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The Great Commission

 

Matthew 28:16-20

Key Verse 28:19-20

 

            “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

            What is the hope of God? Have you found God’s hope for you yet at this conference? Have you caught glimpses of God’s hope and vision for Rutgers? Have you come to realize that God has hope for America to be a kingdom of priests and a holy nation?

           

            If you still do not understand yet, hope is an inherent part of God’s very nature and character. Our God is the God of HOPE! God’s calling for the Israelites in Exodus 19:5-6 illustrates that God is faithful to that hope. Jesus’ life and death is a depiction of that hope! And we are the fruits of God’s hope! Our God is indeed the God of hope.

 

           Hope is something that is also engrained in the very fabric of human nature. God created us in his own image. As God hopes for the whole world to return back to him, human beings must also hope. Man cannot live without hope. In essence, we are what we hope for. Sin and doubt has perverted and even destroyed God’s divine hope that was once innate in all men. Living in this world, we encounter many different kinds of people with many different kinds of hopes. As a business student in New York University, our day begins with money and ends with money. In my FFM class, (looking back to my first day of notes) my professor started the class off by saying, “If you don’t learn anything else in my class, the one thing you must learn is that ‘Cash is king’.” He was referring to the cash flow of companies in relation to their assets and liabilities, where cash was the life blood of any profitable company worth investing in. Indeed as business students, I have come to learn that my duty, my obligation, and ultimately my hope is inextricably tied to (what we call in business) the bottom line; the profit (or cash) that I generate. This kind of thinking and hope has produced a generation of business students like me that cannot see pass the material. On the outside however, the students at my school look like they are full of hope and promise. But than a recession hit, and the graduating class is suffering from unemployment.

 

            When our hope depends on anything in this world, we are bound to be disappointed or disillusioned. However, there is an eternal hope that God has originally intended us to share in. It is his hope, not of the world, but for the world. His hope is so great and important that it is found in 5 different places in 5 different ways in the New Testament alone. Don’t believe me, look at Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:46-49, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8. In fact, his God’s hope is so great that he commissions all those to who love and follow him to obey.

 

            And this is the Great Commission. The word “commission”, as a noun, means “an authoritative order charge, or direction.” Jesus was not nicely asking or suggesting to neatly tack this order conveniently onto your life when the time and place was right. The Great Commission was not be confused with “The Great Suggestion”, and our generation offers a lot of those, especially those that promote self-enrichment and benefit. The Great Commission is an obligation (a duty) –a debt of love- whose contract is bound by the grace we received from the forgiveness of sins through Jesus’ death on the cross and is enforced and fueled by the Holy Spirit and the hope of the Resurrection; the Great Commission illustrates the Hope of God. This commission was the Risen Jesus Christ, in his heavenly glory, commanding his disciples to live and die for this mission, because as disciples of Jesus, this command is an absolute Imperative. To ignore this command would be disobedience. So let us learn about the Great Commission and God’s hope.

 

Part 1: The Risen Jesus (16-17)      

 

In verse 16-17, “The eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.” The eleven disciples had just witnessed Jesus being arrested and torn away from them. They were so fearful that they remained in hiding even as their master was being flogged and crucified. It seemed to them that they had wasted three years of their life, following a potential Messiah who would kick out the Romans and establish an earthly messianic ministry, giving them positions of power in his kingdom. But their dreams and hopes were crushed along with Jesus on the cross. They had completely forgotten that Jesus had predicted his death and resurrection 3 times before his arrest. And they continued to remain in hiding long after his death. They were hopeless men.

 

            On the third day, however, the women brought news of an empty tomb. This news was so shocking that some of the frightened disciples went out to confirm this report. After that, a former psycho-patient named Mary Magdalene burst into the disciple’s hiding spot, startling the disciples half-to-death, and started raving, “I have seen the Lord.” Furthermore, reports of Jesus sightings in the countryside started to reach the terrified disciples and more and more, witnesses of the Risen Jesus came bursting through the thick door that blocked the 12 from the outside world, with exclamations of, “We have seen the Lord!” Slowly, memories of Jesus’ promise pertaining to his resurrection started to echo in the minds of the apostles. Midst the doubt and fatalism in their hearts and in that dark room that they were hiding in, a small ray of hope started to reverberate throughout the gathering. But there was still too much doubt, “How can a dead man come back from the dead? And even if he did rise again, why didn’t he appear to them yet?” The images of Jesus’ arrest and flogging were still too sharp and fresh. And the fear was always there, festering and feeding on the darkness and fatalism of those imprisoned in the mouth of that den. The fear of arrest and persecution from the Jews, the fear of returning to their ordinary and mundane lives as fishermen and commoners, the fear of the need to satisfy their constantly growling stomachs, the fear of death which seemed to imminent and persistently lurking in their bleak futures. Above all else, however, was the fear that Jesus actually did rise victorious from the dead. What terrified the disciples most was that they had been unfaithful to Jesus and abandoned him at his greatest moment of need. The disciples were fearful because they had come to the haunting self-realization that they were not fit to be Jesus’ disciples.

 

            However, in that dark and pitiful state that the disciples were in, the Risen Jesus manifested himself to them. He stood there victoriously over the powers of sin and death, radiating heavenly light and glory, overwhelming the darkness, fatalism, and doubt that had once enshrouded the room. The Risen Jesus won the victory where the disciples had failed miserably. All doubt, fear, and fatalism dissipated in the light of the Glorious Risen Jesus, and death was swallowed up in victory! The Risen Jesus is a testament to all disciples everywhere that God’s hope for the world is not just a far-off distant hope; it is a reality that we can claim by faith. God’s hope for this world is something that God will accomplish. Jesus challenged his disciples to come out of their fears and claim God’s hope by going to Galilee where he had told them to go many times before, and up to the Mount of Tabor, where Jesus had earlier been transfigured in the plain sight of his top disciples. The disciples were no longer fearful; they had just witnessed the Risen Jesus. They boldly got up, came out of hiding, and went to Galilee to meet the Risen Jesus. God called the tribes of Israel to him at Mount Sinai to give them his promise and covenant filled with Godly hope for the world as stated in Exodus 19:5-6.

(“Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.”)

Now Jesus was calling his disciples to him on Mount Tabor to give them the Great Commission, the command which illustrates the hope of God for the world.

 

Jesus’ resurrection was, in fact, a confirmation sealed by God himself of everything Jesus boldly declared in his lifetime; Jesus’ resurrection was affirmation that Jesus is the Son of God. His victory over death is the source of all hope. Jesus’ death and resurrection was liberation from man’s imprisonment to sin and death, and hope of a new life and a right relationship with God- it was a hope of an eternity spent with God in his kingdom. Konrad Adenauer, the mayor of Colonge who was imprisoned by Hitler for opposing the Nazi regime and who later became one of the most prominent chancellors of West Germany was asked about the resurrection of Jesus. He declared boldly, “outside of the resurrection of Jesus, I do not know of any other hope in the world.” Indeed Jesus’ resurrection is the focal point of God’s hope for each of us and the world. We must look at the Risen Jesus, come out of the dark dens of our doubts, fears, and fatalisms that we lock ourselves in, and claim God’s Hope for each of us and for our nation America.

 

Part 2: Therefore Go! (18-19)

 

           ‘Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me (18).”’ Jesus is God. He came to this world, lived the perfect life of love, and obeyed the Father God to death, even death on a tree. “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Jesus, in his humility, obtained all authority in heaven and on earth. What kind of authority did Jesus have? (Jesus had the power to control weather, heal the sick, drive out demons, multiply food, raise the dead, and even come back from the dead, and my personal favorite: turn dull water into choice wine; this was not the authority that Jesus was referring to).

 

Mark 2:10b says, “…the Son of man has authority on earth to forgive sins…” (It seems like a dull authority.) Sin is man’s most fundamental problem. It is the source of all problems and suffering because it cuts off our relationship with God. When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, he restored our relationship with God and became the perfect Lamb of God that covered all sins, once and for all. Jesus has the authority to forgive sins! This is the good news of the gospel. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

 

In light of this love and mercy, Jesus gave his disciples the Great Commission, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit…” During Jesus’ life, he taught the word of God, sharing the good news about his kingdom, healed the sick, and drove out demons. He also raised disciples and sent them out on missions. His whole life is filled with graceful narratives of how he had been calling man to him like the beautiful calling of Levi the Tax Collector. But Jesus calls us, not only to come to him, but to go for him. The English word “mission” comes from the Latin root for “sending”. When Jesus gives us a mission, he is virtually sending us on a mission to the world as his ambassador of reconciliation. Jesus proclaims in John 20:21, “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” Obeying the World Mission Command makes us like Jesus, because Jesus, himself, set the example. Jesus clear understood his life mission on earth. At age 12, he said, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" (Luke 2:49) 21 years later, dying on the cross, he declares, “It is finished.”(John 19:30) Like bookends, these two statements frame a well-lived, mission-oriented life that set the perfect example of how all disciples of Jesus are to live their lives.

 

            You may not know this, but God holds us accountable for the unbelievers around us.

“18 When I say to a wicked man, 'You will surely die,' and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood.” (Ezekiel 3:18)

 

We are the only Christians some people may ever know; our mission is to share Jesus with them. They must learn that Jesus has the authority to forgive sins. Telling others that they can have eternal life is the greatest thing you can do for them. Through Christ and his grace, we now hold the secret of the way to forgiveness, purpose, peace, and eternal life. This is the greatest news, and sharing it is the greatest kindness.

 

Jesus says in Mark, “And the gospel must first be preached to all nations.”

(Mark 13:10)

 

There is a sense of urgency in Jesus’ command.

We only have this life to share the Good News of the Gospel.

As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.” (John 9:4)

The clock is ticking. We’ll have all of eternity to celebrate with those we’ve brought to Jesus, but we only have this lifetime to reach them. Many times, we are distracted from our mission because of our busy lives.

(Many people have jobs, homework, exams, and ambitions). (Go to dentist school, marry by age 23, have 3 children, and open a private clinic)

When the disciples wanted to talk about restoring the kingdom of Israel and prophecy, Jesus quickly switched the conversation to evangelism.

“He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:7-8)

He wanted them to concentrate on their mission in the world. He said this so that they would focus on the business of world mission. In the same way, it is easy to get caught up in our own thinking and hopes. The Devil wants to distract us as much as possible from obeying Jesus’ world mission command. Jesus even says and warns in Luke 9:62 (LB) “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.” It is easy to get distracted and sidetracked from your mission because Satan would rather have us do anything besides sharing our faith. The fact is that the devil wants us to be good Christians, read our Psalms and Chapters, write testimony every week and daily bread testimony every day and life testimony and vision testimony, and world mission report testimony, and come to orchestra practice on Saturday, prepare message for Sunday, attend 2 worship services, participate in praise band, give offering, pray for ourselves day and night, attend conference, prepare dance for conference, sit in front of a computer all day and night for the sake of business mission; he will let us do all these good things as long as we don’t take anyone to heaven with us. I’m not saying that these are a waste of time and we should not do them. God has given us our ministry as service to other believers, so that we may learn to serve each other and grow in the image of Jesus, but this is not our mission. Our mission is to tell others about the Hope of God.  Our ministry is our service to believers, and our mission in the world is your service to unbelievers.

 

Our problem as long-term Christians is that we become luke-warm and forget how hopeless it felt to be without Christ. We must remember that no matter how contented or successful people appear to be, without Christ, they are hopelessly lost and headed for eternal separation from God. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,” (1 Tim 2:5) Msn Martin described the kind of sinners that are dying because of their sins in Rutgers, in our communities, and even in our churches. The fields are ripe for harvest, but the workers are few. Jesus commands us to reach out to them, make time for them, and introduce them to Jesus.

 

William James once said, "The best use of life is to spend it for something that outlasts it." The truth is, only the Kingdom of God is going to last. Everything else will eventually vanish.

Paul says in Acts 20:24, However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.”

 

There are people on this planet that only you can reach, because of where you live and what God has made you to be. If just one person will be in heaven because of you, your life will have made a difference for eternity. This is why we are the Hope of God. (Talk about the people I can reach)

 

Jesus commands us to pray to God and ask who he has put in our lives to tell about Jesus.

 

There is a cost to obeying Jesus’ Great Commission. To fulfill our mission, we must abandon agenda and accept God’s agenda for your life. We can’t just “tack it on” to all the other things you’d like to do with your life. The Great Commission is not a suggestion or task set out for missionaries and pastors, it is not a potential hobby- it is a command from God.

Jesus sets the example when he cries out in prayer, "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done." (Luke 22:42)

 

Like Jesus, we must yield our rights, expectations, dreams, plans, and ambitions to him.

You hand God a blank sheet with your name signed at the bottom and tell him to fill in the details.

“Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.”

(Romans 6:13)

 

The Great Commission is not an obligation that God decided to burden us with. The Great Commission is the hope of God. It is a wonderful privilege that allows us to be “co-laborers” and “co-heirs” with God and with Christ. The privilege is two-fold: we get to work with God and represent God. For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9)

Paul says that God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.” (2 Cor. 5:18-20)

 

Part 3: Teach Them to Obey

 

Jesus commands us, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Jesus’ command is two-fold. The first part is to go, and the second part is to teach. More specifically, he commands us to teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded us. The impact of Jesus’ life has changed the course of human history and continues to change lives to this day. There are millions of books, including 4 major gospels, on how Jesus lived his life and changed the world. Saint Matthew records Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount which contains the central tenets of Jesus’ teachings and commands regarding many social issues. But John’s gospel sums it up perfectly, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples.” Romans 13:8-10 says “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "Do not commit adultery," "Do not murder," "Do not steal," "Do not covet,” and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” We are called to love our enemies and unbelievers, and through our love, display the love of Jesus Christ. In the end, we must learn to love lost people the way God does. God has never made a person he didn’t love. We must care about unbelievers because he does. Love leaves us no choice. “For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” (Corinthians 5:14)

 

How do we display our love for unbelievers? How do we tell others about Jesus?

 

Time is the best expression of love. It is the one resource which is uniquely ours. We don’t have enough of it. It is a resource that we cannot make more of. Investing time in others, rather than using it selfishly is the highest form of love we can show to others. Spending time with friends and sheep and unbelievers is a clear indication to them that we are not promoting some agenda, but that we truly are interested in them. Simply spending time talking, eating and doing an activity that enables us to simply get to know them tear down all cultural, age, and language barriers that may form from mistrust. Msn Peter once said that NJ Ministry is under the heavy influence of computer demons. Indeed, everywhere you go in the center, people are sitting before the warm and alluring glow of their computer screens, their brains soaking in millions of bytes of information and entertainment. It seems like the most productive thing to do; the whole world at our fingertips. But what we do not realize is that is paralyzing us from doing our mission Jesus has set out for us to do. In fact, in light of eternity, the computer is modern man’s most tragic waste of time. Let’s get up from in front of our computers and live our lives, spending our time, in a way that is worthy of the Gospel!

 

The other question is how to tell others about Jesus. Indeed, while talking with a friend or complete stranger, it is hard to approach the subject of religion in general. We live in an age which promotes a, “I’m ok and you’re ok,” attitude; “we might not like each other, but we’ll tolerate each other.” On top of that, many people consider it arrogant, narrow-minded, and bigoted for Christians to contend that the only path to God must go through Jesus of Nazareth. In a day of religious pluralism and tolerance, this exclusivity claim is politically incorrect, a verbal slap in the face of other belief systems.

 

As a young and growing shepherd fresh out of Bonn, Germany, the spiritual HQ for European Bible Mission, I went to NYU with the word of God and eagerness to spread the gospel. I knew that NYU campus was especially liberal and secular, filled with many ethnicities and many adherents to faiths of all kinds. As eager and naïve as I was, I read a lot of books and a lot of bible, trying to figure out a winning argument and theological debate and sermon that would defeat all other arguments. I thought that by sophomore year, I would have 12 growing sheep and become famous for my bible studies and theological insight and debating skills. But I am still fruitless. In fact, the few people that I did tell about Jesus in my “know-it-all” attitude that Jesus is the only way made them hate Jesus and me even more. I had studied hard and worked hard and given up a lot of time to teach others the bible, but it ended up at best unproductive.

 

1 Peter 2:9 tells us “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.”

This is the essence of witnessing- simply sharing your personal experiences regarding the Lord.

Jesus said “you will be my witnesses” in Acts 1:8.

Jesus does not want me or any of us to be his lawyer or pro-counsel with a legal case proving Jesus rose again, he wants us to witness to the grace we received from Jesus. He wants us to share our personal testimonies.

“Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart.”

(1 John 5:10a)

Sharing our testimonies is an essential part of our mission on earth because it is unique. There is no other story just like yours, so only you can share it- or it will be lost forever (the grace of God that you received will be lost forever). You may not be a bible scholar who went through theological training, but you are the authority on your life.

Personal testimony is more effective than a sermon because they are easier to relate to than principles, and people love to hear them. They capture attention, and we remember them longer. Unbelievers will lose interest if you start quoting theologians, but they have a natural curiosity about experiences they’ve never had.

Shared stories build a relational bridge that Jesus can walk across from your heart to theirs.

Another value of your testimony is that it bypasses intellectual defense. Many people who won’t accept the authority of the Bible will listen to a humble, personal story.

Paul did this many times in sharing the gospel in Acts.

“15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” (1 Peter 3:15-16)

 

Be ready to share your testimony. Write a life testimony and memorize it.

1.      What my life like before I met Jesus

2.      How I realized I needed Jesus

3.      How I committed my life to Jesus

4.      The difference Jesus has made in my life

 

There is huge spiritual importance in writing testimony. And it is important to store them and remember them. Each testimony is a story about a certain experience, situation, or crisis in which God has helped us.

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”

(2 Corinthians 3:2-3) We must testify about the Risen Jesus in every aspect of our lives, from how he helped us with our tests, to how he helped us get a job, to how he gave us mission and purpose in our lives. Our testimony is the good news of the bible. Our lives are a living testament that God cares, that God continues to love us, and that our God reigns. And that is why we are the hope of God for this world. We are, as Peter described, the light of God’s love in a dark and cold world.

 

God has set each of you apart as the Hope of God for Rutgers. God has set me apart for NYU to be the Hope of God for NYU. But I am selfish sinner. I have many dreams of a penthouse apartment in NYC, a 7-figure salary job, Designer clothes, a yacht, and many top-model chicks. When I was in NJ, I dreamed of driving a Porsche Carrea down route one with a hot girlfriend; when I got to NYC, a Porsche was not good enough anymore. I dreamed of driving a Ferrari with 2 top-model chicks right down Broadway. Before, drinking vodka and whiskey with friends and horsing around was fun, in NYC, I had to drink Grey Goose, Patrone, Hennessey, Johnny Walker Blue Label. So I spent many hours researching on what kind of job and major would best fit my lifestyle. I spent many hours studying, which became hard, because as I studied, I would start dreaming of how I could make money from this knowledge. I spent many hours in the gym working out and playing basketball. I spent a lot of hours meeting people that could hook me up with jobs and trying to impress them. Even when I did daily bread, I did more so that I can learn self-discipline and pray for myself rather than to grow and pray for my city. In my selfishness and in my little quest of chasing out my petty dreams I had forgotten my calling as a shepherd. My bible studies with Abe were very unproductive and habitual, and I failed to set a good example for him. I totally forgot about my friend Leon during the school year, and I felt like I had no more time for him as were headed down 2 different career paths. As for my other close NYU friends, they looked like they were full of hope, well-dressed, confident, their parents had a lot of money, and also busy studying and playing hard, I felt like they don’t really need Jesus.

 

But my greatest failure as a shepherd occurred at home. I have a friend who grew up with me. We were together ever since our parents came to America. As little children, we played together, prayed together, went to CBF together, bathed together, ate together, and grew older together. After I went away to college, we were separated and didn’t really have time to do the things we did as little children. When I came back from NYU for the winter break, with my high and mighty pomp and attitude of I’m so cool, I found my friend severely depressed and fatalistic. Over winter break, he became so depressed that he slept 18 hours a day. Everyday, I would walk into his room and he would be sleeping, lying there paralyzed, unable to move, no desire to move, because life was not worth living. As kids, we would compete all the time for attention, for more food, for more toys, and seeing him totally defeated made me glad in a sick way because I had proven once and for all that I am better than him. But than I realized that he did not talk to anyone anymore, excluded himself from every social event and UBF meeting, and when he did come out for those few hours in the day from his den of despair, he would sulk in the corner by himself. Everybody, including his parents, became worried for him. When I tried to dig farther into what was wrong with him, he made excuses about his school grades and blamed his parents for not disciplining him when he was kid to study hard, and blamed the financial crisis, and blamed his older brother for overshadowing him, and most of all he blamed himself for his stupidity and his antisocial behavior. In the end, he was blaming God for creating him to be in that situation and creating him like the way he was. At first, I took pity on him, tried to be a good friend and encouraged him, gave him some encouraging quotes, tried to wake him when he was sleeping and make him come out to fun social gatherings, but the more I took care of him, the more unthankful and depressed he became. He even started to blame me for his depression and inability. Finally, I got fed up with his depression and trying to help him, and when I caught him sleeping and lying in his bed looking into the ceiling, not bothering to move, I lost my patience and  bellowed, “Why don’t you just croak and die already!” He looked at me drowsily with his red tear-filled eyes and whispered in further despair, “I’m never going to be good for nothing.” I realized that he is the closet friend that I have, and at his time of need, I destroyed him. The fact was I had not time for him. My friend Abe was telling me while I was in NYU to pray for him because he was not acting normally, but I never remember prayer topics, because I never pray for others. When I did go home and had a chance to help him, I spent all that time watching movies on my computer, shopping for my own fancy clothes, going to the gym and building my own body, completely forgetting that I had a friend in need. The magnitude of my failure and the hopelessness of my indifference finally made me fall to my knees and confess “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”  Thank God for his glorious hope, even for a selfish and sinful man life me. This is my testimony; that God is willing to use a hopelessly selfish and depraved man like me to be his shepherd in NYU. The fact is that our churches, communities, and campuses are filled people that are depressed and dying like my friend, and we condemn to death everyday we pass by an opportunity God has provided to share Jesus with them. Everyday we sit in front of our computers, not realizing that our inactivity is the Devil’s victory, our laziness and selfishness is our form of condemnation to those in our very own lives dying of sin. And that is why Jesus’ Great Commission is his great hope and our personal testimony. What more can I say to move your hearts? Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

 

Conclusion: “…I am with you always…” (20b)

 

Let’s read verse 20b. “And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”

Jesus’ promise, when we obey his command is the same promise and blessing God gave Abraham in Genesis. God tells Abraham in Genesis 15:1, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” Our source of joy and our very great reward is that Jesus is with us. It is easy to forget our lost we were in our sins before Jesus came into our lives. Like the prodigal son, human beings have the tendency how great it was in the father’s house until they hit rock bottom. The history of the Israelites is national proof that people fail to learn, despite God’s might hand of deliverance. Our great reward for following Jesus and carrying out his mission is that we are no longer slaves to sins. We get to live each day for Jesus as free and liberated sons and daughters of God and co-heirs with Christ.

 

Christians who live out the Great Commission practically know they were saved to serve and made for a mission; they are excited about the very privilege of being used by God.

 

God, through the Great Commission, is inviting each of us to participate in the greatest, largest, most diverse and most significant cause in history- his kingdom. He’s building his family for eternity. Nothing matters more and nothing will last as long.

 

We know from the book of Revelation that God’s global mission will be accomplished. Someday the Great Commission will be the Great Completion.

In heaven, an enormous crowd of people from “every race, tribe, nation, and language” will one day stand before Jesus Christ and worship him.

Participating in Jesus’ great commission allows us to experience this heaven in advance.

Each day of our lives are a fragment of the eternal and glorious kingdom of God.

 

Let’s read Matthew 28:19-20 one more time, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

No. Subject Author Date Views
25 2010 SBC Closing Message (Philippians 3:1-11) by M. Joseph Sohn [8] file Joseph 2010.08.25 23251
24 THE OUTLINE OF THE WHOLE SCRIPTURES by Nehemiah Kim (Gwangju I,IV) - 05/10/10 [2] file admin 2010.05.17 23521
23 2010 New Year Conference 2nd Day Message (Acts 2:42-47) by M. Joseph Sohn [2] Joseph 2010.01.02 23260
22 2009 ESBC Closing Message by M. Dr. John Jun: Make Disciples of All Nations [2] admin 2009.08.31 24733
21 2009 ESBC Main Message VI by Shep. Bruno Aussant: The Word of the Lord Grew in Power [2] admin 2009.08.31 24860
20 2009 ESBC Main Message V by Shep. Georgi Kumanichliev: The Risen Christ Gives Great Commission [1] admin 2009.08.31 19593
19 2009 ESBC Main Message IV by Shep. Joachim Dietzel: Jesus Said, It is Finished admin 2009.08.31 12913
18 2009 ESBC Main Message III by Shep. Titus Keller: But Seek His Kingdom [1] admin 2009.08.31 12975
17 2009 ESBC Main Message II by Shep. Abraham Kaier: Your Sins are Forgiven [2] admin 2009.08.31 15082
16 2009 ESBC Main Message I by Shep. Eberhard Groß: Jesus, the Spring of Living Water admin 2009.08.31 13258
15 2009 ESBC Opening Message by Shep. Dr. Samuel H Lee: The Hope of God [2] admin 2009.08.31 12411
14 2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Exodus 19:1-6) by M.Matthew Kim [2] kimmatthew 2009.08.03 14321
13 2009 SBC 3rd Day Message(Acts 19:1-22) by sh. Jason Perry [2] file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 12875
» 2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(Mt 28:) by 2nd Gen M. John Park Jr. [2] file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 13056
11 2009 SBC 2nd Day Message(John 19:16b-42) by M.Barnabas Moon file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 12732
10 2009 SBC 2nd Day morning devotion Message(John 4:1-14) by Dr. Jun Hee Lee file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 13009
9 2009 SBC 1st Day Message(Mark 2:1-17) by M.Martin Ahn file livebyfaith 2009.08.02 14407
8 2009 EBC 3rd Day Message(John 21:1-25) by Dozie Uzoma [1] file admin 2009.06.30 12584
7 2009 EBC 2nd Day Message(Ezekiel 37:1-14) by Abraham Moses Kim file admin 2009.06.30 13348
6 2009 EBC 2nd Day Message1(John 11:1-44) by M.Moses Kim file admin 2009.06.30 12597