How Do We Improve Our Disciple-Making Business? based on Matthew 28:16-20
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
I. Last in sermon series. Today is the last in the series of sermons called, “Developing Passionate Disciples of Jesus.” Today we will think about how to improve our disciple-making business.
II. We are in the disciple-making business. The final words of the risen Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 tell us, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
III. Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Where did He get that authority? God the Father gave Him that authority. Jesus sacrificed His precious life on the cross and was raised on the third day to save us. God the Father was so pleased with the sacrifice of His Son, Jesus, that He gave Him all authority in heaven and on earth. Jesus has been crowned the King of the universe.
IV. Jesus wants all nations to know about this good news. So, disciples are baptized and taught to observe all that Jesus has commanded. How do we improve that disciple-making business?
V. Jesus brings about the forgiveness of our sins and wrongs. In Matthew 9:6 Jesus said, “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” God the Father gave God the Son authority to forgive sins. Jesus suffered, bled, and died to make that forgiveness available to all. Jesus rose from the dead to make that forgiveness for all. Thanks to Jesus that forgiveness keeps on forgiving over and over again.
VI. Feelings vs. Jesus’ forgiveness of sins. Sometimes we do not feel like we are forgiven. Sometimes we do not feel like we are pardoned by God. Feelings come and go in life. The fact is we are forgiven in the Name of Jesus. “The Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” All sin. Every kind of sin. What we think of as big sins and little sins. Your sin. My sin. Everyone’s sin. Jesus keeps on forgiving our sins and wrongs.
VII. What if only part of your sins can be forgiven? What if after the confession of sins in the worship service I announced: “Only part of your sins can be forgiven. Due to problems in heaven Jesus can only forgive sins against the odd-numbered commandments. Come back next week to have your sins against the even-numbered commandments forgiven. Until then plan your sins accordingly!”
VIII. The cross of Jesus gives us mercy and forgiveness. What would you have thought if I had said that? Pastor Milbrandt is losing his mind. The Bible teaches us that from the cross of Jesus we have God’s mercy and we have God’s forgiveness. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial death we have forgiveness as far as the east is from the west.
IX. Jesus will return visibly to judge all nations, not just one or two nations. In Matthew 25:31-32, Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.” Jesus will judge all people of all nations on the Final Judgment Day. Everyone will be judged. Everyone needs forgiveness.
X. The nations are hurting. The nations are dying. All people need the forgiveness of sins. Often, though, people do not know they need forgiveness.
XI. Biggest problem for us is sin. Our biggest problem is not family problems or money troubles. Our biggest problem is sin. Because of sin our hearts break and our bones break. Sin steals, kills, and destroys. All the nations sin. All people sin. All people break God’s commandments.
XII. Why are we not making disciples of all nations? Jesus has authority to give what works—his blood-bought forgiveness! We have an overflowing amount of forgiveness. We should be making disciples of all nations! But we are not.
XIII. Louisville mailman, Frank Sosenski stashed away 15 tons of mail over six years. What’s wrong? Frank Sosienski was a mailman in Louisville, Kentucky who didn’t deliver his mail. Over a six-year period, Frank stashed away 15 tons of it in 1,200 bags. Frank Sosienski had an huge supply of mail—15 tons! Frank Sosienski had a huge demand—all of us want to get our mail. So, what was the problem?
XIV. A distribution problem. A distribution problem! That’s our problem as well. We have a distribution problem!Imagine that this container is how we distribute our product—the Gospel of Jesus Christ (a small container). We bring this container with us and ask Jesus to fill the container up.
XV. Our problem is small containers of forgiveness. This is our problem! Our problem is this container. We come with our small containers and say to Jesus, “Jesus, give enough forgiveness for me. Enough so I’m saved. Enough so I’m loved.” Then we leave worship and all we’ve done is fill our own lives. We don’t have enough for anyone else. This is our problem. We have a distribution problem.
How can we solve our distribution problem? How can we get the huge supply to the huge need? Enroll in Harvard Business School? Get an MBA from Iowa? What can we do to improve our distribution of the gospel?
XVI. Conclusion. Why don’t we get rid of our small containers and use a large container? That is what Pentecost is all about! Acts 2:4, “They were all filled with the Holy Spirit.” Christ fills our large containers to overflowing! Receive your huge supply—the forgiveness of sins. Realize that there is a huge need—all will stand before Jesus on judgment day. And then what? Pray for God’s help to get the message out about repenting and believing the good news of Jesus. Then, “Go, make disciples of all nations.” Tell them they are loved and forgiven by Jesus, the Son of the Most High God. Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.