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2. Introduction

Mark Howard


Mark Howard

Director, Emmanuel Institute of Evangelism



  • June 12, 2016
    10:00 AM
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Now a couple things I want you to know we're going to have a word of prayer here each time we come back together we're going to pray because I know for one I need the Lord's guidance. You're not here to hear me or any man or woman it can't meaning you're here to hear the Lord and he's here with us in fact we're told in these complications on if you've read this in the writings of L. and white testimonies to minute I may have read the book wrong but she says it's in the comic ations of the church when we are gathered together especially for the purpose of saving souls but when we gather together those are the appointed place where God pours his spirit out. And so any time the church comes together to gather and I don't want to miss it because the sphere might be poured out there right amen So I'm glad you guys are here at Camp meaning. The training manual there is a. Will be referring to things in the training manual off and on but we're not obviously reading through it you can do that yourself of some great resources in here on different aspects of soul winning so we'll be in and out of it I'll refer you to that when when we need to. I want to talk to you a little bit in this class period about discipleship in the Great Commission and so before we get started I'd like to pray and invite you to bow your heads with me if you would please. Her Heavenly Father we thank you so much for this beautiful day you've given us here in Michigan can't meaning Father we thank you for the presence of your holy spirit we've been blessed already by the messages in different ministries it have have ministered here and Lord now I pray that the spirit of truce would guide us into truce not just an intellectual truce father but a transforming truth that would help us to be the disciples you called us to be be with us here this morning give us the ears to hear and hearts to respond when we ask it in Jesus' name him. OK now I'm going to go over a little bit of the idea of discipleship and the great commission and then my brother Jim is going to talk about. Why we don't see. The level of discipleship that you will expect to be seeing after we cover what most of us so the first thing I want to touch on though is evangelism I have this is you know where Emmanuel sort of evangelism and a lot of times in fact most of the time when I've talked to said they haven't missed a bout evangelism we understand evangelism a certain way. Let me do it this way I've had people tell me a lot of times oh a pastor we're doing a handful of them in my church right now. Now part of me wants to say Praise the Lord but you know what they're telling me and maybe you've done this yourself what do you think they're telling me that they're doing. And evangelism series OK in evangelism series is only part of evangelism and actually is a very small part it's an important part but as a small part of evangelism the word evangelism means basically. To to share the good news and anything and everything that would be sharing the good news is evangelism evangelism is carrying out the great commission of Jesus which we're going to look at in the scripture in just a moment when we're talking about it so the first section is called Seven Reasons for evangelism and in even in the introduction I share that evangelism is about sharing the good news now you know the word gospel means good news right. Think about this for a minute why would you call anything what's what is a key probably the primary characteristic about news. That's bad no no that's not all bad. OK it's new it's informative it's designed to be. Share right is new news has to be given it's not going to make a mistake when he called you know the word we read the word gospel but it's the good news it's intended to be shared it needs to be shared It was designed to be shared. And. The reality is this when you are excited about something you share it. I don't care how scared you get about it. Your excitement generally overrules your fear now I've seen this this happens all the time I've seen it in look I've never in all my time in ministry I've never had to give a seminar OK here we are we've got Michigan minute faith I'm going to have a similar Pastor I was going to have a seminar on how to share with your friends how your football team is so much better than theirs what Pastor here's the thing I'm a real Lions fan but my friends a Steelers fan and I don't want to upset him. By telling him that my team is so much better than his team I've never had to counsel a guy on that you know why because he tells us for it anyway oh my team just trials your team in the last game or whatever it is right when you're excited about something it could be this is really kind of a chauvinist it thing that I do and I apologize I don't know how else to do it but I've never met a man excited about a shoe sale Well that's not take it back my younger brother would. But all the years you do the guys are the football maybe you girls are big on football but the ladies boy you get a sale it's not like you know Pastor I've got some friends that I want to tell me about this great sale going on but what if they don't what if I say it wrong what if I never had to give a seminar on that when you're excited about something you just tell people about it in one of the most interesting things I touch on this in the introduction on the seven reasons for evangelism is a story of a man named Joe Cross a Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Guy is that trigger has anybody know anyone know what I'm talking about OK well for those who don't. This guy Joe Cross was an Australian is an Australian businessman. Who when he reached forty years old well. In high school he was active as a football player in good shape. Became a successful businessman but that meant a lot of board meeting sitting in the boardroom sitting in the office putting on weight by the time he hit forty years old he had developed a skin condition he'd been to a lot of doctors about and nobody could fix it. He was on all kinds of medications to take care of that plus his hypertension and everything else but all these bottles of pills medications for his rashes that he never could get rid of and. He weighed three hundred ten pounds and just felt miserable and so he got he began the process and he did this in a documentary you can see the documentary called Fat Sick and Nearly Dead OK kind of an Extreme title there but he's this is where he felt wow forty years old I'm in this terrible shape worst her shape of been in my life I'm miserable he got the idea you know when I was a kid I remember getting and having an accident fall off my bike skinned my knee and I'd want to do some with it mama said leave it alone it'll heal if you just let it you know that you you know take care yourself let your body heal heal itself and he said I wonder if that I work with all my other problems if I take better care of my body so he worked with his doctor and decided to go on a juice fast OK this isn't apple juice and grape juice and all sugary juices this is the good greens. Than anybody ever did you hear kale do's a lot of kale anyway has any of the he goes on this juice fast for sixty days which is you wouldn't want to do something like that without a doctor's supervision whatever so I'm just that's a disclaimer here Michigan conferences when you get in trouble pastor hours that we are going to succeed anyway. But what he did is he just he just juiced every meal for this period of time and then he called it a reboot for him and it does if you've ever done something like that my wife and I did like a seven day juice fast OK you don't add anything it's just the juice is no seasoning there's no salt there's no. It cleans out your taste buds I'm going to tell you that there is after a week of this and you got it when you do a fast like that you get ease back into your food your stuff. It's not ready for a lot of heavy foods you know you know first or something like like fruit even a smoothie or something and then you but I remember when we got off that fast and my wife meet a bowl of tomato soup with a little bit of salt in it and I mean I took a bite it was just like buying all these what her because I had had you know seasonings for that and that was just seven days but it it you know it cleanses Palin the whole thing with Joe Cross's this guy went from from sixty did you juice fast a long and short of it he cut down about two hundred pounds got off his medications the rashes were gone he felt better than he ever felt in his life what you think he started doing. Well before before this happened he started telling people what he decided to do in this juice fast is because he had the money to do it he thought he had this idea I'm going to come to America he got himself a car he mounted a an extra battery in a juicer right in the back and he would go any juice stuff right out of his car out of his hatchback that he had and he would he even July's people he became a juicing evangelist he go everywhere to begin to evangelize people about all the benefits why because of what it had done him now one of the most spectacular parts of this documentary was a guy he met named Phil Staples this guy was a truck drivers filled his way in close to four hundred pounds that meets a guy at a truck stop. They're chatting together he's got his hatchback open he makes them some of his green drink which is if I have this right because I've done it before apple green apple cucumber kale and there's something else in there little bit of ginger and. It's not bad is not a McDonald's milkshake or anything like that so now this truck driver this guy has you been used to eating truck driver food he goes truck stops and asked him So what do you eat oh whatever get trucks out hotdogs pizza you know the kind of things you get in those little these did it rotating those little warmers for him that's what he's been. So he gives him this juice to drink in any other guy takes a little bit he said not bad I'm thinking you liar you hire this guy is no way you like this stuff and honestly I looked at that and I thought this is Phil staple this guy would never never do this OK. Anyway he gives him his business card the guy their truck driver goes on his way a couple months later he calls Joe Cross and this is all part of the film and to me is one of the most inspirational parts and says look I'm a hit rock bottom this guy Phil Staples he had he had kids he didn't have his divorce from his wife didn't have contact with his kids hardly saw his family because he just felt so miserable he was ashamed of himself didn't want to be around his kids I mean just a miserable miserable existence and he so he finally calls Joe Cross and his man I'm ready to change. And so Joe Cross comes to this guy's house comes from Australia comes over and gets him set up with a juicer gives him some pointers tells him it's going to be the first three days are going to be miserable literally hell on earth you're going to hate this your body is going to be going and if you've ever done the juice fast it this first few days you just want to die you get under the covers you just want to die it's there's a lot of sociate id not just physically but psychologically with sitting down to a nice meal and anyway. But this guy sticks with it and one of the things Joe does is he gives him this T. shirt he brings in this two X. T. shirt now for a guy who's four hundred pounds two X. T. shirt as a joke S. and you're not going to wear two and he said you're anywhere in this when you're done. Last thing you see it last two scenes you see in the documentary are Phil Staples running which became part of his routine going out running every morning in that two X. T. shirt and playing catch with his son and the football. Player get choked up thinking about this is just a physical change it changes the man's life so what course what do you think Phil Staples began to do. He became a juicing evangelist and in in the midst of the. Yes I mean he was just into it a little bit he goes to the local health food store and they've got him start putting on classes to teach people how did you see the you can see this at all if you haven't seen the documentary Fat Sick and Nearly Dead check it out is very interesting but I thought to myself Now here's the sad part of the story I checked up on Phil after a few years after the situation that I wonder how Phil Staples is doing you know I wonder if it stuck and I checked it out sure enough he was still at it he was he was still at it he changes lifestyles what happened. But what what was really interesting in the interview is funny I read this interview I've got saved somewhere the guy doing the interview said the very same thing is thinking he said me when I first saw that guy in the truck stop I said there's no way there's no way this guy's ever going to do this juicing thing OK that's the same thing we say when we see people we go to study with him or like man there's no way this person ever to study they're never going to be interested they would never become an admin is they never they never want to give up their shoes their cigarettes or the caffeine or whatever it would happen to be and we think that way and so we asked him the interview he said you know he told the Philly said Look honestly of I said when I saw you on that documentary I thought there's no way this guy's going to do it he said what was it that made you interested he said you know here I was in the middle this truck stop just feeling like I had no direction live my life was a was a failure and then here comes this guy this stranger from Australia out of nowhere has the same skin condition I do and he actually takes an interest in me that's what he said he actually takes an interest in me and he said I thought to myself you know I gave him a little bit of hope somebody took an interest you think you can take an interest in somebody change the man's life now the sad part of the story is still does slide back into his old habits and I thought oh man that's tragic but then I thought to myself. Health habits aren't what the world needs. I mean in part sure Jesus is with the world means. Nothing to hold a person steadfast in anything without Jesus Christ and that's what we have to give. We're not just change in a person's physical life we can change their spiritual life. Evangelism is sharing what you're excited about and one of the things I think we need to do right here can't meaning and I don't myself included is pray what did David say Lord restore unto me the joy as I say ovation pray that we get more excited about Jesus and we're going to make it easier to share Jesus make hard not to share Jesus evangelism about sharing Jesus with others and Jesus when he left he gave us a commission I want to look at Matthew twenty eight. I told my brother is going to go quick through this and I get into telling stories and man. Stories take time Matthew but they're just so fun to tell. Matthew chapter twenty eight and verse eighteen. Well probably certain verse sixteen Matthew twenty eight in verse sixteen and we call this the Great Commission the Bible says. In verse sixteen then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them when they saw him they worshiped him but some doubt it. And Jesus came and spoke to them saying All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go there for you remember the words go there for I think most people are familiar with that but don't miss that first part therefore is a is a kind of a summary statement of sorts go there for go for this reason this is why I'm telling you to go that's what go there for means why is he telling us to go. They used to say in one of my classes I was in I'm trying to remember where I don't remember where I heard it but they said any time you read the word therefore always go back and find out what it's there for. Because therefore means for this reason wait a minute for what reason that I missed it you go back before and it says all what authority is given me in heaven and on earth who can tell you and me not to go Jesus has all of the already who is above him. Who is above him no one so look Jesus said you go I'm going all power some is Oh you're not allowed to do that here sorry I went to a higher authority and he said go and I'm going and Jesus says because I've got all power there's nothing we need to fear all thirty's give me in heaven on earth go there for and make disciples of says in the New King James Version of all the nations now the King James Version says Go teach the words and they taste in the Greek but it means to teach them what it means to be a disciple or a follower which we're going to talk about a minute go therefore make disciples of. All the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father in of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you and lo I am with you always even to the end of the age Amen and we heard some of that the morning devotional about. That importance of the teaching that comes in preparation for back. When we think about the great commission we think about you know. Making church members. But I want to zero in on the word disciple for a moment is two things we need to understand here number one. Jesus called us to make disciples and if we're going to make disciples we have to first be disciples and if we're going to be disciples we know what it means to be a disciple and tell you that for me and this has come out of you know one of the things I didn't share. You're going to be getting the discipleship handbook I think I shall told you that but that has that is a production of a committee in our conference called the training center a church committee and all the training senators committee is is a committee that was put together to try to see how we could act to effectively carry out what Ellen White says in the book Christian service among other places that every church should be a training center for Christian workers actually training school I think she says. For Christian workers she says all church or churches should be training schools for Christian workers and we should have classes in all different kinds of minds or people could come and learn how to be faithful Christians and so. The minister of apartment put together a group of us a pastor Cameron this is part of that Pastor Jim Howard and Pastor Gene hall and some others and and and it was out of that group that the discipleship handbook came out and in that in that context well in and out of it. Came a deeper look at what it means to be a disciple I'm going to pay for myself I just never really given as much thought about really what the Bible says about discipleship Now if I ask you what a disciple is. What would you tell me. Follower followers a very good words probably a first word one of the first words people come up with a follower Why is a disciple a follower. I'm not. Talking about a Christian disciple here because there are disciples of all kinds you can be a disciple of different OK A student OK so put those to give pupil a learner is a literal. Definition of the Greek so a pupil a learner a follower What are they trying to learn what their teachers teaching what are they following for why are they following was a disciple follow somebody. Because they want to be like that somebody OK So discipleship is more than just a student and is more than just a follower it's following with a purpose it's learning with a purpose to be like the one you're following I want you to see it in the Gospel of Luke go with me to Luke Chapter six. This is review from this morning a pastor Karen. Luke Chapter six and verse forty notice the words of Jesus here he says a disciple a disciple is not above his teacher but everyone who is what. Perfectly trained will be like his teacher a disciple can never be above the teacher the teacher is the standard OK And the purpose of disciples not to surpass the teacher the purpose of the disciples to be like the teacher this is what Jesus is saying here and a perfectly trained disciple is going to reflect the teacher. That's pretty straightforward right and probably not a shock to any of us here as far as we think about it yeah disciple follow somebody and they want to be like the teacher Yeah that makes sense let's consider and this is what I want to do now I want to consider what it means to be like a teacher and this is this is keen I want to consider what it means to be like the teacher now of you or to let me ask you this question if you were to sum up the wife of Jesus the substance of his life. And I know that's hard because G.-D. did so many things he is so many things. And I'm going to rule one out for you because if you could throw this out that God is love I know that's a good one but we're not that's we're going to take that one out and you're going to sum up the life of Jesus what might you say or or better get his or verse you can think of that may do that. OK that's good that's good what else. There is. OK relieving suffering caring helping her John three sixteen. OK To see can say the last let me say it now unless it was nine hundred ten and you told that in the context I was talking to Zacchaeus and he said the son a man has come to see can save that which is lost and I want to go with that one from him and I me ask you does John three sixteen fall under that or does it come sure does is there anything in Jesus' life as does God is love fit in that. In the book prophets and kings Ellen White says this true love seeks first the honor of God in the salvation of souls. You can't go God is love without realizing that God's love is for everybody and if I'm in that connection then I'm going to have a burden for every soul. How many of you heard old rooster last night you know what if what if a bell rang every time somebody died went into a crisis greater than we've the bells will be ringing all the time it what do you think that you think the father's heart picks up on that you think God our Father cares about that. I'm going to tell you you know when it says the Son of Man came to see can say that which is lost I want some to be clear to us here there is not a moment that passes between father or son. That they are not thinking about seeking and saving the lost. Jesus never gets busy with us is all I've ever got about oh you know I've got you know there's people still every moment God's heart is burdened with that. That understanding and that that passion for his lost children. Son A man came to see can say that which is lost that would sum up the life of Jesus pretty nicely not that you couldn't use another verse there are other verses given us as I heard it and then you know when it comes to my mind is the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and give his life as a ransom for many Ok there's other verses but they all would fit there did the seeking a savior the laws this is the sum and substance of Jesus' life right now disciple. The goal of a disciple is to do us. To be like let me use a different word that it in use to emulate. To emulate the life of the master if I am trying to emulate the life of Jesus what must. Necessarily be part of my life is it it let me give you the reverse is it possible that I would be a disciple of Jesus with no burden for the last. One question I didn't ask you which I should have and I've asked people lot when I do when I've spoken in different places is this question Is there a difference between a Christian and a disciple. And then my follow up question is should there be. I know where the yes comes from but I want it and maybe I should ask it is biblically is there a difference I want you to look at the Book of Acts and look at Chapter eleven. Finding members here. Verse twenty six OK Now notice what it says and when he had found him speaking about Barnabas and Saul he brought him to Antioch So it wasn't for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people and the WHO disciples were first called Christians in Antioch OK all that is saying is very simply that disciple all. Equals. Christian Right in fact Christian wasn't even the name that they gave themselves. It was a it was like the Methodist anybody know about the founding of the Methodist Church that it was a name they were called you get they were so well they had a method for everything John Wesley was into holiness and you got a method for this and your bunch of Methodists in the name stuck well these guys are a bunch of Christ Ians you Christ Ians Why do you think they call them Christ ians. Because that's what they talk about all the time right who is called Christians the disciples were. And so when I ask people what the difference is they say it was their difference and perhaps they were yes as a difference between Christian and cycle what is a difference well for most people who give that answer they'll say a disciple is an active Christian. Right. Well look there really biblically look there's no difference you're not a disciple of Christ if you're not emulating seeking to emulate Christ man doesn't mean you have a perfectly down but if I have no interest in the I've given this example before some of you who have been in fact I was never really a huge basketball fan and not having been to bet big basketball fan I still knew who Michael Jordan was and just about everybody knew Michael Jordan was one of the. Arguably greatest players that ever played the game of basketball Michael Jordan jersey number twenty three you know wrote saw in fact in a song they wrote about him but B. might be in like Mike commercial you were in that. I want to be like Mike so. You know let's just say this is a young man who has to be like Mike OK Michael Jordan basketball player great basketball player young man says I want to be like my you know his sports poster of Michael Jordan in this bedroom has you know Michael Jordan you know had pad promoted the air you get the air George the Nike Air Jordans So this young man course want to be like Mike he's got his Air Jordans Michael Jordan was bold So this young man wants to style it like Michael Jordan bolt you can get jerseys of your favorite players he gets the Bulls jersey the twenty three right I get that right I messed it up once and he got to twenty OK So this kid has everything going just like Michael Jordan except for one thing. He really hates basketball. Now you tell me something would it make any sense to want to be the disciple of somebody who's core substance was something you had no interest in. Course not me it's ridiculous to even say that but all the time it happens in a church where you get people who are well it's just not my gift as you know if it's not sometimes it's not my gifting sometimes it's just no interest in it I've done I preach places I give an appeal how many want we want to how many like show last night say hey how many of your Isn't or all in great we got out reach after lunch today we're going to be back here in the church at three o'clock and out of the two hundred or three hundred or five hundred people we get ten. OK Now granted some people had other plans before hundred ninety people out of the plans. But the thing is this we for some some our the other we've lost this understanding. That at the core of following Jesus. There's a passion for the lost seeking and saving the Lost that was the substance of Jesus' life and if that's missing in my life I can't be a disciple if I have no interest let me not not not say it that way maybe it's missing in my life and I say well I realize this and I need to but if I have no interest in learning how to seek and save the lost if I have no interest in that why am I choosing Jesus to be a follower Why am I following him his will follow somebody else because you can't factor that out of the life of Jesus are you are you following what I'm saying there so let's be real clear on this if I'm going to be a disciple I'm going to love the last I'm going to be interested in seeking saving lost and if I'm making disciples I'm going to be instilling in other people that desire to see can save a lost and if I'm going around in baptizing people who are joining my church but they don't have a desire to see can save the last am I fulfilling the Great Commission let's look at a couple other discipleship texts there's a lot of them you can do a study on this but there's a couple I just want to look at with you that are common ones that I want to draw some things out of Matthew Chapter nine. Not Matthew Luke Luke Chapter nine and verse twenty three and you know this one we're already in Luke so. I intended to stay in Luke and I just shifted you over to Matthew sorry about that Luke Chapter nine verse twenty three. Luke Chapter nine and verse twenty three and I and I intentionally go to Luke's version of this show you why in a moment it says in verse twenty three then he said to them all if anyone desires to. Come after me what does that mean. Follow me OK this is disciple if you want to be my disciple just so that we're clear this really saying if you want to be my disciple if you want to follow me if you want to come after me if anyone wants to come after me let him deny himself and take up his cross Daisy and follow me now does it say daily in Matthew and I like the idea this is a regular ongoing living connection relationship with Jesus every day a renewal of this commitment I'm going to deny myself and take up my cross now when I say it when Jesus says deny yourself and take up a cross What do you think that refers to I'm not going to going to single you out but I ask you this what do you think most people think Jesus is talking about when he says deny yourself and take a cross What am I doing what am I denying what was said dealing with God I mean practically not just and generally what does it mean I'm going to do now I'm going to deny myself today a minimal life Lord I'm going to deny myself and take up my cross What does that mean I'm going to be doing today. OK surrounding your will to Jesus is nebulous I want specifics. Was that I may have to leave my job OK. I'm going to morning devotions it might be hard for me to get up extra early but I'm going to do it I'm going to make that commit OK. Right the one thing I want to do I don't do so what specifically. Like what kind of things did you do when you became a Christian and decided you're going to take up a cross. OK that's a good look they're good answers but you hear you know you're what's happening we're not being specific OK when I would say what kind of things no maybe you just don't want to tell everybody what kind of things pastor Cameron. OK I want to know about that this morning. OK quit drinking Dr Pepper you realize all of this stuff has caffeine in it the stuff really messes your brain up I don't know if you're aware that don't have time to go in the whole caffeine web experiment but anyway yes I saw smoke OK All right all right. OK stop eating certain things that we see. OK Stop wasting time when she doesn't want to implicate herself and what kind of things she wasted time with them for me yes T.V. Let me ask you this I'm going to admit something I'm going to miss something here there shouldn't but I've done it before so it's out there somewhere on audio verse or whatever but I used to watch soap operas when I. When I was early just got married everything else you know I'm going to tell you something they gear T.V. shows to certain people General Hospital was geared to young people there was a segment there is like the old people saying and then it was young action young people saying that and the problem with the soap opera you know what they do with soap operas the reason they're called Soap Operas is they used to use them to sell soap and products that's what So the goal was to get the viewer to keep. Watching And so you can keep and that's why you sit if you ever anybody I'm going to ask for hands I'm going to ask you I'm going to ask you to implicate yourself but if you ever brought soap operas like all come on with the commercials already nothing happens you can miss a whole week of the show and sum it up in five minutes. And so yeah but all it does is it keeps you on keeps you on Well newsflash for you if you if you're watching T.V. now almost every T.V. show does this now OK new T.V. series they all end with a cliffhanger that leads you to the next series lead to the next Legion that keep you hooked into it you can't not watch the next episode used to be you get a nice tidy episode and then you did need to know what happened for the next few weeks you could miss not any more so everything is like a soap opera OK but I mean that was something and it wasn't I mean that in other T.V. shows and movies where I had to make a decision I'm not going to do that anymore OK so we all make those decisions Now usually we talk about denying us I actually going off topic because that's what we talk about we say well when you come to Christ you deny yourself you take up your cross and you fall you get rid of all these bad habits and you know you bear down and get up for devotions and what have you but this is discipleship language right. If anyone will come after me now when you're following somebody how do I word this. What has to happen. If I'm following Jesus who did it first. Jesus did I'm emulating you. So Jesus says if you want to come after me you got to do like I did you got to deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me whoa whoa whoa when the diseases quit drinking and smoking and carousing and wash and soap operas Well he didn't so here's the question How did Jesus deny himself. My. All right. All right and that so that and that even comes to taking up the cross so he didn't he left Heaven what did he leave and leave bad stuff behind. He left good stuff why. To save others don't miss this. Jesus denied himself even good things for the salvation of others and he says if you want to follow me. You've got to be willing to take of your cross daily. Deny yourself daily. What Jesus is saying is there may be hopes and dreams and ambitions that you have. That being a follower of Jesus will cost you in this life good things you might want to go to college and have some good jobs now and the Lord says I want you to be a missionary over here somewhere where you're probably going to lose your life we had an appeal a G.U.I.'s use year the men a group working over in the Middle East called the young people and said I mean Homer to card gives the appeal and what an appeal I've never knew feel like it God may be calling you says I don't want all of you come God may be calling you to be a missionary and you might not be coming back home. You might lose your life over there how many kids went forward you were there this one at least fifty young people went forward for that call. They were willing to give up a good thing. So others could be saved that's what Jesus is talking not that we don't there are there is in that self-denial there is getting rid of bad habits but at the core of it so if all our Christianity is getting rid of bad habits so we can be saved that's not Christianity when you follow Christ and you experience that transforming power and you're willing to lay aside even good things your own ambitions and hopes and dreams so others can be saved the rest of the rest of getting rid of whatever grows out of that in a much more natural way otherwise I watch to see people in the church they've been to church I don't people been in church fifteen twenty years in a still resentful because of everything they had to give up to follow Jesus and all that they can do and you ask about their Adventism and the like yeah well you know we can't do this and we can't do that but soon Jesus will come you know he says deny yourself and take up your cross where did Jesus take his cross and this is just what you were saying he took it to his crucifixion he laid down His life for the salvation of others Jesus said If you're going to be mine disciple you've got to be willing to lay down your life for the salvation of others that doesn't mean you've got to go be a martyr somewhere that means you've got to go knock on that door when your heart is in your throat and your palms a sweaty in your panicked and you feel like you want to die. Because you're nervous but you're willing to put yourself where you're nervous and uncomfortable and everything else because you're taking up your cross like Jesus took up his cross you think Jesus was comfortable being passed around between pilot and harridan and S. and this I just read that again it is OUR of ages I mean Ellen White says it's on and she don't even go into description we won't even go into description of all that he suffered under the hands of his persecutors. Sorry happens sometimes you think about what the Lord went through for us and when we in we say oh I can't do that for Jesus it's too hard for me it's too hard to go knock on a door and because why well they might think something about me. Being a disciple of Jesus means be with being willing to follow Jesus where he when he came from Glory denied himself in every aspect of his earthly life which ended on that cross of Calvary for you and me. And he's at the core of discipleship that's what it means to follow Jesus we talk about being disciples it means following Jesus were Jesus was willing to go and denying yourself even good things get your head in a little bit organ even even good things and so I've said that before when I speak to. You I'm telling you we have. We got ourselves in a pickle in some ways now because especially as parents we all have ambitions for our kids sometimes parents make it harder for kids to be Christians then because we say you're what we want to some call what you think you go to some calls some you Conference and you're going to go over I don't know what those kids are when they go home I'm going to go to the Middle East to be a missionary Oh no you're not. I got plans for you you got a scholarship and this is all paid for or whatever it may happen to be we get we made it so God can't cope people anymore Jesus is not to call people to be disciples because we've got plans so I want you to understand. That bible discipleship is so different from what we see today. And God is calling for revival of true discipleship in our church we need to be clear on what it means to follow Jesus and we've got to be willing to lay down whatever it takes the Bible says when Jesus called. Peter and James and John and Andrew says they left all and followed him seventies left in the boat with the Nets if you read about it I mean they're working with Dad he's counting on them and when White says they had family members dependent on them for their support when I have a Jesus follow me and they leave the nets and they're gone they're going to be people will tell you you're irresponsible when you follow Jesus. Look man Jesus is calling people now this is coming is at hand and people need to understand and he's going to call people different ways in different places but that's discipleship. The great commission of Jesus These were the parting words of Jesus to His Church and I want to know is in some form or another every gospel ends with the commission to go and either feed a sheep make disciples preach the gospel some form of that right parting words of the words you speak when you're partly speaking parting words to somebody Those are your most important words you can think of we may never see each other again Julian I'm going to give you that the you know this is what we're going to leave you with and I'm going to think of these right if your kids are going away or something you're going to be thinking very carefully what is the most important thing I can say what does Jesus leave us with the great commission. The thing that's burning in his heart seeking is saving the last I want you to go and make disciples go make disciples what is a disciple we've looked at a little bit of what it is a cycle follows the master. First we have to be disciples and then we need to make others disciples I'm going to tell you what's been happening in our churches is we've not been making disciples we've been filling our churches with church members and never teaching them what it means to that's why we have the disciples of Hamburg but the handbook Here's what's happened we've developed a resource here in the mission Commons called the discipleship handbook and it comes with the mentors guide and the whole idea was this we wanted anybody any church member who were timid to be able to mentor somebody so we gave them a the hymn book spells things out and then the mentor is the mentor can say hey I'm not sure about this OK it's in the handbook just kind of work with this but here's what we've seen happening people will say I don't have one here and call display my hand my disciples of him book oh great Julie Rigg I just got baptized you know here's your handbook read it enjoy it. Yeah. Here's a handbook read it enjoy it and we do that no no no that's not discipleship there's a mentor is a guy would be is an actual person that connects with that new person and begins to commit really connecting with other people in church and walk them through and coach them and that kind of thing a person. We're making church members but we're not making disciples and I want you to listen a couple statements and I'm going to take a break after this and then we're going to my religion is going to pick up this is from Christ object lessons page fifty seven. Sometimes you bring people into the church and then I've heard members say well you gotta be careful they're new and you don't want to put too much on them right away Listen to this and the very outset of the Christian life. What's the very outset. At the very beginning. Every believer should be taught its foundation principles he should be taught that he is not merely to be saved by Christ sacrifice. But that he is to make the life of Christ his life in the character of Christ his character that's an amazing statement Don't miss it I want to read it again the new person should be taught that they are not merely saved by Christ sacrifice. But they're to make the life of Christ their life in the character of Christ their character. She continues to say Let all be taught let all be taught that they are to bear burdens and to deny natural inclination let them learn the blessedness of working for Christ following him in self-denial and enduring hardness is good soldiers let them learn to trust his love and to cast on him their cares let them taste the joy of winning souls for him in their love and interest for the lost they will lose sight of self you know how many problems come and we just name it we could navel gazing is what we used to call it right. Because we get nothing else to do. And then we get all kinds of problems and fights with people in church if you're winning if you're busy trying to reach people for Christ you're too busy to get in arguments with everybody in the church she says let them taste the joy of winning souls to Him in their love for an interest for the lost they will lose sight of self the pleasures of the world will lose their power to attract. And it's burdens to dishearten. And read that last sentence again Chris object lessons page fifty seven the pleasures of the world will lose their power to attract and it's burdens to dishearten OK this is what I mean if we get clear on what the discipleship is the things that we've got to get rid of in our lives those are those of those who say they're going to come naturally there's a there's a there's a discipline that comes there but the motivation is infinitely more because you have a different focus now this is the one that I want to leave you with before a break Christian service page fifty eight element says it is evident that all the sermons that have been preached have not developed a large class of self-denying workers. You know to self-denying worker is what's a self-denying worker. As a disciple it's just another way of saying a disciple right deny yourself right take up across daily it is evident that all the sermons that have been preached have not developed a large class of self-denying workers you know given listeners sermons all day long all year long. But you've got to choose to. Act on those things she goes on to say this subject is to be considered as involving the most serious results our future for eternity is a stake bottom line is we can't just keep making church members we've got to get serious about sex first of all about what it means for us to be disciples of Jesus and then how we can make other people disciples of Jesus and again that's why you're here this media was brought to you by audio first a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about what you first or if you would like to listen to more sermons leave a Visit W W W audio verse or.


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