In this episode, Chad and Keith finish up the discussion on Jesus' great commission in Matthew 28:19-20 and focus on the importance of remaining steadfast in the face of hardship and difficulty.
Intro (Keith): Welcome to the Kanakuk Institute podcast, where we continue to equip leaders with biblical skills for a lifetime of ministry.
Chad (00:14): Hey guys! Welcome back to the Kanakuk Institute Podcast, this is Chad Hampsch, and with me, as always, is Keith Chancey. We are talking through a series on discipleship, if you have been joining us. This is part three of that particular series, and we have been looking at a text in Matthew 28 known as “The Great Commission.” These were Jesus’ last words and if you’ve been with us the last couple times, we’ve focused on some key words. I’m not going to recap all of it, but we’ve focused on going. We’ve focused on making disciples, and the connection to repentance and reconciliation. Last time, we unpacked what baptism is and why it’s so important, and specifically, why did Jesus, through Matthew, tie the Trinity to baptism. So, check those two out if you haven’t already. It will give a lot of context to what we’re talking about here on part 3. We’re going to focus on the last section of the text and it says this after the mention of the Trinity. It says, “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you, and behold I am with you always to the end of the age.” So, we’re going to focus our first point on talking about this idea of teaching, and Jesus’ words tell us to teach them to observe “all that I have commanded you.” So Keith, He clearly ties discipleship here to teaching, and specifically, teaching what has already been commanded, in other words, the Word of God. What advice would you have for people out there that want to do discipleship, but maybe feel ill-equipped in the Word of God, and how do we take steps forward, just practical steps to get engaged in discipleship?
Keith (01:49): You know, what a great question, and guys, if you’re out in the audience today, we just want to pump you up because the greatest answer I could ever give, sometimes, is “I don’t know.” But when I give that answer, I can also go find out. I can go find out the answer to a lot of these questions, and you can go to places like gotquestions.org, but, most importantly, I want you to go to your Bible. I want you to go to your Bible, and I want this book that you have right here, that, it is the Word of God. It’s living. It’s active. It’s sharper than any two edged sword, and this book is how you fight against the schemes of the devil. And so, in order for us to fight, we’ve got to know what we believe. We’ve got to build a foundation. And what’s so good about that foundation is, I ask myself all the time, “Is my foundation built upon the solid ground? Or is it built upon the sand? And if I can’t answer a question rightly, then it is on the sand, and I need to go find out, “How can I go build my foundation better on a foundation that’s on the Word of God.” And so, you know, Chad, one of the scriptures that I love that’s so good is 2 Timothy 2:2. And what Paul says to Timothy here, he says, “You therefore my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who in turn will be able to entrust them to others also. Suffer hardship with me as a good soldier of Christ. You know, the great news about that is that we are strong in the grace of Jesus. I love that word grace, it’s an acronym to me: God’s riches at Christ’s expense. The grace that I had was: Christ died for me, and because he did that, now, the things that I hear in the presence of many witnesses, what I want to do, is I want to entrust the Word of God to faithful men who in turn will entrust into others. And you know what? If we began to do that right, we could change the world. Because this book has changed the world. When you think about Paul fulfilling the missionary journeys, the first, second, and third missionary journeys, all you do is you see churches started and churches growing and men being willing to die for what they believe. And so, as I think about what I believe, would I die for what I believe? You know, I think of Joshua 1:8-9, “For this book of the Law shall not depart from my mouth, but I shall meditate on it day and night so that I may be able to do according to all that was written in it, then I will make my way prosperous and then I will have success.” You know, it’s a matter of: what do I call success? I might call success that I am doing the will of God. Success is not that I‘m rich and that all these things that I want I get. Now, not that those things are bad. But that I trust God that in the sufferings and in the pain, that God’s still there, and that I understand James 1, “Consider it pure joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” So I’m not looking for a prosperity, I’m looking for the reality that God is in control no matter what. And so, let me give you an example here. So, you know, when Karen and I were trying to start a family, and we have a child that dies in my arms that we named Barack, which, in the Hebrew, means “lightning”. When that baby died in my arms, I’m going to tell you, catastrophically, I don’t know how I was able to handle that at that moment. Because, you see, if I had a wrong thought of God, I’d go, “Well if God is good, then why would he allow my child to die?” But something came to me as that baby was dying in my arms. Barack was born premature at 21 weeks or 24 weeks, Karen went into premature labor, the doctor says, “If this baby doesn’t weigh a certain amount, when I take him out of your wife, all I’m going to do is wipe him off after I weigh him, and I’m going to hand him to you, and he’s going to die in your arms. Chancey, are you ready to handle that?” Well, there’s no way I was able to handle that, but I was about to find out. And at that moment, they take that baby out, he weighs it, and I see his shoulders slump, and I see him wipe that baby off, and he hands him to me, and guys, I’ve got to ask you, what would you do? You see that was the reality of my Bible. Is my Bible real? Does it really give me hope? Or is it hopeless? Is there anything to hope in? As I held that baby, and I watched that baby for the next 45 minutes struggle for air, and all I wanted to do is put my mouth on that little baby’s and blow life in him, and I was always thinking about that. All I could think about was, “that’s exactly what Jesus did for me.” He blew life into me, and I am not receiving it the way that I should. I think I deserve this life. When in reality, the only thing that we deserve is Hell. But because of the blood, Jesus gives us, by his grace, heaven. And that’s what this passage tell me. It’s that God’s grace is sufficient, and he tells me, “Chancey, entrust into others the hope of God. Not the hope of you. Not the hope of Kanakuk. Not the hope of your church, but the hope of Jesus Christ alone.” Well, when that Baby died, I collapsed. And when I collapsed on the ground with the two men beside of me, Mel Sumraw(??) and Tom Nelson, they both looked at me and they said, “Chancey, we both saw something we’ve never seen before.” We saw you bawling your eyes out, but with almost a crazy grin on your face. And they said, “We’ll ask you about that later.” And when they did they said, “Chancey, what was it?” And I said, “It was at that moment that that baby died that I realized I can never be as good of a father as Jesus.” And the only thing I’d ever prayed for my son or my daughter to ever have is heaven. And yet, here I was asking God to let me be a parent to a child that all I’ve ever prayed is that one day it’d be in heaven. And so my son bypassed all the stuff of the world, and he’s in heaven. It’s all good. But I understand. We want our kids, we want things to go good on this earth. But they don’t sometimes. What we want to do, is we want to give hope to a hopeless world. Because the world, they believe that if it’s all good, it’s good. But what’s all good is that I’m a sinner saved by the grace of God, who gives me eternal life because of his free gift. It has nothing to do with me, everything to do with Him, and I know that sounds crazy, but here’s the beauty of it. God is in control, and I love that. So, when I entrust into others, I’m entrusting the Word that gives me hope. Philippians 4 says, “Be anxious for nothing. But in everything through prayers and supplication with thanksgiving, let my requests be made known to God and the peace of God,” even when your baby dies, even in a pandemic, even in all the trials, God is there, and he gives me hope. So, I hope that answered a little bit of your question. That’s a lot.
Chad (09:02): That is so good. It’s almost shadows of 1 Peter 1, “We are born again to a living hope.” That our hope is not dead, but it truly is alive. And what I hear you saying is, as we think about discipleship, if I have a younger man in my life, one of the things I’m trying to do is pass on that living hope. Because my hope is rooted in the truth of God’s word, and the reality of Jesus’ death, and so I’m literally taking the baton of hope from one generation to the next and saying, “Pass it on. Pass it on to the next generation, because our hope is alive.” That’s really good. So, we’re going to tie up this passage, and Keith just touched on just for a second on, “teaching them to observe all that has been commanded” that we need to pass the Word of God and the hope that comes from the Word on to the next generation. And then, Jesus leaves us with a reminder and not just a reminder, but a truth claim that really is an anchor for that living hope. As Hebrews says, “It’s an anchor for our soul,” and it says “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” We obviously talked about that “always” idea with the Holy Spirit, and what I want to focus more on is this idea that because of our salvation that we have security, right? That our hope is something fixed. Could you just unpack that a little bit for us Keith? About what does it mean that he is with us always, and how do we know we have that security? What would be your encouragement to our audience?
Keith (10:33): Well, you know, that great encouragement is that, Can I gain salvation myself? No. How did I get salvation? Through the blood of Jesus, once again, and we’re going to reiterate that until you’re… we don’t ever get sick of that. But you’ve got to get the blood of Jesus and the importance of that. And so, my security is in that, when I die, I’m going to heaven, and that what Romans 8:37 says and I love this passage because it says, “but in all these things, we are overwhelmingly conquerors through Christ who loves us, for I am convinced that neither life nor death nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Wow! You know, Chad, that just blows me away because I think somehow, someway, in our world today, we think that we’re secure in us. And God says, “No.” He's the one who bridge the gap. He created the heavens and the earth. We sinned. There was a chasm that separated man from God. God could no longer come to man anymore because man was a sinner, and man in his best attempts trying to come to God could never because God is holy and he cannot come into the presence of sinfulness. And so, what God did is he became a man, and this is called the bridge illustration, and he died on the cross, and he bridged the gap of our salvation. He brought us together in unison, and that we would no longer be separated from him, but we’d have him with us, and what we would do, is that we would long, as a believer, for the pure milk of the Word. And I love what Peter says there, is that like newborn babes long for the milk of the mom, we should do the same that we should grow in respect to salvation. So our salvation, as we grow, we long for the Word. We long to know God’s truth and to build our foundation on that nothing can separate us from that. That the Word of God gave me hope. It gave me excitement to believe that nothing could ever separate me from Him.
Chad (12:54): What an amazing passage to work through, Matthew 28, Jesus’ last words. Keith, if you could just take a moment and summarize, give us the motivation that Jesus is trying to pass on to us through this Word? What would be your final challenge for us in this part of the series?
Keith (13:10): My greatest challenge would be guys, gals, out there in the audience, get busy investing into people. Don’t wait until tomorrow. Right now, just sit down, and just on a piece of paper, write down: Who is it that God puts on your heart? You know, one of the things that I’ve found when Jesus it says that before Jesus selected his disciples in Luke 11, it says that he prayed all night before he selected those. I love that! That Jesus, before he selected his disciples spent the whole night in prayer, and the only thing that the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to do do is teach them to pray. So, prayer is very, very important. So, write down on a piece of paper: Who is it that you think that God is asking you to go ask to be a part of discipleship? And then, you don’t have to know all the answers. Just sit down and maybe take a book like Ephesians and take them through this book. Ephesians is, we’ll talk more about this later, but it’s in two parts. The first three chapters are the calling. The second three chapters, four, five, and six, are the conduct. You can’t fix your conduct unless you understand your calling. And so, he talks about in chapters one, two, and three, he talks about the redemption. In chapter two he talks about the grace, and in chapter three he talks about the power of the Holy Spirit. And so, if we understand who God is in our foundation, guys, we’re going to begin to effectively raise up men and women that can entrust to others discipleship. And then, the second part of Ephesians, we’re going to build unity, we’re going to build love, and we’re going to build victory in Christ because we’re going to put on the full armor, we’ll talk more about that and I can’t wait to share more with you about that. But Chad, just to answer your question, what would I want you guys to take away from this? Who’s one person that you can call in the next 24 hours, after you’ve prayed, and ask them, “Hey, would you like to start meeting together over a cup of coffee, and let’s break open the Word and share something together that will help and equip you to be the man or the woman that you’ve always wanted to be. I can’t think of anything more exciting in my life than to invest into someone else who will invest into someone else who will invest in someone else, and we’ll just start this thing right now.
Chad (15:28): Amazing, and I think that the heart of Jesus in this passage. Go. Don’t wait. Go, and jump in and find somebody today. Well, we hope that you were encouraged by this podcast, this was a three part series on discipleship, if there are other topics that you would like to see covered here on the podcast, feel free to just email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and we would love to address some of the topics, and specifically as we work through texts like this in Matthew chapter 28. We hope you are encouraged, hope you have a great day, and thanks for joining us here on the Kanakuk Institute podcast.