up for an occasional church service - if it does not conflict with something else they feel is more important! (Car boot sale / Swap meet / playing or watching sport / shopping / etc.)
But, sharing the truth of the gospel is something that every Disciple of Christ is commanded by Jesus to do.
It’s not just the job of the ministers,it’s not just the job of a guest speaker we invite to a special event.
These words of Jesus are a commandment not a suggestion to everyone who calls Jesus their Lord and Saviour.
Each of us has a God given responsibility to share the truth about Jesus with others.
The Bible emphasises that every Christian is to be involved in the ongoing ministry of the church, everyone has a God-given gift that can be used for His honour and His glory.
As a pastor, as a minister, I have a duty to God to share the truth. But that is not just true of me that is also true of you each of us as disciples of Christ, have the duty to care, to minister, to share the truth, not just with each other within the church but also with those outside the church.
Family, friends, colleagues, neighbours, acquaintances, Facebook friends, the people we meet while we are doing life.
Not just at church events but anywhere and everywhere that God provides us the opportunity to share the truth.
The Christian message, the Gospel, is good news for the whole world. As disciples of Jesus we are commanded to bring others to a saving knowledge of God.
The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:20 says “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”
Friends, we are God’s representatives, His ambassadors. Our task, our mission is to work with God to bring share the truth that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and that there is no other way to God except through Him. We are to share the truth that Salvation is a free gift to all who repent and turn to Jesus.
To be saved, a person must repent from their sins and believe in Jesus. God wants as many people as possible to be saved before Jesus returns. As disciples we are expected to participate in others being saved. Jude 1:23 says "Rescue others by snatching them from the flames of judgment. Show mercy to still others, but do so with great caution, hating the sins that contaminate their lives."
Our lives should be orientated towards this purpose. There is nothing we should consider more important than rescuing the lost. Everyone without Christ needs salvation. The Bible declares in Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23 tells us “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”