I am writing this blog for First Seniors at our church, but also for everyone. The Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” That ancient commission was given a rededication by Southern Baptists in 2009. If we continue with business as usual we will never reach our global world for Jesus. According to a recent study it takes 47 Southern Baptists to reach one person for Christ in a year. We all need to say, “Who will be my one this year?” God had but one Son and He made Him a missionary. We need a missional philosophy to carry out the Great Commission.
The Apostle Paul in Romans 15:14-24 has a plan to be a Great Commission people. Dr. Danny Akin of Southeastern Seminary has done a great exposition of this passage of scripture. Dr. Akin says that this chapter represents the heart of a Great Commission people. Let me share with 5 observations from the text in Romans 15.
- We must be focused on the nations – v.14-16
Paul begins with a note of confidence in God’s people. In v.16 Paul says, “ministering as a priest the gospel of God,” We must be focused on others. There are nations and unreached people groups waiting to hear the gospel message of salvation. J. Oswald Smith said, “No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, until everyone has had an opportunity to hear it at least once.”
- We must be a Christ-centered people – v.17-18
A Great Commission people will be Christ – centered. We will let Jesus take hold and control our lives. He must be Lord of all or He is not Lord at all.
- We must be gospel saturated in all we do – v.19-20
The world is confused about the gospel. What is the gospel? Dr. Danny Akin has a great definition, “The gospel is the good news that King Jesus died and paid the full penalty of sin, rose from the dead and saves all who repent of sin and trust Him!”
- We will be passionate for the unreached peoples of the world – v.20-23
In verse 21 Paul says, “But as it is written, they who had no news of Him shall see, and they who have not heard shall understand.” We must be passionate that all may see and hear the message of salvation.
- We will help those whom God sends to hard places – v.24
Paul states in Romans 15:24 that he is going to Spain with the gospel. That was the end of the known world for that first century church. That would be a hard place to share the gospel. We need to pray, give and encourage those whom God sends to the ends of the earth. I have been there in the hard places. I admire our IMB missionaries so much. I have slept in huts in Brazil and slept in cold churches in Romania. I know what it is like to be in the hard places.
Let’s be a Great Commission people. The First Seniors at First Baptist Church of Columbia can lead the way. Who will be your one? Who will you bring to church on Easter to hear the gospel? Let’s change the status quo. Let’s turn our world right side up for the glory of God.
Rev. Richard Humphries
Pastoral Care & Sr. Adult Minister