Summary: The concluding sermon that focuses on Jesus' promise to us...and what it means for how long we make disciples.
Let’s get to our passage. Turn over to Matthew 28. This passage might be pretty familiar to you, but that’s ok. When you get to Matthew 28, we’ll read verses 19-20. Pay attention to this passage…as it lays the foundation for what we’re studying today. Let’s read our passage for today…again, it’s Matthew 28:19-20.
It says: 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Well, here we are…at the end of our series about making disciples. Now, as I say at the end of every kind of series like this, there’s always more we could say about the topic. There’s more that we haven’t covered…including what we’re going to talk about this morning…when it comes to making disciples. But if the Lord tarries we’ll probably come around to it at some point.
So now that we’ve looked at how we need to be disciples ourselves, and how the disciples went about making disciples back in biblical times and made sure we had the right motivation for making disciples and dissected each part of Jesus’ Great Commission…you might wonder…now what?
And the answer, simply…is…everything that we’ve talked about? Do it. Don’t just let it be a hypothetical thing that you’ve heard in a sermon series. We need to make disciples in the church and as the church. We need to put all of this into practice. Today. And tomorrow. And every other day…to the very end of the age.
We can’t be Christians…we can’t be the church…and not make disciples. It’s like James writes in 1:22 of his letter: “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” If we don’t work as hard as we can at making disciples…especially after spending so many weeks talking about its importance…then we deceive ourselves. We’re fooling ourselves into thinking we’re disciples…that we’re Christians…when we’re not living up to either of those titles.
*So let’s do everything we’ve talked about. And do what we’re going to talk about this morning. We’re going to wrap up this series talking about how we do what the Commission says…how we make disciples…and what’s going to happen when we do. When we allow God to work…we’ll see results. And we’ll be following his commands.
**For starters, it won’t take long for us to see that we’re going to face opposition when we live out the kind of Christianity that Jesus called us to live. The pushback from the world is going to happen. There’ll be all kinds of people who will try to discourage you as you make disciples. But that is why…and this is our first point for this morning…we need to stand firm for Christ.
We’re warned in Ephesians 6 that there is a spiritual war going on around us. Some of it will play out in the physical world that we’re living in. But, ultimately, Paul writes…our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood but against the rulers, authorities, the powers of this dark world, and the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. It can sound pretty daunting.
Knowing that, many Christians don’t take a stand for their Savior. Especially here in America. For the most part, they attend their church’s worship services, they quietly go about their lives, and when they face opposition from the other side…they slink back and cower.
But there’s no reason for that! Why? Because of what Jesus says. He’s with us to the very end of the age. He’s with us. He’s sent us the Holy Spirit. God has, when you continue reading there in Ephesians, God has provided an “armor” that we can put on to stand firm. We have a belt of truth, a breastplate of righteousness, our feet are fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace, we take up the shield of faith, our heads are covered with the helmet of salvation, and we have the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
He’s with us! And he’s given us everything we need! So even when we face troubles as we go about making disciples as we’re called to do…we don’t have to worry. We can stand firm for the one who’s there along with us! That’s why Paul writes what he does in 1 Corinthians 15:58. After reminding us that Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection from the grave has given us the victory, he says: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”