TEXT: Matthew 28:18-20
TOPIC: What If
Pastor Bobby Earls, First Baptist Church, Center Point, Alabama
November 5, 2006
18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20“teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
This morning’s sermon asks the “what if” question. What if the members of this church truly believed that Jesus Christ has “all authority?” What if as spiritual leaders we taught our membership to observe all things that our Lord commanded His followers? What if every Christian in our congregation was to actually live in obedience to all the commands Jesus gave? Can you imagine the consequences? Can we come close to conceiving the miraculous events which might occur in the life of First Baptist Center Point?
Let me ask you a question. Do you think Jesus was just kidding when He gave us the Great Commission? Do you think He thought seriously that as His followers we might actually do what He asks us to do? What do you think?
I believe Jesus expects His followers, His disciples, to faithfully and consistently keep all the things He taught us to do. I sincerely believe that. You might say, yea pastor, we all agree that is the way it should be ideally speaking, but in reality, nobody does that today. Really?
Well, I want you to dream along with me this morning as we ask the “What if” question.
I. WHAT IF EVERY MEMBER COMMITS TO FAITHFUL ATTENDANCE?
Do you think Jesus expects His followers to faithfully come to church? Let me ask that another way. Do you think it is a good thing to come to church? How many of you believe it is a good thing for a Christian to attend his or her Christian church to which he or she belongs, on a Sunday morning? Raise your hand.
How many of you believe it is a good thing for a Christian to attend his or her church on a Sunday evening or afternoon? Raise your hand. How many of you believe it is a good thing for a Christian church member to attend the church to which he or she belongs on a Wednesday night? Raise your hand.
Have you noticed that the number of hands raised kept growing smaller? Why is that? What’s happened in our day that church members who say they love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength, no longer come to church when the doors are opened, the lights turned on, the people gathered together, the worship leader ready to lead in worship, the preacher ready to preach the word, and fewer and fewer show up? What’s wrong with that picture?
Well, what if every member of FBCP were to commit to faithful attendance in Sunday morning worship, in Sunday School attendance for bible study and fellowship? What if every member of the church committed to attend not just Sunday morning, but came back for Sunday night and Wednesday too?
What does the Bible have to say about faithful attendance at the house of God?
A. LUKE 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up for to read. (KJV)
B. HEBREWS 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
C. EPHESIANS 10:25 Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Let me ask it one more time, what if every member commits to faithful attendance at church, Sunday School, Sunday night, Wednesday night? That would be a great day would it not? Do you think we could set some new growth goals?
II. WHAT IF EVERY MEMBER COMMITS TO SACRIFICIAL GIVING?
You see, we get every member attending all the services, because Jesus told us to, and then every member learns to give and to give sacrificially when they come. That’d be a great day too!
A. I CORINTHIANS 16:2 Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come. (KJV) The When, the Who, the Where, the What and the Why of Christian giving in that one verse.
B. MATTHEW 23:23 “How terrible it will be for you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest part of your income, but you ignore the important things of the law—justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but you should not leave undone the more important things. (NLT)
C. PROVERBS 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: (KJV)
3. WHAT IF EVERY MEMBER COMMITS TO WITNESSING
A. ACTS 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” (NKJV)
B. JOHN 20:21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. (KJV)
4. WHAT IF EVERY MEMBER COMMITTS TO PRAISING GOD?
A. PSALMS 100 Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. 2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. 3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. 4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. 5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
B. EPHESIANS 5:19-20 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord; 20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
5. WHAT IF EVERY MEMBER COMMITS TO MORE PRAYER?
A. I THESSALONIANS 5:17-18 Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (KJV)
B. MATTHEW 7:7
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: (KJV)
C. Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (KJV)
D. James 4:2 ye have not, because ye ask not. (KJV)
6. WHAT IF EVERY MEMBER COMMITS TO MINISTRY?
A. 1 John 3:18 My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. (KJV)
B. MATTHEW 7:12, “Do for others what you would like them to do for you.” (NLT)
7. WHAT IF EVERY MEMBER COMMITS TO DISCIPLE MAKING?
A. MATTHEW 28:19-20, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;
B. LUKE 6:46, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?”
C. JOHN 8:31, Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.” (NLT)
Now, may our “what if’s” become “why not’s.” Why not beginning today, I will commit to attending church for every service of worship and praise. I commit to faithful giving to support the work and ministry of my church. Why not commit to sharing my faith with others as God gives me opportunity. Why not commit right now to a greater consistency of prayer in my life. Why not look for someone I can begin to disciple and challenge to grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ.
What if each one of you right now, here today, turn your what if’s into why not’s.