Disciples Duplicate

Series: Follow. James Dewhurst October 6, 2019


Disciples Duplicate!

Today, we continue in an 8-week sermon series we started last week, called – Follow! Over the next couple of months, we are going to be talking specifically about what it means to become a disciple of Jesus Christ. I mentioned last week that nearly 80% of our nation claims to believe in God, but believing in God doesn’t mean we are following God. Becoming a disciple of Jesus adds some commitment to our faith!

Disciples of Jesus become students who follow, imitate and replicate what He does!

Last week we talked about the specific call to follow Jesus and the promise that if we do, Jesus will make us into his image. We do the following and he does the making!

Today, as we jump back into the second message in our follow series, we are going to talk about another action expected of followers of Jesus – Disciples Duplicate!

Last week, I shared with you that the word Christian is mentioned just 3 times in the entire New Testament, but the word disciple was mentioned 300 times. In light of this, it is only fitting that Jesus’ last words on earth to his disciples reiterate his clear New Testament priority, in:

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)

Jesus delivered three huge surprises to his followers during his three-year ministry here on earth. First, Jesus started by showing up and asking ordinary men to leave their entire lives behind and follow him. This is how the 12 disciples came to be. The second surprise happened, when after following Jesus around for 3 years and buying into his “save the world campaign”, Jesus died and devastated them. But after Jesus rose again, the disciples were elated and convinced that King Jesus was now going to fix their broken world once and for all. But, he had a third surprise up his sleeve, that the disciples never saw coming. Instead of transforming the earth, just moments before Jesus ascended into heaven, he visited them and told them that it was now their job to finish what he started. Your done watching me, boys, now Go Be Me!

We were not just called to be disciples, we were also called to go make disciples!

A.W. Tozer – “Only a disciple can make a disciple.” (We can’t make what we are not!)

John Wesley – “The church changes the world, not by making converts, but by making disciples.”

C.S. Lewis – “If the church is not making disciples, then all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, and even the Bible itself, are a waste of time.”

Francis Chan – “We were told to go and make disciples, but we often just sit and make excuses.”

The word “Go” is a word of action and direction. It implies moving on from where you are, being willing to take on new adventures, and never settling for the status quo!

It’s important to note that the Great Commission is the only commission that Jesus ever gave in the Bible. After watching all that Jesus did for 3 years, and then hearing this command to “Go”, it’s no surprise that Jesus’ disciples took him seriously and literally. The early church apostles were so focused on making disciples, that they even moved to different areas and started traveling around, so they could tell more people. What’s surprising, is when we look at the church today and see so little disciple-making.

Ephesians 4:11-16

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. (ESV)

+Paul taught that the job of church leadership was to equip Christians to do ministry, not just to do all of the ministry themselves.

+When the whole church works, it grows, matures and becomes incredibly powerful!

+It is critical that you see your own personal responsibility to make disciples!!!

The reason the church has to work so hard to entertain people is that we haven’t worked hard enough to equip people!

Social Psychology – Teaches us an incredibly powerful principle regarding this all too predictable response. The 1964 tragic murder of a 28-year-old woman in Queens, New York, by the name of Kitty Genovese, rocked the nation. Beyond the fact that a single woman was attacked and repeatedly stabbed by her attacker is tragic enough, it it’s what didn’t happen around her that was the greatest tragedy of all. From her first cry for help, until her last breath, over 30 minutes passed and not one of the 38 people who heard or witnessed the repeated attacks intervened or called the police until she died!

This tragedy birthed research that birthed what is known today as the bystander effect. After repeated studies, psychologists found that if people witness a tragedy alone, they are quick to respond. On the other hand, a larger number of people present produces the opposite effect. The presence of others creates a diffusion of responsibility whereby people assume that others are either responsible or are taking action. In other words, everybody assumes that somebody else is acting, so nobody ends up acting!

Romans 10:13-15

13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” 14 How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (ESV)

You need to know today that God has placed the people in your life for a reason, and it is your assignment from heaven to do everything you can to reach them. If you are not obedient to preach the gospel to them or disciple them, it may cost them eternity!

The church we have got to stop assuming someone else is going to get our job done!

Charles Spurgeon – “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.”

Following Jesus means that you show others how to follow Jesus!

Disciples of Jesus go make other disciples!

Today, I want to close by discussing 3 biblical steps of how to Make Disciples:

Matthew 28:19-20

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)


James 5:20 (NIV) “Remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Knowing that there will be people on the outside of heaven if we don’t GO get them, should move our souls to the action!


Romans 6:3-5 “Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.”

Baptism is going public with the fact that people have sealed the deal with Jesus!

Jesus didn’t just ask us to share our faith with people, he asked us to close the deal!!!


1 Corinthians 11:1 (NKJV) “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

Disciples don’t just tell people how to follow Jesus, they show them how to follow Jesus!

The Great Commission is a challenge from Jesus to – Go Finish What I Started!

Matthew 24:14

14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (ESV)

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