Sunday July 24th, 2011 Sermon
“GO AND COME!”
Matthew 28:16-20 NLT
16 Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!
18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
“The church is a go-structure not a come-structure.”
Listen to the conversations in the average church. How often do you hear people say, “How can we get more young people to ‘come’ to our church?” or “How many people do you think will ‘come’ to our fundraising meal?” How many people will come to our concert? How many people will come to our food pantry?
It makes you wonder what happened to the “go” portion of the Great Commission.
Jesus used the words go and come pointedly in conversations.
“Go, first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift.” (Matthew 5:24b)
“If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor…then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21b)
In each of these instances, Jesus first instructed people to go and do something before coming.
Now, Jesus invited hurting people to come to him,
“Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”(Matthew 11:28)
However, he also commanded his followers to go into the world to make disciples of all nations.
What if the expression of your Christian faith first prioritized going?
Matthew 25: 31-40
31 “But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32 All the nations[e]will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
40 “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,[f] you were doing it to me!’
You know what the opposite side of this passage is, right?
Let’s get something straight though, Jesus is not saying that you have to do these things to be a Christian BUT He is saying that if one is a Christian, these things will grow out of your New Heart.
I was shocked confused bewildered as I entered heaven’s door
Not by the beauty of it all, nor the lights or its décor
It was the folks in heaven that made me stutter and gasp
The thieves the liars, the sinners the alcoholics and the trash
There stood the kid from 7th grade who swiped my lunch money twice
And next to him was my old neighbor who never said anything to anybody nice
Herb, who I always thought was rotting away in hell, was sitting pretty on cloud 9 looking incredibly well
I nudged Jesus “What’s the deal?”
I’d love to hear your take
How’d all these sinners get up here?
God must have made a mistake
And not only that, why is everyone so quiet, so somber, give me a clue?
Hush child He said, they’re all in shock
No one thought they would be seeing you.
Is it impossible for a rich person to get into heaven? Yes
Is it impossible for an adulterer to get into heaven? Yes
Is it impossible for a thief to get into heaven? Yes
Is it impossible for a murdered to get into heaven? Yes
And It’s Impossible For You! It is only by the Grace of God that any of us will go.
Romans 10: 14-15 NLT
14 But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? 15And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Be. What if the expression of your Christian faith first prioritized going? Would anything change? Where would your local church direct ministry? Where would you go? What would challenge you? How might you overcome hesitance you experience?
In Matthew 25, Jesus blessed the people who
took time to feed the hungry, give a cold drink to those who are thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, care for the sick and visit those in prison.
As a spiritual exercise (this week), go somewhere you have never been before and offer the love of Christ.
Here are some ideas:
Volunteer to help at a homeless shelter
- Hope House in Galax
Hunger relief organization or women’s shelter
- Women’s Shelter in Wytheville
- Backpack ministry for school children
Conduct a prayer walk around the neighborhood immediately surrounding your church facility: note what you see, pay attention to people and places in need of Christ’s love, and determine to do one thing to address a need you observed.
Volunteer at a Children’s Home
- Joy Ranch in Woodlawn
- Wytheville Presbyterian in Wytheville
Visit the shut-ins in Nursing Homes
Wheatland in Hillsville
Laurel Meadows in Laurel Fork
Cana Adult Home in Cana
Trinity Mission in Hillsville
Golden Living Center – Blue Ridge in Galax
Waddell Nursing Home in Galax
Prison Ministry – a lot of people don’t realize that it’s not just the people who are in jail who are affected. The families they leave behind are many times more affected by the incarceration than the person in jail.
Christmas for the children every year for NRV Jail
Step Out Help Out Ministry of OOTBWC – Check it out on our blog www.fumcoutofthebox.com
This may just be the catalyst for this church to make a difference in this community. This group is anxious to get out and work and show people the love of Christ.
I want you to Change The World!