October 31, 2011

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:18-20, “18And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.”  In these verses, the Lord Jesus reveals to each and every believer the very heart and purpose of God.  We call these verses, “The Great Commission.”  The Lord Jesus reveals to us the great heart of love and forgiveness that God has for every person and every nation on earth.  It is God’s will that none should perish, but that all people should be saved and brought into the Kingdom of God.

In verse 19, the Lord tells all believers to go in His authority “and make disciples of all the nations.”  This is God’s Great Commission to us: that we are now to represent the Lord and convince people to turn their hearts and lives to God.  We are not only to win people to Jesus, but we are to teach them truths from God’s Word that will transform their lives.  Our Great Commission from God is not to build crowds, but to make disciples.

Disciple according to Webster’s Dictionary is “one who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of another, also, a convinced adherent.”  To make disciples then is to help people change their lives and lifestyles not only to serve Jesus as their Lord, but also be involved in sharing His Gospel with others.  This is our Great Commission from the Lord, to establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of people, that they may establish God’s influence on the earth.

My question today is “Have we, this generation of believers, accepted the Great Commission as God’s Word to us?”  Do we accept the Lord’s words as commission, or order, from our Lord and King to go in His stead and make disciples; or, do we look at it as a suggestion that we can do in our spare time, if we feel like it?

In Matthew 9:37, 38 the Lord Jesus said, 37Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’”  We must become the laborers of this Harvest.  We cannot allow our generation to be the one that lets darkness, sin, and false religions silence the voice of God.  Nations and people are hanging in the balance and Jesus is calling out to us to go to them and make disciples.  I read an article that said within the next twenty years there will be enough Muslims in America to elect the president.  My question is “Will we, the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, have made enough disciples to stop them?”

When challenged in the past, the Church has risen to the challenge.  Believers have, in the past, chosen to sacrifice time, money, and pleasures to pray, witness, and turn back the evil powers of darkness.  Revival comes from the broken heart of believers accepting the Lord’s Great Commission and releasing His authority and grace to this generation.  This is our generation and our responsibility, so in the words of our Lord, let us also say, “…Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?”