Pastor James J. Barker

Text: MATTHEW 28:1-20


  1. One of the great tragedies today is that so few churches are preaching the Gospel.  Oftentimes they will substitute worldly traditions and philosophies in the place of the Gospel.
  2. Some times they will water down the Gospel to the point where a clear Gospel message is not being proclaimed nor is it being understood.

The Gospel is a fact; therefore tell it simply.
The Gospel is a joyful fact; therefore tell it cheerfully.
The Gospel is an entrusted fact; therefore tell it faithfully.
The Gospel is a fact of infinite moment; therefore tell it earnestly.
The Gospel is a fact of infinite love; therefore tell it feelingly.
The Gospel is a fact about a Person; therefore preach CHRIST!
Archibald Brown

  1. Let me stop for a minute and define the Gospel (I Corinthians 15:1-4).
  2. First Corinthians chapter 15 is often referred to as “the Resurrection chapter.”  It certainly is a good chapter for Resurrection Sunday (cf. 15:14, 17).
  3. Let me emphasize this Easter Sunday morning that though the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ has often been denied, it has never been disproved!
  4. And although Easter Sunday is the day we commemorate the resurrection of Christ, every Sunday is really “Resurrection Sunday.”
  5. And we should preach the Gospel every Sunday.
  6. The word “gospel” is found over 100 times in the NT.  The original Greek word translated “gospel” has been carried over into the English language as “evangelize” or “evangelistic, evangelism,” etc.
  7. Our English word “gospel” literally means “good spell.”  The word spell is an old Anglo-Saxon word for “tidings” or “news.”   Therefore, the Gospel means “good news.”
  8. For my Easter message today, I want to emphasize the power of the Gospel.




  1. The angel of the Lord said to the women, “Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.  He is not here: for He is risen, as He said.  Come, see the place where the Lord lay” (Matt. 28:5, 6).
  2. This is the fulfillment of the Gospel.  The Gospel was preached by the prophet Isaiah 700 years before the birth of Christ (cf. Isa. 61:1, 2; 53:1-12).
  3. When we get to the NT, we see the Lord Jesus Christ applied these passages to Himself (Luke 4:14-19; Matthew 8:17).
  4. Notice that our Lord said in Luke 4:21, “This day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears.”
  5. And yet the apostles did not really understand the Gospel until much later on (cf. Matthew 16:21-23; 17:22, 23; 20:17-19).
  6. And now that our Lord was crucified, and was raised from the dead, His disciples were still very perplexed (cf. Luke 24:13-27).
  7. We often marvel at the unbelief of sinners, but the Bible warns us that Christians are often guilty of the sin of unbelief (cf. Luke 24:9-11).
  8. Hebrews 3:12 refers to “an evil heart of unbelief.”  (And that warning is for believers, not unbelievers.)
  9. “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
  10. In Mark 16:14, we read that the risen Lord appeared to the eleven apostles as they ate their meal, and “upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”
  11. Unbelief is the worst sin of all, and it is a sin often committed by Christians.  I believe it is “the sin which doth so easily beset us,” referred to in Hebrews 12:1.
  12. Our Lord said when the Holy Spirit would come, “he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me” (John 16:8, 9).
  13. Unbelief is the worst sin of all.  John 3:18 says, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
  14. Beloved, the power of the Gospel ought to transform us (cf. Col. 3:1-10).  Note how this passage begins, “If (Since) ye then be risen with Christ…” (3:1).
  15. The Bible says we have been risen with Christ, therefore we now move in a new sphere.  We now see things from an eternal perspective, not a worldly perspective (Col. 3:1-10).
  16. This brings us to my second point.



  1. Over 100 years ago, D.L. Moody said, “I do not think there is a word in the English language so little understood as the word gospel. We hear it every day. We have heard it from our earliest childhood. Yet there are many people-and even many Christians-who do not really know what it means.”
  2. That was true back in DL Moody’s day.  It is true today.  And it has always been that way.
  3. I think the main reason the Gospel is often misunderstood is because Satan blinds peoples’ minds (cf. II Cor. 4:3-6).
  4. I went online to and typed in the word “Gospel.”  There were over 78 million websites. had 234 million - Gospel music, Roman Catholic gospel, Mormon gospel, etc. - but there was precious little true Gospel.
  5. For example, this is what I found on the Mormon website: “The Prophet Joseph Smith said, ‘The first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost’ (Articles of Faith 1:4).”
  6. According to Scripture, there is only one condition: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).
  7. We see in Matthew 28:7 that the angel told the women at the empty tomb, “And go quickly, and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead…” (28:7).
  8. The women obeyed and “they departed quickly…” (28:8).
  9. On their way they met the risen Saviour and the Bible says they “worshipped Him.” (28:9; cf. vs. 17).
  10. The JW’s and the other religious cults will not worship Jesus but these women did.  If Jesus was anything less than the sinless Son of God, He would have stopped them, but of course He did not stop them because He is the sinless Son of God.
  11. When Thomas saw the risen Saviour, he called Him, “My Lord and my God” (John 20:28).  If Jesus was not Lord and God He should have corrected Thomas, but of course He did not correct Thomas because Thomas was right.
  12. Jesus is Lord and God.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1).
  13. “But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom” (Heb. 1:8). 
  14. Any so-called “gospel” that does not affirm the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ is a false gospel (cf. Gal. 1:6-9).
  15. Going back to our text in Matthew 28 we see that the Gospel was not understood by the chief priests (28:11).  In fact, the chief priests rejected the Gospel just as many religious people do today (Matt. 28:11-15).



  1. Beloved, Jesus said, “Go” (28:19), so we ought to go.
  2. Let’s put the GO back into the GOSPEL!
  3. We have here the Great Commission.  One preacher (W. Graham Scroggie) put it this way:
  • How comprehensive it is - “all nations” (28:19)
  • How commanding - “all power” (28:18)
  • How exacting - “all things” (28:20)
  • How satisfying - “always” (28:20)
  1. For most Christians the Great Commission has become “the great omission.”   Most Christians today are not involved in soulwinning.  Most churches do not even have a soulwinning program or visitation program.
  2. This is our Lord’s last command before He ascended into heaven (28:18-20). The Great Commission is in all four Gospels as well as the Book of Acts (Matt. 28:18-20; Mark 16:15, 16; Luke 24:46-49; John 20:19-21; Acts 1:8).
  3. Our Lord has commanded every Christian to go out and win souls.  Every Christian is equally responsible for taking the Gospel to every creature.
  4. I should stress that our Lord never sends us out without equipping us (cf. “power” - 28:18… “Go ye therefore” (28:19).
  5. “Endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8).
  6. If you are not going after lost souls you are disobedient, because Jesus said, “Go” and you are saying, “No.”   Don’t say “no” to Jesus.
  7. Obey Jesus and He will go with you.  He said, “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28:20).
  8. Unsaved friend, you need to stop saying “no” to Jesus too.  He will save you today if you come to Him.



  1. I heard a story about a chaplain who was making the rounds in a hospital, and was talking to a young soldier who was badly wounded in battle.
  2. “You have lost an arm for a noble cause,” said the chaplain.
  3. “No,” said the young soldier, “I did not lose it - I gave it.”
  4. And so it is with Jesus (John 10:15, 17, 18).

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