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There's No Easy Way to Say This

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Hear the Word:

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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.” (, KJV 1900)
Jesus’ commission to His church upon His ascension to Heaven places a twofold emphasis on teaching. The question that naturally arises from this observation is, “How can we possibly hope to carry out the great commission if we have not prepared ourselves for the work of teaching?”
We find ourselves today in . Here the writer tells us that each, individual disciple of Jesus Christ has a responsibility to participate in the teaching ministry of the church. He also shows us why we have failed to live up to this responsibility.
Our main focus in studying today is to answer the question, “How can I, as an individual follower of Jesus, prepare myself to carry out my responsibility in the great commission?”
In order to prepare ourselves to actively participate in the great commission, we must acknowledge and address two areas of spiritual inadequacy:
In order to personally and individually fulfill our role in the great commission, we must acknowledge and address our lack of mastery in the basic principles of God’s Word.
We see the reason for our inadequacy: We have become “dull of hearing” (v. 11).
We see the ridiculousness of our inadequacy: “When for the time ye ought to be teachers” or “By now, you should be teachers” (v. 12a).
We know that the writer was addressing lay members: He later says, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” (, KJV 1900)
Coming to the point where we no longer need teachers is a fulfillment of God’s new covenant promise: “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.” (, KJV 1900)
We see the result of our inadequacy: “Ye have need that one teach you again...” (v. 12b).
We see the result of our inadequacy: “Ye have need that one teach you again...” (v. 12b).
We see the result of our inadequacy: “Ye have need that one teach you again...” (v. 12b).
We see an illustrative relation to our inadequacy: We “are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat” (v. 12c).
In order to personally and individually fulfill our role in the great commission, we must acknowledge and address our lack of maturity in the basic principle of guarding ourselves in this world.
Not only are we unknowledgeable, we are also “unskillful in the word of righteousness” (v. 13),
Not only are we “unskillful,” we are also unfit to “discern both good and evil” (v. 14).

Do the Word:

Prepare yourself. Make it your goal to master all of the items on the handout “Fundamental Principles of Seventh-day Adventists.” Work towards knowing each principle by memory and at least 3-5 supporting Bible texts that demonstrate the truthfulness of each principle. Learn to persuasively present each principle in an informal, conversational setting, with the goal of leading an individual to make a decision for Jesus Christ.
Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.” (, KJV 1900)
“Therefore prepare yourself and arise, And speak to them all that I command you. Do not be dismayed before their faces, Lest I dismay you before them.” (, NKJV)
At your next board meeting, set a goal for how many students will be enrolled in active Bible studies at any given time at Anchor of Hope. Active Bible studies means that the person is being studied with at least once a week and they are consistently making positive decisions based on what they’re learning. Then, brainstorm ways that you meet and mingle with people so that you can enroll them in Bible studies and meet your goal. Be creative! This can include door knocking, asking relatives and friends, holding social events, participating in community outreach, and much more.
Collaborate among the members of Anchor of Hope regarding how each person will sacrifice to meet your goal of maintaining a certain number of Bible students. If transportation is an issue, make a schedule for how the few people that have transportation can partner up with those who don’t to make their Bible study appointments. Amazing things can happen if a team simply commits to making one Bible study appointment every week!
Pray that God will give you success in your work. God doesn’t always just bring people to our churches, but He will give His Holy Spirit to help us find the people who are out there waiting and wanting to hear the gospel. Pray that God will make you the kind of person that gives an accurate witness to His truth in all areas of your life.
Finally, look upon Jesus. He said, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice” (, NKJV). Jesus lived to tell the truth. Jesus died to reveal the truth about a God’s intense love for a lost world. He also died so that we could be free from our natural selfishness that keeps us comfortable in our individualistic, Western society, where we don’t have to look at or talk to anyone who’s outside of our immediate circle. He died to free us from the laziness that keeps telling us that the work of giving Bible studies and persuading people to commit their lives to Jesus is for someone else. Let love and gratitude toward Jesus Christ be your motivation for doing your part in warning the world of His soon second coming.
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