But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
“Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.”
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
Beginning this week and every week in your bulletin, you will find this: When was the last time you asked someone to join you in church? It is our call to bring others to know Jesus more, to center on Christ once a week, it is the responsibility of ALL as disciples of Jesus – “Therefore go and make disciples”
Before we begin, let’s clarify that Jesus did not say, “Go and save souls” (the salvation of souls is the supernatural work of God), but He said “Go and make disciples of all nations. Disciples of Jesus that are radical, make a large commitment to today’s scripture and the words and challenge given by Jesus to us. Radical Christians concentrate on the words “go home and tell your friends, go therefore, and Jesus I will be your witness to all I know in the world with my life and with my words.” Radical Christians concentrate on being the Lord’s instrument out into the world. Radical passionate Christians ask Jesus to guide them in order to grow the body of Christ in the world. It is a call to help others find and then get to know Jesus
I respectfully ask us today, are we, are you, committed to the commission given by Jesus Christ and if so is that really true? What did you do this week in order to spread the Gospel of Jesus to the lost, the broken, the ones whom if Jesus returned today, would spend eternity separated from God forever. That’s hell. Do you consider this to be important? Then right now between you and God, honestly answer the Lord.
Folks, this isn’t about filling the seats of church, this isn’t about more people mean more ministry, more events, more fellowship, bigger budget or less budget woes, this is life and death, being with Jesus forever or separated from God forever. You who have gathered here today know that by faith in Jesus the good news is that we are redeemed from death and heaven awaits. Is that not the absolutely the greatest, most wonderful thing in the world…we just celebrated this fact two weeks ago, it’s fresh in your mind….so who did you tell this too this week?
Now I know that you all believe this just like you believe in other things. When you believe firmly in something what do you do? You tell people that you are a IU, Purdue, Kentucky, Princeton Tiger, The Voice, George Strait, Gray’s Anatomy, Trump, Cruz, Kasich, Clinton, Sanders, or none of the above fan! Believing in these things is good, rooting and doing things for these things is good, but if you do more things for these things than actions for Jesus then let’s call these “things” what they are, they are an idol above God. Are there idols which are above Jesus for you?
You discuss it, you bring it up, you attempt help others believe what you believe. And I know right now Jesus asks you, who have you made an effort with this week, ……….. ..to enter into the joy of knowing Jesus.
Now one of the ways we help people know Jesus is when we use our lives to love, bless and serve others. Why try to make a difference in other people’s lives, why care. The world actually depends on it. Now more than ever the world needs hope and the hope that Jesus provides is forever, it’s the living water, the well that never runs dry. Can you imagine a world where nobody cared about anybody else? Can you imagine a world where nobody tried to ever help anybody else? Where disciples of Jesus didn’t help others know about Jesus? There is no better way to strengthen your heart than to lift someone else up in the love of Jesus.
We are expected to by God. Our scripture said to “Go, therefore, and make disciples …” That means that we are expected to reach out to others and make a difference in their lives; a difference for God, because if we will but introduce others to Christ, He will make a difference in their lives. I know this may seem repetitive, but seriously, do you think that this is really being done by us.
Jesus didn’t say to go and be happy. He didn’t say go and make money. He didn’t even say go to church and then go home. He said go and make disciples. The word disciples means one who embraces and assists in the spreading of a teaching. Certainly we embrace the teaching of Jesus, don’t we? And if we do, we are called and expected to assist in the spreading of that teaching. And that is the best way of all in which to help someone else.
Consider what kind of people make a difference? You are just as worthy and capable as the people we find in the Bible. The people who made a difference were not people of great talent or knowledge or anything else. They were just average people like you and me who were honest and sincere. Some say that to work for God you need to be F.A.T. That stands for FAITHFUL, AVAILABLE, and TEACHABLE.
Certainly, many Christians are faithful in their belief that Jesus is the Son of God and our only Savior. Not all of those Christians are always available to spread the good news. And many Christians do not let themselves become teachable, because to do that, they would have to be open to new ideas, and ways, and learning and maybe change some of their ideas, and ways and methods and they won’t do it.
You will find that many people actually resist trying to help others because that means they would have to get up and go, or get up and do. That is okay, because many of the people in the Bible who helped resisted at first, too. Look at Moses. He tried his best to keep from going to Pharaoh. But when he finally did what God told him to do, look at the tremendous impact he made for the Lord.
God told Jonah to go to Nineveh. What did he do? He got on a ship and tried to go the other way! He finally did what God wanted, too, and because of that, an entire city was saved. Peter was chosen to be Jesus’ disciple, yet out of fear, he even denied that he knew Jesus. But Peter was given another chance and became a very strong doer of the word.
You say you aren’t all that qualified. Paul, who has probably brought more people to the feet of Jesus than anyone else was not an eloquent speaker. Billy Graham almost quit early on because he lacked confidence in his abilities. Now we can look back and see how many people he has introduced to Jesus as Christ.
Look at the differences all these people made. None were qualified. None were overly smart, rich, talented, or anything else. But they did have one thing in common. What was it? They all had a heart that loved God and wanted to serve Him.
You got to try, even when you think you’re not qualified. We must realize that God does not call the qualified, but he does qualify the called. He wants you to work for Him. If you refuse, you will pay a price for your decision. And it doesn’t matter how big a laundry list of excuses you come up with, none are valid. But if you do His work, you will reap a reward better than our minds are able to understand.
Just climb on the bike and try it. God will help you do it. It starts by doing. If you don’t know the Bible, get to know it. If you don’t know what to say, ask God for help and then say something. God will not let you fall down, you may wobble but you won’t fall.
Too often, we aren’t available to work for God because we are very comfortable people, and in our comfort, we expect God to come down and let us work for him in the way we find, well – the way we find most comfortable to us. This is not how God works, however. God expects each one of us to sacrifice. He wants us to sacrifice our comfort zones so that we will have to depend on Him.
Remember the story about a chicken and a pig. I am guessing that many might relate to the chicken and think that is OK. But God demands more. A pig and a chicken were walking down the road together. As they walked along they read a sign advertising a breakfast to benefit the poor. The chicken said to the pig, “You and I should donate a ham and egg sandwich.” The pig replied, “Not so fast, for you it would just be a contribution, but for me it would be a total commitment.”
God wants the total commitment that the pig understood was required. Too often we might be like the chicken, contributing an egg now and then to the cause of spreading the word of Jesus to the world. The community multiplies when we commit and focus our lives to the loving of others who don’t know Jesus. By telling them in deed and word that Jesus loves them and wants a relationship with them.
Do you honestly want to follow what Jesus says? We have discussed the qualifications, we have discussed the heaven and hell issue, are there loved ones in your life that don’t know Jesus, or friends that don’t know Jesus, or don’t you see the world of people around you who don’t know Jesus?
Are you too busy to not do what is right starting right now? Listen to James: “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.” Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wishes, we will live and do this or that.” Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin. God is counting on you to multiply the community, it’s the right thing to do. Don’t sin