Summary: Fourth sermon in a series dealing with how we can make a difference for Christ in the world
SHAKIN’ OURSELVES OUT IN THE WORLD
INTRODUCTION: From the beginning of this series on SALT -- we have attempted to emphasis that salt is only effective if applied. "Shake or Cake" are the options available to us. Left too long to itself, salt transforms from a multitude of little crystals, each with the potential to radically affect what it touches, into one hard rock; immoveable, ugly, and useless.
The same may be said of the church -- if left to its own designs, it also will cease to be effective. Scripture bears this point our vividly. The early church received it marching orders, its plan for the future, yet was sluggish in carrying it out. In response God used some of the most intense circumstances to accomplish His desire for the church.
Today, some 2000 years later, we are in the same mess. Dr. D. James Kennedy has said, "One of the saddest statistics of our day is that 95% of all church members have never led anyone to Christ." Yet, there has always been, and now still is a huge segment of the population that declares by survey that they believe God’s Word is the Bible, that they pray to God, that they believe Jesus is the Son of God, and that they would be open to joining a church -- IF THEY FOUND THE RIGHT ONE!
So where is the church in all of this? Where is the individual believer? God’s desires have not changed.
This morning I would like to share with you 5 points I believe will help us put this whole issue of evangelism into focus.
1. OUR MANDATE IS TO GO AND TEACH/MAKE DISCIPLES
Mandate: an authoritative command; an authorization to act given to a representative
The whole concept of discipleship has changed since Jesus gave this Great Commission.
Today when someone gets saved we call him or her a Christian.
Later, when they mature in their faith, and attempt to accomplish something out of the ordinary for Christ, we call them a disciple.
The early church reached out, not to make people Christians, but to make people disciples!
They were concerned with the whole process AS A WHOLE!
The goal was not to see men and women come to know Christ, but to see men and women, having known the Savior, accomplish great things for God.
We have gotten to the point where we think we should get a medal for just showing up on a Sunday morning!
OUR GOD GIVEN INSTRUCTION WAS TO GO!
THIS IS THE ONLY COMMAND IN THE GREAT COMMISSION
2. OUR FIELD IS EVERY NATION/ETHNIC GROUP.
The extent of our commission is worldwide!
If there is a people group out there, they not only have the right to hear the gospel, they have the God given command to hear it from us!
This cannot be accomplished by one or two individuals in the church. It must be accomplished by the whole church.
I am sold on missions. I personally believe that if we can do something for a missionary, and have the ability to do it, we should do it! Regardless of whether they are in Haiti, Portugal, South America, North America, Asia, or any place else I have not mentioned.
When we find a good missionary -- we need to make sure they stay on the field because they are doing our work for us there. They have chosen to go out to tat field, representing us and get the job done!
3. THE PROCESS OF MAKING DISCIPLES INVOLVES IDENTIFICATION.
The Scripture says literally, "As I go and make disciples, I am to baptize them ..."
It is NOT enough to lead someone to Christ.
It is only enough when that person has become involved and identified with the local church.
This is what the early believers were doing!
Matthew 28 -- The Church is given its commission.
Acts 1 -- The church is told to wait for "power".
Acts 2 -- The church gets the power it waited for. The end result was identification through salvation and baptism with the first church!
4. THE PROCESS OF MAKING DISCIPLES INVOLVES INSTRUCTION
The scope of our instruction is ALL THINGS!
The reference is to the entire content of SCRIPTURE!
Instruction in the "deep things of God"
Instruction is the practical matters of Scripture.
Instruction in daily living.
We do not deserve a medal for getting here on a Sunday morning; we deserve a preverbal kick in the pants for not being here when the church is open.
WE CANNOT EXPECT TO AFFECT THE WORLD LIKE SALT IF WE ARE NOT BECOMING SALT OURSELVES!
The church does not old an evening service for the sake of having another service. The church does not hold services Wednesday Evening because we think it is good to have the church open during the week. The church is carrying out the Great Commission.