Essentials to fulfilling the Great Commission
Do you know anyone who cannot sit still? They always have to be doing something. Even when sitting, their motor is running!
The Apostle Paul was like that…he always had to be preaching or witnessing or discipling or visiting. He could have settled down comfortably in the large church at Antioch, but he didn’t… as long as there were more people who needed to be reached, his motor was running!
He didn’t view the church as a parking lot, but as a launching pad!
This is the beginning of Paul’s 2ndMissionary journey…and we’ll see here some essentials to fulfilling the Great Commission:
1. The Right Passion
Acts 15:36, “And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do”
I would say this morning that everyone in here has passion. There is something in our lives that we are passionate about. Some people are passionate about making money, some are passionate about politics, some are passionate about their families, some are passionate about food.
But here is the thing we need to make sure we have the right passion in our lives. The Bible says, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.”
Because Paul loved God with all his heart, he was passionate about reaching the lost.
1 Cor. 9:16, “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessityis laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!”
He’s saying, don’t pat me on the back because I witness and preach and proclaim…I have to do these things…it’s in my bones!
He’s saying, for me, witnessing is not an option…reaching the lost is not a suggestion… for me, it’s a command! He was passionate about it.
Another word for passion is enthusiasm which reminds me of that verse in Col. 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord…” You can’t have too much enthusiasm.
Romans 13:11, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. “
That’s a spiritual sleep he’s referring to, and he was right…the church is sleeping in a noisy room full of lost people. A vast majority of our city doesn’t know Christ as Savior…but we walk right past them in stores, at work, on the street…and we’re “sleep-walking!” it’s time to wake up…imagine what we could do with some passion!
The 1stessential to fulfilling the great commission is passion, and we need to wake up to the needs of the hour!
2. The Right Priority
The Apostle Paul had the right priority. He knew that the main thing is keeping the main thing the main thing…the greatest way to bring God glory in our lives is telling the world that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, and that if they will repent and believe that he will forgive and save.
Paul never forgot that Christ was born to die, to rise again, to save that which was lost…He came not to be ministered unto but to minister and to give His life for His priority!
You know, there’s a church on almost every corner of this city, but it’s so easy to lose our priorities, and even we are not immune.
I like what Charles Haddon Spurgeon said, “If sinners will be damned, at least let them leap into hell over our bodies. And if they will perish, let them perish w/ our arms about their knees, imploring them to stay. If hell must be filled, let not one go there unwarned and unprayed for.”
3. The Right Message
Acts 16:4-5, “And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.”
You have to have passion, you have to have priority, but ultimately, you have to have the right message. We’re put to shame by some cults with much more passion and priority than we have… and you and I have the truth.
The right message is that salvation is by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, plus nothing, minus nothing. [15:11] That’s the right message, and when you couple that with love, souls WILL be saved.
When we take the right message and couple it with love, people will be saved. We need to have the right passion…it’s time to wake up. We need to have the right priority…it’s time to put first things first. We have to need the right message… that salvation is by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, plus nothing, minus nothing
I know for a fact there is no greater work in the Christian life than to rescue the perishing, and care for the dying. I also know for a fact that Jesus is merciful, and Jesus will save!