The Great Command: Luke 10:27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
The Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20 Go ye 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 alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
We’ve been given an assignment. We’ve got a job to do.
There are two aspects of the great commission: "going" & "discipling" (making fully devoted followers of Jesus)
A 1980 Gallup poll indicated that out of all evangelical, American believers, "only two percent had introduced another person to Christ." SOURCE: J.K. Johnston, Why Christians Sin, Discovery House, 1992, p. 140.
It is easy to determine when something is aflame. It ignites other material. Any fire that does not spread will eventually go out. A church without evangelism is a contradiction in terms, just as a fire that does not burn is a contradiction. Christian Theology in Plain Language, p. 162.
What can make a difference in our lackadaisical attitude? In a word, "change". What is needed in order to bring about this change?
There must be A Soul-winning:
I. COMPLIANCE (10:1) “the Lord appointed” (Yielding, acquiescing)
Our Lord dealt with excuses "after these things"
Lord (2962) Kou-ree-os: supreme authority, controller
Just as He gave these disciples a mission, he's given us a mission. He doesn't make people follow; however, He has given us the opportunity.
A. He sent them two by two
B. They went before His face - He was watching over them.
C. They were to go into every city and place
II. COMPASSION (10:2) "The Harvest truly is great"
not being judgmental, but concerned about their eternal destiny.
Romans 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
James Hudson Taylor in challenging English students during his time to be involved in China mission work, used to tell of the story about Peter, his Chinese convert and disciple. On one of their sea journeys, Peter (who did not know how to swim) fell from the side of the boat. Fortunately, there were fishermen nearby, just a grab away from where Peter fell. Taylor shouted at the fishermen and asked them to help his friend, “Hey, help my friend, he is drowning.” However, the fishermen did not bother to do his call for help because they were busy loading their catch from the net to their boat. Taylor continued to yell, “Stop what you are doing, and help my friend. He is just a grab away.” But the fishermen continued on their work until the last fish was loaded to the boat. Then they jumped and got Peter out of water. They tried to revive him, but to no avail. Peter died of drowning. He could have been saved because he was just a grab away from the fishermen. Then, he asked the students/church members what they thought of about the Chinese? Some said, they are bad, evil, selfish, unconcern about the salvation of a dying man. You know how Taylor responded? He said, “I saw differently. I think the Chinese are like most Christians today, they are unconcerned about the plight of the sinners who are now just a grab away from them. The reason is that they are so busy with their work.”
III. COMMITMENT (10:2) "The laborers” (er-gat-ace 2040 worker, toil) are few.
Why no commitment?
A. Our priorities have been misdirected "where he himself would come" "This is what Jesus would do." Martha anxious about many things in Luke 10:38-42
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.
John 5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
John 5:36 But I have greater witness than that of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
B. Our perspective has been marred "Lord of the Harvest"
What does the Lord want?
John 8:29 And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.
1 Corinthians 7:32 But I would have you without carefulness. He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord:
C. Our prayers have been missing "pray ye"
1. for laborers (See I Cor 3:6-9)
Mark 13:33-37 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. [For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
2. the lost
“It is distinctly stated that the Son of Man is come to seek…Seeking the lost is more than a mere attempt to locate unsaved men, for they are present on every hand. The term ‘seeking the lost,’ therefore, suggests a divine preparation of the unsaved that will bring them into adjustment with the necessary conditions of salvation.” – Lewis Sperry Chafer; True Evangelism: Winning Souls Through Prayer, pg. 13.
3. God's peace 10:5
D. Our purpose has been misunderstood
IV. COURAGE (10:3) "send forth laborers"
"Go your ways, behold I send you forth as lambs among wolves."
Acts 4:29 Peter's prayer: "and now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word."
"If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito in the room." (Anita Koddick)
When you see a church that’s empty,
Though its doors are open wide,
It’s not the church that’s dying,
It’s the laymen who have died.
For it’s not by song or sermon
That the church’s work is done,
It is the laymen of our country
Who for God must carry on.
Spurgeon wrote, " I think I may say to every person whom I am addressing,-If you are yourself saved, the work is but half done until you are employed to bring others to Christ. You are as yet but half formed in the image of your Lord. You have not attained to the full development of the Christ-life in you unless you have commenced in some feeble way to tell others of the grace of God; and I trust that you will find no rest to the sole of your foot till you have been the means of leading many to that blessed Saviour who is your confidence and your hope?
Let us ask Him to give us grace to go a-fishing, and so to cast our nets that we may take a great multitude of fishes. Oh, that the Holy Ghost may raise up from among us some master-fishers, who shall sail their boats in many a sea, and surround great shoals of fish!" 1. Spurgeon, Charles " Instruction In Soul Winning "
Four years after the Titanic went down, a young Scotchman rose in a meeting in Hamilton, Can., and said, I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a spar that awful night, the tide brought Mr. John Harper, of Glasgow, on a piece of wreck near me. Man, he said, are you saved? No, I said, I am not. He replied, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.
The waves bore him away; but, strange to say brought him back a little later, and he said, Are you saved now? No, I said, I cannot honestly say that I am. He said again, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and shortly after he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I am John Harpers last convert. Quilla Webb