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50 Days — The 7 Post-resurrection Sayings of Jesus: “And lo, I am with you always”

50 Days — The 7 Post-resurrection Sayings of Jesus   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The followers of Jesus are to share the Gospel with whomever, whenever, and wherever. The Scriptures teach that we are to go in power, we are to go with a priority, we are to go to all people, we are to go at a price, and we are to go with a plan.

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Text: Matthew 28:19-20
Theme: The followers of Jesus are to share the Gospel with whomever, whenever, and wherever. The Scriptures teach that we are to go in power, we are to go with a priority, we are to go to all people, we are to go at a price, and we are to go with a plan.
Date: 05/13/18 File name: Post_Resurrection_04.wpd ID Number
Jesus has risen from the dead. He has appeared to the disciples and many others over a period of 40 days, and — according to Acts 1:3 — offered many convincing proofs that it was really him and not a hallucinogenic figment of the disciple’s imagination. He is continuing to teach them things concerning the Kingdom of God. He promises them that in a few days they are going to be baptized by the Holy Spirit — the third person of the Trinity. That spiritual baptism will embolden them and empower them to be witnesses of the gospel. That same spirit will compel this infant church to take the good news of God’s redemptive act into all the world. It is a story of courage and success without parallel in the annals of world history.
It is a commission that the church is to heed in every generation until Jesus comes. Dr. L. R. Scarborough, second president of Southwestern Baptist theological seminary, once said, “… To refuse to witness the saving Gospel to a lost world ... is nothing short of high treason, spiritual rebellion, and inexcusable disobedience to his holy commands.” (Gosh, Dr. Scarborough, tell us what you really think)!
If you have been an evangelical Christian — especially a Baptist Christian — for any length of time, you are familiar with what we refer to as the “great commission.” What you may not know is that there are five versions of the great commission given in the Scriptures. All four Gospels and the Book of Acts have a version of it. All of them are similar, yet each has just enough difference to reveal five specific priorities:
The 1st Great Commission—Matthew 28:18-20—teaches that we are to go in power, (of the Holy Spirit).
The 2nd Great Commission—Mark 16:15—teaches that we are to go with a priority, (of preaching the Gospel).
The 3rd Great Commission—Luke 24:45-49—teaches that we are to go to all people, (no one is to be excluded).
The 4th Great Commission—John 20:20-21—teaches that we are to go at a price, (obedience to God).
The 5th Great Commission—Acts 1:7-8—teaches that we are to go with a plan, (we begin locally, but must think globally).
Each of these could be a sermon in and of itself, but let me take some time this morning just to give you the highlights of each version.

I. The 1st Great Commission: WE ARE TO GO IN POWER

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 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.” (Matthew 28:19–20, KJV)
1. Jesus told His disciples that all authority had been given to Him (v. 18)
2. Jesus reminds us that we do not evangelize in our own power and ability
a. it is not the authority of a church or an individual Christian who can change a sinner's life, but the power of the Son of God
3. when Jesus uses the word "lo" preceding the promise of His eternal presence, He is saying "Look, ... give me your undivided attention ... I'm going to say something extremely important!"
a. he calls us to be aware of the magnitude of a great biblical truth
b. God is with us all the time, wherever we go
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16–17, NIV84)

A. THE SPIRIT EMPOWERS US WITH A HOLY UNCTION

1. when we walk in the Spirit, one of the fruits of that relationship will be the desire to share our faith
2. on the evening of our Lord’s arrest, the Apostle Peter thrice denied that he ever new this man named Jesus
a. after Jesus is buried, we find him cowering in the Upper Room with most of the other disciples
b. forty days later, we find him preaching to the crowds and telling them: "This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear ... Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” (Acts 2:32-33; 36)
c. what made the difference in his and the lives of the other disciples?
1) it was the empowering of the Holy Spirit that came upon the Church on the Day of Pentecost

B. THE SPIRIT EMPOWERS US WITH A HOLY BOLDNESS

Matthew 10:17-20 "But beware of men, for they will hand you over to the courts and scourge you in their synagogues; 18 and you will even be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 “But when they hand you over, do not worry about how or what you are to say; for it will be given you in that hour what you are to say. 20 “For it is not you who speak, but it is the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you."
1. the same Holy Spirit that gives the believer in China boldness to testify of Jesus when he is being persecuted, is the same Holy Spirit that will give you boldness to witness to the waitress who takes your order at Applebees
2. We Are to Go in the in Power of the Holy Spirit

II. The Second Great Commission: WE ARE TO GO WITH A PRIORITY

"And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." (Mark 16:15, NIV)

A. OUR PRIORITY AUDIENCE IS A WORLD OF LOST PEOPLE

“Go ... to all creation.“
ILLUS.“When we gave our life to Jesus Christ, we gave up our right of choosing who we will love.”
1. if God so loved the world, what right do we have to pick and choose who we will or will not redemptively love by sharing the good news of God’s mercy with?
a. perhaps this is why the version of the Great Commission found in Mark’s Gospel, instructs us to preach the gospel to all creation
2. the word go in this sentence quite literally means as you go or as you are going
a. now, what’s that point?
1) it implies that evangelism is not a special effort, but a normal occurrence of the Christian life
b. as we go, wherever we go—because we are always going—we are to live our faith and share our faith with those people whom we come in contact with in the everyday course of life
3. for some of you, your world of contact and influence will primarily be Osage county
a. folks, can I clue you in on something?
1) there are enough lost folks within a 45-minute drive of this church to keep you busy witnessing for Jesus until Jesus comes
2) of the 13,324 people in our county, only 2,119 are Evangelicals which means that it’s a good bet that most of the remaining 11,205 are very likely lost
3) 27% of the county’s residents claim no church affiliation at all
b. Jesus said, “As you go about your business in Osage County, tell others about Me as you have opportunity.”
4. some of you have a much larger world
a. your job, or your interests take you far beyond the boarders of the 606 square miles of our county
b. Jesus said, “As you go about your business in mid-Missouri, tell others about Me as you have opportunity.”
5. some of you may find yourself moving because of a job or vocation change, and some of you young people will go off to college to far-flung parts of America
a. Jesus said, “As you go about your business wherever you find yourself, tell others about Me as you have opportunity.”
6. and yes, some of you may find that God has called you into full-time vocational ministry
7. our priority audience is everyone we meet

B. OUR PRIORITY MESSAGE IS THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST

“ ... and preach the gospel to all creation.”
1. there are lots of important things the church can do, and lots of important ministries you can be involved in ...
a. Christian social ministries are important
b. Rescue Missions are important
c. Children’s ministries and Senior Adult ministries, and Youth ministries are important
d. Church supported benevolent and educational and health institutions are important
2. but they all pale by comparison to the Church’s greatest—and 1st—priority
a. Job #1 is to proclaim the good news that Christ died for sinners
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, ” (1 Corinthians 15:1–4, ESV)
3. friends, let me clue you in on something else—once you’ve told others the Gospel—that’s all your responsible for
ILLUS. Martin Luther, the 16th century Reformer once told his students, “I preach, and then I sleep.” What he meant by that is this: It is God’s job, through His Holy Spirit, to use the Gospel that we’ve preached, or taught, or shared in a one-on-one encounter to convict the un-converted of sin, judgement, and righteousness.
a. redemption of the sinner is God’s work
b. but for some unknown reason, He has chosen that the means of His redemptive work is the preaching of the gospel
c. and that is your priority and my priority
“For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:13–15, ESV)
4. We Are to Go with the Priority of Preaching the Gospel

III. The Third Great Commission: WE ARE TO GO TO ALL PEOPLE

“Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: 47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 48 And ye are witnesses of these things. 49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.” (Luke 24:45–49, KJV)

A. WE MUST GO TO ALL PEOPLE BECAUSE PEOPLE WILL NOT COME ON THEIR OWN

1. we dare not wait until people come to church to ask us about Jesus
a. we cannot wait to be asked because the vast, vast majority of lost sinners will not seek after God and will not ask us about Him
1 Corinthians 2:14 "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
b. the Bible does not give a flattering description of the lost sinner
c. according to the Scriptures, the typical lost sinner is not actively seeking after a relationship with God
1) whether it’s a Muslim raised under Islamic fundamentalism or a Baptist raised under the Christian gospel – without Jesus in their life, both love darkness rather than light, both are spiritually discerned, neither seeketh after God, both have become unprofitable, and neither doeth good
2) both need a saving relationship with Jesus who is the Christ
3) both need to be told about a Savior who died for sinners
4) both need to repent and confess
2. someone may ask, “Pastor, if the Bible is true, and no one seeks after God, then why are there so many religions in the world?
a. because man has – since very soon after the fall – sought to satisfy his spiritual nature with religious rites and personal righteousness rather than serving the true and living God
b. religion actually becomes a means of keep people away from a knowledge of and relationship with God
1) and friends – that’s even true of Christianity
2) there are thousands of churches across America and around the world, where congregants may occasionally hear the story of Jesus, but they never hear the Gospel of salvation
3) the scandal of the cross has become too scandalous even for some churches
3. We must Go to All People Because People Will Not Come on Their Own

B. WE MUST GO TO ALL PEOPLE BECAUSE GOD IS NO RESPECTER OF PERSONS

ILLUS. Many of you know the story of Cornelius found in the 10th chapter of the Book of Acts. He is a Roman army officer whom the Spirit is drawing to the Father. He is praying one day when he has a vision of an angel. The angel instructs him to invite a man named Peter to his home. The next day Peter is praying when he has a vision. In that vision a great banquet table is set before him with all kinds of food that Jews were forbidden to eat because they were considered unclean and unholy. A voice says “Eat!” Peter responds to the voice saying, “Never!” Three times this happens. Peter is very perplexed about this vision. Moments later, Cornelius’ servants arrive at Peter’s door and invite him to Cornelius’ home. Peter goes, but will not enter past the gate because Cornelius is a Gentile and Gentiles are considered to be unclean and unholy by the Jews. It’s at that point that Peter begins to understand his vision. The result is that Peter preaches the Gospel and Cornelius and everyone in his home gets saved that day.
1. Peter’s response reminds us why we are to go to all people in all places
"Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, 35 but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him." (Acts 10:34-35, NIV)
a. we are to witness in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the farthest reaches of the earth because in every nation there are lost sinners whom the Spirit is drawing to the Father and they need to hear the Gospel and see a Christian witness
b. that means we begin in Linn, and then, as we are able, we go out in concentric circles of evangelistic influence from this place
ILLUS. We must, in the words of one of our hymns, “ ... bear the news to every land, climb the steeps and cross the waves; Onward, ‘tis our Lord’s command, Jesus Saves, Jesus Saves.”
1) do you understand this morning, that God is seeking to save people everywhere – even some you don’t like?
c. and if we can’t physically go, we are to financially enable those who can and will go and then support their going through our prayers and encouragements
3. if we wait for people to ask, then we too are in danger of extinction
4. We Are to Go to All People, No One Is to Be Excluded

IV. The Great Commission: WE ARE TO GO AT A PRICE

ILLUS. World Evangelism is not cheep. It costs our International Mission Board approximately $88,000 a year to keep a career missionary couple on a foreign field. There are now over 60 countries around the world where the cost of living is higher than if you lived in Manhattan, NY. For example, Missionaries in Hong Kong pay $1,500 a month for a four-hundred-square-foot apartment. You and I can fill up our automobile’s gas tank for $50, but in most European countries, it takes three-times that for a missionary to fill up. Praise God for the Cooperative Program—Southern Baptist’s unique way of funding missionaries in America and around the world. It is our unified giving plan that allows all Southern Baptists and all Southern Baptist churches to cooperate in missions and evangelistic, benevolent and educational ministries.
1. however, when I speak of the cost of the Great Commission, I’m not referring to merely money
2. while missions support is important, and while our church ought to generously support the Cooperative Program as well as special missions offerings, I’m referring to a more personal cost of proclaiming the good news

A. THE PRICE OF EVANGELISM IS GOSPEL EXCLUSIVENESS

ILLUS. Our culture is growing increasingly intolerant of Christians who believe in the exclusivity of the Gospel. This is the belief that in Christ alone there is salvation and eternal life. Accept this premise and you will be called intolerant and arrogant and a spiritual Neanderthal. Two recent examples illustrate this. Liberal Protestantism long ago grew embarrassed by the exclusive claims of biblical Christianity and the historic Christian faith. Several years ago, The Presbyterian Panel, a research group that serves the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. presented to their denomination in a religious and demographic profile of Presbyterians. Almost 40% of Presbyterian laymen and 60% of Presbyterian clergy do not believe in th exclusivity of the Gospel. This is a denomination that is increasingly loosing its confidence in the Gospel in terms of the clear biblical claim that salvation comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Some of you may remember just last year when Franklin Graham received a disinvitation by Pentagon officials to lead in prayer at their observance of the National Day of Prayer. Why was he disinvited? Because in an interview a few weeks before, Franklin Graham repeated his message that salvation is found in Jesus Christ alone, that the gospel of Christ is the only message that offers salvation, and that any belief system that leads persons away from the gospel is false and empty. In a Newsweek interview after receiving his disinvitation Graham said: “I am who I am. I don’t believe that you can get to heaven through being a Buddhist or Hindu. I think Muhammad only leads to the grave. Now, that’s what I believe, and I don’t apologize for my faith.”
1. what Franklin Graham said is offensive to the world
a. to proclaim the exclusivity of the Gospel in a religiously pluralistic society has become the epitome of political incorrectness
b. most of your neighbors, co-workers, class mates, and even your family believe that such a conviction is nothing less than religious intolerance
1) first, let me tell you what intolerance is
2) intolerance is the irrational suspicion or hatred of a particular group, race, or religion
c. Evangelical Christians who preach Jesus as the only way to God to every people group, every race and every religion, are not being intolerant
1) they are being obedient—and yes—compassionate
d. it’s when Evangelical Christians refuse to preach Jesus as the only way to every nation, every people group, every race and every religion, that we are being intolerant
2. folks, the exclusivity of the Gospel is nothing new
a. it is not the invention of fundamentalist Christians
b. it is the heart of our Saviors Great Commission
John 14:6"Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
3. what price are you willing to pay to reach the lost?
a. one price may be the price of ostracism because you believe in the exclusivity of the Gospel

B. THE PRICE OF EVANGELISM IS RESOLUTE OBEDIENCE

1. this is the price we are asked to pay
a. obedience to the call of disciple-making entails sacrifice
2. evangelism will cost you some of your privileges
ILLUS. For the sake of the evangelism Paul abandoned many of his personal privileges. He never married; he never owned a home; he never had a family other then his "brothers" and "sisters" in Christ. He never got involved in the social clubs of his day. In his letter to the Christians at Corinth Paul asserts that he willingly denied himself those things which are considered a normal part of life for most of us in order to concentrate his efforts on evangelizing. He says, "/ have denied myself certain privileges ... ," "I have not exercised my rights ... ," "I have not taken advantage of what is rightfully mine ... "
a. what are you willing to give up to tell others about Jesus?
3. evangelism will cost you some of your prejudices
a. there is no room for discrimination among the people of God
b. if God is no respecter of persons, then neither should we be
1) evangelism may force you to give up your religious prejudices
ILLUS. The Catholic and the Mormon need to here the saving Gospel as well as the Muslim and the heathen.
2) evangelism may force you to give up your racial prejudices
ILLUS. Remember the V.B.S. ditty: "Red, yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight"?
3) evangelism may force you to give up your social prejudices
ILLUS. The “up and in” need the gospel as well as the “down and out”.
4. evangelism will cost you some of your luxuries
ILLUS. Herb Miller, in his book Fishing on the Asphalt, shares that the average church member has listened to 6,000 sermons, heard 8,000 prayers, sung 20,000 hymns, and asked ZERO persons to accept Christ as personal Lord and Savior.
a. you may have to give up the luxury of spiritual assumption
1) never assume that someone else is witnessing to the people you know
2) never assume that "it's the preacher's job"
3) never assume that a person is a Christian because he or she is living decently
ILLUS. Charles Chaney, former President at Southwest Baptist University has written that “ ... the United States is not a Christian nation that needs to be fixed, but it is a mission field of hedonistic pagans that needs to be evangelized.”
5. We Are to Go at a Price—Obedience to God

V. The Fifth Great Commission: WE ARE TO GO WITH A PLAN

"He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:7-8, NASB95)
2. it has been two thousand years since Jesus issued the challenge to take the gospel to all the world
a. Jesus’ last words on earth demonstrate God’s heart for gathering the harvest of His people
b. with His last words, Jesus gave His disciples the method for reaping that harvest
3. it’s a really simple plan
a. they were to be witnesses of the risen Savior
b. they were to tell others about the risen Savior and they were to begin in Jerusalem, extend out to Judea and then Samaria and finally – to the most remote parts of all the earth
4. that plan is still in place for the local church today
a. we must begin right where we’re at, in our local community
b. from here our witness is to extend out in ever-widening concentric circles of evangelism that encompasses our state, our nation and our world
5. We Are to Go with a Plan—We Begin Locally, but We must Think Globally
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