Sermons

Summary: Message for the commissioning of a church member into missionary service. Charge to both the candidate and the church.

1. INTRODUCTION

What a joy it is to commission [candidate's name] for missionary service this morning, and to participate in what God is doing to reach the nations! Most of us have heard of the verses in Matthew 28 that are commonly referred to as “The Great Commission”… Go ahead and turn there in your copy of God's word with me this morning... Many times, you’ll just hear verses 19 and 20, but let’s read starting with verse 18 this morning…

Matthew 28:18-20...

18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

The word “commission” is defined in Merriam-Webster as the “authority to act for, on behalf of, or in place of another”… [REPEAT]… All authority was given to Jesus in heaven and on earth… and then, based on that authority claimed in verse 18, Jesus then commissions all of us, as His followers, to go make disciples of all nations. Jesus commissioned us to be His ambassadors… His spokespeople…

Jesus sends us out to be His FEET… Going wherever He sends us… which may only be as far as our own hometown, or to places that are foreign to us on the other side of the world…

Jesus sends us out to be His HANDS… Selflessly serving others and showing His love, and mercy, and compassion to the world…

Jesus sends us out to be His MOUTH… Proclaiming the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ… bringing the Good News to those who would otherwise be sentenced to suffer God’s holy wrath for the rest of eternity.

The Great Commission is the charge that Jesus gave to every one of His followers. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, then you are not exempt from Jesus’ commissioning. Sharing your faith to someone at Walmart, or going to another country as a missionary like [candidate], or even being the family that is left at home isn’t for the faint of heart… It’s not easy.

As I was preparing for this morning’s message, I was reading back through my personal journals of the time leading up to our family answering the call to missions, and through our time living in a foreign land. A recurring theme in my journals, [candidate], was me crying out to God… in times of confusion and uncertainty… in times of hardship and need… in times when we felt so completely isolated and alone… in times when we were homesick and were missing our family… or in times when I didn’t feel like I had the skills or ability to even make a difference.

Telling the world’s 7.6 billion people about Jesus can be a daunting, overwhelming, and difficult task. But followers of Jesus have been living out that commission for almost 2,000 years.

According to current stats from the Joshua Project, 41.6% of the world’s population still remains unreached today. That means just over half of the world’s population has been reached with the Gospel. In [candidate's destination country], Christians number roughly 5% of the island’s population. In the more rural part of the island where [candidate] is heading, that percent is even lower.

How many of you have heard of Coca-Cola? Did you know that Coca-Cola has been in existence for around 130 years now? Did you also know that Coke products are marketed and sold in over 200 countries around the world? What floored me, though, was learning that 94% of the world’s population has heard of Coca-Cola and can recognize Coke’s red and white logo, regardless of what language it’s in? 94%!!! More people around the world have heard of... and have access to... a can of Coke than they do to a Bible or a believer who is willing to share their faith with them!

Those stats are startling, but keep in mind that for Coke, all it really takes is a lot of money and good marketing. However, making disciples of all nations takes personal sacrifice and commitment. Jesus never promised a life of comfort and prosperity for His followers in this life… Instead, Jesus tells His disciples in Luke 14:26-27,33…

26 “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. 27 And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. [ ... ] 33 So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.

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