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The ALL consuming call
The title of my message today is to “the all-encompassing call”. This is the call that Jesus gives us all. When we speak of the idea of being called. We talk about two main things. The Rhema call and the logos call. The rhema call refers to when God speaks to you personally about something He wants you to do with your life. It is a specific call to you. The logos call is the general call God gives to all Christians in His Bible. Things like loving one another, being obedient to His Word, being salt and light in the world. These are more generic and to us all.
The call I want to speak about today is the call to all Christians. A generic call that speaks to all Christians throughout all the ages since Jesus spoke the words. The call to make disciples. Jesus last words about this call are recorded in two places in the Bible. One is found Matthew 28 and one is found in Mark 16. For today’s sermon I want to look at both of those passages. As we read I want you to look out for the word ALL. See where is it mentioned, try and see what it refers to.
18 Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.
19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
15 And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.
16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.
Today I want to share four main points from the two passages. To help you remember they all include the word all.
1. Jesus has ALL Authority in heaven and on earth
Matthew 28:18 – Jesus came and told His disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.”
Jesus has all authority on heaven and earth. That is a big statement. It means no-one has more authority than Jesus. But as we look at the Scriptures we see this is true and undeniable.
Colossians 1:15 – Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.
Revelation 19:16 – On His robe at His thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Matthew 3:16-17 – After His baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on Him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy.”
Jesus is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. He has existed eternally, and He holds all creation together. God the Father showed His approval at His baptism. There can be no denying Jesus is Lord of the heavens.
What sort of things did Jesus have authority over on earth? In Matthew chapters 8 and 9 we see…
The man with leprosy (Matthew 8:1-4) – He knelt before Jesus and said if you are willing I will be healed. Jesus was willing and healed him.
The Centurion’s slave (Matthew 8:5-13) – He asked Jesus to “say the word” and his servant would be healed from a distance. Jesus said the word and he was healed.
The calming of the storm (Matthew 8:23-27) – The disciples were terrified as the storm on the lake threatened their lives. They called to Jesus and He stilled the storm.
The Paralytic man – (Matthew 9:1-8) – Some friends brought the paralytic man to Jesus in faith that He could heal him. Jesus told him to pick up his mat and go home. He got up and walked. He also said his sins were forgiven.
The Dead Girl (Matthew 9:18-26) – A man came to Jesus and told of his dead daughter. He said if you touch her, she will live. Jesus touched her, and she lived.
The Sick Woman (Matthew 9:20-22) – The woman who had been bleeding non-stop for 12 years came to Jesus. She knew if she could touch His cloak she would be healed. She did, and she was healed.
The Two Blind Men (Matthew 9:27-31) – Two blind men came asked Jesus to have mercy on them. He asked if they believed He could heal them. They said yes, and they were healed.
The Mute Man (Matthew 9:32-33) – A man was brought to Jesus who was demon possessed and could not speak as a result. The demon was driven out and he was healed.
Jesus had authority on earth. He had authority over sickness and disease, demonic forces and demons, the forces of nature, life and death. Not only did Jesus say He had all authority, but He clearly demonstrated in the way He lived and ministered to the people He came in contact with.
All authority really does belong to Jesus.
2. Jesus told us to go into ALL the world and make disciples
Matthew 28:19a – Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations…
Mark 16:15 – And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.”
In the last point we see Jesus has all authority. With this authority and His final words to His followers He said, “Go into all the world and make disciples”. It is a compelling command. It is an all-consuming call that can’t be ignored.
When I think of this all-consuming call I think about some of the great missionaries from the last few hundred years who have gone into all the world to make disciples.
David Livingstone (1813-1873) who was a medical missionary who spent most of his life in Africa as an explorer, a doctor and with his love for the Lord spread the Gospel far and wide.
Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) who was an Irish missionary who served in India for 56 years working with orphans in the southern region of India.
Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) who spent more than 50 years in China as a missionary. He worked as a doctor, evangelist and translator while in China.
Charles Wesley (1703-1791) travelled widely, generally on horseback, preaching two or three times each day. It has been said that he “rode 250,000 miles, gave away 30,000 pounds, … and preached more than 40,000 sermons…”
Billy Graham (1918 – present) has preached to live audiences of nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings.
These amazing men and women understood Jesus’ call to go and make disciples of all nations and they have inspired many thousands of others to do the same.
All of us here all called to the mission field too. Though not all of us are called to go abroad. We have a mission right outside this church. One church I went to once had the sign over the exit, “Mission starts here”.
People here is our region need to hear about God’s love for them, how Jesus came to show us what God is like, that Jesus died to pay the price for our sin and He rose again to life. And by putting our faith and trust in Him we have abundant life now, and live for eternity with Him when we die.
This is one of the key reasons we exist as a church – to make disciples. My heart is that we will be a church who makes disciples, who make disciples, who make disciples. If the churches of this region are to be here in 20, 30 or 40 years’ time, we need to be about the task of making disciples.
This leads us to my next point…
3. Jesus told us to teach them to obey ALL His teachings
Matthew 28:20a – Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you.
In the first point we saw that Jesus has all authority, in the last point we looked at Jesus call to go and make disciples. In this point we see what we need to do with these knew believers. Teach them to obey ALL of Jesus commands.
I have been a Christian for 28 of my 50 years on earth. The first 15 years of being a Christian I was really good at going into the world and preaching the good news. I was able to talk to people, share my faith, give them tracts and people would come to Christ. So, I was being obedient to Mark 16:15.
However, I found that while people were getting saved, I would lose track of people and not know if they were growing or not. One day I felt God speak to me and say, “I told you to make disciples, not just Christian converts”. It stopped me in my tracks. As we have seen in previous sermons, a disciple is someone who follows Jesus as a leaner, but also passes it on to others as a teacher.
This got me thinking what sort of things did Jesus teach? If we look at the sermon of the mount we see that Jesus talked about being salt and light, loving one another, giving to the needy, loving our enemies, not talking revenge, praying and fasting, money and possessions, the golden rule, being true disciples and producing good fruit. He finished His sermon with the following words. Matthew 7:24 says, “Anyone who listens to My teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock”.
After reflecting on this, I read 2 Timothy 2:2. In it the Apostle Paul says to Timothy, “You have heard me teach things that have been confirmed by many reliable witnesses. Now teach these truths to other trustworthy people who will be able to pass them on to others.”
Paul wanted Timothy to teach these things to people who will teach them to others. Disciples making disciples.
These two thoughts caused me to write a discipleship program called, “New Beginnings: Setting a solid foundation for your new life in Christ”. Originally, I wrote it to disciple my kids, but in time it grew. It now has 10 studies including being assured of your salvation, the Bible, prayer, church, servanthood, evangelism, the Holy Spirit, having a right view of Jesus, having the right view of ourselves and what God wants us to do with our lives. This is the program we took our Over 12s group through last year. And they all graduated with flying colours.
This is what I give to all new people who come to Christ to give them a good start. It is also available on my website and has been downloaded tens of thousands of times, translated in to other languages and one Bible college in the US uses it as part of their curriculum. I am hoping in years to come that I can record this as an online training course that people can access it from all over the world can come and be discipled by our churches in this region.
So as churches, we will be obedient to Jesus’ call to go and make disciples of all nations. We will reach the ends of the earth from the central wheatbelt!
4. Jesus promises to be ALL-ways with us
Matthew 28:20b – And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Jesus promises to be with us always. He says, “Be sure of this!” So, He really wants is to get it.
Hebrews 13:5b – For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”
Jesus promises to never leave us. He is always with us and will NOT abandon us.
Jesus also promised us that the Holy Spirit would be our helper and advocate (John 14:26).
Romans 8:11 reminds us that the same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in us.
1 Corinthians 6:19 reminds us that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit as Individuals.
2 Corinthians 6:16 reminds us that “we are the temple of the living God. As God said: “I will live in them and walk among them. I will be their God, and they will be My people.”
Jesus’ presence is with you by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. He is always with us when we meet together. He is our God and we are His people.
Knowing that Jesus is always with me by the presence of His Indwelling Spirit gives me courage and strength. Courage when I am afraid to share my faith or step out and pray for some. And strength to know His power is with me to enable to share my faith, disciple others and allow God power to flow through me.
The key thought here is Jesus promises to never leave us until He calls us home individually or He comes back for us all.
Today we have looked at two passages known as the Great Commission of Jesus. His last words on earth to His followers before returning to heaven. In the message we saw.
In these passages Jesus bookend His commands. He says all authority is with Him and He promises to be all-ways with us. In the middle He says to go and make disciples and teach them to obey all His teachings.
By Dave Quinn
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