Summary: Go! Fight! Win!
The Great Commission
I am in this pulpit today as a result of an ole boy from Moncks Corner, South Carolina being obedient to the Great Commission. I would have never stepped into this church on my own because I had no interest in church. If I would have developed an interest in church or felt guilt about my children not being in church I would have returned to the denominational church that I was exposed to in my youth and would still be lost.
I had never heard the Gospel in that church. I knew that I was supposed to have my children baptized because that is what my Mother told me I should do. So, I called the base chapel to make an appointment to have my daughter baptized. They told me to show up at 7PM that Saturday to have it done and I did. I was so ignorant of my own denominational teachings that I did not know it was a priest baptizing my child. I was only an infant when I had been baptized and I had not ever seen one performed when I was older. I thought something did not "feel" right to me, but I did not know for sure until I received a certificate that read "this is to certify that Michelle Louise Shultz has been baptized in the holy rites of the Holy Roman Catholic Church." I was incensed! I called the chapel and told them that they had baptized my child Catholic and I was Protestant. I was mad at them, but I was the stupid one.
I then had her baptized in a Protestant service. That meant that I had to actually participate in the service in front of everyone. I thought that the roof would cave in since it had been years since I had last attended a church service. When Karen and I did get saved years later and Michelle made a profession of faith; she was biblically baptized by immersion as a believer. If baptism had anything to do with salvation, and it doesn’t, then my daughter would be very close to the throne upon her arrival in Heaven.
Many times we are afraid to witness to folks with a different denominational background because we think they are Christians and we do not want to appear "intolerant." My wife and I are living proof that the assumption that a person belonging to a church or professing to be a Christian means that they are a Christian is wrong. We were both loosely affiliated with mainline denominations that once preached a strong Gospel message, but they have for the most part departed from the faith. Indeed, if their founders could come back from the grave they would denounce many of them as heretics, reprobates and in need of salvation. The same would be said of other denominations and it is true that not all Baptists are Christians, either.
I am reminded of a story about the great evangelist, R. G. Lee. He came back to make a report to the Convention about the state of the churches. He said, "Brethren, it is my opinion that only ten percent of our membership is truly saved." Of course, that created a bit of uproar and murmuring in the audience. He then came back, and said, "I made a mistake, five percent!" I wonder what percentage he would give today. I have worked with other groups of Baptists and they also have the same problem as the SBC. No one is immune.
We have sat back and become content with our numbers and have chosen to fight more among ourselves than with the devil and we wonder why our country and the world is going to Hell. We have chosen to politic instead of pray and elect rather than evangelize and we are reaping the fruit of our futility. You cannot change the actions or values of a man until you change the heart of that man. Jesus came to change the hearts of men not to change polls. That is why we must evangelize the lost!! You do this by obeying his leadership! Go where He says to go!
Matt 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
I do not know if you have heard this before because I never did until I did the study for this sermon. The word Galilee means "the heathen circle." We all knew it was a place in Palestine, but we just thought the Pharisees were being ugly when they questioned whether a prophet could come out of Galilee. (John 7:52) The area was known as a place where pagans and also half Gentile-half Jews lived. Surely God could not work in such a place and yet, it was where Jesus ministered a great deal more than among the "pure" Jews in the Holy City. We need to go to the heathen circles of our country and the world. We spend far too much money and time trying to reach folks just like us.