1. Missions and Cooperative Program and Stewardship
    2. Matthew 28:16-20
    3. By Chuck A. Pourciau
    5. II. THE AUTHORITY (18)
    6. III. THE ASSURANCE (20)

Missions and Cooperative Program and Stewardship

Matthew 28:16-20

By Chuck A. Pourciau

In these verses, we have the first commissioning service. Jesus was giving his disciples their marching orders for the spread of the gospel around the world. And his command was bold. He called on them to make disciples of all nations. How could they do that? They were but a few dozen believers tucked away in a remote corner of this vast globe.
This Great Commission can be just as intimidating to us. I mean, we are to make disciples of all nations. How can one local church obey such a command of our Lord. We can, and I am going to show you how. But first, let’s examine the Lord’s insights into doing mission work, for we all are called to be His missionaries.

    There are four commands embodied within this one sentence.

A. GO - We are told that we must go. It is the responsibility of the missionary to go where the mission field is. The mission field is the entire world, beginning right here at home. And to the entire mission field we must go!
B. MAKE DISCIPLES - And wherever we go we are to make disciples and not just church members, not just converts. We are to show others what is means to be in love with Jesus. We must invest in making them missionaries and ministers, not just members.
C. BAPTIZE - Baptism is a public portrayal of a private profession. By demonstrating the love of Christ, we lead others to do the same. Baptism is the first step in our public proclamation of Christ. Hopefully, it is the first of many such proclamations of our loyalty to Christ.
D. TEACH - Our responsibility does not end at the baptistry. It is a part of missions that every believer be taught the ways of God.

   As missionaries, we go with the authority of the King. We do not carry our message but His. An ambassador has no power or authority other than that which is bestowed upon him by the King. We must realize that we represent the King of Kings. So people will not be judging us by how we act. They will be judging the Lord by how we act. But, when we do missions under the authority of the King, evil will have to retreat. Only in that authority will we see success.

 If what we’ve learned places a great burden of responsibility on us, it should. But remember the final words of Jesus. We do not go to Russia, Florida, South America, Honduras, or Ethiopia alone. We go with the continuing abiding presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. His presence and His authority are all that is necessary to be successful. So the illustration of the ambassador of the king breaks down at one point. An earthly ambassador represents a king who is back in the homeland. We represent a king who travels with us wherever we go. Is the responsibility great? Yes, but the power of his abiding presence is more than sufficient.
 But our responsibility is to the whole world. How can we reach the whole world? Let me suggest four ways. First, pray. Your prayers unleash the power of God in the lives of our missionaries. Second, learn. Take time to study what is going on in world missions. You will be blessed and challenged. Third, go. There are short-term opportunities for missions involvement available through both the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board. Fourth, give. This is yet another way that every church can go into every nation in the world. That is why we must participate in Cooperative Program giving. What we cannot do alone, we can do cooperatively. In fact, it is a responsibility of church stewardship. May we not fail to meet the challenge.

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