Summary: Missons must be the heartbeat of our church.
Missions: The Great Mandate
A. Beginning today and continuing through the 18th of this month I want to bring a short series of messages that deal with this subject of missions. It has been rightly said that missions is the heartbeat of God, and it must also be the heartbeat of each and every church.
B. It is my prayer and desire that our church would develop an even greater vision for missions, and that every member of our church would become personally involved in the Lord’s mission work.
C. Neither the word "missions" nor "missionary" is found in your King James Version of the Bible. They are terms we use on a constant basis, but they actually are given to us from other words. In the Greek New Testament, the word "apostolos" is translated "apostle," which means, "one sent out with a message." Another has sent him out, and he bears the message of another.
D. We generally tend to be very closed minded when it comes to missions, for most often a foreign field comes up, a missionary living in a hut or some primitive dwelling somewhere eating bugs. However, the Bible doesn’t support this view at all.
E. Mission work actually involves a broad spectrum of evangelistic work, for what is mission? It is all of our work, empowered by the Holy Spirit to proclaim Jesus Christ and share the blessings of the Christian faith with all who are strangers to His grace. So, whether we be in Denmark or Dallas, Canada or Cambodia, North Dakota or your own back yard, we are talking about missions, because missions is us getting the gospel to them.
I. The command of the commission
A. In Matthew 28, the Lord gave but one command to His church. What I’m about to give you is not new, so I trust that you will listen and study this out for yourself.
B. There are four parts to the commission found in our text, but there is only one command. You see the "go, teach, baptizing, and teaching."
1. The word "teach" comes from a word that means, "to make disciples." It is the only verb in the sentence, and it is in the imperative mood, meaning it is a direct command.
2. The other three parts are participles, meaning they are verb forms used as adjectives. They all modify the subject of the commission, which is ye.
3. "After you have gone, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I commanded you."
C. So the command is to make disciples, make them followers of Christ. Who? All nations – all people. How do we make disciples of those who are strangers to the grace of God? How do we make followers of those who have never heard?
II. The way of the commission.
1. Every account of the commission has this element. We cannot reach people if we never get where they are. However, too many of the Lord’s churches have accepted the Wendy’s mentality of, "If you build it they will come." But as one man rightly commented, "Jesus did not command the whole world to go to church. Jesus commanded His church to go to the world."
2. In John 20:21, Jesus said, "As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." To whom was Jesus speaking? To His church – each member of it.
3. Every member of every church has been told to make disciples – the going is a necessary part of making disciples. Where do teachers come from who will share Christ? They come from among the church members. Where do preachers come from? It is not from seminary, but rather from among the church members. Where do missionaries come from? They come from among the ranks of church members just like you. In Acts 13, the Holy Spirit said, "Separate me Barnabas and Saul…"
4. God is still calling people to fields of labor, but too many people are not answering that call. They aren’t answering the call of the local field, let alone the state, national and foreign fields.
5. Did you know that in survey after survey, it was found that only 2% of all believers had ever introduced another person to Christ?
6. Acts 1:8 reminds us that our first field is Denison, then Texas, then America, and finally the world abroad. So the way of missions is first of all "go."
1. Mark 16:15 says, "Go ye into all the world and preach…"
2. Luke 24:46-47 says, "thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins be preached in his name…"