Sermon Transcript: Consumer to Contributor

9/8/2019 Jeff Schwarzentraub 53 min read

Well, good morning. We're so thrilled that you chose to worship with us today. As we continue our worship, will you welcome our Broomfield Campus, who's worshiping along with us.

And as we dive into God's word this morning, let's just have our hearts ready to receive everything that the Lord would have for us. Would you pray with me please?

Lord Jesus, we just thank your living, active word. Lord, I praise you that every time your word is opened, it's not me who speaks, but you who speak through me. Lord, would you do that today? Lord, would you show us what you want us to see? Would you speak clearly to each one of our hearts? And Lord, would we as your people hear what you have to say to us, believe it, own it, and then put into practice the very things that you show us individually and collectively as a church? Lord, we want to be people that are representative of you because you and you alone are worthy of our praise.

And so, now God, we just come before you. And all of God's people who are ready to receive and own, and put into practice the things that God shows you, agreed with me by very loudly saying the word, amen. Amen.

I became a youth pastor in the spring of 1995. And when I did, I was trying to get to know the kids in our youth ministry, which didn't take very long because they were only four. And as I was getting to know them, one day I took one of the kids. His name was Trey. We went to work out where I would work out. And so, as I recall, we started lifting weights. And it turned competitive to see who could lift more weights, which I had just graduated from college and played football, so that was an easy one. And then we went and shot baskets. And that turned competitive.

And so, I just wanted to get to talk to him and get to know him. So, I remember we went and got on the treadmill. And the idea of getting on the treadmill is he stood next to me and I stood next to him, and we just set it for about 30 minutes. And we were just going to walk and talk. And I was just asking him questions like this, "Hey, tell me about your mom and dad. And I know you have a younger brother. How well do you guys get along? And hey, you're a junior in high school now, what do you think about the future and what do you want to be when you graduate? And do you want to go to college? And what does it look like?" We were just having conversation back and forth. And I was telling him a little bit about my family and he was telling me about his.

However, as we were walking, I remember we just had it set at like three, which was just like a walking pace. But every now and again, I'm talking, asking questions, I would look down and his set like 3.3. And so, while we were talking, I would just crank mine up to like 3.5, and then just keep walking. And then as we were doing this and talking, I noticed his was like at 3.9. And so, then mine would go to 4.1. And pretty soon, it was not talked about, but it got really competitive. The last five minutes of our conversation, I mean, I had started asking questions and stopped talking, just so I could catch my breath. We were going at like 11, which is like a sub six minute mile. We were in a dead sprint. Nobody was talking. Nobody was doing anything. I mean, I had a silent prayer that went something like this like, "Lord, don't let me slip and lose to this kid." I mean, that was about it.

And sure enough, the 30 minutes ended and we both started looking at each other's thing. And mine indicated that I'd beat him by one 10th of a mile. And I was inside like, "I beat you, you little punk." Like any good youth pastor would do.

And then I stepped off the treadmill and realized something. I was in the exact same place as I was before I got on the treadmill. How many of you know great activity is not equal great results? Just because the monitor had showed that I had traveled further than him, the fact was we were both in the exact same place, even though we were pouring sweat, breathing hard and it exerted everything. Friends, the same can be true in the church.

There are gathering places all over our world today where people will come together, a pastor may stand up and say some words. They sing some songs. They may even pray. They may do some activity. But how do we know that the activity we're doing is actually taking us somewhere? How do we know the activity that we're doing is really aligned with Jesus? Because if it's not aligned with Jesus' activity, it can wear you out. It can cause you to sweat. It can make you breathe hard. It can burn you out, but you may not go anywhere.

So, I want to invite you today to open up your Bibles to Matthew chapter 28. We're going to take a look at verses 16 to 20. It's where we begin this series of Disciple Shift. It's where we're going to end this series today, because it's important for us to know what activity does Jesus Christ want us to be about? What's most important to him? What brings us the greatest joy and fulfillment? What brings him the greatest glory? What does he want us to know?

Now, as you turn your Bibles there to Matthew chapter 28, it's the last chapter of Matthew's Gospel, know who's speaking. This is the resurrected Jesus Christ. This is the postmortem Jesus. This is the one who was crucified and buried in a grave, who's now up walking around and speaking. This is not the Jesus before he died. This is the Jesus after he rose. So, keep in mind what he's saying. He's invited his disciples up to Galilee, where he's going to speak to them, where he's going to commission them. And they travel the 60 miles north to Galilee to meet Jesus there.

And this is where our stories picks up. "But the 11 disciples proceeded to Galilee to the mountain, which Jesus had designated. When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth, go there for 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 that I commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Now, I believe all of the Bible is true from Genesis one through revelation 22. That all of it is inherent. That all of it's inspired. That all of it's true. Not one jot or tit will be changed from this book. However, when it comes to what God wants us to be about as his people in this generation, there may be no more informative text than the one that we're looking at this morning. It's important for us to understand what it means for us to be about the mission of Jesus Christ, what it means for us to do activity that's significant.

Now, keep in mind when we talk about this again, today, we are talking about disciple shift. We're talking about moving from rules to relationship. Meaning, everything that I'm going to talk to you about today is not, you better or else, you awful people. No, no, no. That's rules. This is relationship. This is Christ's love compels us because of our love for him and what he's done for us, that this is what he's asking us, commanding us, inviting us into doing. That if you truly love Jesus Christ, this is what he wants you to know that he wants you to be about. That's what this text is all about.

So, how do we move from a consumer mindset to a contributor mindset? How do we go from saying, "Yeah, I'm saved and I'm just going to live my life. And praise God, I get to go to heaven someday. And all my sins are forgiven. It's so awesome." I believe that there's more for you than that. Jesus makes that known to his disciples that travel with him.

And we're going to take a look at three ways this morning that we can move from consumer to contributor. And the first is this, to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ above everything else, to exalt the Lord Jesus Christ above everything else.

Now, while the soldiers are taking bribes to prove that Jesus really didn't rise from the dead, the 11 disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain, which Jesus had designated. And I love this text, "When they saw him, they worshiped him, but some were doubtful." Okay?

Now, the Bible says the 11 disciples were there for sure. Judas Iscariot had killed himself by this time. So, there's 11 of the 12 that are left. They're all there. We don't know if there were more there or not.

1 Corinthians 15 talks about the fact that Jesus appeared to 500 people at one time. We don't know if this was the time that he did or not. The Bible doesn't make clear who was all there, but we do know that the 11 disciples for sure were there. Now, if they were there, they worshiped, yet some doubted. Now, they couldn't have doubted his resurrection because Jesus appeared to him four times now. And even Thomas, who was the biggest doubter, who said, "Unless I put my hands in his scars and his hands, and in his side, I'm not going to believe." And Jesus comes and shows up to him. And so, he believes.

So, all the 11 believe that Jesus rose from the dead. So, they're not doubting his resurrection. So, they're all there in they're worshiping, but some doubted. It was just talking about the 11. Don't you love the authenticity of God's word? I mean, what does it mean that they doubted? It means they were wavering. It means they were hesitant. It means they believed that Jesus had risen from the dead, but they weren't sure what was going to come next.

How many of you by show of hands would say, "I believe Jesus rose from the dead, but hey, I have some doubts about the future too. And I'm not quite sure what Jesus..." I mean, that's what it's all about. It's honest. If this book were penned by men, we wouldn't put that in. It would say the 11 were there and they were just waiting with bated breath to hear what Jesus had to say, because they always did what he wanted. They were worshiping, but some were doubtful like, "Never had a dead man give me instructions before. Look, what's this going to mean for us now? I thought the kingdom was going to be this and it's totally not that. And what is this going to be?"

And Jesus says these words, Jesus came and spoke to them, this once dead man who is now alive says, "All authority has been given to me in heaven and on the earth." Now, the only one who could ever make that claim is Jesus Christ, the only son of God. He's the only one that can make that claim.

How much authority has been given to Jesus? All authority in heaven and on earth. What does that mean? There is no place where Jesus does not have authority. There's no place that he doesn't have authority over.

How much authority does Satan have, if Jesus has all authority? He has zero authority. It means Jesus is the one and the only one that is worthy of all of our allegiance and all of our praise. That's what he's saying. "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me." Right? Why? Because he died for the sins of the world. And he's the only one who has ever overcome death. And only by believing in Jesus Christ, can we overcome death. Which means this, because Jesus is saying, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me." It means this, Jesus Christ is the only one that is worthy of anybody's worship anywhere.

Now, he's going to commission us in a minute to go to all the nations, which we'll talk about, but it means this, so often we think so myopically about our area that we live in and we think, "Yeah. He's probably Lord of the church for the most part, but maybe not at my office place and maybe not at my school, and maybe not in my neighborhood, and maybe not outside this area, maybe not at Mile High Stadium." No, he's authoritative everywhere. In India where there's over 1.2 billion people, where less than 3% or Christians, which means there's over a billion people who don't know Jesus, he's the only one that's worthy of being Lord of their life. It means he's the only one. It means there are no other gods worthy of worship and praise. "All authority in heaven and everywhere on the earth has been given to me," he says. He's the only one that can say that authentically. That means that the gospel of Jesus Christ is the only message worthy of proclaiming.

And see, here's what the gospel of Jesus Christ demonstrates. Not that you're bad people. Not that you haven't tried to do good. Here's what the Bible demonstrates. You are dead in your trespasses and sins. You're dead. And in your deadness, you have rebelled against a holy, wrathful almighty God in every way. And yet, God's heart for the world was a love for you that was greater than your sin, so much that he sent his only begotten son, Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, who lived the perfect life, who fulfilled everything that you couldn't do, who died on the cross in your place for all your sins, who took the wrath of his father, who was buried in a grave, who rose from the dead. He is the one and only God that is worthy of being praised. He's worthy of being proclaimed. And when we're dead and he makes us alive and we repent and we trust in him, we have life and have life in his name. And he's the way, the truth, the life. And no one comes to the father except through him.

He's not the God of white men or white women. He's not the God of black people. He's not the God of rich people. And he's not the God of poor people. He's the Lord of all. Okay? That's who he is. Right? And so, when he's making this claim, he's saying, "I want your allegiance and I want you to exalt me above everything else."

How many of you know there's things that can get in the way out in our world? I just point out a few of them. One is money. "I love Jesus so much, but I'm going to live my life to make sure I get into the right school, to make sure I get the right job, to make sure I got the right income, to make sure I can provide the right life, so I can buy the right house, so I can do the right things, so I can take the right vacations. And I'm all about my money and Jesus." And here's what he would say to you, "You cannot serve both God and money. You can't give allegiance to both. I want full allegiance. I want all the allegiance that you have. Whatever I give to you, be thankful for, but give me your best, but I want on everything. And everything that I give you, it belongs to me anyway, so you spend it on me. It's my money. You give an account for every cent."

I mean, I listen to people, "Well, those rich people, they're whom they're going to give an account for every cent." So are you. Everybody gives an account for everything. Money can get in the way in our culture, because we'll say stuff like this, money can't buy happiness, but it can make life a little easier. Can't it? Right? So, I want it more than I want Jesus. Money can get in the way.

How about this one? Time, time. We think of our life as our time. God is the giver of life. In him you live and move and have your being. If you live four years or you live 104 years, God is the one who gave you that life. You are a steward of the time that God gives to you. How are you using your time? See, for most of us, "I love Jesus. I love Jesus, but don't ask me to do something on Sunday afternoons during the Broncos game for heaven's sakes. I love Jesus, but don't ask me to come to prayer night on Tuesday, because I got other things that are more important than seeking the Lord together with the community of people he's given me. My time is my time. And Jesus gets some of it. And he knows which ones he gets. And he should be happy with that."

Now, time gets in the way of allegiance. See, all your time belongs to Jesus. So, the question is, "God, how do you want me to be spending the time that I'm spending?" It's God's time, right? Time. Our view of time gets in the way of our allegiance.

How about personal ambition? Personal ambition, selfish ambition. Nothing wrong about being ambitious for Jesus, nothing wrong with saying, "Jesus, I'll go wherever you want. I'll do whatever you want me to do. I'll be ambitious for you." But when we say, "Hey, Lord, here's what I'm going to be doing for you. Here's what I'm going to help you. Here's what I want to get done in life. And you can come along for the ride." That's personal ambition. It gets in the way of Jesus every single time, right? That's why he says, "Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven. Why do you call me, "Lord, Lord." And don't do what I say."

I mean, you can can come and give lip service to Jesus in church all that you want, right? You can talk about Christianity all you want. The question is, does Jesus have your time? Does Jesus have your money? Does Jesus have your heart on everything? Right?

And then how about relationships? I mean, relationships can get in the way. Good relationships can get in the way, especially the relationships that are most important to us. But Jesus, when he talks about relationships, he talks about his own allegiance. He says, Matthew 10:37, "He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me. He who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he who does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. He who has found his life will lose it. And he has lost his life for my sake will find it." I mean, here's the strong words Jesus is saying, "I'm authoritative. I'm the God of the universe. I've proven it by rising from the dead. Now, I'm commissioning you to go."

And some of you then will say, "Well, he's just talking to 11 disciples. It has nothing to do with us." Now, at the very end of this text, he says, "I'll be with you always to the very end of the age." Who's he talking to? He's talking to those disciples and every other disciple that's going to be made and grown in his image from now until the world ends. And because this age has not ended, he's still with us and he's still giving us the same commission. Amen?

The question that we got to ask ourselves on a routine basis is, "Does he have my allegiance?" Now, in this series, we've talked about five different foundational choices so far that we want to grow in. And the first choice was choosing to surrender to Christ authority, to deny yourself, to take up your cross, to follow after him.

This week, I was doing some research. My mom keeps calendars from every single year. And I called back, I said, "Mom, do you remember when I went to Young Life Camp in the summer of 1989? I want to remember the day I gave my life to Christ." Sure enough, she had, "Yeah, you were there from July 9th or July 2nd to July 10th." I'm like, "How do you know that?" So, I called my Young Life leader, I'm like, "Would it have been that Sunday night that we did that thing where I stood to my feet?" And he's like, "Yeah, that would've been July 9th." July 9th, 1989, I gave my life to Jesus Christ. I surrendered my life to him. How I wish I could tell you that when I surrendered my life to Christ and he became the Lord of my life, that every day from that moment on and every decision I've ever made, he's always been Lord over every single thing I've ever done. He hasn't been.

See, growing as a disciple is daily surrendering more and more based upon who I am and where I'm at that Jesus Christ gets more allegiance in my life than what he had presently. Right? Choose to surrender to Christ's authority.

Second, we said, choose to worship the Lord Jesus Christ. We saw the woman at the well, who was talking about denominations and mountains, and places, and which way, and how do you do it? And do you have drums? Do you not? I mean, we just don't know when the Messiah comes. He'll tell you everything. He's like, "I am. Worship me. Be a life of worship. Praise me. Give me your best from inside heart that comes out through your body, that I'm worthy of all your praise and all your worship. Foundational choice number two.

And then we said, foundational number choice number three was choose to share the gospel of Jesus Christ. Remind me real quick, what's gospel? It's good news. Choose to share the good news that Christ has redeemed and he saved you. And we're going to share that now. And we're going public with what Christ has already he done in our life. There's no private Christianity. It doesn't exist. There's no such thing, right?

And then we said, well, where are we going to get the power? And so, we said to choose to pray to the Lord Jesus Christ. Choose to seek the Lord in prayer. Choose to be a person that goes after God, that he's worthy of being sought, so you can know him, so you can know his heart, so you can hear his voice, so you can have illumination on God's word, so you can grow in him in every way.

And then last week, Pastor Mark talked about choosing to serve one another in love. How important is that? They will know we are Christians by our love. And even in the text that he preached last week and talking about how Jesus for the third time is telling his disciples, "I'm going to go to Jerusalem, be spit on, killed, crucified, died, but don't worry, I'll rise from the dead." I mean, this is the most important significant event in the world.

And James and John are like, "That's cool. I mean, we're cool with that. But after you rise from the dead, just make sure one of us sits on your right, and one of us sits on your left, because we want some glory too." And the other disciples are ticked. Do you know why? Because they wanted those seats. Because even when we're surrendered and even when we're worshiping, and sharing the gospel and praying, there's something inside of us that says, "Notice me. I'm worth noticing. I'm awesome. You see how I pastor? You see how I lead that small group? You see what I'm doing in kit? Notice me." No, no, no. Serve one another in love. And if you're anonymous, it's even better. Right?

And those five things, I wish I could tell you, okay, just do them. "Got it. Got it. Yeah, I got it. I got it. I got it." We need to be encouraged daily in those disciplines to grow in Christ.

Now, I'm going to give you number six. This is what we're doing today. Choose to be a disciple making disciple. Choose to be a disciple making disciple. Okay? This is where the shift really has happens, where the rubber meets the road. And for those of you who truly want to grow in your faith, this is where you're going to see it happen.

And notice this, when Jesus says, "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me." Here's what he's saying. "I'm the only one worthy of your worship. I'm the only one you will ever answer to. I'm giving you a command. I'm giving you access into all the world and I will be with you always to the very end of the age." So, here we go.

Now, if those are the things that God wants us to engage in, then we got step number two. If we're going to exalt Jesus as lord all and everything else in our life, and be put first in everything else in our life, then we got to do number two, engage in Christ's mission. We got to engage in Christ's mission.

Now, notice what he says, "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 that I commanded you." That's Christ's mission. We're called to participate in his mission. That's why it's called the great commission, because he's commanding us to do it. Now, if you study the syntax of the sentence, you will know that there's only one verb in the sentence, and it's make disciples. That's the only command, make disciples. Going, baptizing and teaching are all participles that are supporting making disciples. Making disciples where? Of all nations. We're called to make disciples.

Now, disciple by definition means pupil, learner, follower, someone who wants to become like the person that's leading them. That's what a disciple by definition is. It's far more than a convert. And the reason that you know this, is even in Matthew's Gospel, at the time that Jesus told his disciples, "Hey, unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part of me." From that point on many of his disciples said, "We're done. We're no longer going to follow you."

Judas Iscariot was a disciple, a learner, a pupil of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was never saved. See, discipleship is more than conversion. Discipleship is a life that is centered on becoming like Jesus. It is a posture.

Think about this. In school when you go from grade to grade, to grade, to grade, you get to go to the next grade, if you pass a certain level of curriculum. You get to move maybe from kindergarten to first grade, if you can hold your bladder and you know the alphabet, right? And you can stay all day in school. Maybe you go from third to fourth grade, when you can write cursive and answer certain multiplication tables. And maybe you move on into high school when you can do some basic algebra and some other different things. I mean, there's different curriculum that's set. And when you demonstrate you can do that, you move on.

Discipleship is different. Discipleship is when you become like the one who is discipling you, then you're ready to move on. You're becoming like the people you spend time with.

Now, everybody here has been discipled before in some way, maybe not Christian disciple, but you've been discipled. I mean, how many of you as parents have said this, "I will never act like my mom act like that. I will never say what my dad said." And you do it all the time. Why? Because you were discipled. You watched it. It was modeled for you. You saw it. And even the more you rebelled against it, the more you became like it.

See, there's Christian discipleship. And now, here's what we talk about. Those first five that we talk about, surrender and worship, and evangelism, and prayer, and service. That's how you abide in Christ. That's how you see fruitfulness come out of your life. When you are growing in those things, God will bear fruit in you.

Here's the shift. To be a disciple maker is no longer when you're just content to abide in Christ, but you're saying, "I want to see other people abide in Christ. And I'm going to start thriving in my relationship with Christ by giving my life, to seeing everyone I come into contact with be more surrendered, more worshipful, more prayerful, more evangelistic and more servant-oriented." And when you see your life as a conduit of God's grace to do that, you'll start to thrive. It's pouring your life into other people.

And when you really go to the next level, when you become a multiplier, it's when you're training people to do those five things, who have now grown to a place where they're training other people to do those five things. And now, you have this multiplication factor. Because think about this, discipleship, listen closely, is always about people and not about programs. Let me say it again, because you don't understand this. Discipleship is always about people and not about programs. Programs may help facilitate some discipleship. I'm not saying we're going to throw out all the programs. We're never doing kids ministry. We're never doing one. I'm saying within the program, the only thing that matters is discipling people. When you're not making disciples, what happens in a church is everybody gets worried about the programs, the procedures, the policies, and all the stuff that doesn't make any difference.

For instance, let me tell you this. If there were a thousand people that came to Christ last week in our church, that then got baptized, that were saying, "Teach me how to grow in Christ." We would be so busy pouring into those thousand people. We wouldn't have time to care about, "What color is the carpet? And how come prayer night starts at this time? And why do they serve that dinner?" Because we're focused on people. If we had two people in our church that said, "Hey, pray for me. I'm going into North Korea next week to share the good news of Jesus. Strong chance, I'm either getting killed or going to prison. Will y'all pray for me at BRAVE Church? And we're going to spend our week praying for those that are going to share the gospel in North Korea, who are either going to be persecuted, killed, or maybe God does something glorious and start spreading the gospel." We're not going to worry about what somebody's title is in kids ministry, because we got bigger things going on.

And here's what the devil knows. The devil knows the great commission is so important. And here's why? Because he's a defeated foe. He was defeated at the cross. He's done. He has zero authority in the world. But at the end of the age, when that last person who's going to claim Jesus, the one from every tribe, tongue and nation comes to know him, and that's over, then not only is he defeated, he's what? He's done.

Satan knows the only hope he has is to keep you from being about global evangelism and discipleship. I mean, that's his passion. That's why in churches, we can go to sleep. We can go to sleep, even hearing the word preached, because we think that the only reason we're hearing the word is just to stimulate our soul, so we can live a better life. It's like this.

When I go to a Broncos game, I know something that's never, ever going to happen at any Broncos game. Let me tell you what's never going to happen at any Broncos game. It's not going to happen this year. It's not going to happen next year. It's never going to happen. There's never going to be a time where the starting quarterback gets hurt and the backup quarterback gets hurt. And the guy that's playing wide receiver, that's the third string quarterback steps in and gets hurt. Where the coach begins to panic and starts looking up in the crowd and they come on the PA system, and they say, "Is there anybody here who's ever played quarterback? Jeff, we heard you played in college. Would you please come down and suit up?" Never going to happen. And because it's never going to happen, I don't go to a Broncos game prepared to play.

I go to a Broncos game prepared to watch. I go there to eat food. I go there to hang out with friends. I go there to see what they're going to do. I go there to judge whether they did it right or not. I mean, I'm going to watch. Some of us come to church just like that.

Church is different. See, you're here as one who's been commissioned by God to go and make disciples. And what we're doing here and teaching the word is helping facilitate and make you stronger in your job of making disciples.

So, when you think about making disciples, think about this, think about people. Don't think about the program you're in now. Think about the people. Who are the people in your life by name, right? Who are the people in your life by name that you are investing one of those five things into or all of those five things into, what are their names? Who are you helping share the gospel better? Who are you hoping to surrender their life better? Who are you hoping to become a better worshiper? Who are you helping teach how to pray, so they really know how to seek the Lord? Who are you telling people, "Hey, it's not about you, it's about serving the Lord. So, serve better in the church." Who are those people by name? Because if you can't think of the names, then here's what you're not doing, you're not discipling anybody. You may be abiding in Christ, you may be growing in Christ, you may be burying fruit in Christ, but you're not making disciples.

Making disciples involves investing in people. And if you pray and say, "Lord, who do you want me to invest in?" It'll be some people that are in your group, in your small group. It'll be somebody that you meet at the grocery store that you end up leading to Christ or sharing the gospel with. You're like, "Hey, why don't you come hang out at my house and let's get to know each other." I mean, it'll just happen. God has got divine appointments all the time for every single person who calls themself by his name.

And here's the truth. Notice this, when he says, "Make disciples of all nations." I'm going to talk to you about the word nations. In the original language, all the nations is [foreign language 00:29:00]. It's all the peoples. It's all the Gentiles. It doesn't mean nations like we think of nations today. This may come as a shock to some of you, but at the time that Jesus made this statement, the United States of America did not exist. There were no borders around our nation. He wasn't saying, "Go to America and make disciples." What was he talking about? He's talking about people groups. He's talking about people that have their own particularities and language, and understanding of culture.

And just to give you an idea, like in Pakistan alone, there's, I don't know how many there are, close to a hundred people groups in Pakistan. Okay? Now, keep in mind, when we talk about unreached people groups, let me tell you what I'm talking about. There is nobody in Denver, Colorado, that's unreached. There is not one unreached person in Denver, Colorado. Now, there's lost people everywhere in Denver, Colorado.

And I hate throwing out statistics because they're usually just a guesstimate. But if you take a look at any statistic and they'll say, "Hey, how many people truly believe that the word of God is true, that Jesus Christ is the only way to God, that he died on the cross for the sins of the world and took the wrath of his father, that rose from the dead, and in him alone is worthy of our praise?" How many people believe that? About 7% to 11% of the population would say, "Yeah, I'm in on that one." Okay. So I mean, even if we're going to double the statistic and say, it's 22%, which is not, but if you said that it's 22%, it means nearly 80% of the people that you meet in Denver, Colorado are going to face a crisis eternity. They're going to hell. Everybody that dies in that state, they're going to hell when they die. I mean, there's no passing go, right? They're going to hell.

Unreached people group means this, because anybody in Denver that would wake up tomorrow morning or wake up this morning, say, "You know what? I like to know who God is, and if I could worship him, how would I find that out?" I mean, they could find churches that will preach that. They can get on radio and hear to that. They can get on the internet and hear that. Unreached means this, you wake up in the morning and you're one of those unreached people groups, which is 2.1 billion people in our world, you're going to live from the time you're born until the time you're dying, there ain't nobody going to tell you anything. And there ain't any church you can go to. And there's no place that can reach you because you're lost.

Now, here comes the question. Now, listen to this one closely. "So, Pastor Jeff, what happens to that innocent migrant farmer in Africa that never heard the gospel? And he died, but he was a good man. He plowed his field well. He loved his wife. He loved his kids. What happens to that innocent guy?" If there were such a thing as an innocent guy, he'd go straight to heaven to be with Jesus. But see, the Bible makes clear that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That man will go to hell for all eternity. If you don't believe me, which most of you don't, just find me the one scripture in the Bible that says, "Hey, you don't have to trust in Jesus and get to heaven." And if that's really true, then why would we ever share the gospel with people?

If innocent people go to heaven, then sharing the gospel would be the worst thing you could ever do, because they would tell you on judgment day, "I was going to heaven. I had a free pass, but now you came and shared the gospel with me. I rejected it. Now, I'm going to hell. I hate you." No, they're going to hell. Everybody is going to hell apart from Jesus. You're going to hell apart from Jesus. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the only hope of the world.

So, to sit here in Denver, Colorado, knowing that the majority of the world's going to hell and we're unwilling to share the gospel and be intentional about reaching people is pathetic. Jesus said, "Go into all the people groups. Go make disciples." Of who? Of the nations. If you're not going to tell them, who's going to tell them?

I mean, even in the Middle East right now, I hear stories about people that are having dreams about Jesus. But when they have dreams about Jesus, they got to go find a Christian that can tell them who this Jesus was that they dreamed about, so they can be led to Christ.

Jesus told his disciples when he called them, "Follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Jesus told them that the path was going to be tough, that people would hate them. They'd be hated by all peoples because of him. He said a student is not above his master. Disciple is not above his teacher. I mean, this is hard. So, you might ask the question, "Why would I want to give my life to go share the gospel with people who flat out may reject us, some that may persecute us, some that may even kill us? Why would I ever give my life to that?" Because that's what Jesus gave life for, for you. Because when you were dead in your transgressions and sins, and you were rebelling against God, Jesus Christ came and said, "I'm giving my life for you. I gave it all for you."

So, what he's telling his disciples up on that mountain is, "Listen, this is what I did for you. Now, I'm commissioning you to go. And everything I did in this world in my physical, godly body, I'm going to do from heaven on this earth through you, so go. Make disciples of all the nations." Be a pupil, learn.

And here's the truth. You never, ever graduate from the school of discipleship. I mean, you just don't. I mean, it's really interesting because when I studied the life of Jesus, I mean the average Hebrew day was 12 hours. Jesus spent 12 hours a day on average with his disciples for 365 days every year for three years. You multiply all that up and you divide it out, and you say, how many Sundays would it take to make a disciple? If I went to church every Sunday, how long would that take? Here's your answer, over 150 years. Which means if this is the only way you're growing in Christ, it ain't going to work.

Now, why did Jesus spend all his time with his disciples? Because most discipleship, well, preaching the gospel is important, well, coming to church is important. So much of life happens one on one, doesn't it? I don't have one of these at my house. I don't invite my kids to our living room on Saturday morning at 9:00 and say, "Today's teaching is on how to be a good kid. Please get your Bible out." I mean, I don't do that. Everything happens in context. Everything happens life on life. That's why when the disciples can't cast the demon out of the boy that Jesus does, and he's like, "How long do I have to put up with you?" Later they're like, "Why couldn't we do that? We couldn't do that." "Well, this type only comes out by prayer fasting. And you've not prayed up enough." "Hey, Lord, should we call down fire on them, and burn them all?" "No, don't do that."

I mean, Jesus could have taught faith in any number of ways, right? He could have taught his disciples, "Just keep coming to me and I'll multiply what you do." Instead, he takes them out when they're totally tired and they want to be with him just alone, and take them to a crowd that can't have enough food. And then he's like, "Hey, why don't you go get what you have?" And they bring the insignificant five loaves and two fish to Jesus, saying, "What can you do with this?" And he takes it and he blesses it, and he breaks it, and he multiplies it and he passes it all out to the disciples, who have to learn to pass out and distribute what Jesus gave them. "And oh, that ran out. I got to go back to Jesus and get it. Oh, I got to pass it out." And guess what? Everybody got everything they need. And there is still a basket full leftover for me.

What was he teaching them? You give me every insignificant thing you have and I'll do something amazing in your life. He didn't teach Peter, "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." This what the angels were commended for. Now, he chooses to walk to Peter on the water, in the middle of a storm, where Peter says, "Lord, if it's you, tell me to come to you." And he gets out of the boat and says, "Come." Now, Peter and Jesus are both walking on the water. And Peter starts looking at the winds in the waves and he falls. And Jesus picks him up. And on the way back through the boat, he says, "Oh, you have little faith. Why did you doubt? I mean, we could barefoot water skied all night. I just want you to know something, don't ever take your eyes off of me. Don't ever take your eyes off of me. Keep on faithing." Do you think that those guys remembered that?

I mean, it's life on life discipleship. It's why small groups are so important. They're more than just a Bible study to go hear one person talk to you. It's when we mutually coming together to help everybody abide in the things of God, so I'm contributing to you and you're contributing to me. And when you're part of a group like that, it's life-giving because the whole mission of that group is to reach the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I'm not a big fan of Christian t-shirts. Can I tell you that? Church is a hospital for sinners. It's not a country club for saints. It's neither a country club nor a hospital. The church is an army, commissioned by the Lord Jesus Christ, to go out in the world to share the gospel. Now, an army has medics. I get it. Some of you lost your spouse this year. It's painful. You need medics. You need people to come around and love you and comfort you. And when you're hearing about sharing the gospel around the world, and you're like, "What about me? I have a hole in my heart, the size of Texas." We need to come around and love you. And when you have wayward kids, we need to come around and love you. But the end game is not just loving Christians, the end game is getting the gospel out there.

And many times, even through your pain, you have a greater message to share that this God that you say that you love is worthy of being worshiped, even when you're in pain, right? That's the goal. Share your faith. If you want to grow, this is what you'll do. This is an invitation. And I'm getting fired up. So, please don't hear me as somebody who's yelling at you or telling, "You better do this or you're no good." I'm just telling you, I've learned by own life.

Once I start growing, and then I started to pour that into other people, that's when my faith really took off. I went out and shared the gospel with a friend one time that took a Four Spiritual Laws booklet to a fraternity house. And I watched him share the gospel. And what I think, still to this day, was one of the poorest presentations I ever saw. It was so bad. I thought like, "I can do better than that." I didn't even know how to share it. I just took one of the booklets and went and shared it with my friend, who gave his life to Christ. And then when I saw God worked in that, I'm like, "I'm going to do that. I don't need this booklet anymore. I can just tell people about who Jesus is. I know God's word." I started to grow.

See, can I just tell you something about teaching? The bigger the crowd, the more phony you can be when you teach, because nobody knows you. You can't fake it one on one. You ever been around somebody that's faking it, and you're like, "They're not being real with me."

I remember the first time that I led a Bible study was when I was a youth pastor when I was 24 years old. And it took me six hours to come up with six questions about Jesus walking on the water with Peter. I mean, six hours to come up with six questions. I wouldn't even need to practice that now. I could just open the Bible and we just talk about it. Six hours.

So, now I'm fired up because all these boys are coming over to my house and we're going to have this big Bible study about faith. That's the mission of the night. We're going to talk about faith and how to grow in their faith. We've read the text. I started going through question one. It got totally derailed, because all they it about was they wanted to know about my sexuality, my sexual past, what I did, if I'd ever looked at porn, if I ever masturbated. They wanted to know all that stuff. And I remember looking down like, "That's not what I have put down on the sheet tonight." But I realized I can either be fake with them and give them some Christian answer and get through the night, or I can be real. And when I became real, then I'm going home at night and I'm repenting. I'm like, "God, you got to help me and my purity, because I want to be a man that reflects you."

It's through discipling people that God has grown me, because the lie the enemy will tell you is, "Wait till you get your life together. You have nothing to share yet. When you get perfected and you're totally sanctified, start pouring into other people." Let me tell you when that's going to happen, you'll be dead.

You grow by sharing the holes in your life. You grow by being discipled and saying, "Yeah, this is what's working well in my marriage. This is what isn't."

I mean, when Kim and I got married, just like when you guys got married, we were as one as one could be. You can't be any more one than when you say I do. You're as one that moment as you will ever be. And I knew the scriptures when I got married, "Love your wife like Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her. Wives submit to your husbands in everything." I mean, there's no new doctrine, I'm going to learn about marriage. I know 1 Peter three. I know Ephesians five. I mean I know all that. But it's taken every day of my life and I'm still growing, and how to do it better.

I mean, we can't just teach people and say, "You got it? Got it good? I taught Ephesians five once, there should be perfect marriages in the congregation. Everybody knows that stuff. No, you got to come alongside people and ask questions and let it work itself out. It's what your kids do. It's what you do with your kids. You're pouring into them.

It's like my son, the other day, we're talking about this whole gospel thing. He's sitting in the car and his mouth drops out. He's in the passenger seat. And he looks at me, he said, "Dad, if that's true, that means there's a lot more people going to hell than there are to heaven." He goes, "What are we going to do?" And then he looked at me and said, "Dad, I think I need to be a missionary and go." I said, "Son, if you go be a missionary, I'll support you with everything I have. You go do it now." I don't know if he's going to be a missionary or not, but it dawned on him that the fate of the world is in the hands of believers that need to go out and do this. Right? That's what we're called to do. We're called to share the good news of Jesus Christ.

I told you about my story when I was in Czech Republic a couple years ago. One of the things I was praying to God when I was praying and fasting is, I was about 31 years old. I was single. I just graduated from seminary. I was willing to do anything the Lord wanted me to do. And I really wanted to go overseas. And I was willing to go anywhere.

And I remember praying to the Lord, I'm like, "Lord, I'm single. You can send me to Russia. You can send me the Middle East. You can send me wherever you want me to go. I have a heart for the gospel. I'll go where they're not known. Just tell me where to go. I'll stay single for the rest of my life, if that's what you want me to do, because I love you."

And I'm reading through Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and the Lord is like, "No, no, you're going back to your own people. And you're going to share the gospel there. And you're going to send people all over the world. That's what my call is for you." And I was like, "I don't want to do that. I'm not really a pastor. I don't really fit the mold. I don't do this." Can I tell you I'm doing exactly what God wants me to do in this season of my life. And I hold it like this with an open hand. And my goal as your pastor, as long as I'm your pastor is to help you to understand who you are in Christ and how much you matter to him. And that if Jesus were standing here in all his glory, he would say, "You can totally do this. Everything I'm showing you, you can do it. Trust me you can do it. And the things that you don't know how to do, you'll learn by doing."

I started playing football in 1985 as a freshman in high school. I stopped playing football in 1993. That was my last season. So, I was a football player for all those years. But in 1985, I could throw football about 35, maybe 40 yards with a good gale of wind, right? By the time I stopped playing football in 1993, I could throw a ball 65 yards, right? When I started playing football, I just wanted to get the ball and hand it to the fullback. By the time I stopped playing football, I could tell you what the other 11 guys were doing and how they were aligned, and where they were probably going to go based upon the snap count. Right? I grew as a football player.

A disciple is one who is always growing. You never, ever graduate from the school of discipleship. I'm a disciple who's always growing. And a disciple who's going to be pouring into other people, so I can grow more as a disciple, who wants to see other people who are pouring to other people. And nothing thrills my heart more than by those who are abiding, who are now pouring into others, who are now seeing those others that they poured into, that are going out and pouring into others. That's called multiplication.

You cannot multiply programs. You can add programs, but you can multiply people. Who are the people God's calling you to invest in? That's the heart of Jesus' whole message, go into all the world. And every people group at the time, whether we're talking Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the world, they were all unreached people groups. Nobody knew the gospel. They were going everywhere to share the good news of Jesus, anywhere that God would lead them and were called to do this. Why? Think about it like this. There are no people in the baseball hall of fame that were just good in the batting cage. None of the best golfers in the world are known because they're good on the driving range. There's nobody in the football hall of fame that was a good passer at a barbecue in picnics. It was all how well they performed while on the field. All of you are on the kingdom field. Every single one of you. God's call, God's commission is, "Please go do this. Make disciples of all nations."

Now, let's talk about these three words, going, baptizing and teaching. Here's how we're going to do it. We're going to go, we're going to baptize, we're going to teach. Now, this word go, too much and too little is made of this word, just so you know. I mean, it's a participle, so you can translate it having gone or as you go, or whatever. I mean, if you study the word go in the original language, here's what it means. Ready? Go. It just means go. It means go be about the business of making disciples. Make that your first priority with Jesus Christ being Lord, just go do it. Now, for some what that means is, right where you're at in your neighborhood, with your job, with your people, right here in Denver, Colorado, just go do it.

But there's others that are going to get stirred up. The guy is going to say to you like, "What are you doing in Denver? How come you didn't move to Colorado Springs to help plant Fervent Church? How come you're not moving to the Inner City to help with Beacon?" And for some of you, it's going to be like, "Why aren't you moving Germany and doing this thing after all? I mean, how come you're not going to be the front runner in Baghdad? I mean, why aren't you going there?" I mean there's going to be all sorts of different things.

And here's the thing in the church, you don't have to keep searching and say, "well, I don't feel like going overseas, so that must not be me." Then don't. But God puts it on different people's hearts. And too much is made of that word when we only celebrate missionaries that go. And too little is made of that word, when all we do is say, "Hey, just live your life any way you want. And if you can make some disciples, good for you." No, everybody is about the mission of making disciples.

BRAVE Church exists to see people abide in Christ, thrive in Christ by discipling others and multiply the efforts of those making disciples. We are disciple making church, which means this BRAVE Church, just look around on both campuses today, look at all the people, if we've really do this right, it means there are some of you that won't be here five years from now.

That's right.

I mean, I pray that we don't have the same group. I mean, the goal of BRAVE Church is not to get more people to come to BRAVE Church. The goal of BRAVE Church is to make more disciples that are being sent out by God to reach the world with the good news of Jesus Christ. Amen? That's the goal. Which means you may come to BRAVE Church, you might think, "Well, I always thought I was going to be in Denver for the rest of my life. And wow, I was sitting in church or I'm seeing these circumstances happen. And God's calling me to go X." Then go there and do that. But as long as you're here, be about the business of making disciples here, right?

"Baptize them." Here's what he says. The first step of obedience for making disciples is once they get saved, they get baptized, baptized as being immersed into water as an outward sign of an inner grace, right?

There is nowhere in the Bible where you will read of infants being baptized. It doesn't exist. It's a tradition. I'm not against a tradition. I was baptized as a six month old. I'm just saying, everywhere you look in the New Testament, for people who have trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and savior, which they didn't do at birth, they do sometimes subsequent to him, then you must be baptized.

And here's the gospel. The gospel is that you're dead in your sins. That you've rebelled against a holy God, but God has great love for you. He sent his only begotten son, who died in the cross in your place for all your sins, who rose from the dead, who demands your full allegiance for the rest of your life. Will you repent of your life? Will you turn from your life and give your complete and utter trust to Jesus Christ? If the answer is, yes, here's my question, when did that take place? Because that's a pretty significant decision you're making. And if you haven't made that decision, then make today the decision, make today the decision, where you're going to trust Christ.

Now, just by show of hands, how many would say, "I know that I know that I know that I've committed my life to the Lord Jesus Christ. He's the Lord of my life. I mean, I'm a hundred percent sure of that." Now, hold your hands in the air on both campuses. Now, just ask yourself this question, because I'm not going to embarrass anybody, if you're holding your hand up, but you haven't been baptized in water since you have held your hand up, you've been disobedient to Jesus from the moment that you got saved. You put your hands down now.

So, here's what I'm doing as a pastor. I've been reading about scriptures where that are talking about baptism this week. I'm going to make it real easy for you. There's nowhere in the Bible that says you have to get up in front of a group of 500 to a thousand people and share your testimony in order to get baptized. Matter of fact, we had a guy get saved two weeks ago when we were doing baptisms, and I asked him, I said, "Let's get baptized. Why wouldn't you get baptized?" And he's in his street clothes. I'm like, "I ain't go home wet." We just dunked him. So, we're taking away all the obstacles for you. I mean, if you haven't been baptized, we'll baptize you here in two weeks when we do baptism class. I won't make you get up here and share anything, just get baptized. I just want to know that you were this and that Christ come into your life, and now you're living for him. That's all I need to.

I mean, we are buying shorts, flip-flops, t-shirts, even underwear, male and female, all sizes. We've taken away every excuse you have. Because why? Only because I want you to be obedient to Jesus Christ. "But I've been a Christian for like 30 years. I've been walking with him. And I've been doing what he wants." I get it. But he said, "Be baptized."

Now, let me tell you another thing about being baptized. There's nowhere in the Bible that says you have to be ordained to baptize somebody. Did you know that? There's nowhere it says, "You have to be a pastor. You have to graduate from seminary, and then you can really do." Go baptize and teach them everything. If you lead someone to Christ and you want to be up here and baptize them in our church and do that, fantastic. Come baptize them. There's no sweat. I mean, that's awesome. Be part of it. Your kids come to Christ and you want to baptize, come on. Let's do this. Let's do what Jesus wanted us to do. Let's be about the work of evangelism and discipleship. And let's see it in our church. And then teach them to obey everything. How long is that going to take? That's going to take a lifetime. It's going to take a lifetime. But the way we teach is that we're growing and we're investing, and we're growing and we're investing.

I have a whole lot more I can teach now than I could 30 years ago. I didn't know anything 30 years ago. When I got saved on July 9th, I remember coming home on July 10th, and my sister said, "How was it?" And I said, "It was awesome. It was probably the best week of my life." She's like, "Well, what happened?" I'm like, "All I know is I have something that you don't have." And she's like, "Well, how do I get it?" And I'm like, "Well, you got to go to camp next year." That was my evangelism. It's almost like, "Hey, you got to wait a year, and then I'll tell you how to get saved." Right? And she got saved the next year.

So, the whole point is, I didn't know how to do anything. I was just doing it. There's nowhere in the Bible that says, "Hey, once you know stuff, then you can do stuff." If I took you to India with me where I've been about four different times, you'll sit in conferences and you'll meet people, and they'll say, "Pastor, pastor." I can't give the Indian accent. But they'll say, "Pastor, pastor, how many churches have you planted?" And I'd be like, one. It's embarrassing. I mean, these guys have been Christians for like six months and they planted three. And somebody is there, they've planted 40. And he's armless because he had to walk through a mine to get the gospel to some people, and he blew his arm off. It's hard to teach how to be courageous when you share your faith to get guy that lost his arm, because he is taking the gospel out. I mean, I want to sit down and let you teach me right.

I mean, at the end of the day, just get in the game, just baby step into the game. You don't have to be a hall of famer. Just participate, participate. As the more you invest, the more God will pour through your life to invest in others. The more you do the work, the more God will give you to pour into others. Make it all about him. Surrender completely to him. Engage in his mission. And then you get to do this. This is the beauty of the whole passage. You get to experience his presence and his power. You get to experience his presence and his power.

Notice what Jesus says, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age. I am with you always even to the end of the age." Remember the word, I am. Remember, we see it show up first, back in Exodus when Moses is going to the people of Egypt. He's like, "How are they going to know that I've been sent by you? What am I to tell them?" What's he saying? "You tell them I am. Who I am sent you." That same God that commissioned Moses to go to Egypt is the same god that's commissioning us, the I am, that will always be with us.

How do we know that we can go into these cultures, that where they say, "Well, that subculture in America, that sexual orientation culture, they never accept Christians. In that political party, they never accept Christians. And those people in that business, they never accept Christians." No, no, no. I got an all us pass from Jesus Christ.

I went to the Bronco Super Bowl in 2016. And when I did, it was really interesting because I'm into a lot of football games in my life. But for the Super Bowl, you didn't give the ticket when you went into the stadium. It was like a mile beyond the stadium. There was a wall around the whole thing. And you went in through there. And once you got in, you're in. So, it was like a carnival outside the stadium. And you could walk into the stadium. I was the first person in the stadium in my seat for Super Bowl 50.

And I'm looking around, I didn't see cheerleaders. I didn't see players. I didn't see anybody. We were there like six hours early, because that's what we do. And I'm like, "This is awesome. Millions of people are going to tune into this. And I'm like the first person here." And I can go in and out of the stadium and throw footballs and do all sorts of stuff. But I did not have an all access pass. I was not able to go down and talk to the Carolina Panther players before and say, "It's going to be a tough day for you." I didn't get to go in the Broncos locker room and wish them good luck. I didn't get to go up into the press box and talk to all the announcers and say, "Hey, how's it going today, guys? I just wanted to say hi." I didn't have an all access pass. I had a limited pass.

When Jesus said, "All authority in heaven earth has been given to me, here's what he says, "You have an all access pass and everywhere you go, just know I am with you always, even to the end of the age. You can go into all nations and talk to all people. You can go anywhere you want. You have an all access pass given by me. And if they reject and hate you, it's okay. And if they trust you, it's going to be the most glorious thing you're ever a part of, because you get to experience the power and the presence of Lord almighty."

When you take the gospel that you own in your heart and you begin to pour it into other people's lives, your faith will skyrocket. So many people that are abiding in Christ are trying to grow more by just abiding more. And they're frustrated like, "I've been doing this for years. I go to church. I've been doing this for years. I'm surrendering. I've been doing it for a year." Start taking what you know and pouring it in others and watch your faith start going like that. And there's great joy that comes in that, because when you start pouring to others, and all of a sudden you say, "Oh, they own the gospel. And now their mom and dad got saved. And now this has happened." I'm like, "And God used me. This is awesome. I didn't even do anything, except just love these people. It's awesome." And once you get a taste, you can't get enough of this. And God's got people for you that you can pour in.

I mean, when we read about the church in the New Testament in the Book of acts, I mean, what do we read about? We see the same power and authority, and experience that they had when Jesus was there. He said it was even good that he was going away because they do even greater things. And they did.

So, can I just say from my heart as a pastor, when I hear people talk about, "The church isn't working anymore. Other church is lame. We need this sub ministry. We need this thing in the church, the church, the church." Here's what I would say. Jesus said, "I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." There's nothing wrong with the church.

Now, I don't always have the guts to ask this question, but when I hear people complain, here's my first answer, here's what I want to ask, if I had the guts, "Hey, do you tithe the minimally 10% of your income to your local church? Do you get at least 10 of your hours a week to your local church? Hey, do you pray 15 minutes a day for your pastor, every single day for him and his family that they can do fruitful ministry? Hey, are you engaged in a service that if you weren't doing, the church would fall?" Because here's what you're going to hear all the time, "No, I don't do any of those things."

See ,if every person that was called by the name of Jesus, took his commission that serious and gave their all to him, the world would be reached. Listen, we can do it in our generation. It can happen. And I don't know about you. I mean, I'm enjoying my life. I'm ready to go. I'm ready for heaven to come to earth. I'm ready for it to take place. And I want to make the biggest dent we can for the kingdom of God, by people who love him and serve him, and want to do great things for him.

I mean, in Acts chapter three, they heal this crippled man that's outside the temple. And the guy begins skipping all over the place. And everybody starts to look at the apostles like, "Man, you guys are awesome." And they're like, "Why do you look at us as if it's by man that this thing happened. This Jesus Christ, whom you crucified is Lord and Christ. He's doing all the work. He's as alive as he is ever been." How come we don't see that? Because we're not invested, because Jesus doesn't have all authority in our life.

And God wants Jesus to have all authority in our life. I mean, the beauty of the Christian life is that you don't have to go do anything. You just have to let Christ be Lord over everything. If Christ is Lord over everything, he will pour himself out in and through your life in a way that will change you forever.

I'm here because people discipled me. I was a high school kid. I played football. I went to church every week. I had this guy come to our church that was super old. He was like 30. And he would meet in our little terrazzo area and ask me questions about my family and life, and football, and invite me to this camp, Young Life, every single year. And I'm like, "I'm not going to that. I'm already a Christian. I go to church every week." And he's kept at me, kept at me, and kept at me.

And I remember on July 9th of 1989, just weeping, saying, "Thank you for loving me enough. For four years, you called me to come to this camp to hear the gospel. I thought I was already saved." And then when I went off to the University of Illinois, and I'm trying to walk it out and I can't do it, I'm thankful for a guy by the name of Bob Husband, who's one of my professors, who said, "I'll facilitate a Bibles study for you." I was the worst person you would ever want in your Bible study. All I did was ask questions and push back on everything. And yet, he just showed me grace and just loved me until I got to a place where I was walking with Jesus.

I thank God for Andy Schmidt, who worked with Campus Crusade for Christ, who taught me to share my faith. And we were horrible to him. My roommate and I were horrible to him. I remember every time he would preach on a Thursday night, he'd come down to our apartment, he'd be like, "Hey, I'm going to go preach tonight. You guys want to come?" And we'd be like, "No." "Well, what are you going to do?" "We'd rather watch television than hear you preach." That's what we used to tell him. So, that's why I don't get offended when people don't like my preaching. I deserve it. But praise God, he stuck with us. I remember him telling my roommate and I, one time he goes, "If you guys cared as much about Jesus, as you do about football, you could actually change the world." They love me.

I mean, anybody, I would tell you that grew me, I wouldn't tell you about a program. Although, I've been to Promise Keepers and it was good. I would tell you about specific people that poured into my life at specific times, that made a difference in my life, so that I could do what God has called me to do. And guess what, BRAVE Church? All over the place, there's a cry in people's heart here. There's one in my heart here that says, "Hey, just let me know that I'm valuable and I matter." And I'm here to tell you today that Jesus is telling you, "You matter. You can do this. God loves you."

I had a professor in seminary one time, his first trip to Israel, he talked about learning what a shepherd was. And he was watching Bedouin shepherds like call the sheep and how the sheep always follow the shepherd. He's like, "That's interesting." The sheep always followed the shepherd. And the tour guy was like, "Yeah, they always follow the shepherd. They know his voice." And he is making certain sounds and the sheep would follow. They just keep following.

At the end of his trip, he saw this guy with a stick behind the sheep, just beating them and yelling at them. He's like, "Wait, wait, you said shepherds always lead from the front and they don't shout like that." And he was like, "That's not a shepherd. That's a butcher." I'm not here to be a butcher. If you hear my heart today, and you're like, "Jeff is mad at me." I'm not mad at you. I mean, if all you ever want do is come to BRAVE Church and just abide, and just hear the word of God and sing songs, I love you. And I'm so glad that you're here. I just do. But I know for many of you, you're being stirred in your soul, something along this line, "I need to get baptized. I know I need to serve more. And some things have gotten in the way. I want to do that. And you know what? It's time for me. I'm fairly mature in my faith. It's time for me to be part of a group where I can pour into somebody else's life and they can pour into me."

And I just want to encourage you, if you get in a small group and it's like, "That's not quite what Pastor Jeff said. It didn't feel that way." Then let's get in another one. Let's not make a big deal about it. Let's just find a place where you can pour into people and they can pour into you, so that it works. And let's just do this thing. And that's why as I preach this message, I don't want to end this and sing a song and say, "Good, let's go. Let's take the hill for Jesus." I want us to reflect personally, because for some of you on both campuses that are listening, they say, "It's time for me to take this step of faith. Here's what the Holy Spirit has been showing me. This is what it looks like for me to invest in the kingdom of God. This is what it looks like for me to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ."

So, the way that I wanted to end today is just by giving you a couple minutes of silence, just to pray and say, "Lord, what would that look like for me?" And again, there's zero pressure here. If there's nobody that says, "I want to do anything." That's totally fine. I love you. But for some of you that are here that are like, "Hey, I want to be part of a group. I want to take the next step in baptism."

You'll notice on your bulletin today at the very bottom, there's a phone number that you can text to and you can type the word men's or baptism, or groups, or kids. All that means is we'll get in touch with you. And if a ton of you respond, it may mean we may not be able to get in touch with all of you this week. So, give us some patience. Give us some grace. But let's be a church that's about the great commission. That's what every church is called to be about.

The end goal is not growing the numbers in our church. It's not the goal. It's just not the goal. The goal is about growing disciples that are abiding and thriving, and multiplying. That's the end goal. And to that end, that's what we want to encourage one another to be. Amen.

So, I'm just going to pray for us. You can just bow your heads. You can sit there and look at the screen. You can sing this song, this chorus of Hallelujah. But as the Lord puts this on your heart, even if you have a phone now and you say, "I just want to text this. I got to do this right now." Just go ahead and do it.

So Lord, we just ask your Holy Spirit to speak to us. Lord, there's nothing in this message here that should be shameful to anybody. Lord, this is just a reminder that this is what we're to be about. This is who we are as your people. And so, Lord, our prayer right now in this moment is, Lord show us individually or as a family, here's the step that we need to take. And Father, would you cause all here to respond according to your grace and what you want. That there'd be no one here that would feel pressured, cajoled, no ought tos, no should ifs, but Lord, just speak to our hearts. We give you all the praise in Jesus' name. Amen.

More From Discipleshift Rules to Relationship