Make Disciples of the Nations

Read Matthew 28:16-20

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God’s desire is to have fellowship and a relationship with man, with humans.  Way back in the O.T. God created man for this very reason.  God’s desire was met for a while, until sin entered the picture.  Sin is what drives people from God, it is not the other way around.  Sin is what separates us from God.  Sin is anything that keeps you out of fellowship with God.

God’s desire to have fellowship with his children, his creation, has never changed.  In fact, it only evolved.  It evolved into separate nations.  In vs. 18 Jesus says to, “go and make disciples of all nations.”  Did you catch that?  All nations.  Once sin separated Adam and Eve from his fellowship, he created nations, his desire now is that one of those nations be a witness to all the others.  He chose Israel to be this witness nation.

The problem is this nation also dropped the ball.  We’ve studied how they’ve done this through out the entire book of Matthew.  Now here we are at the end of Matthew and Israel has dropped the ball, they allowed sin to steal their fellowship with God by allowing sin to have its way in their hearts. 

God has now moved on to plan C and that is to send his only begotten son to earth to redeem sinful people from Hell.  God still desires to have fellowship with his children.  Jesus was sent to earth to glorify his Father.  When God transformed Jesus into his glorified body this glorified God. 

Jesus has fulfilled the laws and the prophesies of the Prophets and this allows the children of God to have fellowship with him once again.  The only thing still needed are witnesses.  Israel is no longer the witness nation.  Instead of nations, God now calls on people to be the witnesses he desires.  He chose a small remnant of people to begin to go out and witness and testify and teach an entire world full of nations all about Jesus. 

Jesus commissioned a remnant to go out into the world and point loss souls to Jesus Christ.  They only reason you or I exist is to win lost souls to Christ and to worship God.  If you are a Christian, then your assignment is to win lost souls.  In verse 19, Jesus says to “go and make disciples”, a disciple, in this case, is someone who patterns their life after Jesus.  We are to lead people to Christ and then teach them his ways so they can then go out and do the same thing.

If you are a Christian, if you are a disciple of Jesus, and I believe you are if you are reading this, I want to ask you, are you disciplining other people so they understand the teachings of Jesus?  Are you doing what Jesus commissioned you to do?  Every single one of us is called to “make disciples” of all nations.

We know from studying Jesus’ ministry that he was successful in getting people to follow him.  He took time to listen and to speak and build relationships with as many people as he could, and he ended up with a great following.  He had a ton of disciples, he had hundreds of followers by the time he was crucified. 

We get so filled from worshiping and praising God, from fellow-shipping in his presence and even listening to his word being taught, all that is important, but its not the main event.  Those things all focus on us and God wants us to focus on others.  We live in a lost, sin consumed world, just turn on the news for about five minutes and you will have a grave reminder.  Hundreds of men and women pour into the streets of our nation’s cities and we sit here learning.  We have the audacity to just sit and learn, never teaching, never drawing all men unto the one we claim to worship.  Ignoring this “Great Commission”. 

These verses are very inspiring, very encouraging, very lovely things to ponder, the truth is as a church body we are dropping the ball.  Why isn’t the church turning out in droves surrounding these pockets with Holy Spirit led prayer, where are the missionaries in these battle zones. 

When the word says turn from your evil ways and I will heal your land, he’s not talking to sinners.  The Bible is not written for sinners.  The Bible is written for those who know the word, its written for the church.  Christians have the audacity to point the finger at the rioters as if they should know better, demanding that they repent.  The thing is, if we would have obeyed Christ’s command years ago, things would not have gotten this bad.

If we just get up out of our pews and begin to speak the word, imagine whose life might be saved.  If all the saved, sanctified people of this nation would have just taken just a smidge of what they learned while sitting on their pews not one single person would be left to destroy our nation. 

Do you realize this United States of America is the one nation in the world that is a melting pot for every other nation in the world?  This nation represents all the nations of the world, we literally only need to go to our backyard to make disciples of the nations.  

In verse 26 the eleven disciples went to Galilee to the mountains where Jesus told them to go.  These men were commissioned, they were sent out because they were available.  It does not matter what Jesus says, and how much you believe it, if you do not make yourself available to do it. 

Notice in verse 17 some people doubted.  Its ok if you have doubts about your abilities, you are stilled called to make disciples.  You can do something even though you lack confidence, I’m a living testimony to that, most of my ministry is me doing it anyway.  Me faking it until I make it.

Verse 17 only mentions the 11 disciples, but it is likely there were many more disciples other than the 11 that Jesus personally called on.  Acts records that Peter frequently talked to a group of disciples in Galilee that numbered about 120 (Acts 1:15) and we know that in the upper room on Pentecost was about 120 people present.  Its likely that hundreds of people were present to hear Jesus give this command.  They were all commissioned to make disciples.

There was so much turmoil at this time, with the lies of the disciples stealing Jesus’ body and the haters of Christ beginning their manhunt that only the “cream of the crop” would have shown up to potentially see Jesus.  The people who were serious with their dedication to following Christ would not have shown up, it would not have been worth the risk. This could also be said of us, only the true followers of Christ will begin to make disciples.

Jesus said (vs. 16) “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”  “Therefore go”.  In other words, according to the Michele McFadden Commentary, I am in charge and I am telling you to do this.  “Do this because I said so.” 

Jesus has commanded each of us to make disciples, he wants you to be available, willing, and submitted to his authority.  To Him you are perfectly imperfect.  He can use you if you are wonderfully willing, and simply submitted. 

The way you win souls will be unique to you.  The path you take will be unique to you.  Your ability to connect and relate to lost people will be unique to you.  In many situations you will be the only person who can reach certain people.  People are literally waiting on you to get off your duff and do what God has called you to do so they can be saved.  Souls are waiting on you.  There is a domino effect to everything you do or don’t do.

None of this is negotiable.  This word cannot be changed just to accommodate you, to let you off the hook. 

You make disciples by leading someone to confess Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then teach them that baptism is a public demonstration of your faith in God, Son and Holy Spirit and then baptize them with water and I’m going to also encourage you to also help them to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and teach them what that means.

Jesus ends with a promise that “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” He is here to help you, to guide you, to give you a specific set of blueprints unique to you.  You are not alone in this, but you do have to take the first step even if it means being uncomfortable for a while.

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