Classic Friday: Stay On Mission - [Matthew 28:18-20]

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Lance Roberts preaches Stay On Mission - [Matthew 28:18-20]

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Welcome to No Compromise Radio, a ministry coming to you from Bethlehem Bible Church in West Boylston.
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No Compromise Radio is a program dedicated to the ongoing proclamation of Jesus Christ based on the theme in Galatians 2 verse 5 where the
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Apostle Paul said, But we did not yield in subjection to them for even an hour, so that the truth of the gospel would remain with you.
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In short, if you like smooth, watered -down words to make you simply feel good, this show isn't for you.
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By purpose, we are first biblical, but we can also be controversial. Stay tuned for the next 25 minutes as we're called by the divine trumpet to summon the troops for the honor and glory of her
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King. Here's our host, Pastor Mike Abendroth. Great to be with you this morning at Bethlehem Bible Church.
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We're so thankful for your faithful prayers for our ministry and support and encouragement over the years and for sending
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Mike a few times to minister with us. And it's a privilege to be with you this morning. This morning, we're going to be in Matthew chapter 28.
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If you open your Bibles with me to Matthew chapter 28, we'll look at the mission of the church.
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In 1636, there was a college founded called New College. And it was established to train pastors and missionaries.
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And a few years later, the college took on a new name in 1639. It was named after its first benefactor who passed away and left his library and half of his estate.
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And they renamed it, well, his name was John Harvard, known today as Harvard University.
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In 1643, their mission statement read this. Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well that the main end of his life and studies is to know
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God and Jesus Christ, which is eternal life. John 17 3. And therefore, to lay
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Christ in the bottom as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning.
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How far have they drifted from their original mission? They've completely gone off mission today.
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But this morning, as we look at Matthew chapter 28, I believe that many churches have completely gone off mission as well.
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In fact, in March of last year, in 2018, George Barna did one of his famous surveys.
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And his research concluded that 51 percent of churchgoers in America have never heard of the
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Great Commission. And he said that only 37 percent could identify
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Matthew chapter 28 as being the key passage concerning containing what we know as the
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Great Commission. Amongst evangelical churches, he said it was a click better. He said that 60 percent said that they had heard of the
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Great Commission. And if these statistics are indeed true, then it shows that the American church is in a free fall.
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In fact, the last several years, I've been talking with different missions organization leaders and missionaries at different missions conferences and things.
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And they all keep telling me the same thing. They said, Lance, it's becoming increasingly difficult to recruit missionaries from American churches and seminaries.
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And that more missionaries are now beginning to be sent from South American countries and Asia.
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And if this is true, it shows that the American church needs to wake up and get back on mission.
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In fact, the church that I grew up in Florida, the pastor took it from about 300 to his family and a few other people.
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And he sold the building and they painted the front pink, left the staple and the cross on the front from what
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I remember. And they wrote Ladies Gym. It was a mockery to the name of Christ.
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And you can go to Europe today and see where churches once were are now becoming mosques and fitness centers and bookstores because churches have gone off mission or are banning the mission of the church that Christ has given us in Matthew chapter 28.
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And when I think about this chapter, in fact, I've been a missionary for 18 years. I've never preached Matthew 28 until this summer because I thought, oh, everybody talks about Matthew 28.
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Every missionary talks about Matthew 28 because every mission, every sermon that I heard on Matthew 28 was always about missions and evangelism.
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And it's true that Matthew 28 talks about missions and evangelism. But Matthew chapter 28, the passage we know is a great commission, is about much more than a mission about missions.
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It's about much more than evangelism. In fact, this passage is about how you are to live your life every day as a follower of Jesus Christ.
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And if you truly don't understand what Christ is calling for in this passage, then you haven't really begun to live the life that Christ has intended for you.
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And so that's what I want to talk about. I want to talk about what Jesus is communicating in this passage that a lot of times we forget because we think it's about missions and evangelism.
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But really, this passage is to be central in our daily lives as Christians about how we live our lives as individuals and as a body of believers.
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And if it's not central in our lives and in our ministry as a church, then we are either gone off the rails or we are headed off the rails.
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Because this message that Jesus gives here in these last few verses of Matthew 28 are to serve as our compass as we chart out our lives and ministries for the
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Lord Jesus. In fact, to set the context, if you look earlier in the chapter in verse 6,
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Matthew recorded, he says, he is not here for he has risen. So at this point,
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Christ had risen from the grave and he had revealed himself to his disciples in Jerusalem and he had gone up into Galilee.
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And Christ gives this message to his disciples when he was in Galilee.
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And Matthew doesn't end his gospel with Christ's ascension. He ends it with Christ's words here in verses 18 through 20, what we know often as the
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Great Commission, which is the sum of Christ's teaching and commands for us as Christians, the mission that we are to carry on, the mission that he had begun, we are to carry on.
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And so Matthew doesn't end his gospel with Christ's ascension. He ends it with these words, and Christ's mandate to his disciples.
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Now, if you think about it, these were some of Jesus' last words to his disciples. And Jesus, well, and actually any of us, when we know that we only have a short amount of time to be with someone, we want our last moments with that person or people to be memorable.
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We want the things that we do and say to count. We want the things that we say to be the words that are most remembered.
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And Matthew ends his gospel with the words of Jesus that are to be most remembered. And he leaves us with a mission that we are to carry out.
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And so as we look at these verses this morning, we need to understand that these words are to be imprinted on the walls of our hearts and minds because they remind us really of the reason that we are on the planet.
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So let's read. We'll start in verse 16 to give us a little bit of the context. And then we'll focus in verses 18 through 20.
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Jesus said, or Matthew records here in verse 16, But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which
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Jesus had designated. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some were doubtful.
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And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.
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Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the
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Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
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And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. And so when we look at verse 16 here, we get a little bit of the context.
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Jesus had told the eleven disciples to meet him on a mountain. They were to proceed to the mountain in Galilee that Jesus had designated.
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So when did Jesus tell them to go meet him on the mountain? Well, it must have been when he revealed himself to his disciples in Jerusalem.
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And so he told them to go to Galilee, because Jesus went to Galilee after he rose from the grave and revealed himself to his disciples.
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And they were to go to this mountain that Jesus had designated. Now when we think about mountains in scripture, we know that significant teaching and revelation was given on mountains.
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In Sinai, God gave the law. Jesus' sermon in Matthew 5 -7, his sermon on the mount.
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You see the mountain of transfiguration when Jesus revealed his glory. And now upon this mountain in Galilee, he gives his mission for the ages.
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And so it was a momentous meeting. And you can imagine that his disciples were anticipating what is going to take place on this mountain.
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And obviously they would have shared with people, hey, we're going to Galilee. And they would have stirred up anticipation in other people's hearts.
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Well, you know, Jesus rose from the grave. He's revealed himself to us. What is he going to do on this mountain?
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What is he going to say? What miracle is he going to perform? And so when we look in the next verse, verse 17, it says,
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And when they saw him, they worshipped him, but some were doubtful. Now how could the 11 disciples be doubtful when
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Jesus removed their doubts in Jerusalem? He said, look at my hands, my side. You remember
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Thomas? He removed his doubts. And so obviously there must have been more than just the 11.
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And so, yes, the 11 worshipped him, but some came to see what's going to take place, hear what Jesus may say, and some, it says, were doubtful.
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And so when we think about this occasion and we consider what
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Paul said in 1 Corinthians 15, that he revealed himself at one point to more than 500, a lot of biblical scholars believe, and I believe, this was probably the occasion where Jesus revealed himself to the 500.
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And amongst those were some that were doubtful. And so it was at this moment where Jesus reveals, or he gives his mission to his disciples, his mission, his mandate for the ages that you and I are to live and die by.
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And so it was a perfect setting, a perfect setting to give these people before he returned back to Jerusalem and ultimately ascended to glory.
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But we want to focus the rest of our time in verses 18 through 20 to look at the exact words that Jesus gave his disciples at this time.
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And so in these verses, I believe that it contains
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Christ's mission for the church and the mission that you and I are to live each and every day in our lives.
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And so to keep you from going off mission as other unfaithful churches of the past and colleges and things, we want to keep in the forefront of our hearts and minds this mission that Jesus has given us.
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And to do that, I want to give you three reminders that will help you to keep on mission.
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First of all, we need to remember your authority. Second of all, you need to remember your assignment.
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And last of all, to remember your assistant. But first of all, if you are going to keep on mission, you must remember your authority.
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Jesus said, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.
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Here at this occasion on this mountain, Jesus was passing the torch to his disciples.
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They were to carry on the mission that he had begun. And the basis for the mission that he was giving them was his authority that was given to him by the
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Father. He said this authority has been given to him. And based upon his universal authority, he gives them a universal mandate.
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But notice he says, all authority. That means there is no authority that Jesus does not possess.
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It means that his authority is complete. It is absolute. It is supreme. It means there is no kingdom or king or ruler that exceeds him in authority or power.
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In fact, the word authority means that he has the freedom and the right to speak and act as he pleases.
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And his authority is unlimited because it says that not only does he possess all authority in heaven but also on earth.
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And we think of Jesus in Matthew 4 when he was tempted by Satan. And what did Satan offer him?
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He offers him the kingdoms of the earth because that's all of the authority that he possessed. He had influence over earthly kingdoms.
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But Jesus has authority over not only earthly kingdoms but also all heaven. And so what
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Jesus is communicating here is that there is no place to where his authority does not extend. All principalities and powers of the supernatural, all earthly thrones are all in submission under his feet.
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And we read about this authority in Daniel chapter 7 that was spoken of that would be given to the
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Messiah or that he would possess. And Daniel chapter 7 verses 13 and 14 reads, I kept looking in the night visions and behold with the clouds of heaven one like a son of man was coming.
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And he came up to the ancient of days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve him.
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His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away. And his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.
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Jesus' authority is universal and it's supreme which means that you and I live today under his sovereign authority.
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And based on this authority he gives this mission to his disciples that they are to carry on.
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In these following verses he gives us the marching orders which we are to carry out as his disciples.
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And so what Jesus is communicating here is that based upon his authority we must live and die by what he states in the following verses.
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But often times people live based upon their own authority. They live as though they are the only authority.
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And when you live as though you are the authority that you determine what your mission will be in your life then what
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Christ says in these verses will have little influence on you. So the question is by whose authority do you live?
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Your authority or Christ's authority? Do you daily deny yourself and take up your cross and follow him in submission to his authority and lordship in your life?
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Or are you supreme in your life? But if we want to be faithful and staying on mission we need to recognize that we live under his lordship and under his authority.
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Secondly if you are to keep on mission you must remember your assignment. Verses 19 and 20.
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Jesus says go therefore and make disciples. Now in our English translation it looks as though there are four commands in these verses.
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But really in the Greek there is one command and three participles. And the command, the primary idea in these verses is that we are to make disciples.
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So the question is what does it mean to make disciples? I mean if you go out and ask somebody on the street what does it mean to make disciples they'll probably look at you as you got off to some sort of a spaceship because that's not the type of terminology that we use in the world.
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That's not how we speak with people at work or at school. We don't talk about making disciples typically unless the person is a believer.
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But the word disciple is found in the Gospels and Acts and it marks the relationship that a person had with Christ.
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In fact the simple definition of a disciple is a learner or a student who attaches himself or herself to a teacher to learn from this teacher their teachings their way of life and their mission.
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At this time it would have been to attach yourself to a rabbi, to learn from him to follow him and ultimately to be like him.
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And so Jesus what did he do when he called his disciples? He said follow me. So they came and they followed Jesus and they traveled with him, they spent several years with him they learned from him, they sought to imitate his example, they sought to live out his purposes and Jesus says actually in Luke 640 a pupil is not above his teacher but everyone after he has been fully trained will be like his teacher.
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And so that was the life of a disciple to be like his teacher. And the only way to be a disciple of Christ was to identify yourself with Christ through repentance and faith through salvation.
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Trusting in Christ finished work at Calvary to atone for one's sins and to trust in Christ and ultimately to submit to him, to surrender to his lordship.
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To be a disciple means you follow, you submit your heart, your mind, your will to your teacher to trust him, to follow him and to learn from him.
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And the goal was Christ likeness, to be like one's teacher like Jesus said. And this process was initiated not at the decision of a person who said you know what
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I want to be like this guy but by God's calling the person first of all to salvation. And in Romans 8 29 we see that this process began and eternity passed, it says for whom he foreknew those who he chose to enter into a relationship to know beforehand it says he also predestined predestined to what?
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A lot of people get into debates who is predestined to heaven and hell and all these type of things but that's not what this passage is talking about.
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Look it says he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his son that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
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So Christ's purpose in calling a people to himself was so that they would be made like his son and that his son might have preeminence among them.
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And so and then we read on in verse chapter 30 we see that those he predestined he also called by means of the gospel these he also justified and then these he also glorified.
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His ultimate goal in our salvation was our glorification and so Christ saved us, his purpose in saving us was to make us like his son and this is what
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Paul says in Colossians 1 28 was the purpose of his ministry he said in him we proclaim speaking of Christ him we proclaim, him we preach admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom for what?
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That we may present every man complete in Christ. You could also translate that to present every man mature in Christ.
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That's our purpose in discipleship and so when Christ gave this command to his disciples to make disciples he wasn't just concerned for their salvation but also their sanctification growth into Christ likeness and discipleship is something that takes place over a process of time discipleship is growth in godliness, growth in holiness growth into Christ likeness a disciple is not someone who just completes a bible course discipleship is not someone you just have coffee with once in a while it's not just that you're reading a book with somebody no when we look in the new testament discipleship took place in relationships
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Jesus spent time with his disciples and they followed him and they learned from him in fact the term disciple marked the relationship between Christ and his followers and so in fact when you even look at the apostle
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Paul he traveled with a group of young men and they learned from him and he taught them and they modeled they sought to model imitate me as I imitate
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Christ that's what a disciple does imitate me as I imitate Christ don't imitate me because I'm some special person but because Christ is who we're modeling our lives after and so to disciple someone is to walk through life with the person to teach them how to interpret life through the lens of scripture how to respond to situations with the mind of Christ it's to influence a person in a way that causes greater growth into the likeness of Jesus Christ so the question is how are we doing as individuals in this disciple making ministry that Christ has called us to and has commanded us to to disciple to be discipled by someone is to learn from someone who is wiser and biblical truth and the things of God and more knowledgeable and to learn things from them the biblical truth from that person and then to implement those things in your life and then to pass that on to others to teach them what
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God has taught you from his word and to continue that process by teaching others in our church in Czech Republic we've been working at this for about 11 years to develop a culture of discipleship we're all involved in each other's lives individually and corporately as a body and in bible studies to help each other grow to be more like Christ and when you think about the great commission really the heart of the great commission is to reproduce in others what
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Christ has produced in you we see that easily in 2 Timothy chapter 2 verse 2 and the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses these entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also so we see
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Paul teaching Timothy Timothy teaches faithful men and these faithful men are to teach others four generations of disciple makers and disciples passing the light of God's word to the next generation and so all of us are to be involved in that process we're all to be involved in being discipled and discipling but you know what you can't take people farther than where you are in your own spiritual life in your own walk with Christ so all of us need to be growing in our love for Christ spending time with him in his word and in prayer and deepening our relationship with him
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Mark Devere calls this the life truth life pattern he says your life should attract other people to listen to you as you live out the gospel as you live out the word of God and then the things that you teach them should work for their transformation the word of God that you're sharing with them and teaching them begins to take root in their life and brings forth transformation in their life and then their transformed life should then illustrate what you taught which then attracts other people to listen to them and so it's a process of life truth life but that doesn't take place just by reading a book together it is life on life back to our passage here verse 19 says go therefore and make disciples what is therefore there for well it points us back
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Jesus is pointing his disciples back to verse 18 which he said all authority has been given to me so he reminds them upon the basis that he gives them this mandate to make disciples and it was his universal authority which means that it is not optional you and I don't get to choose whether we're going to be in the process of disciple making you and I don't get to choose whether we're going to make disciples or be disciples it's a mandate it's a command it's the only command in this passage to make disciples and so the question is is this your mission are you about being discipled and making disciples as a
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Christian a lot of times we think about disciple making as one of the ministries of our church but making disciples isn't just one of the things that we do as a church it is what the church does that's what we do as a church that's what we do as Christians we make disciples but notice how
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Jesus says we are to do it and that's where these commands in English but our actual participles in Greek come into play because these other words go baptize and teach are participles they're verbal adjectives and they describe the action of the main verb and so they describe how we go about making disciples we must be going we must be baptizing and must be teaching first of all if you're going to make disciples you must go so actually you could translate this having gone it is assumed that if you're going to make disciples that you're going to go and if you're going to make disciples you must get out of the office you must get off the couch and be out amongst people discipleship is something that takes place in the world it's not just something that we do in our
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Sunday school class it's something we do amongst even unbelievers we preach Christ we preach the gospel we tell them the message of the gospel and as they come to Christ and they trust in Christ as their
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Lord and Savior then we begin the process of teaching them to be Christ -like to grow in Christ -likeness to grow in godliness but notice here it says go therefore and make disciples of all the nations it's not just something that we do locally we do it locally but with the eye on the ends of the earth we take the gospel to the ends of the earth because this command here is not a local it's a universal command we're to take the gospel to the nations it says to all nations so the question for us is what are you, what am
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I what are we doing as a church to make disciples not only here at home but of all nations I remember talking to one of the previous denominational leaders in the
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Czech Republic one time and he told me he doesn't think that in the Czech Republic churches had sent out missionaries to other countries there's so many problems in our country we should just focus on planting churches here but that's not what the disciples did
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Jesus said go start to be witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth and so you and I are to start where we are and figure out a way to get the gospel to the ends of the earth that is our mandate that is not an optional for us as Christians as one 19th century missionary once said every church should support two pastors one for the thousands at home and the other for the millions abroad because when you look at scripture you can start in Genesis and trace it all the way through scripture you can see
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God's heart for the nations even in the Abrahamic covenant God's focus was not just Israel but the nations all the nations would be blessed and so God's heart has always been for the nations,
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Israel was to be a light to the nations we are to be a light to the nations but what do we see
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Americans doing today you know we sit around talking and going out and drinking expensive coffees and accumulating bigger and more expensive toys living on the lake fishing, hunting, cookouts playing soccer and all these things and all those things are fine in and of themselves but if our life is consumed by these things these trivialities and they take our focus off the mission that Christ has given us as a church and as individuals of disciple making then we then our gospel ship is headed for the rocks because we are to live and die as disciple makers we can't allow the trivial pursuits of this life to derail us from the mission that Christ has given us in these verses
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I mean people around the world are on their way to a Christless eternity and we can't sit idly by when we recognize what
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Christ is calling for in this passage then all these trivialities all these things that we easily get wrapped up in our life they lose significance don't they because we recognize there are people on their way to an eternity without Christ all these things that occupy our time are rubbish in comparison with knowing
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Christ and leading others to know Christ and so as Christians we remind ourselves that we are those who live for the eternal our citizenship is in heaven
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Paul said and our goal is to take as many people there with us as we can by preaching
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Christ and warning them of the apparels of rejecting Christ it was Charles Spurgeon who once said if sinners be damned at least let them leap to hell over our dead bodies if they perish let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees imploring them to stay if hell must be filled let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions let no one go unwarned and unprayed for we cannot just sit idly by when there are millions of people today who have never heard of Christ there are hundreds of languages where people don't even have one verse translated into their language they've never heard the name of Jesus never met a missionary and never seen a bible
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God wants you and I to be willing to give up whatever is necessary to sacrifice whatever is necessary to take the gospel to those people to make disciples amongst those people so what are you willing to give up what are you willing to sacrifice to take the gospel to a people who hate
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God and will probably hate you when you get there but you know what, God wants them to hear the message of Christ I remember
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John MacArthur saying several times when we were in seminary he says, you know man, there's a lot of things you can do in heaven you can sing in heaven, you can worship in heaven you can fellowship in heaven, you can eat in heaven but the one thing you can't do in heaven is preach the gospel lead people to Christ, make disciples and so we need to remember that that is our mission as a church, that is our mission as individual
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Christians and so it starts with you and it extends to the ends of the earth but we must be going we must be out and about amongst people preaching
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Christ and teaching them to be like Christ second of all, discipleship includes baptizing baptism doesn't save anyone there's we see in scripture that people aren't saved by being baptized baptism is the first step of obedience baptism is what takes place after a person trusts
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Christ and places their faith in Christ baptism is a symbolic expression of what
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Christ has already done in our life, that we've died to sin we've risen with Christ, newness of life and we walk with him baptism is a picture of our allegiance to Christ it's no longer
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I but Christ life in fact in a lot of places in the world to be baptized could be the mark of death for you even in Europe to be baptized could ostracize you from your family and friends and relatives a lot of places where Catholicism is very strong,
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Croatia, even Czech Republic and other places it's one thing to identify yourself as a
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Christian but it's a whole other level to be baptized because what you're doing, even in Muslim countries it's the same thing, because what you're doing is you're not just saying, oh
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I believe I trust Christ, I'm a follower of Christ I'm a Christian but now you're publicly declaring that you belong to him you're identifying yourself with him and a lot of times we've even seen this that people's families reject them because you know what you have given yourself fully to Christ and so a lot of times people across the world are persecuted by being baptized, because they recognize the significance of what that means but here in America a lot of times people don't experience these type of things because there's not the level of persecution that there are in other countries but it's very significant that we're to be baptizing them, and he says how we're to be baptizing them, he says, in the name of the
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Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit now it's interesting that the word name is singular he doesn't say baptizing them in the names of the
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Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, he says but in the name, which shows the oneness of the Godhead and then the definite article before each member of the
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Trinity shows the distinction of each member of the Trinity, in the name of the
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Father the Son, and the Holy Spirit so it's really a significant verse regarding the doctrine of the
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Trinity but we need to recognize that being baptized in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit does not make a believer one with God, one with the
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Trinity, but it signifies that a person has a relationship with the Father, the Son, and the
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Holy Spirit and the person is one with God but thirdly, if we're going to be making disciples, we must also be teaching this is so important because a lot of missions organizations are so focused on leading people to Christ, that once that takes place they move on,
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I recently read a book about this, about how a lot of organizations are focused to lead people to Christ get a church, get a group together to plant a church and then move on without staying and teaching and discipling and equipping and training for leadership and a lot of organizations they keep track or keep a record of all the professions of faith or the people that raised their hand and walked in aisles stood at a campfire but that's not what we look to if that's all they do then who knows if they're even saved the true mark of a disciple of Jesus Christ is that he continues to learn and to grow in spiritual maturity, to grow more into the image and likeness of Jesus Christ and so to do that you need to stay and to teach and equip and train, so Jesus says here, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
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Our mission as Christians is not merely to convert people, not merely just to see people saved, but to teach them and that's where discipleship takes place and you make disciples by spending time with them talking with them, teaching them, modeling for them being an example, being an encouragement to them, helping them to think through decisions biblically and it takes time, it takes commitment, it takes it requires providing direction from them and being an example for them and so it is, it's life on life, but it's all it's more than that, it's actually church on life it's
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Bible study on life, it's all of us involved in each of our lives to encourage each other, one another to grow more into the image and likeness of Christ each and every day and so we do that by exhorting one another to growth in Christ likeness and Jesus says here, teaching them all that I have commanded you, which means that our teaching is comprehensive we teach them the whole counsel of God, we teach them how to study the
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Bible and how to live out its truths so discipleship really works this way it's that you find someone who knows more than you and you learn everything you can from that person and you learn from their godly life and then you find someone that maybe is a new believer who is not as mature as you in their walk with Christ and you try to encourage that person and influence them in a godly way so that they can learn from you and grow into greater
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Christ likeness and in scripture we see that the older men are to teach the younger men, the older women are to teach the younger women but we are all involved in each other's lives to grow more into the image and likeness of Christ so find someone who is godlier and wiser than you and try to learn everything you can from that person and then try to find someone who you can influence, who you recognize who could be encouraged by your life and teach them and encourage them to grow in Christ likeness this is how we are to live as a body or to be involved in each other's lives to grow into Christ likeness and so that's really biblical discipleship in a nutshell but the ultimate goal is
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Christ likeness and obedience to Christ, he says teaching them to observe all that I have commanded to you so we are to teach them to obey scripture, to obey the teaching of Christ, to accept what
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Christ says and then to submit one's life to his teaching this is our mission brothers and sisters and we must stay on task and lastly, if we want to keep on mission not only remember our authority, remember our assignment but remember your assistant
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Jesus says here at the end of verse 20 and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the age you could be assured that when you're evangelizing, you're sharing the gospel with people and when you're involved in disciple making that Christ's hand is in your labors, he is with you he says and lo, it's an emphatic expression calling attention to what he's going to say next and he says and lo, hey listen,
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I am with you I am with you in those difficult situations,
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I am present with you when you're trying to reach the lost and people are rejecting you, I am with you and when you're shepherding and counseling someone through trials in their lives and what a comfort it is to know that he is with us but also necessary to give us endurance in the ministry isn't it and when you just think about that you're just in this alone then then you're going to have a hard time being faithful and enduring through difficulties but it's like David Livingston said at the
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University of Glasgow in 1896, he said would you like me to tell you what supported me through all the years of exile among a people whose language
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I cannot understand and whose attitude towards me was always uncertain and often hostile, it was this lo,
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I am with you always even unto the end of the world on these words
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I staked everything and they never failed and they'll never fail you, they'll never fail me
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Christ has promised to be with us in the work of disciple making but the question is are you and I involved in disciple making, are we involved in each other's lives,
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Jesus cares about your work at disciple making, he wants you to succeed and he is with you, the question is are you walking with him, are you living in the light of his presence, are you living out the truths of his word and if you will, he will use you in ways that you can never imagine but maybe you're here this morning and you've gone off mission or you've never been involved in Jesus mission for the church and disciple making, well
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I want you to recognize that this passage Matthew 28, 18 -20 is not a passage for missionaries it's not a passage just for missionaries
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I should say, it's not a passage just for your missions committee or whoever leads missions at your church, this passage is for you, this passage is for every single
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Christian this is for every believer of every age now how do you say, well how do you know this passage just,
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Jesus gave this this mandate to these disciples on this mountain, how do you know it wasn't just for these disciples, well look at the end of the verse, it says and lo,
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I am with you always, even to the end of the age the reason why we know that this passage does not apply just to the disciples who are there this day, is because those disciples are no longer around, are they they're no longer present with us and the only way that we can make disciples even until the end of the age, is for you and I to be active in disciple making so it rests on you and me to carry out this mission at this day and time to be faithful in making disciples so the question is, is who are you discipling who is discipling you and who around you needs who around you needs to hear the gospel so that they can become a disciple, so they can come to Christ and be transformed and become one of his followers
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God wants you and I to be continually growing in our walk with Christ, to living the
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Christ life, to living out the truths of the gospel the no longer I but Christ that lives in me life and to help others to grow in that as well so the question is how is it going, how are you doing in your walk with Christ and helping others to grow more in their knowledge of our
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Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and to be like him to do so it requires relationships, it requires being open with one another and encouraging one another, iron sharpening iron and not living a secret life and hiding sins and things from people but being honest and seeking help and growing together into Christ likeness and when people see that you are genuine, when they see that your
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Christian life is real they'll be quicker to listen to what you say and to follow the things that you share with them from scripture like one preacher once said, he said precepts instruct but examples persuade so let your life be an influence on those around you as you evolved in disciple making and I'll close with a story
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I read of a missionary to India he was in India and he wanted to reach the natives but he recognized he needs to learn their language so he could speak to them on their level and in their culture and their language and so he found a
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Hindu scholar one day and he asked the Hindu scholar if he would teach him the native language and the scholar replied, he said no sahib and I understand sahib to be like a term of honor, respect, he said no sahib
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I will not teach you my language you would make me a Christian and the missionary replied, he said well sir you misunderstand what
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I'm saying, I'm just asking you to teach me your language and Hindu responded, he said no sahib, he said
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I will not teach you said no man can live with you and not become a Christian and you and I need to live genuine
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Christian lives that glorify Christ and that are real and to lead others into greater
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Christ liveness, that is what disciple making is all about so the question is are you and I active in this ministry of disciple making that we are commanded to fulfill all the way until the end of the age and to take the gospel to other people so that they may know our
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Lord and Savior as well so I pray that the Lord will use this passage in your life to remind you to keep on mission, to remember your authority to remember your assignment and to remember your assistant, the
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Lord Jesus is with you if you will be faithful to preach Christ and lead others into greater
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Christ liveness, let's pray Father we just thank you for our time together we thank you for this amazing mission that you've given us
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Lord what a privilege it is to be part of what you have set out to do from ages past and Lord I pray that we would be faithful in making disciples not only here where we live in our local area and community
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God but we would be a church that's focused on making disciples even to the ends of the earth
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Lord, Lord I pray that you would call men and women to take the gospel of Christ to nations around the world who have yet to hear of the name
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Jesus Lord I pray that you would call out men to be preachers Lord what a tragedy that most missionaries aren't even preachers in this day they're videographers and camp workers and musicians and all sorts of things but Lord we pray that you would call out men to teach and preach the word of God Lord Jesus sent out eleven preachers to take the gospel of Christ and to teach all that Christ has commanded to teach the whole counsel of God and Lord we need men who are equipped like that to take the message abroad and Lord I pray that you will send out such men from this church to glorify your name amongst the heathen people and I pray in Jesus name,