The Great Commission (Staying On Track)
This week’s sermon focuses on the Great Commission, and what the commission means to believers and the world. The Great Commission is truly a charge to keep
My key verse:
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Do you know what the Great Commission is? I find myself beginning to ask many believers this question more often nowadays. Why? The Great Commission is something that a believer should know. I referred to the Great Commission in last week’s sermon, and in last week’s sermon I noted that a commission is defined as a charge or given command to perform. The believer has been given a charge and a command by the Son of God – Christ.
Jesus commanded all believers to teach all nations to observe all things He commanded. Jesus charged His followers to baptize all nations in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We have been charged with spreading God’s gospel – emphasis on God’s gospel. Jesus did not command us to go unto all nations spreading our own gospel but that of His own. Are we following the charge given to us? Are we performing our commissioned task from Jesus Christ? This week’s sermon focuses on the Great Commission, and what the commission should mean to both believers and the world.
Understanding the Great Commission
I should say that when I ask believers about the Great Commission there are moments of hesitation before providing an answer. Personally, this frustrates me more than it upsets me because I feel that this is something believers should be able to rattle off quickly. Why don’t we teach about our charge anymore? Why don’t we teach about the Great Commission? It seems that we will teach about everything else but the truthful doctrine of Christ.
We, that’s both believers and non-believers, have our very own doctrine that we want to teach and live by; however, I am focusing on us believers right now because only believers was giving a charge from Christ. We have our very own doctrine of faith and how one should “church”. Our doctrine includes how one should should dress; I harp on this one a lot because I have seen this turn people away from Jesus Christ. There’s different principles of faith by denomination. Catholics practice going before the priest for confession; Baptist believe in the water immersion of baptism; the Seven Day Adventist hold to the Sabbath.
Any doctrine that holds to and focuses on Jesus Christ as Savior, and the Son of God, is good and sound doctrine. Unfortunately we have let our very own thoughts and doctrine come into and pollute the sound doctrine of the Gospel. The idea that you’re suppose to “church” (practice your faith) according to man’s rules is simply not right. The Church has become an inclusive body because the “believers” that make up the body have made up their rules to include the ones they want to include. Again, this is wrong and should be put to a stop because within the commission we find that Jesus wants all nations, that means all people, to make up His body.
The true principle of the Commission
What is more important, what Jesus wants or what we want? A believer should be able to easily answer this question, and even a non-believer would be able to give the proper answer to that question. Jesus states, in verse 19, that He wants us to “go therefore and make disciples (followers) of all nations.” Jesus’ body is not going to be made up of one selective group of people.
Jesus goes on to say that He wants us to “baptize them (all nations) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” We often take this expression as a literal expression, which is certainly true, but we should also look at this expression spiritually. We are to baptize all people in the gospel of truth through our teaching. Our teaching of God’s gospel ought to be LIKE baptism – an immersion of truth to all people.
Note that Jesus say, in verse 20, we are to teach them to observe all things Jesus commanded; Let’s continue to put emphasis on the words teach and Jesus commanded. We are to teach all nations, but do we understand what the word teach means? Teaching is defined as explaining or showing how to do; educating. In other words, teaching is not dictating to others but merely explaining to others. We are to explain to the world what Jesus commanded and taught. Jesus commanded that we love one another, believe in Him, and ask in His name – this is what we should be teaching.
An abandoned commission
Unfortunately we, the Church, have collectively abandoned the commission of spreading God’s gospel. As I preached last week, we have did our best to move from under God’s authority and now do our best to spread our own gospel and build up our own glory. We move about looking to have roads named after us, or have people give us the praise instead of giving God the glory, honor, and praise. The Church body no longer works in unity as it once did in the very early days of the Church. Jesus even prayed on the unity of His believers in a beautiful prayer that you can read in John 17; specifically in John 17:21 we see Jesus pray –
that they (His believers) all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
It was very important that the body move as one so that the world, that’s the non-believers, could also believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Unfortunately the different parts of the body is moving in different direction all at the same time. There are “church folk” of different denominations spreading their message, and there are those that believe that won’t step foot in a church trying to spread their message of the gospel. What do you suppose happens when differing messages of Jesus is being spread throughout the world? The message will become confusing, right? Guess what has now happened in the world? God’s gospel has become distorted and very confusing to those that wish to believe or find truth in God – it’s hard for them to find the truth.
The gospel was never meant to confuse, cause strife, or grief to the world. Unfortunately, Christianity is now seen as the religion that makes no sense, creates strife, and causes nothing but trouble. Actually, this is nothing new when it comes to Christianity which is why, if we are going to draw the world to Christ, we must look at what we are doing. Non-believers certainly feel this way about the Church and even feel that they can’t trust the Church, as it is “up to no good”. Many believers are beginning to second guess their church leaders because even they realize there’s something not quite right about the teaching. It is time for the preachers, the teachers, and the congregation to get back to the truth; we need to get back on track.
The Purpose of the Church
This is a message to all believers – whether you go to church consistently, or whether you feel your way is the best way. All believers are meant to spread God’s gospel, not create and cause strife. We are to go out and teach, not dictate and command, God’s gospel. We are to teach God glorified (revealed) in His Son. We are to teach Jesus’ commandments. We are to teach His death and the purpose of His death. We are to teach His resurrection and the purpose of His rising from the dead. We are to teach His ascension and how He now sits on the right side of God. We are to teach of His return and how we will gain salvation (forgiveness and victory) over our sins.
Jesus came to this world and revealed the truth of God as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus died to serve as a sacrifice for all men, women, boys, and girls sins. Jesus rose from the grave to show that He had all power over all things. Jesus now sits on the right hand side of the Father as He is the High Priest – the true mediator between man and the Father. Jesus promised that He would return for us (John 14:1-4), and receive us unto Himself so that we may dwell with Him in the Father’s house – this is why He will return.
All power has been given to Christ and this is all of what we have been commissioned to teach; the extracurricular teachings of the church is just that – extra. Teach God’s love for man, teach His mercy for man, and teach His promise of salvation for man (John 3:16).
The other day I saw a young man that blamed “religion” for the world’s problems – He was really talking about Christianity. Faith in Christ is not why the world is in the shape it’s in today; it is the world’s selfishness and greed. Selfishness and greed are the causes of all the strife that’s in the world today, and unfortunately we have allowed that selfishness and greed to seep in and pollute the one place we never should have allowed it to come in – the body of Christ.
To the Church and all of those that have professed faith in Jesus Christ, we must return to our true calling and purpose – the Great Commission. We absolutely must return to building people for the Kingdom of God – I want you standing by my side in the Father’s House! The real truth is that ALL people have a right to inherit the Kingdom of God, not just a select few, but you (yourself) have to CHOOSE that you want to inherit that kingdom and dwell there – you have to believe. Jesus died so that you be judged INNOCENT of living in and in this world of sin; all you have to do is believe that He is the Son of God and that it is only Him that is capable of forgiving you. Believers, let us get back on track, and on one accord, teaching the doctrine of Jesus. If you are not teaching His Gospel, or His truth, check yourself! The Great Commission is a charge that can not only save you but save this world.