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The Great Commission - Matthew 28:18-20
By Ben Stratton
Farmington, Kentucky
I. The Great Commission Is Made Up of Three Parts
     A. "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations"
     1. Teach = Greek: matheteuo = Make disciples of.
     2. By preaching the gospel and seeing people saved, we make disciples of Jesus Christ.
     3. All Baptist churches practice this part of the Great Commission.
      * How many gospel sermons are preached in a year in the average Baptist church?
      * While it needs to be done better and more Biblical, we believe in making disciples.

     B. "baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Hofy Ghost"
     1. Once someone is saved, they need to be scripturally baptized.
     2. All Baptist churches practice this part of the Great Commission.
      * Do you know of a Baptist church that refuses to baptize converts?
      * While it also needs to be done more Biblical, we believe in baptizing the saved.

      C. "teaching them to observe all things - whatsoever I have commanded you"
      1. The saved need to be taught to believe the great doctrines of the faith and to observe the commands of Jesus in the New Testament
      2. This is the most neglected aspect of the Great Commission.
      * Very little teaching takes places in our Baptist churches or pulpits.

II. Southern / Missionary Baptist Churches in Kentucky Used to be Very Conservative.
     A. In 1909 the Logan County Baptist Association passed a resolution protesting the appointment of Bro. John Moncure as a foreign missionary to China under the Southern Baptist Convention's foreign missionary board. The reason was in his ordination service in Louisville, Moncure said he was in favor of receiving alien immersion.

     B. In 1948 the General Secretary of the General Association of Baptists in Kentucky (now Kentucky Baptist Convention) was asked how many Southern Baptist churches in the state received alien immersion and practiced open communion. His answer was "Not more than 6." Western Recorder, August 12,1948, page 5, 13. At that time the General Secretary of Kentucky Baptists was W.C. Boone. His father A.U. Boone was born in Todd County and pastored the Elkton Baptist Church.

III. The Old Baptists Emphasized Both Evangelism and Doctrine
     A. Clarence Walker - Published The Trail of Blood and wrote the introduction to the book.
     1. Walker pastored the Ashland Aveune Baptist Church in Lexington, KY for 50 years.
     2. "Last Sunday we baptized seven at Ashland Avenue, Lexington. One of the joys of our pastorate at Ashland Avenue is that very few Sundays pass but that someone is baptized." Western Recorder, August 14, 1930.

     B. Joe T. Odle - Authored The Church Member's Handbook.
     1. Odle wrote this book while pastoring the East Baptist Church in Paducah.
     2. "Joe T. Odle began his second year as pastor of the East Baptist Church, Paducah, July 9 (1933). During the first year of his pastorate there were about 140 additions to the church, eighty-nine of whom came by baptism." Western Recorder, July 20, 1933, page 11.

IV. The Mess Baptist Churches Are In Today.
     A. A 2012 Life Way Survey found that 61% of Southern Baptist churches practice open communion.

     B. Ecumenicalism, alien immersion, liberalism, and worldliness abound in our churches today.

V. What Can Our Churches Do?
     A. Preach / Teach doctrine to the people.
     1. "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine." 2 Timothy 4:2
     2. Pastors must regularly and earnestly preach and teach doctrine to their congregation.
     3. "Don't be afraid to give your people sound, square, Baptist doctrine. They need it and even if they don't like it, the best thing for them is plenty of it. They will learn to love the taste of it by and by, and cry for it." J.N. Hall, founder of the West Kentucky Baptist Association.

     B. Have Doctrinal Bible Conferences
     1. "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints" Jude 1:3
     2. In the first half of the 20th century it was common for Baptist churches in Kentucky to have an annual Bible Institute with various men preaching on assigned doctrinal subjects.
     * In 1923 the First Baptist Church of Murray, KY held one such Bible Institute with 40 preachers in 6 days. Some of the messages preached include:
     * "Nature of the New Birth" - G.E. Kennedy
     * "The Churches of the New Testament" - George W. McDaniel
     * "A Practical Demonstration of Grace" - George Ragland
     * "Why and How I Came to be a Baptist" - J.F. Plainfield
     * "Church Union" - W.E. Hunter

     C. Distribute sound Baptist books and literature.
     1. "The cloak that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments." 2 Timothy 4:13.
     2. Sadly very little sound literature is available at the average Christian bookstore.
     * Compare this to 1900 when the SBC's Sunday School Board published "Baptist Why and Why Not" by J.M. Frost. - Available online at
     * We must provide materials on Bible doctrine and Baptist distinctives to our church members.
     * Let every Baptist read Joe T. Odle's Church Member's Handbook, J.M. Carroll's Trail of Blood, H. Boyce Taylors' Why Be a Baptist, C.D. Cole's Definitions of Doctrine, and Roy Mason's The Church That Jesus Built.

     D. Raise up sound church members in every Baptist church.
     1. "And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." 2 Timothy 2:2
     2. We must make sure the people in our churches are grounded in the doctrines of the faith.
     * The average tenure of a Southern Baptist pastor is about four years.
     * What will happen to your church after your conservative pastors resigns?
     * Will you stand strong in your church for the faith that was once delivered to the saints?
     * Will you help to teach sound doctrine to others in your church?


[Document provided by the author.]

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