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We are pleased to present the sermons of Dr. James Merritt, one of America’s great expository preachers. For more than 40 years, Dr. Merritt has preached God’s Word through the local church he pastors, as well as through Touching Lives weekly television broadcasts. 

Dr. Merritt’s messages are available here via digital download, along with outlines, note pages, PowerPoint slides and other resources, for a modest cost.

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Envision The Great Commission

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Scriptures: Mark 1:17, Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 19:10


The heart of a great church, a church of vision, is one that obeys Jesus and is filled with "fishers of men". In Scripture as Jesus leaves the earth to rejoin His Father in heaven, He gives His final and many say greatest command to His disciples. We often call these words "The Great Commission". It is an instruction to share the Gospel--the story of Jesus--with everyone we meet. Not to make "converts", but to make disciples--others who, once they surrender their lives to Christ, continue to follow Him, grow in Him and lead others toward Him.


In this message, Dr. Merritt asks a pointed a difficult question: If we actually believe that our friends, relatives, family and neighbors will truly be better off if they have a personal relationship with Christ, then what is our personal responsibility to share Christ with them? If the single most important thing to God is people, then the quest to help others know Who God is and how to have a relationship with Him is the most important thing that we as individuals--and as the church--can put ourselves toward.


"Most of us at some point in time have been to a hospital. We’ve visited someone or been there ourselves. A hospital is a place where people go to get well. Usually we stay a few days, and then we’re home. Now there’s another kind of place where people go when they are sick and it is called a 'hospice'. Most of you have been to a hospital, but I doubt if many of you have been to a hospice. If you don’t know what a hospice is, it is a place where people simply go to die. It is the one place where if you go into that place, alive, you know you are not coming out the same way. A hospice is not a pleasant place. There are rooms upon rooms and each contains the shriveling bodies of people who were dying and knew they were dying. It’s a quiet place, and a somber place. It’s a depressing place. If you go to visit someone in hospice, it’s often hard to be an encouragement. When I think of a hospice, I think 'That is exactly the way this world is spiritually.' The vast majority of this world is people who need God. They are spiritually dying and they need the eternal life that Jesus Christ can give." --Dr. Merritt


Keywords: envision, mission, vision, church, purpose, statement, love, serve, share, commandment, commission, Jesus, disciple, Christ-follower, neighbor, ministry, effectiveness, intention, Vacation Bible School, fisher, men, hospice, Dr. Thom Rainer, U1, U5, gospel, antagonistic, seek, neighbor, Bill Hybels


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