Summary: Part 6 of our series ’40 Days with the Lord’ will take a look at the Greeat Commission given to us by Jesus Christ and how we are ALL CALLED to preach the Good News.
40 Days with the Lord
Part 6 – The Great Commission
Rev. Bruce A. Shields
First Baptist Church of Tawas City Michigan
Matthew 28:16 – 20 The Great Commission
“16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
This scripture is commonly known as the Great Commission.
It is also found in Mark 16 of the NIV, but some translations do not include verse 9 – 19 because it is not found in most of the reliable early manuscripts.
But it is found in Matthew.
Usually, when we think of missions we think of the Great Commission.
But missions didn’t begin with the Great Commission given to the disciples by Jesus Christ.
Missions began with God.
It first beat in His heart before it was ever breathed as the life sustaining force into His church.
Our God is Missions Minded.
If He were not, there would be no Christian mission.
The Gospel He has given us is a Missions Message.
If it could not save every sinner, there would be no reason to take it to every nation.
And the Great Commission is a Missions Mandate. It identifies the local church, this Body of Christ, as the center for world evangelism.
A strong Missions program rests on these foundations:
I. A Missions program comes from a Compassionate God
A. The Description of God’s Love – John 3:16 – 18
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
This is God’s description of Love.
1. God’s Missions program is Extravagant - “God so loved”
a. It is a love so infinite that it is everlasting.
“The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying:
"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness.”
b. It is a love so incomprehensible that it passes knowledge.
Ephesians 3:16 – 19 A Prayer for the Ephesians
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
c. It is a love so indiscriminate that it would be given to the least worthy, the sinners.
“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
2. God’s Missions program is Exhaustive – it’s meant to go out to “the world”
You see, God wants everyone to be with Him forever.
a. God is not willing that any should perish.
It is God’s will that none perish.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
Praise God for His patience.
Praise God for His Grace which allows us sinners to see the truth, and turn our hearts to the Lord.
b. He would have all men to be saved.
1 Timothy 2:3 – 4
“This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”
It IS God’s will, that ALL mankind be saved!
But just because it IS God’s will, does not mean God’s will is going to be done here on earth.
Many times, God’s will is ignored by mankind.
Look at Israel, and how many times they knew what God’s will was, yet did what THEY thought was best, or what they wanted.