A.Jesus began his
ministry teaching people that the kingdom of God was near, they should repent.His ministry lasting for some 3 1/2
years, he taught men (called to be apostles) the words of eternal life. (John 6:63)“…The words
that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”Knowing that He
would only be here a short time, he prepared them to do a work after he would
leave this world.He was bringing
in a new covenant and these men would carry forth this word, teaching people the
good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.Just before he ascended to heaven to be with the Father, he gave a
command to his apostles: (Matt. 28:19-20;
Mark 16:15-16). These verses are referred
to as the “Great Commission.”
B.The question asked is “Why do we believe in the “Great Commission?”
1.To begin with, this is a command of our Lord. In other words, it is
imperative to our salvation that we obey all his
2.It is also given in example as you will see in the lesson, being carried
forth by his apostles.
3.With a command and an example, there should be no question that this is
for us to follow.
C.These commands known as the “Great Commission” and should be seen as
marching orders from the captain of the God’s Army. “All power
(authority) is given unto me in heaven and earth”(Mt.
28:18). God has said of his Son, “This is my
beloved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him”(Mt.
D.It should be noted that
the term “Great Commission” is not used in the Bible, but has been given to show
the urgency of the One who gave the command, Jesus
E.(Acts 5:17-42) - The apostles were
imprisoned for preaching Christ. The high priest and Sadducees were filled w/
indignation (with anger) and laid hands on them putting them in
F.The Angel of the Lord opened the prison doors by night and commissioned
them to “Go,
Stand and Speak in the temple to the people all the words of this
1.This is the same commission given to them already, as we refer to the
2.They are just carrying out the commission given to them once
already.They are released from
prison and where are they sent?They are sent right back in the middle of those who just locked them
3.Because of the imprisonment, I’m quite sure they are asking themselves,
“Is this what God really expects me to be doing?”
4.So, the answer they get is with the authority from heaven delivered by
this angel saying, “Go, Stand, and speak all the words of this
G.The Apostles did this, and were again brought before the council for
their actions. Peter and the others answered:
“We ought to
obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew
and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with His right hand to be a Prince
and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. And we
are witnesses of these things (the apostles are witnesses); and so is the Holy
Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey
A.“GO” - Indicates
1.Christianity is a religion of going.
16:15-16)“Go ye into all
the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be
therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things
whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the
end of the world.”
16) – story of rich man
and Lazarus – we have to go because people are lost in sin.Once they pass from this life unto the
next it is too late.The rich man
wanted Lazarus to be able to go back and warn his family who were in sin, but it
was not possible. Remember what Abraham told him: “If they hear not
Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the
all about those scriptures, Abraham had said, “Let them hear
Moses and the prophets.” (v.30) It
was too late for the rich man, but it is not too late for those alive and
here this day.We have a
responsibility to the world to let them know the saving message of the
Gospel.Without it, they will have
no chance!We have a GREAT
urgency involved with preaching the Gospel b/c lives are at
2.Christ wants a people of action. A people willing to GO forth taking his
message where ever they may go.
people feel they are faithful (that they are doing all that is required) just
because they attend all the worship services.But, what about when we are not
assembled together, do you turn off some little switch that says, “Christian
–OFF.”Well I certainly hope not,
but it seems that is what many Christians do when they leave the worship
15:1-8) - We are to be
constantly bearing fruit, not to be dead on the vine, and this includes
following all his commands.We are
expected to be obedient to all the commands of our Lord (Heb.
5:8-9).As said before, we
believe in the Great Commission b/c it is a command of our Lord and we have also
seen it to be given in example to us, as well, from the apostles.
branches of the vine, we must receive nourishment, which comes from God’s Word
20:32)“And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of
his grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among
all them which are sanctified.”
weed out all obstacles hindering our growth. We can’t bear fruit with sin in our
lives. And if we are not obeying all the commands of our Lord, then there is sin
in our lives.Get rid of it!Repent and ask God for forgiveness.This is a great blessing that we have as
Christians.As we make a commitment
to GO as we are told, let us not forget that we are told to stand. Again look at
B.“STAND” - Not standing still, we’ve already
seen we have to go, but rather, it means taking a stand for
1.A.T. Robertson - “To take a stand is a Bold and pictorial command”
had been put in jail for preaching the gospel; the angel of the Lord said, go
back and do it again.
b)That’s taking a stand!!!
2.Have a spirit of conviction. But do not base it on feelings alone as many
do, base it on God’s word.God
expects us to stand.The apostle
Paul said that he would “stand in the defence of the
a)“Be strong and
16:13)“Watch ye, stand
fast in the faith, quit you like men, be
spineless and cowardly, but courageous and bold.
was told that no man would be able to stand before him (Josh
1:5,7)“Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest
observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee:
turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper
withersoever thou goest.”
Joshua was receiving his marching orders from God, we have received our orders
and should be all suited-up with the armor of God ready to make a
looking for men in Ezekiel’s day of the same caliber – men who would stand in
the gap – (Ezek.
22:30)“And I sought for
a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me
for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” – a
sad situation, don’t let this be the case today, make up the hedge, stand in the
gap for the cause of Christ.
3.Elders, Deacons, Preachers, Young, and Old; all Christians must
have the courage to stand in order to do battle with Satan (1Pet
5:8-9).It is b/c of the
message we are to carry that we are in such a battle with Satan.We have the all-powerful weapon that can
destroy sin – the Gospel! The power to save mankind. But, we have to be willing
to communicate those words and SPEAK!
SPEAK” - Words
are the vehicles of communication – one can’t make a stand w/o speaking
something! – It is said that in an avg. day a man will speak 25,000 words. In
the same day, a woman will speak 30,000 words.So do not tell me that you cannot say
anything to anybody.If we’re
speaking this much in the avg. day what are we saying to people?You would think we should be able to at
the very least squeeze a few words in about
1.The Bible teaches that God has communicated his message to
2.To David - (2Sam 23:2)“The Spirit of
the lord spake by me, and his word was in my
Pet. 1:21)“For the prophecy came
not in old time by the will of man: but Holy men of God spake as they were moved
by the Holy Ghost.”
4.(1Cor 1:18)“For the preaching
of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it
is the power of God.”
6.To whom are we to speak?THE
PEOPLE / What are we to speak?
THE WORDS OF THIS LIFE” - God did not say, “Take part of the gospel...”
1.ALL the words of this
2.To take the whole gospel into the entire world. This is what the “Great
Commission” demands of us. Why?B/c
this is not cafeteria-style religion.
-That is drive up service and order what you want from a menu – but
give me the whole thing, I want it all: I want the OT law and the prophets which
give us great lessons of obedience (Rom.
15:4); I want the NT which tells of the Savior’s coming to this
earth, living as a man, humbling himself to obedience, even the death of the
cross; I want all the letters in the NT which tell me how to live as a child of
God and how I can be faithful to my Lord.
-I want it all!
-But, the majority of people only want bits and pieces of
3.We cannot ignore the part of the gospel with which
we are not comfortable.
a)Some will not speak
about the plan of salvation, for fear of hurting others
b)Some will not speak
on baptism; b/c there is just way too much controversy over
c)Some will not speak
on marriage, divorce and remarriage.
d)Some will not speak
on immorality of today & still some others only preach morality and fail to
preach the basics leaving a generation of Christians lacking in the fundamental
basis for their faith.
e)Some won’t mention
repentance, assembling with the saints, withdrawing fellowship, marking and
avoiding those who teach false doctrine, etc.
f)We cannot seek to
please God and men.We have to be
bold, as the apostles were convicted to obey God rather than men making a stand
and speaking all the words of life.
4.Note what the angel said, “the words of this life.” – Very similar to what
6:63, 68)“It is the Spirit that
quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they
are Spirit, and they are life. – Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom
shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”
A.Rejoice in the fact that the apostles did as
instructed. Rejoice in the fact that we were taught the gospel by someone who
took the time out of their busy schedules, who also had to overcome their fears
of talking to people.
B.Our encouragement is knowing that we can and have fulfilled God’s great
command for us as the church: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel unto every
creature: He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, he that believeth
not shall be damned.”
C.We should also be mindful that we need to begin in our very families
preaching the gospel, then our friends, our neighbors, our co-workers, and then
as we have opportunity teach those abroad into domestic and foreign
D.What a great example of those who today have brought friends, family
& neighbors with them this day!!!
E.1000’s will be in heaven because of the apostles’ preaching. And if we
follow their example and there will be many more in heaven, because of our
following this verse in evangelizing. “Go, stand and speak to the people all the
words of this life.”
F.We must obey our Lord to have eternal life.This means all the commands that he has
given.He is just asking us to
finish the work that he started, his apostles continued, and now is left with
G.The Bible teaches us the words of life, which include the plan of
H.It may be that someone
has not obeyed the glorious gospel of our Lord, you can be added to the Lord’s
church even tonight if you will –
1.Hear the word of God – Rom. 10:17
2.Believe in Jesus Christ – John 8:24
3.Repent of sin – Acts 17:30
4.Confess faith in Christ – Matt. 10:32-33
5.Be baptized for the remission of sins – Acts 2:38;
I.Our walk then just begins, we have responsibilities as Christians to live
faithful lives unto the Lord, but it may be that upon examination you have not
walked with God and are in need of forgiveness, come back to God in full
repentance and asking forgiveness.