Summary: The mission God has given us to do is impossible—absolutely impossible without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. I personally think we are at a significant crisis in the church of America.
Power for Mission
Series: Book of Acts #6
Intro: Show Movie clip from “Mission Impossible #1”. The mission God has given us to do is impossible—absolutely impossible without the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.
I. Impossible MISSION
As long as we think it is just a very difficult, hard job, we will try to do it in our own strength. We must know that we cannot fulfill our mission without the power of God working in our lives.
Imagine how impossible the Great Commission might have sounded for the disciples who first heard it. Look with me at Matthew 28: 9-20 “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in 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.” Had those words not come from the lips of the resurrected Christ they could have hardly taken them serious. These were ordinary people like you and me. They were not intellectual giants. They were not people of great wealth or political influence. How were they to make disciples of all nations? The disciples had just failed utterly in their confrontation with evil. Peter had denied the Lord three times. All had fled and abandoned Christ when the going got rough. I don’t think there were any inflated egos listening to Jesus that day. They had been through a few battles and had lost the confidence they once had in their own ability.
Consider the magnitude of the task they are given. Many times we read the Great Commission through our evangelical glasses and interpret it as a call to get as many people as possible to say the sinner’s prayer. That can be a part of it; but what Jesus is calling for goes way beyond that. His command to them is to make disciples as they go through life. It is to be our lifestyle. How many would recognize that there are many people in church today who have said the sinner’s prayer but may not be a disciple by biblical standards. Listen to what Jesus said about being His disciple in Luke 14:26-27 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters-yes, even his own life-he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Apparently there is some kind of cross carrying involved in being a disciple of Jesus Christ. Perhaps it goes beyond saying a prayer. That may be a good beginning but hear His words once more, “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” In verse 33 He explains further, “In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” That really sounds a bit different that what we often hear on Christian TV.
I personally think we are at a significant crisis in the church of America. People often come to Christ under a call to be blessed, succeed, get more than you had, make friends and gain social standing, let Jesus talk all your problems away and make you happy, etc., etc., etc. It sounds kind of like the good news in the New Testament. But if we read our Bibles carefully we may find that the commitment Christ is calling for is more involved than we initially thought.
In this Great Commission is the word “matheteuo” (make disciples) rather than “euaggelizo” which means “to bring good news.” From it we get our word “evangelize.” “Matheteuo” would include that. But it includes more than that. It means to turn someone into a student or disciple. There is a discipline required in the process. I am personally convinced that it is far more challenging to get someone to be a disciple of Jesus than to get some one to say the sinner’s prayer. I’m not saying that the prayer of salvation is unimportant. It is important. But it is only the beginning of discipleship not the fullness of it. I am concerned that the sinner’s prayer does not simply become a religious ritual rather than a spiritual reality. What must happen is a spiritual transformation. You must be born again. Then you follow Jesus with everything you are and everything you have. How many church goers even give a ten percent tithe let alone everything?
The next two verbs tell us how we are to make disciples. They are Greek participles of means: “baptizo” and “didasko”. 
“Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit...” We talked a lot last week about baptism. In that culture water baptism was a high level commitment. It could mean rejection by the Jewish community; loss of jobs; loss of inheritance and even loss of family relationships. Baptism was often a very costly thing for a person to do. How do we make disciples? First, they need to make a commitment. They need to publicly vow absolute allegiance to Jesus Christ. We only grasp the significance of “baptizo” when we understand the level of commitment it indicated for those first century believers.