Summary: Detailed look at Great Comission
Hudson Taylor is legend in missionary circles. He spent 51 years in China, brought more than 800 missionaries to that country in his lifetime. Started 125 schools and more than 300 outreach stations. He spoke five different chinese dialects and led more than 18,000 people directly to Jesus in his lifetime.
Jim Elliot was a missionary to the Auca indians of Ecuador and was so committed to taking Jesus to the unknown tribe of the Waodani. He and four others were killed in 1956 by the Waodani tribe.
Mother Teresa went to the poor of Calcutta. For 45 years she took care of the poor, the sick, the orphaned, the dying. She also guided the expansion of her society to 610 missions in 123 countries an won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.
Billy Graham started preaching in the 1940’s and preached more than 420 crusades around the world touching Billions of people.
I thank God for those people—those leaders—those champions. But I also must confess other feelings when I hear them.
Feelings of inadequecy, failure. Feelings like I’m not doing something right, or maybe I’m not good enough. Feelings that maybe if I’m not doing that—then I’m letting God down.
Especially when we look at the passage of scripture we want to look at this morning.
We began two weeks ago this theme of “The Greatest”.
We looked at the Great Omission of the Church---to go and make disciples, which is in fact the Great Comission of the Church.
Last week we looked at the greatest need---to simply obey that mandate.
This morning we look at the greatest direction----Go to the World.
Those were Jesus words—some of his final words---there with his disciples—He lays out the plan. He brings it down to the simplest form. There in Matthew 28:
“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.”
That’s the plan. For people who are disciples, followers, to make more disciples or followers. That’s the only mandate. The only command in those 61 words is to make disciples. But he does give us process in accomplishing that mandate.
And this morning we want to look at the direction----Go.
There is a potential for this command to bring great frustration, guilt, self judgment, pride, arrogance, condemnation. We use it to motivate people, but also to beat people up. We think of those famous who have gone---and figure this verse must mean those people, but could never mean me.
That misunderstanding, I believe, is one of the major reasons the church in our culture, in our time is getting weaker, not stronger. Jesus never meant for this instruction to be only taken by a few. He also did not mean that every person was to leave their home country and travel to foreign land. But he did mean this verse for everyone who wants to be a disciple.
The actual translation of the word Jesus used there means as you Go.
In your moment by moment living-----make disciples. As you Go to work, as you go to school, as you go home, as you go about your day, as you go----make disciples of all nations---everywhere you go.
And my goal this morning---is for us, rather than feeling afraid or defeated by this verse, this instruction of Jesus, I want us to see how to embrace it and actually enjoy the fulfillment of it in our lives.
So—a few truths about Going and some “How To” this morning. Ok?
Truth #1—My relationship with God needs to be healthy and growing.
Here’s the reality of this truth. You don’t have to encourage people that have a healthy, growing relationship with God to Go make disciples. It happens. We, by nature, share our positive experiences with other people. When we move from being a church member, to a follower of Jesus, we will tell others about the blessings of that relationship. Discipleship is simply telling someone else your story of God’s participation in your life. If we get our relationship with God healthy----the going becomes part of us. We must give attention to followers maturing—not just getting older. I heard of one lady who realized this truth. She said she had been a one year old Christian 21 times. She joined---got the routine—but never grew in the relationship.
Next month we are going to work on some ways for our relationship with God to grow.
Truth #2—My Life perspective must center around eternity.
It is so easy to get distracted to the temporary. Temporary desires and joys, and success. If I live my life for only the time I’m on earth---I have no reason to make disciples. If I am focused on me and mine and what I can get and do while I’m here----I really don’t care enough about anyone else to take the time. But---as followers, everything changes and it is about so much more then just here and now. I must live with a eternal perspective to be a disciplemaker.