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Summary: It’s about time, "Go Ye.."

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June 29, 2003

HOLY SPIRIT BLESS US

Matthew 28: 18-20 (The Great Commission)

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

Praise the Lord! Celebrate Jesus is at hand. In just a couple of weeks, we will be joining our brothers and sisters in this very timely and surely a rewarding activity for all of us who chose to be one among the called in God’s Kingdom.

Every year during the Florida Annual conference, one of the most awaited moment is “ The Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination of Pastors” which is conducted by the Bishop himself.

In this worship service, the Bishop will emphasize to the newly ordained ministers that their primary role in the ministry of God is to become witnesses for Jesus Christ by living a life worthy of their calling which is in accordance with the biblical standards.

This was so because Jesus Christ himself showed this pattern.

The eleven disciples received from Jesus Christ the task to become the great commissioners. Jesus himself charged his disciples to engage themselves in evangelism.

Jesus Christ said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”

Jesus had the same power as God because Jesus Christ is also God.

So therefore people can rely upon Him completely.

We have “Celebrate Jesus Mission” because we Methodist Christians believe, that Jesus Christ must be exalted and must be the center of our life.

The most neglected and forgotten Name must shine once again in this community because, we all believe and recognize the truth that people need the Lord Jesus Christ.

The disciples received one of the most important statement or instruction recorded in the Bible, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”

This statement still applies today. It is directed to us- the people of God even though these very words were spoken by Jesus 2000 years ago.

Why? because peoples need for a Savior and Redeemer and Lord way way back then is still the same today and tomorrow.

People are searching for the truth. People are longing for something that is missing in their lives. People are looking for someone to fill the vacuum within them and that vacuum is a God shaped vacuum that only God can fill in and His name is Jesus-

the reason for the “Celebrate Jesus”.

Its funny and sad but it’s probably true, “Pollsters report that 72 percent of Americans don’t know their next-door neighbors.”

Bill McKibben, in "the Age of Missing Information", Signs of the Times, February, 1994.

I hope that the people of Emmanuel UMC are not included in those figures.

Our Lord Jesus Christ and our Church- The Emmanuel United Methodist Church is in need of great commissioners- men and women, young people and children alike who will carry out the “Great Commission”.

Why? because according to the report from the conference statistician, as of December 31, 2002, Dr. Ransom Casey-Ruthland disclosed that, “total membership declined from 334,053 at the end of 2001 to 332, 124 at the end of 2002.

This is a drop of 1,929 members or 0.58 %. In the prior year, 2001 the decline was 1,185 members or 0.35%.

Does it sound Alarming to you? Yes I believe it is. Bishop Claude E. Payne in his book Reclaiming the Great Commission, said that “the United Methodist are losing approximately forty thousand members per year and have shrunk from 11.1 million to 8.5 million over the last 30 years.”

My fellow believers, where did our members go? I know some of them went home to their final destination. Some of them went home to the Lord already.

But we know for sure that the decline in our membership is not only because of death. There are other reasons...

But for those of you who were here every Sunday for couple of years now, at least you know who are those people attending our services.

Did you ever realize or asked yourselves why is it that brother or sister so and so is no longer attending our Church services?

Do you know those members who have stopped or quit attending our church?

We should know and we should have at least done something to bring them back.

That is why we have “Celebrate Jesus” so that through the invitations and witnessing that will take place during those days, the Holy Spirit will convict them to open their hearts to be responsive to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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