The Most Neglected Command Christ Ever Gave

Bible Book: Matthew  28 : 18-20
Subject: Evangelism; Soul Winning; Missions
Introduction

Jesus gave us many commands. We are told to love one another, and there is much sharing of love in the church of our Lord. We are told to worship, and our worship services, especially on Sunday morning are a blessing and filled with crowds of people. We are told to follow His teachings, and our classes, though they could certainly be more numerous and better attended, are large and wonderful. Yet, Jesus gave a command which is much more difficult for us to follow.

Christ told us to go into all the world and share our witness. He actually said that after the Holy Spirit has come, which happened at Pentecost, we would be His witnesses. Yet, no service or ministry is more difficult to operate in the average church than outreach - the simple task and taking the message of Jesus to the people around us.

A.C. Dixon told about a New York pastor who became concerned about a certain banker. One day he went to the banker's office and asked for a ten-minute interview. The banker asked, "Have you come on business, preacher?"

The pastor answered, "Yes, business for God and for eternity. I would like to talk to you about your soul."

The banker looked at the preacher and said, "I've been waiting for 30 years for someone to tell me how to get saved."

No doubt there are many waiting to hear the story, but we keep wanting to know more about how to do it. We analyze the situation to death. I am reminded of a story about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson went on a camping trip. After a good meal they lay down for the night and went to sleep. Some hours later, Holmes awoke and nudged his faithful friend. "Watson, look up into the sky and tell me what do you see."

Watson replied, "I see million and millions of stars."

Holmes asked, "What does that tell you?"

Watson pondered for a moment and then said, "Astronomically, it tells me that there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I observe that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Theologically, I can see that God is all-powerful and that we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, I suspect that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow."

Then Dr. Watson asked, "What does it tell you Mr. Holmes?"

Holmes replied, "Watson, it tells me that someone stole our tent."

I am not opposed to more training on how to share our testimony or how to bring people to faith in Christ, but I sometimes think that people see training as evangelism. Actually, to win people to Christ, we must GO! That is what Jesus told us to do - GO!

I. We Must Express the Love of Christ

We have to remember what Christ had just done for His disciples, and for us, before He gave the command we read in our scripture for today. As He stood and spoke to the disciples and followers with nail scars in His hands. He loved us to the end. He died in our place. His love for us must constrain us. Look at 2 Corinthians 5:14.

A young boy in Chicago was born with a birth defeat and could not walk. His mother left him to go work cleaning buildings everyday. One day she came home to find her boy excited about something he had read in the paper. There was a story about another boy who had the same problem, and a great doctor from Austria had come to America, had operated on him and he could walk. The mother pointed out that the family of that boy was rich and she reminded her son that she did not have the money for such an operation. The handicapped boy said, "Mom, you can’t blame a boy for dreaming, can you?"

That was all it took. The mother read that the doctor was in a certain hotel. The mother went immediately there and brushed by a door keeper into the doctor’s suite. She pleaded for his help. He agreed. He operated on her son for free. The boy could walk for the first time in his life. The doctor came to see the boy one last time before going back to Austria. The boy grabbed him, crying he kissed the doctor and then exclaimed, "Doc, as long as I got a tongue in this head, ain’t nobody gonna forgit what you done for me."

Oh friend, so much more has been done for us! We should tell it because of the love He had for us, the love He showed to us and the love He demonstrated at Calvary. Love should propel us to go tell. As long as we have a tongue, let us tell people about Jesus. If you can't talk, you can sign the message to others. If you can't sign, you can handout the gospel in written form. There is no excuse for our silence.

II. The Must Engage in the Work of Christ

We are called to be part of the great work of our Lord. His love for the lost must become our love for the lost, and it will if we can catch His heartbeat. A man tells the story of talking with his pastor one day when an accident happened. They went out to see what was going on and the medics arrive and began to treat the injured man. They stood there debating what had happened to the man and if he would live. Just then, one of the paramedics took the oxygen mask off the man’s face and the man talking with the pastor saw that the person injured was his brother. He let out a yell. He turned to the pastor and said, "Pastor, get on your knees. Pray for my brother." Then he called for the medics to increase their efforts.

The sudden change took place because of the personal nature of the concern. Friends, you and I have to catch the vision of personal concern for a lost world. We will only do that if we get close enough to Jesus to have the heart for the world that He has for the world. Jesus cares for every person. He loves the world - all the people in it (John 3:16). He is burdened for them - we must be also.

This only happens when we realize that people without Christ are dying and going out into an everlasting separation for God. That is what Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5. He said that knowing the wrath of God caused true believers to become effective witnesses.

A man was running from a bear. He saw a limb and decided to jump for it. It was very high and he felt it would be impossible to reach it. He looked back, saw the bear gaining ground and decided to try it. He leaped for the limb but he missed it; fortunately, he caught it on the way down! Yes, motivation can make the difference. If we realize how important this work is and how blessed we are to share in it for Jesus, we will do it with enthusiasm.

Proverbs 9:10 "The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom."

"The Wicked shall be turned into hell, and every nation that forgets God."

There is a hell. If not, this book, the Bible, is a fraud; if there is no hell, Jesus is an imposter; if there is no hell, Christ lied to us because He spoke of hell more than heaven.

Abraham Lincoln asked a little boy, "If a dog had four legs and you called his tail a leg, how many legs would he have?" The little boy stated that the dog would have 5 legs. Abraham Lincoln said, "No son, he would still just have four legs. No matter what you call the tail of a dog, it is a tail and not a leg."

You and I have to call eternity without Christ what it really is. What was the purpose of Christ dying, if not to provide an escape from such a horrible future? The fact of what happens when a lost person dies without Christ, should compel us. The fact that Jesus loved each of us enough to die for us, ought to compel us!

III. The Must Expect the Coming of Christ

Jesus said that He would be with us till the end of the age. There is an end coming and we, as Christians, will stand before God. We will not be judged as to whether we enter heaven or hell. Our judgment will be as to whether we were faithful to the Lord, His work and His cause. This judgment is called the Bema Seat Judgment. This is a judgment specifically designed for the saints. It is not a judgment of our sins, but of our works after we were saved. If our works are pure, they will be precious stones, gold and sliver. If they are impure and selfish, they will be burned up as wood, hay and stumble. Certainly part of the judgment will involve the examination of our witness for Christ in this world.

Now you may feel that this will not matter to you, but I assure you that it will. This is a judgment that all Christians must attend. Look at the assembled people at this judgment. Also, he points out the appointed place. This is a Bema Judgment, a place of reward. The purpose is also stated. There we will experience a reward or a loss of reward. Jesus told us to lay up treasure in heaven, doing so is certainly the will of God for us. This will be a place of embarrassment for some people. Some will suffer loss on that day. Some will get into heaven with their coattail smoking. How sad! Think of the loss of all that you worked for. Imagine that all your money is in a drawer in a cabinet at home. One night you wake up with the house on fire. You escape with your PJs scorched but you are alive. You see the house destroyed, all your money gone, and you family dead, but you are alive. Do you think that you would be glad? Surely not! The loss would be horrible. When we think of facing our Lord one day, we must consider whether we are doing His work now. Jesus said, "After the Father sent me, so send I you!" Remember that Jesus clearly stated that He came to "seek and to saved that which is lost." Are we really doing the work of evangelism?

Some years ago I heard a missionary speak about his joy in sharing Christ. He stood with tears and said, "One day I want to walk down the streets of heaven and have some person coming running up to me and saying, 'Thank you for coming to my village and telling me about Jesus. If you had not come, I would not be here!'"

Will anyone meet you or me in heaven with those words. Sadly, many of us are not willing to go across the street, much less across the world, to tell someone about His saving grace. Let us remember that one day we will meet our Lord. We want to hear Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant!"

Conclusion

My firsts post-college pastorate was in South Carolina. On my first Sunday morning in the church, I told the congregation that we were going to do a four-week training session and then we were going to start visiting every home in our area to share the gospel. That Sunday night I was in my office just about ready to go out to lead the evening service when a lady walked up and met me. She asked, "Pastor, why do we have to wait four weeks? Can't you just lead us to go immediately?"

I told her we certainly could go immediately. I asked if she thought the members would respond. I knew that the church had not been growing for a number of years. She responded that they were excited with a new pastor and were ready to do something. That night, I asked people to meet me at the church on Tuesday evening to go visiting. I was shocked over 50% of the people in that evening worship service showed up to go visiting on the following Tuesday night. It is no surprise that the church more than doubled in less than two years! It is God's plan for us to GO!

Yes, we can win people to Jesus, but we can't doing just talking about it. We must GO!

You can't spell good with the word GO.

We can't spell the word gospel with the word Go.

Why, you can't even spell GOD with the word GO! Let's GO!

There is a Mercedes Benz TV commercial which shows their car colliding with a cement wall during a safety test. Someone then asks the company spokesman why they do not enforce their patent on the Mercedes Benz energy-absorbing car body, a design evidently copied by many other companies because of its success. He replies matter-of-factually, "Because some things in life are too important not to share."

Our message is too important to leave unspoken. Let us obey His command. GO and tell!