New Life Chapel

Where ALL are Welcome!

Sunday Sermon – The Great Commission!

Good Morning!

I want to start out this morning by saying Thank You for giving me the opportunity to be part of New Life Chapel’s future. I am really excited about this opportunity and even more excited to see what God is going to do in each of our lives. I will be the first to tell you that I will not have all of the answers and I will make mistakes. I am a firm believer that doing something is better than doing nothing, even if the something does not work. As I said I do not have all the answers but I am looking forward to see what we can do together to further God’s plans for this church and how we can impact the community.

 Being that one of our main goals for New Life Chapel is to grow, I figured we should start with one of the main goals that Jesus gave His disciples. I would be willing to bet money, and I am not a gambling man, that Pastor Stacy has taught about the Great Commission before so some of this may be a review. Even if it is, I think it is a good idea for us to begin this new adventure that we find ourselves on with a detail study of the directive Jesus gave His disciples.

 Before we get into the Great Commission lets refresh our memory of where we are in the time of events. Jesus has already been crucified on the cross, buried, and has defeated death and risen. He appeared to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and instructed them in Matthew 28:10

“Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brethren to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.” NASB

Now as we get into the Great Commission we find Jesus speaking to his Disciples in Galilee.

 Matthew 28:16

“But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated” NASB

In verse 16 it says the eleven disciples but many commentators believe this is said to emphasize that all of the 11 were there but the group was not limited to the 11. We are told by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:6, that Jesus appeared to 500 disciples at once, the commentators tell us that was here in Galilee on the mountain at this time. So basically 500 people were doing what Jesus told them to do, they went to the mountain that Jesus designated. They listened to Jesus, We need to Listen to Jesus.

 So when we get to verse 17

“When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful”

I think the interesting point here is that some doubted him, but they still went to the mountain as He directed and as soon as they saw Him they worshiped Him. I find it hard to believe that the doubters were of the 11 closest disciples to Jesus, they had already been reassured of their doubts by Jesus’ earlier appearances to them. Luke 24 shows us that when Peter saw the wrappings in the tomb he ‘marveled’ at what had happened, he knew Jesus arose from the dead. We also find Jesus appearing to two disciples on the Road to Emmaus and a couple of other times. By this time the 11 disciples or apostles were no longer doubting Jesus’ resurrection.

The doubters came out of the other 489 disciples sitting on the mountain in Galilee. Some of them might have been seeing the resurrected Jesus for the first time. So they doubted. Having some level of doubt is not a bad thing, that is how we protect ourselves from the wolves out there trying to mislead us. We need to be careful to not let the doubt interfere with us doing what Jesus wants us to do. We Need to Trust in Jesus.

Verse 18

“And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” NASB

Verse 18 is pretty self explanatory, but a point of interest is, do you remember when Jesus was being tempted by Satan? In Matthew 4:8-9 Satan Says:

“Again, the devil took Him to a very high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory;  9and he said to Him, “All these things I will give You, if You fall down and worship me”

Satan laid his cards on the table, he is offering Jesus the whole world, Satan has power on Earth and can influence things here but not in heave. Jesus is stating very factually that he has “All Authority” in heaven and on the earth. If Satan was listening in somehow he was just told that what he offered Jesus was NOTHING compared to what the Father had given Him.

Matthew 28:18 kinda sounds like Daniel 7:14

“Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away,  And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.”

So it was foretold that Jesus was going to be given power over heaven and earth and that all people will worship Him. We should take confidence in the fact that ‘All people’ will serve him. That means we need to have faith in that God’s Word is telling us and know that we will help bring ‘All people’ to Jesus. We need to have Confidence in the Word!

 Moving on to verse 19.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”

Again Jesus is talking to 500 disciples and is telling them to go and make disciples. Which if we carry this on to the next level, each one of the new disciples is tasked with making more disciples and so on and so on. That is all encompassing. All of us who are believers in Christ, which makes us a disciple, are to reach the lost and make disciples. Jesus said so, right here ‘Go therefore and make disciples”, that is as basic as it gets. Our number one priority as Christians is to make disciples.

So what does it mean for each of us to go out and make disciples? Does that mean all of us are going to be great evangelist? No, each of us has a part in the ministry of the local church. Paul talks about it in 1 Corinthians chapter 12 when he is talking about the spiritual gifts. Verse 7 tells us “But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” Each one of us is given a gift for the common good of the Whole Body of Christ and for the common good of this local group known as New Life Chapel. That means that each of us has a part to play in carrying out God’s plans and ultimately reaching the lost. In the coming months we will be working on some ideas to let people in the community know New Life Chapel is here. My hope is that most of these ideas will be things that all of us can get involved with. Simple things that show we care about the community. Verse 19 also talks about

“baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

What Jesus is telling us here is that these disciples need to be committed believers. People who are willing to follow Jesus and His teachings. People who will pledge themselves to Him. Basically it comes down to us needing to Be Active in the Making of Disciples.

 Verse 20

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

I am going to break this verse up into two parts. First we have Jesus telling us that after disciples have been made, we need to ‘Teach them to observe all that I commanded you.’ Ok, some of that teaching is going to be through structured Sermons, Sunday School, and Bible studies. But that is not the only way we can teach disciples. Each person learns differently, and all of us tap into different learning styles. A person can learn a lot from coming to church each Sunday and attending Sunday School and the main service. They can learn more from going to a mid week Bible study. In many ways that alone is going to be just ‘book knowledge’. Being a disciple of Christ has a lot more to do with what we are doing and how we are doing it, not just what we know. So another way we can teach disciples is by opening our lives to them letting them witness how we interact with people. How we handle stress, how we handle temptation, how we handle anything that comes are way. New believers or disciples are going to learn a lot more from our actions than they are going to from our words, at least in the beginning.  All of us Need to Actively Train Disciples.

 The rest of verse 20 says, ‘and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’

We don’t see the word ‘Promise’ here, but that is exactly what Jesus is doing. He is promising that He will be with us always, to the end of our days. If we take that and look at the other statements Jesus has made in verses 18 and 19, and apply this we pick up on some amazing promises.

1. Jesus is going to be with all of His disciples, that means he is with each and every one of us.

2. Jesus is going to be with us Always, forever.

3. He is going to be with us with all of His authority

4. He is going to be with us with all of His power

5. He is going to be with us on during the good days and the bad

6. He is going to be with us when we go and make disciples

7. He is going to be with us when we teach them

Jesus is telling His disciples, that He will be with them always. No Ifs, Ands, or Buts about it, Jesus will be with us always.

 Ok, so we want to grow New Life Chapel. To do that we need to be looking at what God wants us to do. The Great Commission tells us in Jesus’ own words that He wants all of us to be active in reaching and making of disciples. So what do we need to do as a church. How can we break this down.

I think we essentially have 5 basic steps.

1. Develop a strategy to reach the lost. What steps are we going to take?

2. We need to Reach Out – develop simple activities that shows the community we care

3. We need to Plug In – As people show up, get them involved, get them in a Bible study or coming to Sunday School

4. We need to Build Up – We need to teach and train each person, starting with all of us in the church today, and include anyone who walks in the door next week, next month, or even next year.

5. We need to Send Out – We need to stay outward focused and empower people to do ministry.

 If all of us are committed to reaching the lost and working together we will find that our commitment to do the Lord’s will, will lead to the growth of our church.

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January 31, 2010 - Posted by | Sermon

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