God’s Wake Up Call To The Church

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Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” — Matthew 28:18-20

God wants us to be and make disciples of Jesus Christ. Pastor Robert Jeffress in his wonderful new book, “18 Minutes With Jesus” emphasizes this point, “So to be a disciple of Jesus means seeking to model your attitudes, actions, and affections after Jesus. It means loving what Jesus loved, acting like Jesus acted, and thinking like Jesus thought in every situation. How would Jesus operate if He had your job? How would Jesus relate to your family and friends? How would Jesus handle the money He entrusted to you? That’s what it means to be a disciple of Jesus.”

I believe that there is no better place to start to find out how to do this than a study of the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7.

Few churches have a defined discipleship approach for new believers much less a vibrant program to evangelize unbelievers. How many new believers have been added to your church rolls this year? According to a recent study on discipleship, 24% of Christians think that discipleship is the job of the church or a ministry of the church leadership, but 37% of today’s Christians say they do not feel qualified to address complex topics, and 31% of today’s Christians do not feel knowledgeable enough about the Bible. Our first order is to address the need to prepare God’s people to see a resurgence in evangelism and discipleship because God’s Word is perfectly clear:

“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? And 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!” — Romans 10:14-15

The method given to us by Jesus is to preach the gospel, make disciples, and welcome them into His Kingdom life through baptism, and teach them to obey and follow his rulership and then send them out to do the same. That is the purpose of the church and every believer who makes up the church. Doing so will bring glory to God the Father—the ultimate goal—by making disciples who would in turn make disciples. Every church that does this multiplies exponentially! To withhold His message to unbelievers is a sin of the highest order and God will not honor churches who continue to do so.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that in many churches today, winning the lost is the last order of business, with personal comfort and fellowship being the first! A study conducted by Life Way Research, found that 80 percent of those who attend church one or more times a month believe they have a personal responsibility to share their faith. Yet despite that conviction, 61 percent have not told another person about how to become a Christian in the previous six months. The survey also asked “How many times have you personally invited an unchurched person to attend a church service or some other program at your church?” Nearly half (48 percent) of church attendees responded, “zero.”1

I would like to help change those statistics. At your request I will send you individual chapters of my Study Guide and Workbook, “Learning Discipleship From The Words of Jesus.” It’s based on the Sermon on the Mount to use for your personal study and leadership. You can print it out and even forward to others or use it as a group study in your church and it’s FREE! I have taught it many times and it is always well received. Just email me today. We can make a difference, church. —Maranatha!

1 Life Way Research, August 13, 2012

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