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I'm On A Mission From God

December 2, 2018 Speaker: Ted Detiveaux Series: Go and Tell Our World

Topic: Evangelism Scripture: Matthew 28:16–:20

I’m On a Mission from God

There is a famous Christian pastor and writer named David Platt.  He and His wife moved to New Orleansfor a season to attend seminary.

In his book radicalhe talks about his experience when He was in Sudan, Africa.  He had met a you man named Bullen.  Bullen had been separatedfrom his family as a child and had raised himself in Sudan. 

Thousandsof his brothers and sisters in Christ were killed by Muslim militants. Because of this, Bullen had learned to trust in Christwhen there was nothing else to trust in. One day Bullen and David are having a conversationand Bullen makes a statement to David Platt “David, I am going to impact the world.” 

David thinks about this for a moment and then ask Bullen howhe was going to do that. Bullen lived in the African bushwith almost no resources, yet here he was declaring “I am going to impact the world.”

Bullen tells David “I’m going to make disciples of all nations.”

David stunnedby his reply repeats back to Bullen what he had just heard.  “So, you are going to impact the world by making disciples of all nations?”

Bullen’s reply was “Why Not”

Bullen’s plan to impact the world is basically the same plan that Jesus has laidout for his followers to impact the world around them.

It does not matter what countrywe live in, what skillswe possess, what kind of educationdo we have, what kind of salarydo we make, Jesus has commanded each of us to go thereforeand make disciples.  By doing so, we will impact the world around us.

So let us first look at this great commissionthat Jesus has called his followers to.  

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 

Before the disciples were to receive the great commission and be launched into their ministries, they must first leave Jerusalemand travel to a mountain in Galilee, probably the same mountain on which he was transfigured.  By the way Galilee was about 70 milesaway from Jerusalem.  But, traveling to Galilee waspart of their obedienceto Christ’s command. 

If they were not at the right placeat the right time, they could have missed outon one of the greatest missionsgiven to the church. 

Just some food for thought, are you at the right placewhich is in accordance to the will of God?

  • Are you at the right job, the right school, the right neighborhood, the right friends, for the single people right relationship? Are you at the right place in your life for God to do something great?

17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 

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

Disciple-        learner, one who follows one’s teachings

one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another

First Jesus is telling his followers to go.  This implies movement, they are not to remainwhere they are but they are to go. 

When they go, they are to make disciples.  What does that involve?

  1. The first thing it involves is declaringthe gospel. Telling others about Christ, about his role in our salvation, and about our personal experiences.
  2. Once a person has heard the gospel, then they must decide.Will they believe it, receive it and run with it or will they reject it and run away from it.
  3. If they do believe it and want to change a confession of faithneeds to be made.

After they confess their sins before him and confess Jesus as their Lord.  Then they are saved.

  1. They then need to be baptizedas a symbol of their commitment to Jesus.
  2. At this point they will need to be discipled. In other words, they need to be taught how to pray, how to read scripture, how to die dailyto their selfish desires, they need to be taught how to serveand how to givegenerously, they need to be taught how to sharetheir testimony with others.

It all starts with the first step, declaring the gospel. 

Romans 10:14-17

14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

From this verse we learn that faith comes by hearingthe word of God.  Think about when youheard the messageof the gospel for the first time.  You believedit, you receivedit, but you firstheard it.  You heard it from someone who was about the great commission. 

Faith in Christ comes byhearing the word. 

I think a lot of times we expect people to grasp the truths of the gospel through osmosis.  The truth of the matter is that they must be told.  Yes, God can surely bypass usif He so chose to do so, but He has set in place a methodby which man is saved.  The first stepof that method is hearingthe gospel, which requires someone speakingit.  That someone is you and I.

Perhaps a few questions arise upon hearing that it is our responsibility to share the gospel.

  • How do we know Jesus was not talking only to the disciples that were there?
  1. He tells them to make disciples of all nations. Was it humanly possible for these 11 disciples to reach all the nationsof the world? 

 

So, what must happen for this to be accomplished?  They would have to invest themselves into otherswhat they have been taught so that theyin turn would do the same thing, so that more ground could be covered, so that eventually they could indeed reach all nations. If this isn’t enough to convince you that it is your responsibility, then there is more.

20 teaching them to observeallthat I have commanded you.

  1. The disciples are told to “teach them” all that I have “commanded you.” What did Jesus command his disciples? To go thereforeand make disciples.  What were his disciples to teach them? To go therefore and make disciples.

One more thing

And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  1. Jesus is saying that He will be with them to the end of the age.Did that mean his disciples would live to see the endof the age?  Not those disciples, all but one of them dieda martyr’s death. 

 

If those disciples diedand Jesus had intendedfor this gospel to be preached to the end of time, then that means it is up to us.

Another questionthat may arise when fulfilling our call to make disciples is “What do I say?”You may not feel qualifiedenough to say anything.

But you are a witness!  To be a witness at an accidentdoesn’t require a PhD in engineeringto properly relate to an officer what happened. What qualifies a witness at an accident is the fact they were there, andthey witnessed what happened. 

You will not have all the answerswhen defending your faith, but one thing you do have is your testimony.  You know what God has done for you. You are a witnessto what He has done in your life.  No one can take that awayfrom you.

If you are fearfulof what to say, or of what people will say about you think on this scripture.

2 Timothy 1:7

7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.

Luke 12:11-12

11… do not be anxious about how you should defend yourself or what you should say, 12 for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

You are not alone.  God has given you the Holy Spiritwho will give you the right wordsto say and the right wayto say it accompanied with the authority from heaven.

Look back at Matthew 28:18“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Then the very next word is Go.  Because He has authorityover everything including youand I, He has authorizedyou, or He has given you authority to Go.

In a sense the blues brothers had it rightin saying “I’m on a mission from God.”

So, to forfeit your callingto be a witness because of not knowing what to say, is just an excuse. The real problem is unwillingness.  The Holy Spiritwill give you the words to sayat the appropriate time.

That is the biggestthing about witnessing, being ledby the Holy Spirit. Turning your everydayconversation to the hopethat we have in Jesus.

The Holy Spirit will not only give you the wordsto say but will show you the wayto speak those words in order to be an effective witness.  We must be willingto listen to that still small voice.

We don’t want to limit evangelizingto some formula, every person you encounter will be uniquely different.  What will work for one person may not work for another.  But oneuniversallanguage that everyone understands is “love.”

When we were in El Salvador, most of our team could not speak Spanish.  However, we were still able to be effectivewitnesses as we went demonstrating the loveof Christ.

People know the differencebetween those who come at them with a heart that is genuinelyconcernedfor their spiritual wellbeing and those who are just ready to beat them downfor their sins.

For the most part people already knowthat they are sinners they don’t need to be told that.  They need to be shown how they can be reconciled backinto a healthy relationship with their heavenly father.

In closing, I would like for us to look at this passage.

1 Peter 3:13-15

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good?14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christthe Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hopethat is in you; yet do it with gentlenessand respect

As you begin to let people in on the hopethat is within you, you are fulfillingthe great commission.

We want to close out with this skit, that illustrates how we can take ordinary conversation and turn it into kingdom minded conversation.

 

 

 

 

Person 1         Hey man did you watch that game on Thursday?

Person 2         I did, the Saints put a whopping on those Cowboys.

 

Person 1         I know right, Drew Put up over 300 yards of offense.

Person 2         Yea and going into the game Dallas’s defense ranked #7

 

Person 1         It was an incredible victory.  But do you know what was an even greater victory than that?

Person 2         When the Saints beat the eagles 48-7

 

Person 1         That was big victory.  But I was talking about something even greater than that.

Person 2         Well I give up, you’re just going to have to tell me

 

Person 1         I am talking about when Jesus defeated, death hell and the grave by dying on a cross and then raising himself back to life. He did this so that we can be forgiven of our sins and experience a newness of life.

Person 2         That’s crazy, why would anyone do that?  You really believe that stuff?

 

Person 1         I believe it because I have experienced what He has done in my life.  I no longer carry the guilt and shame of my past sins, I have been forgiven. 

Person 2         You were a goody two-shoes what sins could you possibly have committed?

 

Person 1         The bible says in Romans 3:23 

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

And then in Romans 6:23 it says

23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In other words, because of our sins we deserve death. Whether those sins are big or small the payment for those sins is death.  Not just a natural death, we will all die.  We are talking about being eternally separated from God.

Person 2         But I’m a good person, I never killed anyone. 

Person 1         Have you ever lied before?

Person 2         Yes

Person 1         then that makes you a what?

Person 2         a liar

Person 1         Have you ever stolen before?

Person 2         Yes

Person 1        then that makes you a what?

Person 2         a thief

Person 1         Have you ever undressed a woman in your mind?

Person 2         all the time

Person 1         then according to the bible you are a liar, thief and an adulterer. 

You’re a messed-up dude!  How do you feel about that?

Person 2         Very ashamed. 

Person 1         But there is hope.

Person 2         There is?

Person 1         Yes, the bible also says in Romans 10:9

because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

You don’t have to live life feeling ashamed anymore you can be free.

Are you ready to make a decision to follow after Jesus?

Person 2         Yes, I am

Person 1         Let’s Pray

           

 

 

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