Into All The World!
Matthew 28: 18-20
The Great Commission is the magnificent obsession of the church.
It is the very life blood of Christianity.
We must have a vision of a vast world that is without Jesus.
In a day in which millions are plunging into eternity without Christ, if we are standing still,
we are backing up.
We must begin at home, and go to the ends of the earth with the good news of Jesus Christ.
The Scripture passage in Matthew is telling us to go everywhere.
"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,
all power is given unto me in Heaven and in earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father,
and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
It is quite clear that Jesus was emphasizing that we should penetrate the world
with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The gospel must penetrate all the world.
No strata of society was to be excluded, no fortress of hell unpenetrated, no bastion of darkness
unimpregnated with the light of the gospel.
Every religion must be confronted, every tribe invaded, every error exposed, every language translated,
every city and village, every country and continent assaulted until the foundations of hell tremble
and Satan's walls crumble.
"For the darkness shall turn to dawning,
And the dawning to noonday bright!
And Christ's great Kingdom shall come on earth,
the Kingdom of love and light."
That means all nations, all cultures, all religions, all ethnic groups, all tribes of the earth --
"to the end of the world."
Jesus said very clearly, "Go everywhere."
The way must go through education, and prayer, and finances, and personnel.
The New Testament church survived against impossible odds, and even penetrated the world with the gospel
because whatever happened to all of them was more important to each of them
than what happened to any of them.
There are in several factors that are essential to world evangelism.
Campus ministries, rescue missions, hospitals, television, radio, computers, the World Wide Web,
Biblical education, all types of evangelism, church planting, medical missions -- every strata of life and society must be permeated.
Acts 1: 8:
"But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you:
and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem and in all of Judea, and in Samaria,
and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
This verse is saying to us, "Go from here."
Jesus is giving His strategy for world evangelism.
Can you imagine the reticence of the apostles to attempt the Great Commission.
It must have seemed as a mission impossible."
It was geographically impossible.
Most of the world had not even been discovered.
At that time they believed the earth was flat and that to sail the seas was inevitably to drop off into oblivion.
It was physically impossible.
There was no way to go -- no cars, no planes, no printing press, no radios -- nothing.
It was numerically impossible.
There were far too few.
At most, no more than 500 followers of Christ could possibly be counted upon -- and how many of those would surrender for foreign missions?
It was financially impossible.
Historians suggest that the wealth of the early church at this juncture of world history was less
than the equivalent of $10,000 American dollars.
What percentage of your congregation's wealth can you get at any given time?
Ten percent? Twenty percent? Suppose, it was 50 percent.
Could you put on a program of world evangelism for $5000.
It was legally impossible.
It was against the law to speak or teach in the name of Jesus.
Followers of "The Way" were being persecuted, imprisoned, and martyred.
It was socially impossible.
They were the discards and rejects, Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 1: 26:
"For ye see your calling, rather, how that not many wise men after the flesh,
not many mighty, not many noble, are called."
They had no influence.
Who would listen to them?
Who would believe them?
But then, they remembered Jesus' admonition to pray.
Perhaps, someone suggested that rather than fret over what they could not do,
they should do the one thing they could do: pray.
So they went to the upper room.
And in ten days, miracle of miracles, wonder of wonders, the Lord -- who knew all along
they could not go to all the world -- brought the world to them because they had done
what they could with what they had.
And so must we!
We must begin where we are.
It is the epitome of hypocrisy to send money to Africa or China while we ignore the person who lives next door.
World missions "begin at Jerusalem."
Evangelism begins at home.
Missions begins at our front door.
Luke, the physician, has become Luke the mission strategist, and is quick to record
Jesus' plan for the spiritual conquest of the earth.
Begin at home -- go from here!
In 1967, the coldest day on which a professional football game has ever been played was recorded.
In a 67 degree below -- zero chill factor, the Green Bay Packers entertained the Dallas Cowboys
for the division championship.
With less than a minute to play, the Packers -- trailing by just two points -- pushed the ball
to the Dallas' two yard line.
As with one voice, the tens of thousands of Green Bay fans
stood and began to cheer: "Go! Go! Go!"
Sportscasters reported it to be the most electrifying pulsating crowd noise they had ever heard,
reverberating, throbbing through the stands, charging the souls of the players,
pumping their adrenaline level to the skies.
The quarterback called the signal, and the center hiked the ball.
As a one-man, the indomitable Packers driven by the cheers of their fans pushed the ball
across the goal line for the winning touchdown.
History has recorded the familiar sayings of her sons.
Who can forget Patrick Henry's, "Give me liberty or give me death."
Or McArthur's, "I shall return."
But nothing, in or out of sacred literature, can compare with the last commandment of our Lord:
"Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature."
We stand today at our greatest hour of opportunity.
We live at a time of world history where the old foundations are crumbling, and men's hearts are failing them.
What a tremendous hour for the church!
What an hour for missions and evangelism!
With knees knelt in prayer, with hands filled with more than adequate resources, talent, funds, and personnel,
may we, as the church of God, lock arms.
May this be our finest hour as we seize, what may be the best opportunity, to bring our world
to the feet of our blessed Saviour.
Surely, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, the redeemed of the ages,
the saints of the Old and New Testaments, are straining at the precipice of heaven, and saying to this church:
Go into all the world!
Go to every creature!
Go with me!
Go from here!
Go! Go! Go!"
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org