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The Great Commission - Matthew 28:16-20

God 1st / Brian C Thomas
The Truth Network Radio
May 14, 2023 9:00 am

The Great Commission - Matthew 28:16-20

God 1st / Brian C Thomas

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May 14, 2023 9:00 am

Following His resurrection, Jesus told the apostles, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations." Are you making disciples? Are you sharing the good news about Jesus Christ? Join us as we address this essential message of the Christian faith. 


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Welcome to God First with Brian C. Thomas, a program committed to encouraging you to put God first while viewing life through the window of the Bible.

Now in honor of the one and only true God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, let's join Brian C. Thomas for today's message. I have a two-part question that I want you to ponder. I want you to think about over the course of your life and all the people that you've ever met, who is it that you would say you are most excited to have ever met? And for those of us who are married, I would hope that person would be our spouses, but there are some of you who are single and I just want you to take a moment and think again, who is it that you have met in your life and you are most excited to have met that person?

Now that's the first part of the question. The second part is I want you to now think about, did you voluntarily tell others about your encounter with that person? And as I talk about people who are married, and for that matter, even if you're not married, if you've been dating, oftentimes we meet someone and we're very excited about that person, even to the point that sometimes people get tired of us talking about them because we bring that significant other up so much, that romantic interest. But oftentimes when we think about the person that we are most excited to have met, we are very eager and excited to go tell people about that person.

We are looking for opportunities to talk about them. I want you to keep that in the back of your mind as we go into our message today, as we are going to look at the great commission coming from the book of Matthew chapter 28, we're going to look at verses 16 through 20, again, Matthew chapter 28, verses 16 through 20. And the word of God reads as follows. Then the 11 disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.

When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore 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.

And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen. Heavenly father, we thank you look Lord for your great word. We thank you for this opportunity to hear a word from you through the divine scriptures. It is my prayer, Lord, that all things that are spoken, that it'd be nothing but sound doctrine and may you be honored and glorified in all things in your name. Jesus.

Amen. As we look at verse 16 of Matthew chapter 28, we find that there are 11 disciples here that went away into Galilee. Recall that we just celebrated a few weeks ago, the resurrection of our great Lord Jesus Christ.

And so when we come to this text, this is what is happening. Following the women, having gone to the tomb of Jesus Christ on that Sunday morning, looking for him and Jesus appeared to them and he told them to tell the apostles, the disciples to look for him in Galilee. And so notice though that we see 11. Now there were 12 disciples or apostles during the earthly ministry of Jesus.

But now we have only 11. If you look at the book of Matthew chapter 27 verses three through five, and we've looked at this in past weeks, but to remind you, we see here then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that he had been condemned was remorseful and brought back to 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders saying, I have sinned by betraying innocent blood. And they said, what is that to us?

You see to it. Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed and went and hanged himself. So the sad case is that Judas walked with Jesus Christ, what with God in the flesh for years on the earth. And yet he rejected Jesus.

He rejected God. And it's kind of mind boggling to think of the idea of someone walking alongside our great Lord and still rejecting him, still betraying him. But so we are down to now 11, 11 apostles look back at further in this chapter, further up in this chapter in Matthew, Matthew 28 verses five through seven read, but the angel answered and said to the women, do not be afraid for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here for he is risen as he has said, come see the place where the Lord laid and go quickly and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead. And indeed he is going before you into Galilee. There you will see him behold, I have told you.

So again, this is the account in which our Lord has been resurrected from the dead. And Jesus is here speaking to these women and he's telling them, giving them instruction as to what to tell the disciples. Now notice that Jesus says here, tell them that I will meet them in Galilee. Now Galilee, wasn't just right around the corner.

Galilee was a community, a Northern region of Israel that was about 80 miles away from Jerusalem. Now you may ask the question, why is it that Jesus didn't just meet them nearby where they were? Why did he have them go 80 miles away? Because even in our times where we have automobiles, which they did not have then that's still an over an hour drive, but so they're going by foot and by Camelback in the back of, of donkeys.

And so you're talking about a days long trip, but, but you have to ask the question is why is that? Why would our Lord have them go to such a long distance? I think he's sending the message that if you want to be a follower of Jesus, you have to put forth some effort. See, there are a lot of people that they say they want to be a follower of our Lord, but yet they don't want to put forth the effort. They don't want to get out of bed on Sunday morning and go to church. They don't want to get out and go to Bible study. They don't want to, to spend time reading our Lord's word. They don't want to, to do the work of, of spreading the gospel. But Jesus, I think is sending the message. If you want to be a part of him, you have to put forth the effort.

You have to show that you want it. Notice also in the text, it says appointed mountain. What does appointed mountain mean here? Because there are many who debate as to what this mountain was or which mountain they were meeting on. Some say Mount Tabor, but we really don't know.

It's only speculation. We don't know what mountain it was, but I want you to turn over to the book of Matthew chapter 26, verse 32, Matthew 26, 32. Here's our Lord speaking. Before he went to the cross, he said, but after I had been raised, I will go before you to Galilee. So Jesus was prophesying at that time where he would meet them following his death burial and resurrection.

Now, again, when it comes to this mountain, notice that it wasn't specified as far as which mountain by name. And I think back to when I was in college, I was friends with a group of guys and we would often play basketball after class when the weather was warm and we would get together for breakfast in the cafeteria or for lunch. And as we would depart, someone would say, well, what time are we going to meet at the court, meaning the basketball court?

Now on campus, there were numerous courts there, probably 20 to 25 different basketball courts that was spread out throughout the campus. But we didn't have to say, okay, what time are we going to meet at court 11 over by Bell call? We didn't have to give that level of detail because we knew there was a specified place. That was an appointed place, an appointed court that we always met. And so when someone said, meet at the court, we knew where that court that the person was talking about was located.

And so likewise, Jesus here, when he says, meet at the mountain in Galilee, there's this appointed place that apparently he and the disciples had met throughout his earthly ministry. That raises the question, does God have appointed times and places for us in our lives? If you look at the book of Acts chapter 17, verse 26 says, and he has made from one blood, every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth and has determined their pre appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings.

You see, God has us here for a specified purpose for this specified time and place. Now I have to admit that there are times when I look around at our society, I get sort of frustrated when I see the promotion of wickedness, when I see all the promotion of immorality. And I think to myself how easier it would be to live in a time in which our society really respected God, the time in which our society honored his word, even those who were sinning a time in which they, they kept it in the dark and they still knew right from wrong. And they still respected the church and respected God. But we're in a time today in which man is promoting and parading sin for everyone to celebrate.

And if you don't celebrate it, they get upset with you. And I think about if we were living in a time in which we didn't have this battle of trying to, to tell people how it's wrong to promote transgenderism. If we were in a time in which we didn't have to, to battle with people over why it's wrong to take the life of an unborn child. I think to myself, yes, it would be an easier walk, but then I'm reminded about this text that God has me here for this time and place to be a voice, to speak out. And each of us, every single one of us is here for this appointed time and place.

And so we must keep that in mind and not allow the trends and the waves of immorality in society to get us down. We must have to continue pushing forward because God has us here for a purpose and for a reason. In verse 17 of our main text, when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted. The question is why did some doubt? Why do we doubt today? Sometimes we are calling on God for a miracle, but if we're honest with ourselves, oftentimes we doubt as to whether it will happen or not, because truth be told, if I asked the question, how many of you have ever seen the person raised from the dead?

I think everyone in here probably would say, no, I've never seen someone raised from the dead. And so when Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, even though they had been told prior to by him that he would be resurrected yet, they still doubt it. Some doubt it, but Jesus is Lord.

Jesus is alive and well. Jesus is now at the right hand of the father. I also want to point out in this text that notice that they worshiped him, the ones who did believe, the ones who did not doubt they worship him. And again, this is talking about the apostles of Jesus Christ and Jesus allow their worship, which is one of the many verses throughout the Bible that tells us Jesus is God. Because if you look in the scriptures throughout when an angel would appear to someone and they would be tempted to, to worship the angel. And what will we find the response of the angel to be?

The angel would be, no, I am your fellow servant. Don't worship me. Only worship God.

But Jesus did not forbid them. Jesus accepted their worship, which tells us Jesus Christ truly is God. He is God in the flesh.

He is our great Redeemer, our great Lord. You are listening to Brian C. Thomas on God First. For more of Brian's teachings, please visit to browse our extensive library of material. There you will find devotionals, blogs, articles, and audio messages available as MP3 downloads on various topics such as salvation, Bible prophecy, marriage, and the significance of Lesson Israel, just to name a few.

You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter and visit our web store. So please visit us at Now let's return to the conclusion of today's message. Verse 18 of Matthew 28, and Jesus came and spoke to them saying, all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. So what is all this authority that Jesus was given? One thing we have to remember as, as much as this, it sort of pains me to say Satan is the ruler of the world. And if you don't believe me, just turn over to the book of John chapter 12, and let's look at verses 27 through 33.

That's John chapter 12, verses 27 through 33. Now my soul is troubled. And what shall I say, father?

Save me from this hour before this purpose. I came to this hour, father, glorify your name. Then a voice came from heaven saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.

Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said an angel has spoken to him. Jesus answered and said, this voice did not come because of me, but for your sake, now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.

And if I am lifted up from the earth will draw all peoples to myself. This, he said, signifying by what death he would die. I want to draw your attention to the text that says the ruler of this world will be cast out.

This is Jesus before going to the cross. And he was signifying by what death he would die. He said, the ruler of this world would be cast out. And that ruler that he was speaking of is Satan. But what we have to understand is that when Jesus died, he earned back the authority of rulership over the earth.

He earned back the title deed to the earth that Satan had taken at the garden of Eden. Turn to revelation chapter five. And here we see the formality in which our Lord is given the title deed to the earth revelation chapter five, we will begin with verse one. And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne, a scroll written inside and on the back sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice who is worthy to open the scroll and to lucid seals and no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll or to look at it.

So I wept much because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, do not weep behold, the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals. And I looked at behold in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures. And in the midst of the elders stood a lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent into all the earth.

Then he came and took the scroll out of the right hand of him who sat on the throne. I'll tell you, this is a very powerful and beautiful passage showing our Lord Jesus Christ receiving authority from the father. You see this scroll that we see, it contains the judgments of God that are going to be poured out on the earth during the seven year tribulation. And this is also an indication that Jesus Christ is said here in the text, that he appeared as a lamb that had been slain, an indication of his dying on the cross. And so what we find is that he is now receiving the title deed from God, the father, and this authority that Jesus is receiving is the same authority that Satan tried to tempt him with.

Go over to Matthew chapter four, verses eight through nine. This is when our Lord was being tempted by the devil. It says again, the devil took him up on an exceedingly high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. And he said to him, all these things I will give you if you will fall down and worship me.

Now this text can be a head scratcher when you first read it, because you thinking that, okay, Jesus is God. And yet here, Satan saying, well, if you will worship me, I will give you all authority. But again, remember Satan gained authority over the earth when Adam and Eve chose to rebel against God and sin. And the only way by which that authority could be regained was by a sacrificial death of a perfect human being and no human being could ever do it. So God himself became that perfect sacrifice. Jesus Christ came to the earth to die so that he could claim the title deed to the earth back. But here is Satan tempting him prior to the cross. He said, well, Jesus, you can, I'll give you this authority back and you don't have to go through that sacrifice. But praise be to our Lord that of course he rejected that offer from Satan.

And instead he went to the cross to die for us. And when we think about this, this topic, think about the title deed to a house or a car that shows the rightful ownership. Now, you know, you receive these surveys and they all have on there to select whether you are a homeowner or a renter and I select homeowner, but the truth of the matter is that's really not an accurate answer because I still have a mortgage on our home. And if I don't pay that mortgage for let's say three, four or five months, if I default on the loan, the true owner, which is the bank can seize the property because they are really the owner at that point. Uh, but when I pay off the mortgage, when I pay off the debts, then I receive the title deed, which states that I am the outright owner of the home.

I don't owe any more debt. And so likewise, Jesus Christ, he paid off the sin debt that had been accumulated by mankind because of Adam and Eve sin. And so when Jesus paid off the sin debt, it granted him the title deed, which the father is going to give him in the future.

We just read that in revelation chapter five. So Jesus owns us. The question is why is God taking so long? Why Jesus already paid off the debt 2000 years ago. So why hasn't he received the title deed?

Well, it's sort of twofold. We have to remember that God's timing is not the same as man's because the Bible says that a thousand years to man is like one day to God. So for us, it's been 2000 years, but in the timeline of God, which remember God is this outside of time and space. And that is why it says as a thousand years to man is like one day to God.

So from God's perspective has really been a couple of days, but also I think time is being allowed so that people can come into the kingdom. Souls can get saved, but it's a formality that is going to take place. Just like today, when you pay off your home, it becomes a formality within a few days.

Then you will receive the title deed showing that you are now the outright owner. So it's going to happen. Jesus has already paid the debt. It's just now formality that God is going to pour out his wrath upon those who do not receive that gift of his pay and of debt. And I encourage you today, if you've never accepted him as Lord and savior, come to Jesus Christ on today, he's already paid the price for sin.

But if you don't accept him, you will have to pay with your own life. And that's going to mean eternal damn nations separated from God. Verse 19, our Lord says, 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.

You know, this verse reminds me of that song that says, go tell the world about me. That's what Jesus Christ was instructing the disciples to do before he went back to heaven. And I want to take a moment just to distinguish between disciple versus an apostle, a disciple in the tech, in the context of what we're looking at in scripture is a follower of Jesus Christ, an apostle, the 12 that Jesus Christ had his inner circle. They also were disciples because they were followers, but yet they went beyond that in that they had to be the, the qualifying factors of being appointed an apostle meant you had to have been a witness of the resurrected Christ.

You had to have been explicitly chosen by the Holy Spirit and have the ability to perform signs and wonders. So again, the apostles also were disciples, but being a disciple doesn't necessarily make one, an apostle. Now we have a slight exception in this case of the apostles with of course, Paul, Paul did not walk with Jesus during his time on earth before he went to the cross. But Paul did see Jesus. Remember on the road to Damascus, he witnessed the resurrected Christ. When, when Christ appeared to him and said, Paul, in that, in that case, it was actually Saul before he became Paul. But he said, Saul, why are you persecuting me?

And then he changed his name to Paul. But the making of disciples is our lowest chosen method of spreading the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ. And remember that Jesus would often draw his apostles to the side privately, to tell them the meanings of his parables and his, his miracles. And so how do we make disciples today? We teach and we train people to follow and to obey Christ. There are many people out there who say they are a follower of Jesus.

They say they accept him, but yet they don't live out his ways by following his instructions in the scriptures. That is what we are here to do, to teach people how to vote, to teach people that as a believer in Christ, we don't vote for people who support the killing of the unborn. We don't support people who vote in favor of unbiblical marriage.

We don't vote for people who support the division of the nation of Israel, because all these things will incur the judgment of God. And I think back to, I had a Christian coworker years ago who she had professed again to be a follower of Jesus Christ, but she was divorced and she was considering remarriage. And she came to me for advice and I pointed her right to the Bible. And she said, you mean the Bible actually talks about this?

And I said, yeah, it talks about it, but see, she didn't know because she had not been disciple. That is what Jesus is calling us to do. He says, and go and baptize them in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit. Now, of course, we know that baptism is not required to be saved because the thief on the cross was saved by accepting Jesus.

And he was not baptized, but our Lord says to do this as an act of obedience as a public proclamation that you have received Jesus Christ as Lord and savior is symbolizes that you are dying to the old self and being raised again in the new self of Jesus Christ being born again, verse 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. That text, that phrase, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you. That is the key to making disciples. We have been hired as spokespersons for the supreme creator of all things. God, do you just, do you ever think about that?

That we as wretched sinners, fallen sinners, the Bible says the best that we can do in the eyes of God is like filthy rags, but yet he and his great compassion and his great love, his mercy, his grace, he allows us to be spokespersons for him. And now what have you met Tom Brady or LeBron James and, and they hired you to be their spokesperson. They said, I want you to go tell people about me, tell them what I like and what I dislike. Tell them what I want them to do. Would it be hard for you to do that?

I think you would be seeking opportunities. I think you would probably approach a crowd of friends or family and say, did you watch the game the other night or, or, or the other day on Sunday. And if they say, yeah, and then you would immediately find a way to inject the fact that you've met LeBron James and that you've met Tom Brady and that they have instructed you to tell people about them. Why is it that we can be so excited to tell people about things of the world, but not have that same excitement to tell people about Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ is the one who created Tom Brady. Jesus Christ is the one who created LeBron James, whatever talents they have is because of God. And we make such a big deal and we idolize people in this world. We, we made celebrities, we put them up on pedestals and we've made idols out of them because of their singing talent.

So maybe they'll look, so maybe their ability to play a sport, but all of those things come from God. So why are we hesitant when it comes to talking about him? Why are we ashamed? I was speaking to a relative of mine a few days ago and he said, man, you know, it's so easy to talk on the job about other things, but when it comes to talking about Jesus Christ, it's just hard.

But what about your friends, your family, your coworkers? Do they know that you are a follower of Jesus Christ? Because do you talk about him or, or are you ashamed?

Are you embarrassed? Do you stay quiet about his word? You know, I had a grandmother who loved the Lord and she was always talking about the goodness of the Lord. And I would go to her house and maybe she had something good cooking in the oven. And I would say, that smells good grandma.

And she would say, it's because of the goodness of the Lord that he gave us the ability to smell. So she was always talking about his goodness, but for those who are ashamed, who are embarrassed, I want to remind you of Luke chapter nine, verse 26 for whoever is ashamed of me and my words of him, the son of man will be ashamed when he comes in his own glory and in his fathers and of the holy angels. This is a warning to all of us and especially to pastors and preachers ones that are too ashamed of his word to speak out on things like homosexuality, to call seeing, seeing, because they don't want people to get upset with him.

They don't want people to, to leave. They don't want people to shun them. They are ashamed of the words of our Lord. And Jesus said, I will also be ashamed of you when it comes time to stand before the father. That should be a sobering reminder to all of us. We must be excited about Jesus.

He gave us the charge. He said, go tell the world about me, make disciples even to the end of the age. And the end of the age is when the rapture of the church takes place, when the trumpet sounds, and when there's a shout from heaven, and then our Lord is going to call us up.

Those of us who have put our faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And the scripture says that the dead and Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall forever be with our Lord.

And I'm looking forward to that day when we are caught up and we're with him, but folks, this is not a fairytale. We're going to stand before Jesus Christ. And you might say, well, I mean, if I'm saved, what's the big deal?

You know, if he is ashamed of, uh, of me, you know, if I'm saved, well, here's the thing for one, you want to stand before the Lord in good standing. But secondly, Jesus is going to hand out rewards. The Bible says you reap what you sow, and there are going to be some that will make it into the kingdom, but they won't have any rewards because you've not done anything for the kingdom. You've only looked out for your own salvation. You haven't tried to share Jesus Christ with others. You haven't visited the sick and you haven't helped the poor and you haven't brought people into the kingdom by telling them about the great good news of our Lord Jesus Christ, that he died for us. He paid the sin debt.

He made a way so that we can be reconciled to the father and therefore inherit eternal life. There are no signs that tell us the end of the age has to occur after a certain thing takes place. What I mean by that is the end of the age, meaning the rapture can take place at any moment. There are no signs for it, but there are signs that point to the tribulation. There are signs that point to the second coming of Christ when he comes to the earth after the tribulation and he plants his feet and sets up his earthly kingdom. And we already see those signs today. Those things are already casting shadows and we see it already happening. So we know that the end of the age is even that much closer.

It's like if we're, as we're approaching the time of Christmas and you see the Christmas commercials and you see the advertisement for all the commercialism that takes place that I, I don't advocate, but we see that in, it lets us know that even though we don't see anything pointed to Thanksgiving, the Thanksgiving is that much nearer because it comes before Christmas. And so likewise, these things that we see here, these, these shadows that are being cast, tell us that the end of the age is near. And so I beg you come to Jesus Christ while you still have time. And while we're here, as we wait, as we occupy our Lord's return, go into the world, make disciples, tell others about Jesus Christ, that if you confess your sins and profess that he is your Lord and savior, that you can inherit eternal life because your eternal state is far more important than your current state. And so for those who received Jesus Christ, the best is yet to come for us in eternity with our almighty Lord.

But for those who reject him, you're going to spend eternity separated from Jesus in the lake of fire. So I urge you, I exhort you to come to Jesus on today. Dear heavenly father, we thank you Lord for this day. We thank you for your word, Lord. We are just in all of what you have done for us in dying for our sins and Lord press it upon the hearts and minds of your people to go into the world, make disciples, baptizing them in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit, as you have instructed us. And Lord, we look forward to the day where you will come back for us when you call your church home and Lord, we will forever be with you in your presence until then Lord, we remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem blessings over your great nation of Israel and unto you, the only wise God be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen. You've been listening to the Bible teacher, Brian C. Thomas founder and president of God first Brian and God first reserve all copyright protection under applicable law. Our copyright policy is available at our website, God Until next time, remember to pray for the peace of Jerusalem, bless God's great nation of Israel and seek first the kingdom of God.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-19 00:37:08 / 2023-05-19 00:49:55 / 13

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