Who Should We Make Disciples?

Matt 28:18-20

18 Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age." NLT

This not so much a question of our responsibility but of our success. Many people each year listen to messages about making disciples and yet are never able to get active in it. Our message today is concerned with who should be our first attempts. Who will be most likely to listen to us and follow Jesus as their Savior.

 

  1. People we know.
    1. Family
      1. John 1:40 One of the two who heard John speak, and followed Him, was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon, and said to him, "We have found the Messiah" (which is translated, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus. NKJV
    2. Friends
      1. John 1:45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, "We have found Him of whom Moses in the law, and also the prophets, wrote -- Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph." NKJV
    3. Those who have seen us change or know we are Christians.
      1. I can't remember how many dozens of examples I have heard.
  2. People we minister to.
    1. That is why God has placed them in your area of ministry.
      1. The blind man of John 9
      2. After he was healed Jesus told him that He was the Messiah. John 9:35-37
    2. They will listen because we have touched their lives.
    3. If we have ministered well they will be interested in why.
  3. People who will listen.
    1. The parable of the sower, Mark 4
      1. Mark 4:3 "Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. 4 And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. 5 Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. 6 But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. 7 And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. 8 But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some a hundred." NKJV
      2. There were different conditions of soil.
      3. They were not all the same
      4. Some will not even listen at all
      5. Others will begin well but will soon die away.
      6. Others will become disciples who make disciples.
      7. We must be sensitive to those who are becoming more receptive.
    2. Jesus taught the disciples to shake off the dust of those who would not receive them and then go on to the next place.
      1. Matt 10:14 And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet. NKJV
    3. Paul Went to one place after another.
      1. As soon as he was run out of town he just went to the next place.
      2. In most places Paul could hope to stay only a week or two.
      3. But notice in Acts 18:9-11 9 Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, "Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; 10 for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city." 11 And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. NKJV
      4. God knew that many in Corinth would listen and believe.
      5. Listen to how Paul writes about the opportunity to witness.
        1. Col 4:3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, NKJV
        2. While at Ephesus he wrote, But I will tarry in Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries. NKJV 1 Cor 16:8-9
    4. The Karen people of Burma, Eternity in Their Hearts, Don Richardson, pages 71-102
  4. Whoever the Spirit leads us to
    1. Philip was led to the Ethiopian, Acts 8:26
    2. Peter was led to the house of Cornelius, Acts 10
    3. Paul and Barnabas were set apart by the Holy Spirit, Acts 13:2

Who should we make disciples? There are some who will say, "Everyone." And that is true. But let us start with people we know, with our parents, our brothers and sisters and children.

 This message was preached at FBC Toulon,
by Albert Harmon. See it at http://toulonbaptist.com/