TEXT: Matthew 28:19, 20
INTRODUCTION: The command to give the Gospel to the world is clear and unmistakable, and this Commission was given to the church (Matthew 28:19, 20; Mark 16:15; John 20:21; Acts 1:8; Romans 10:13-15). After Jesus had spent 33 1/2 years in this world, with 3 1/2 years of that in public ministry, accomplishing redemption for us by His sacrificial death and after being raised from the dead, He established sufficient witness to His resurrection. Then He ascended from Mt. Olivet into Heaven and as Head over the church, He is directing His work on earth from Heaven through the agency of the Holy Spirit. However, before He ascended, Jesus met with His disciples on several occasions and discussed with them things that pertain to the kingdom of God. This was the end of a particular era and the beginning of another, a period when the responsibility of the work of God's kingdom was placed squarely upon the institution that is called the church.
I. THE GREAT COMMISSION - Matthew 28:19, 20.
A. An active and aggressive participation is expected. The command to the church is to "GO." As thrilling as the promise of Christ's return is, our waiting, looking, and longing for His return should not cause us to cease in our labor and service, but should be an encouragement while we carry on the work He has told us to do - Matthew 20:6; Acts 1:11.
B. Outreach evangelism is involved - Matthew 28:19. The command to "GO" to the nations of the world shows that our interest should not be limited too just our own local church, but we should reach out to others - Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8.
C. There is a need for cooperative effort - Matthew 28:19. The lost are in spiritual darkness. The Gospel must be taken to them and the world is a big place. No individual can reach all nations; Therefore, we need to cooperate with others to reach the lost - 1 Corinthians 3:6, 9.
II. THE GREAT CAUSE.
A. There is no greater cause to be involved in than winning the lost to Christ, baptizing them, and teaching them God's Word. Feeding the hungry, providing medicine and care for the sick, educating the minds of people is all important, but none of these things are as important as reaching the lost with the Gospel.
B. The value of souls - Mark 8:36.
C. The helplessness of the unsaved - Romans 10:13-15.
D. The fate of the unsaved.
1. They cannot dwell in heaven - John 3:3.
2. They will go to hell if they die unsaved - Psalm 9:17.
D. The urgency of reaching the lost.
1. Opportunities are vanishing - John 9:4.
2. The hour is late - Matthew 24:33.
3. The laborers are few - Matthew 9:37.
III. THE GREAT CHALLENGE - John 4:35-37.
A. No Christian is exempt from the work of reaching the lost. All of us should be actively involved. There is something that all of us can do to reach the multitudes. Let us consider three things that need to be done to fulfill the Great Commission.
1. GOING - Taking the Gospel to the unsaved.
a. There must be a willingness - Isaiah 6:8.
b. Personal Soul-winning - Psalm 126:5, 6.
c. Everyone can at least try to reach the lost in their own vicinity.
d. Accepting a special call to a specific field - Acts 16:10.
2. GIVING - Giving to enable others to take the Gospel to the regions beyond - 2 Corinthians 10:16; Philippians 4:15-18.
a. We need to pray that more laborers will help with the harvest of
souls - Matthew 9:38.
b. We need to pray for those who are already laboring to reach the lost - 1 Samuel 12:23; 2 Thessalonians 3:1.
CONCLUSION: Missions is the job of every born-again Christian. No one is exempt from this call. A church that is Mission Minded is a church that is well-pleasing in the sight of the Lord. To ignore the doctrine or teaching in the Word of God concerning Missions is to err greatly. Missions is Bible. Missions is the call of God to every Christian and every church. Have you accepted this call?