Matthew 28:19-20 sermon: “As you go, make disciples.”

This month’s memory verse has been Matthew 28:19-20. Below, I have posted a sermon which I preached on this passage. I preached it has part of a student ministries service on June 29, 2008. This was following a mission trip to Harlan, Kentucky through Adventures in Missions (A.I.M.). Harlan, KY is part of Appalachia. Below is the sermon. Feel free to post questions or comments:



The youth group just got back from Appalachia as you know by now and we had a lot of awesome, God given experiences. You have heard about a lot of them by now. One thing that I really liked about this trip is the focus on discipleship. The group that we went on this mission trip with was called AIM and that stands for Adventures in Missions. AIM requires every group that goes on one of their mission trips to go through what they call Missions101. Missions 101 is 7 weeks of missions training. In that training we read a lot of Scripture, we spend time in prayer, we spend time in listening prayer which is prayer where we actually spend quiet time waiting for God to respond, we study the area we are going to, we talk about dress codes and packing list, but during the first week we talk about why we go on a mission trip. That is what I want to talk about now. Why? Who cares? Why do missions? Turn in your Bibles to Mathew 28:18-20 and we will also reference Acts 1:8.

Let’s read Mathew 28:18-20

  1. First , Jesus tells them all authority on Heaven and on earth has been given to Him.
    1. Jesus didn’t say some authority He said all authority
    2. One of the cool things about Scripture is that Scripture backs itself up, Scripture supports itself. In Mathew 11:27 Jesus says that all authority has been handed over to me. In Daniel 7:13, Daniel has an end times vision of Jesus coming. In Mathew 26:64 Jesus says, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless, I tell you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the clouds of Heaven.” A quote from Psalm 110:1 and Dan 7:13. But my favorite verse that supports Jesus’ power is Col 1:15-17: “He is the Image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth , visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created both through Him and for Him. He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together…”
      1.                                                                i.      The stars you see at night, they were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      2.                                                              ii.      The planets at the outer depths of space were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      3.                                                             iii.      The vast oceans on this earth were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      4.                                                            iv.      The clouds up in the sky were created by Jesus and for Jesus
      5.                                                              v.      The materials to create your house, computer, tv, all created by Jesus and for Jesus
      6.                                                            vi.      The rulers of the world were set in place by Jesus and for Jesus
        1. All of this is held together for His purpose
    3. But why did Jesus tell them this now? I actually think that they need that encouragement considering the mission He was about to give them and us. Let’s look at the mission—-
  2. In verse 19 Jesus says, “As you go make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
    1. Did you notice that I said, “As you go…” but in our Bibles it really says, “Go, therefore..”  look one of the cool things that I learned recently is that if you look at the Greek tense of this passage it tells us that “go” is not a command but a present participle. The only command in this passage is to make disciples. That means that this passage might be better translated “as you go…” Let’s apply this a little:
      1.                                                                i.      On Thursday night we drove home from our trip. I got home late at night and started thinking, “It is amazing that we can pass from one culture to another in that amount of time.”  I am all for foreign missions, I am all for traveling four hours a way for a mission trip. But you know, we can pass from culture to culture in Cincinnati alone. The problem with foreign mission trips is that it makes us think that missions is away not at home.
      2.                                                              ii.      In this passage Jesus is saying, “as you go about your business make disciples” This is a natural part of a Christian’s life. We must be so incredibly excited that we are making disciples everywhere we go.
        1. As you go to your job at McDonalds, make disciples
        2. As you go to the factory, make disciples
        3. As you teach students, make disciples
        4. As you cut hair, make disciples
        5. As you make friends, make disciples
        6. As you go out to eat make disciples
        7. As you go to the grocery, make disciples
        8. As you go to Lowe’s make disciples
        9. As you go___________, make disciples
      3.                                                             iii.       This is backed up by other Scriptures.  Jesus said in the sermon on the mount, “You are the light of the world” Look there is a light that shine through Jesus who is in us and we cannot hide our light and too many of us are.
      4.                                                            iv.      Now, making disciples implies evangelism; however, that doesn’t mean that we are walking up to someone saying, “If you were to die tonight would you go to Heaven or hell.” If you want to, go ahead, make sure you know what you are talking about. There are other types of evangelism:
        1. Servant evangelism: help people. As you go to the grocery, open doors for people
        2. Social evangelism: as you out to eat be nice to the waiter or waitress. You know that people who work at restaurants hate working on Sundays. I wonder why, could it be that all the Christians, correction alleged Christians come after church and demand a lot and tip a little. Have grace.
          1. This is also just talking to people, representing Christ well. Build the relationship and then you have their trust when you tell them about Christ
        3.  Invitational evangelism: invite them to church
      5.                                                              v.      Jesus modeled this “as you go” mentality. When everyone else avoided Samaria, Jesus went through and talked with the woman at the well.
    2. There is spiritual depravity and physical depravity. Our area has both:
      1.                                                                i.      The city of Harlan has an average income of 17,270. The is national: 41,994
      2.                                                              ii.      Lincoln Heights:19,834
      3.                                                             iii.      hamilton 35,365 Population 60,763
      4.                                                            iv.      Lockland: 28,292 Population: 3505
      5.                                                              v.      Cincinnati: 29,493 Population: 317, 361
      6.                                                            vi.      Dayton: 27,423 Population: 161,996
        1. Lincoln height is one of the poorest areas of Cincinnati, what can we do to help them? Hartwell is another place right next to us, what can we as Christians do to help them in physical ways and hopefully Spiritual ways? We have Jesus and ultimately that is what they need; however, they may not care how much we can tell them about Jesus until they know that we care.
        2. I am serious about this, I believe that we as a church have got to purposefully make these suburbs around the church our mission fields. As you go to church drive through Lockland and Lincoln Heights and pray for them. Brain storm things that we can do to help them.
      7.                                                           vii.      In Acts 1:8: Jesus told them to be witnesses in Jerusalem which is local, in Judea which is a little further and a bigger area, in Samaria, which is further away and then to the ends of the earth. Missions starts at home.
        1. Also, Jesus is talking to Jewish people and He tells them all the nations can have this Gospel: Greeks, Barbarians, etc. This is a phenomenal statement.
    3. Once they know Christ we make them disciples, they come along side us and learn how to be a follower of Jesus. They get baptized in the Trinitarian name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Next let’s look at verse 20:
  3. Teach them to observe all that I commanded you and I will be with you
    1. Notice that Jesus says, “ALL” that I commanded you. Not some of what I commanded.
      1.                                                                i.      Love your neighbor as yourself
      2.                                                              ii.      Seek first the Kingdom of God
      3.                                                             iii.      Store up treasures in Heaven, not on earth
      4.                                                            iv.      Love your enemies
      5.                                                              v.      So much more
    2. Jesus is with us to the end
      1.                                                                i.      You are not alone. You have trouble telling people about Jesus, don’t worry learn the Bible, study what you will say and take comfort Christ is with you.
      2.                                                              ii.      This must have been encouraging to them since most of them would die in persecution
      3.                                                             iii.      In Acts 18:10 Paul is a little worried about witnessing in Corinth and he has a vision and it is Christ saying, “I am with you..”


On our mission trip we did a lot of new things, especially for the kids. All of those things can and should be done around here.

  1. Prayer walking: let’s do it we can do that around here
  2. Adult day care: we can go and build relationship with people at an adult day care around here
  3. Construction
  4. Sports evangelism: this is simply going to a park and playing games with people. The idea is to show them that Christians have fun and we care and if possible or if God leads you to share the Gospel

We must make this area our mission field.

Matt 9:36-38

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

This is also true here.

Let’s pray

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