Motivation and the Great Commission
I am preaching from a text that is well-worn but not out-worn. Although it was given over 2,000 years ago, it has not yet been exhausted in its content and applications. It is true that this sermon has been preached thousands of times. However, I cannot say what needs to be said without saying what has already been said.
The purpose of this message is not to break new ground. The purpose is to cultivate more intensively some old ground. I am not speaking of a new doctrine, but trying hard to whet your appetites on an old doctrine. The genius of the whole missionary enterprise is that God's Word must go out and that it is the people of God to carry it to the world. If God's people don't do it, it will not get done.
Can we catch the missionary vision? Can we catch the passion of Jesus Christ? Christianity must not be confined to our campus, as beautiful as it is. We are to find ways to start here and proceed with the gospel message to the world.
Needless to say, we must be motivated to get the job done. In one of my first deacon's meeting at a church in the early 70's a deacon said, "Pastor, the three of us have been deacons for forty years. We have never done anything and we are not going to do anything now! Needless to say, they had to be motivated. One pastor hears this job description upon his arrival at the church. "Pastor, your job is to get us to do what we know we need to do but don't want to do!" Once again, motivation was needed.
A salesman was motivating a housewife to buy a home freezer. "You can save enough money on your food bills to pay for the freezer." "Yes, I know," the woman agreed, "But you see we're paying for our car on the carfare we save; then we are paying for our washing machine on the laundry bills we save, and we are paying for the house on the rent we are saving. We just can't afford to save anymore right now!"
Today, I want us to look at motivation and the Great Commission.
1.THE NEED FOR MOTIVATION
1. We tend to be skeptical. V. 17 says, "And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him; but some doubted." I believe in the inspiration of the Scriptures for many reasons but one of which is that the Bible tells it like it is. All of them did not believe their eyes when they saw Jesus. They had lived and walked with Jesus but doubted that He was alive. While a few of the disciples grasped Him as the Resurrected Christ, we are not to assume that all of them were convinced of this truth at the same time and to the same extent.
Great Christians have doubted. John the Baptist said, "Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another?" William Lyon Phelps, a great Christian teacher at Yale said, "My faith remains after prolong civil war with my naturally skeptical mind." John Knox, a great Christian reformer said, "There was a time in my life of wrath, and indignation conceived against ...
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