Grace Baptist Church Decatur, IL

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Parables Series

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It’s Go Time!

Luke 14:16-23



I thought about titling this message “It’s Time to Go” but I was afraid you’d get up and leave.  But one thing is for sure:  We have reached a great crossroads as a church…we have come to the STOP sign and paused for the cause.  We have looked right and left and considered God’s will, and now we must not just sit and idle but we should rather put the pedal to the metal and say it’s go time!  Isn't that the missionaries' job?  Yes, and we were left here to be missionaries.  I hope you'll go:  across the street, around the world, short term, long term.  Missions is a trip, and in our conference next week God is going to call us all to go somewhere!


Matthew 28:19

    Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:


Mark 16:15

    And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.


        What are the first 2 letters of the gospel?  GO!


Psalm 126:6

    He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.


Nothing happens until we go!


Acts 5:20

 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.  


Jesus said it, and Jesus did it!

Mark 1:38

    And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.


Mark 5:19 [Jesus cast demon out of man…]

    Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.


Matthew 13:3

    And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

        Let’s went!  Many used to be in the habit of witnessing, but your get up and go done got up and went!


I heard about a football game being played on the home field. The home team was being smeared by the visiting squad. Someone on the sidelines kept yelling, "Give the ball to Calhoun! Give the ball to Calhoun!'' They tried another play, and again the home team was smashed to the ground, losing valuable yardage. Again came the cry, "Give the ball to Calhoun!'' After this happened two or three times more, the familiar cry rang out again, "Give the ball to Calhoun!''  Then a tall man raised up from the pile of human bodies on the field after the next play and responded, "Calhoun don't want the ball!'' I am afraid this is true of many Christians today. They do not want to carry the ball of evangelism.  They need to hear the cry of the crowd in heaven cheering them on…that great cloud of witnesses in the grandstands of glory urging us to run the race before we leave this earth.  They need to hear the voice of the coach as He calls the plays…the coach is Jesus Christ—can you hear him:


Luke 10:1-3

    The Lord … sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. [2] Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. [3] Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.


John 15:16

    Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit…


Luke 15:4

    What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?


Romans 15:25

    But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.


Galatians 2:9

    … we should go unto the heathen


Acts 28:26

    Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear…


Acts 8:29

    Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.


Finally, look at our text:

Luke 14:21-23

21 So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind.   22 And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room.   23 And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled.  


In most cases the word translated go is in what’s called the present, progressive tense…it means literally:  as you are going

But we need help, we need structure, we need a plan!  And that’s what the church is now giving to you!


Why did God leave us here instead of whisking us away at salvation?  In order to take as many with us as possible!


It’s go time!  It’s time to stop sitting still and go to work!


The first phase of our plan will take place in our Sunday School hour at 9:30 AM each Sunday. Each can have a job:  writing, making a call or a visit, or being a greeter.  This is easy…it’s entry level, and it’s the least we can do.


Now you’ll have to be present to be a part of this first phase.  Don’t miss out on the excitement!  It’s hard enough to get many to come, or come regularly, much less to go!


We’ve got a great thing going here as a church, and it’s high time we share it with our community.  Let me ask you:  Is the purpose of the fire company to put out fires, or to keep the fire truck shiny and the fireman's uniform neat?  There is surely a need for both. There must be a balance between reaching souls and caring for the saints, but to forsake one for the other must be displeasing to the Lord. It's go time!





Back to our text:

v. 16        A certain man made a great supper, and bade (invited) many''.  Let's go get them! Let's go out where they are and bring them in where we are. But, whom shall we get?

vv. 12, 13, 21b

Maybe the poor people like Bartimaeus; the rich people like Zacchaeus; religious people like Nicodemus; sick people like the impotent man; wicked people like the woman at the well; black people like the Ethiopian eunuch; working people like James and John who were mending their nets; political leaders like Cornelius; the social people like Lydia; and the little people like the children Jesus spoke of in Matthew 19:14.


The very occasion of this parable is Jesus eating with sinners.


joke--The story is told of the little girl in England who came running home from church one day saying, "Mommy! Mommy! My name is in the Bible! My name is in the Bible!'' The mother, answering the child, said, "Edith, honey, your name is not in the Bible.'' The little girl persisted, "Yes, it is, Mother. The preacher said, 'Jesus receiveth sinners and Edith with them.''' What a blessing to know that not only is Edith's name in the Bible but so is yours and mine if we are saved.


Nowhere does the Bible command the lost to come to church.  We are to go and bring them in. Where should we go to invite them? Jesus said, "Into all the world.'' He also said, "Into the streets and lanes'' (Luke 14:21), and "into the highways and hedges'' (Luke 14:23).  God is leading us to the thirsty, the seeking, and the interested, and there are many…the fields are white unto harvest!





Jesus said, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you'' (Matt. 28:20). After inviting folk, we must then instruct them. Phase 2 of our plan is all about discipleship…training and teaching the ones we have invited in.


This is one on one mentoring, not just classes and preaching sessions in a crowd.  This means many of you will need to become disciplers, and there are many who need to be discipled. 




There is a need for Christians to be alive, alert and awake, because the world is watching for something real. There is a tremendous need for zeal and inspiration. The message is exciting. The gospel is life changing and eternity altering!  And a great church such as this is rare and precious.




This is the greatest business in the entire world…God’s business!  So many people will enter here like a cold fish--all of the strength drained from them. They carry a frown on their face, walk a little stooped. The weight of their burdens is obvious. When they come to church, we need to charge their battery. We must make a volcano out of them. There is a great need to get people fired up and filled with enthusiasm for God.  And many will be saved and their lives will be changed, and we’ll be all the more excited when that happens!


Our evangelism team is going out…some handing out tracts, and some face to face witnessing boldly for Christ!  Would you join us?  These will lead the way in inspiring many more to become disciples, to get more serious in their faith, and I believe it will all snowball on us from there!





Once people are invited to come to Christ, instructed in the ways of the Lord, and inspired to do the work of God, it is time to involve them.


“You will be assimilated!”


We have to be ready for what is coming.  There’s one department that is not ready for the big things which lie ahead for us, because that department is just barely keeping its head above water right now.  It’s the area of our church which is already booming—our children’s department.  We have to fortify that whole department and grow that team before we can handle the new ones which this outreach program will bring in.


It’s a great problem to have, but we have to work on it now, and it will take many of you stepping up to the plate to do it right.  With so many young families comes many children and babies, and our current staff is stretched to the max.  They are excellent, skilled, and well trained, but they are overextended, overworked, and underappreciated!


God has brought us a lot of new people…many of you are already experienced and skilled at this, and we will teach and train everyone to do their part.  We have some already asking to get ‘plugged in’ where they are needed on a rotating basis…and the more we get involved the better—which means all will be less stressed and more blessed!


We will be approaching many of you about opportunities.  She’ll show you several different options and you’ll find us to be very helpful in your decision.  The whole department is quite organized, and you will not have to be in charge…only your assistance is needed.  Some may become leaders if they want over time, but really we have the greatest need for more helpers.


Isn’t this exciting?  Be praying about where God could use you in our new outreach program, and be expecting the great things God has in store.  No more church as usual…it’s go time!


Ill.--Somewhere recently I read of a tribe of natives in a South American jungle who learned that the leaves of certain trees would give them extra energy and strength and would keep them from getting hungry. So they began to eat them regularly. They seemed strong, energetic and seldom got hungry. A few weeks later some died. An investigation revealed that they had starved to death. The leaves had tranquilized them and tricked them with false drug-like energy.

It is quite obvious that Satan has had great success in getting Christians to be perfectly satisfied with the humdrum routine of going to church, taking part in the formalities of the services, carrying on the functions of a social ministry, and thinking they are pleasing God; but they are really dead spiritually...starving their souls of the Great Commission. Surely the only answer is to get back to the basics of going after people, and carrying out God's command.  It’s Go Time!


It’s go time!  Isn't that the missionaries' job?  Yes, and we were left here to be missionaries.  I hope you'll go:  across the street, around the world, short term, long term.  Missions is a trip, and in our conference next week God is going to call us all to go somewhere!



Some here don’t need to go until you come!  Come to the Lord if you need to be saved, come back to the Lord if you’ve gotten away, and come back to God’s house tonight.



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