We recently had our first annual Missions Week at Raintree, and I was privileged to preach on the Great Commission, from Matthew 28:18-20.
The following is one of my favorite reflections on the GRAND truth that Christ’s authority is the very basis of our confidence in sharing the gospel with the people around us. Not only is his authority the basis of our obedience, but it also compels us to go, because we do not go out into a world where there is any other true God in control, other than Jesus. Here’s the excerpt:
The fact that Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (which means everywhere, in case you were wondering), because of who He is, and because of the confirmation and victory seen in his resurrection just before this text in Matthew, because of all that, WE CAN HAVE GREAT CONFIDENCE! Not in ourselves, not in knowing all the answers, not in being perfect people, but simply because the One whom we represent is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, Paul writes, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” We are his representatives on earth! We are the ones through whom God is making an appeal to the world. What is this appeal that he’s making through us? The last part of that verse: “Be reconciled to God.” That’s the appeal that God is making through us.
We can go and make disciples in confidence because we represent Jesus, and Jesus has all authority, and it is by that authority that he has declared salvation for those who will believe in Jesus. You see, we don’t go out into the world with the Gospel of Jesus crossing our fingers and hoping for the best! We go knowing that the Gospel will save! Not might save! It will!
Sure, not every single person we speak to will be saved, but those whom God draws to himself will be saved.
When Jesus was on the cross he did not cry out, “It is started!” Or “It is possible!” He declared, “It is finished.” With authority, and with the resurrection that was coming, he was able to say that the salvation of all of those who would believe in Jesus had been accomplished.
The Gospel will save. It’s a guarantee, because the One with authority has declared it to be so. God’s mission on earth will succeed, and his mission is primarily by what means? How will he accomplish his mission?! The church. His people on the earth. By the authority of Jesus himself, we can know that the church literally cannot fail. Sure, individual local bodies will shut their doors, but God’s mission through the church all over the world will not fail. Matthew 16:18- “And on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not overcome it.”
If you’re here and you’re not confident in yourself in sharing the Gospel and teaching others God’s truths, that’s a good thing! In fact, if you ARE merely confident in yourself, I’d encourage you to lose that confidence, and instead trust in Jesus.
We have no authority, but He has all authority. No sin or power or demon or devil can stop those whom he chosen, those who come to him in repentance and faith, from being saved. I sure hope we see just how much that is good news.
Full sermon available here: http://bit.ly/2w7qzZ8