Summary: This sermon stresses the urgency of evangelizing the lost.
Now Is the Time
Intro: Earlier we talked about how Christ came to earth to live, to die, and to rise again. We talked about His betrayal. We talked about His mocking, scourging, beating, and crucifixion. We talked about how He was laid in a borrowed tomb. We also talked about how, three days later, He rose from that tomb and was seen by more than 500 people (1 Cor. 15:6). But the story doesn’t end there. Jesus, after rising from the dead, is gone on to Heaven and is sitting at the right hand of the Father making intercession for us. And before He left Earth, He left something for us. He left us a mission and a commission. The mission is to preach the Gospel. The commission was given by Him to us that we will go in His authority and with His presence.
Jesus told us to work while it is day for the night is coming when no man can work. We live in a world that is growing darker every day. The sun is starting to set. We live in a world that is Harry Potter-crazy and Twilight-fanatical. We have Vampire Diaries, True Blood, and Supernatural. Our children, through entertainment, through the schools, movies, books, and video games, are being indoctrinated to accept the occult, the supernatural, and witchcraft; to devalue life and disrespect authority. This is why now is the time for us to be following the Commission Christ has given us—make disciples of all nations.
I. The Origin of the Commission
a. The term commission means the matter or task so authorized or the act of granting certain powers or the authority to carry out a particular task or duty. The church as a commission is a group of people officially authorized to perform certain duties or functions. Just as the Federal Trade Commission is authorized to investigate fraud in advertising, the church is authorized to bear witness of Christ’s resurrection by proclaiming the Gospel and teaching new believers.
b. He told us that when we receive power, we will become His witnesses, starting at home and moving out from there. They would spread the news to their friends and families. They would spread the news to their workplaces and schools. They would spread it in the town square and they would spread it at the watering holes. What is the news they would spread? They would spread the news that Jesus is the Messiah and that Jesus is alive and well.
c. A witness is someone who tells the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. They tell what it is they have seen or heard. They don’t speculate, guess, or conjecture. As Judge Judy would say, “Don’t tell me what you heard, that’s hearsay. I only want to know what you have seen, heard, tasted, experienced with any of your five senses.”
d. When we think about witnessing or missions, we think about going overseas to witness to people in foreign nations and hidden tribes. But the truth is we are to begin witnessing to those in our own hometown. If we can’t witness to those across the street, we will not be called to witness to those across the ocean. We have to realize that Jesus has commissioned and sent every believer to witness for Him. No one has been given a pass.
II. The Directive of the Commission
a. He commanded us in Matthew 28:18-20, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore[c] and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 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”.” Mark wrote a comparative commission in Mark 16:15-16. “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” In Acts 1:8, He told us that we would be His witnesses, beginning at home then spread abroad.
b. The church is to witness not to convert. We oftentimes think we are to convert people to Christianity. Jesus never told us to convert anyone. He said we are to “be witnesses unto Him” and to “preach the Gospel in all the world” and to “make disciple of all nations”. We are to do these things by walking the walk, talking the talk, and living the life.
c. Ezekiel 3: 18 relates to us that we are like watchmen who stand on a wall looking for danger and we are to warn the people of impending danger. If we do not, they will die in their sin but their blood will be upon us; if we warn them and they don't listen then they will die in their sin still but we will be innocent of their blood.