Summary: A Christian who never attempts to share his faith has embraced the Great Omission.
This is the final message in the series “Parables and Miracles.” This miracle wasn’t just one Jesus performed 2,000 years ago. It’s a miracle He is still performing. I want to examine the Great Commission under the title of “Sharing the Miracle of Salvation.”
I’d like to compare the Great Commission to something everyone here easily recognizes: Coca-Cola. A pharmacist, Dr. John Pemberton, invented Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Georgia in 1886. He concocted a caramel-colored syrup in a brass kettle in his back yard. Coke was basically an American drink until the company got serious about global expansion in the 1970s. The executives set a goal of making Coca-Cola available to every person on the planet. Remember the song, “I’d like to teach the world to sing in perfect harmony…?”
They are close to reaching their global goal. A recent survey revealed that 97% of the world’s population has heard of Coca-Cola. 72% of the world’s people have seen the Coca-Cola logo, and 51% of the world’s population has tasted a Coke. Every day, there are 1.6 billion servings of Coke.
With such amazing global expansion over the past 125 years, someone said if Jesus had given the Great Commission to the Coca-Cola Company, the gospel would have already been presented to every person on earth! But He didn’t give the Great Commission to Coca-Cola, or Apple, or McDonald’s. He gave it to us!
The last words a person speaks before they die are usually remembered as being profound or valuable. A man who mentioned that his elderly father had recently died. Someone said, “What were his last words?” The son said, “Dad didn’t have any last words. Mother was with him until the end.”
These words of Jesus aren’t His last words before He died, because Jesus isn’t dead. But these are the last words He gave to His disciples before He returned to heaven. He saved the best for last.
Matthew 28:16-20. “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
On November 9, 2009, the assault ship USS New York was commissioned for service in the U.S. Navy. What made this commissioning special was the fact that her bow was made with 7.5 tons of steel from the World Trade Center. Thousands attended the commissioning in NYC, and after the National Anthem was played, the order was given, “Man your ship!” And with this commissioning, the USS New York was launched with the mission of protecting and serving the citizens of the U.S.
We understand the importance of the commissioning of a navy vessel, but do we really take seriously the commissioning Jesus gave us? He launched the church to go into every part of the world and make disciples. But for many people, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission. When a church doesn’t make evangelism and missions their priority, they practice the Great Omission. A Christian who never attempts to share his faith has embraced the Great Omission.
The great missionary leader Hudson Taylor said: “The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed.” Let’s unpack what Jesus was saying when He called us to share the miracle of salvation with every person on the planet.
I. Jesus gave us the greatest authority
Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
Two milk cows were eating grass when a milk truck drove by. A sign on the truck said, “Fresh milk. Homogenized, Pasteurized, fortified, Low-fat, Vitamin-enriched.” After reading the descriptions, one cow said to the other, “It kinda’ makes you feel inadequate, doesn’t it?”
Can you imagine how inadequate the disciples must have felt when they heard this command?
Maybe Simon Peter spoke up and whined, “But Lord, we’re just a little handful of uneducated fishermen and common folks. We have no money, no machinery, and no means. Maybe we can hang around here and make an impact on the Galilee, but do really want us to go to ‘all nations?’ How can we stand before the military might of the Roman Empire? How can we argue with the sophistication and intellectualism of the Greeks? Lord, we can’t do it!”
And the Lord said, “No you can’t do it. That’s why I’m giving you both the authority and the power to do it.” Jesus claimed to have all authority in heaven. That means whenever Jesus speaks in heaven, it is done. He also claimed to have all authority on earth. And He has given that authority to us. And in Acts 1:8 He said, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses…to the ends of the earth.”