Summary: The "C" (conviction, concern, consecration)in The Great Commission is missing in many churches, thus creating The Great Omission.
The Great Omission
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.
38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 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,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.""
Illus.: The Forgotten Letter Drop
Several years ago the city of Pittsburgh constructed a large, new post office at the cost of several million dollars. On the day of it’s opening, the Governor made a speech, the bands played and the people cheered. It was quite a celebration.
But when the first man entered to mail a letter, to the embarrassment of the engineers, it was discovered that in the rush to meet the deadline, they had omitted the usual letter drop. Here was a costly new post office, but no place to mail a letter! It was a slight omission, but it negated the very reason for it’s existence.
That brings me to the very point of this message: WHEN ANY CHURCH LOSES THE SPIRIT OF THE GREAT COMMISION, IT SURRENDERS THE VERY REASON FOR IT’S EXISTENCE.
Missions is not a side line! It is the LIFELINE of the church.
A slight omission can bring serious consequences. There is an English Proverb which fits well here:
For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost.
All on account of a lost nail!
WHEN ANY CHURCH OMITS THE MISSIONARY PROGRAM FROM ITS ACTIVITY, THE RESULT IS TRAGIC! Why? Because the people lose their vision and become ingrown and self-focused.
Illus.: “Empty Offering Plate”
An artist who wished to paint a picture of a “dead church” visited a sanctuary with beautiful stained-glass windows and a magnificent pipe organ. Every pew was filled, but the offering plate, lying in the vestibule, was marked “FOR MISSIONS” and was conspicuously empty. It was then that the artist knew he had his subject.
When we take the word “commission” and drop off the first letter, we have the word, “omission.” A slight change in spelling, but a serious change in meaning.
What does the letter “C” stand for in the word COMMISSION? What are the essential elements in the life of the church, which if found, turn the Great Commission into the Great Omission?
1. “C” Stands for CONVICTION
Conviction that all men are lost and need a Redeemer. The Bible says, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Isa.53:6). When a church loses this conviction, indifference and complacency settle in.
Conviction that Jesus Christ is the only Redeemer. The Bible says, “There is one God, and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim.2:5). There aren’t many ways to God—only one.
When we lose these convictions, we have turned the Great Commission into the Great Omission.
2. “C” Stands for CONCERN
Jesus was concerned about the plight and the needs of people. In our passage from Matthew 9, we find that He was “moved with compassion when He saw the multitudes, because they fainted and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd” (vs.36).
Illus.: “Happy Without Christ?”
Years ago, some missionaries were making an attempt to reach a remote tribe in Borneo with the Gospel of Christ. Traders in that same area criticized their efforts. “Why don’t you just leave these people alone; they are happy with their own religion; they don’t need another religion.” Happy? Bound by evil spirits, disease, drunkenness, polygamy, war, hatred. It was the compassion of Christ in these missionaries that led them to this people group with the liberating Gospel of Christ.
I heard of a church recently that was at one time, a vibrant, growing testimony to the community. They averaged about 400 in the morning service. Then they became ingrown and within a short time they were averaging 35.