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Summary: Fulfilling the Great Commission

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Readjust Your Focus

Matthew 28:18-20

Just about any one who’s been in church for any length of time can tell you that this passage of Scripture is called the Great Commission. Mark 16:15 simplifies it by Jesus saying, “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel.” And even though we call this the great commission we should actually call it the Great Command. Jesus wasn’t suggesting that we do this, He was commanding us to do it.

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus said, “Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Jesus didn’t come into this world so that we could be comfortable. He didn’t come here so that we could live a life of health, wealth, and prosperity. Now I know that there are some preachers out there who would like for you to believe that, but that isn’t the case. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost."

The reason Jesus Christ came to earth was to seek and to save! The reason He did the things He did here on earth was to seek and to save. The reason Jesus Christ died on the cross was to seek and to save. Not so that we could live lives of comfort, happiness, contentment, wealth, or fame.

Now Jesus gave those who believe in Him the great commission, and He said that if we follow Him then He would make us fishers of men. In First Cor 11:1 Paul tells us, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.”

Paul is telling us to follow his example because he is following Jesus’ example, and I think that if we look at Paul’s life we would agree with him that he was following Jesus’ example, so…

If Jesus’ #1 Priority was to seek & save that which was lost & we claim to be followers of Christ

and God’s Word says that we’re to imitate Christ. Then, we too must make our #1 priority to seek & save the lost.

Now the problem is that a lot of Christians aren’t concerned with reaching the lost, and a lot of churches aren’t concerned with reaching the lost. Now they’d never admit to that. If you asked them they’d say, “Sure we are concerned with reaching the lost. It’s our hearts desire.” But they don’t make any effort to do so. In the year 2000 over 50% of the churches in America didn’t add one new member by conversion. In other words over ½ of the churches in America didn’t lead a single person to the Lord that year, and I don’t have the figures for 01 or 02 but I would bet that it hasn’t improved much. Sure some churches grew in membership, but that largely due to people moving from church to church, not new believers.

Reaching the lost and discipling the saved should be the two main focuses of any church, but when a church and Christians loose their focus that’s when they get into trouble. Turn with me to Matthew 20:20-24 (read).

How many times have you seen Christians focus more on getting blessed than blessing others? How many times have you seen Christians strive for power or prestige rather than reaching the lost? Now like I said earlier, part of this is due to what a lot of preachers are spewing out. That you have a right to wealth, power, and prestige. But the fact is none of us deserve anything but an eternity in hell. It’s only because of God’s grace and mercy that we have or can do anything.

If you want to know if a church is following Christ then look at what’s going on in it.

If Fussing/fighting/bickering/unforgiveness is common, then church has lost its focus!

We are called to win the lost and bring them to a full knowledge of who our Lord and Savior really is! We are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. But there are so many Christians with I problems. I need, I want, I think, that there are hundreds and maybe thousands that we are missing our opportunity to share the good news of God’s grace with.

When a church and Christians loose their focus not only do they strive for the wrong things, fear can replace faith. Turn with me to Matthew chapter 26:69-75 (read).

Some theologians say that this girl who questioned Peter was probably a teenager. Here was Peter (the Rock) a big strong fisherman, and a teenage girl put him on his heels. He lost sight of his purpose. He lost sight of who he was and Whose he was and he ran. And we can do the same thing today. There are churches that back down on critical issues that face our world today. Homosexuality, abortion, co-habitation. Today many churches are so afraid that they will offend someone and then that person might not come to church, so the pastors and churches as a whole won’t even touch these issues. Instead they let them slide and slide and it’s not long before you can’t tell the difference between the church and the world.

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