There are billions of people who are lost and without a shepherd. People need to hear about Jesus and find out who He is and what He has done for them. Is the Great Commission something that we live out in our lives!?
Go 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, teaching 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. Matthew 28:19-20
After Jesus was resurrected, He showed Himself to His disciples and gave them what we call the Great Commission. This was a restoration of what was lost in the garden when God created Adam and Eve.
therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. Genesis 3:23
God had driven Adam and Eve out of the garden due to their disobedience, and they were cursed with tilling the hard ground and working very hard to be able to survive life as orphans. However, when Jesus went to the Cross and won over the powers of darkness, He redeemed God’s broken relationship with humanity. He invited people to come to Him and told His disciples to follow Him, so they can become like Him and learn to be fishermen of men.
Upon Jesus’ resurrection and the the subsequent baptism of the Holy Spirit, His disciples had a job to do that He entrusted to them. Now, they were going out to bring the lost home. The door to the Kingdom of God had reopened, and those who were weary and burdened were invited to come home! His disciples belonged to Him, and they were going to be fruitful and multiply just as God hard originally ordained it in the beginning!
Jesus gave His disciples directives as to how to execute the Great Commission:
The disciples had to go out to a lost world. They were not supposed to remain and only associate with like-minded people. There is a world out there that needs to hear the Good News of what Jesus has done. How often do we interact with people with the desire to reach them for Christ!? Do we have people around us who are unbelievers that we have developed some form of a relationship with them!?
Jesus talked about discipling people, which means helping people to become disciplined followers of Christ. That takes time and effort. It is similar to parenting where the job isn’t done by putting a bottle in the baby’s mouth and thinking you’re done.
There were decades in this country where evangelism was seen as something people did in big stadiums and multitudes came to salvation. Praise God for those who heard the gospel and gave their lives to Jesus. The question is, how many of them were discipled!? It is hard for a new believer to know how to grow on their own. At the same time, it is hard to mentor and disciple a busy adult who is not very available and/or interested in being discipled. The truth is that if we are going to see success in ministry and maturity in the body of Christ, discipling others is non-negotiable.
Furthermore, when we share our faith with others, it is not enough to tell them that God loves them. It is also not enough to say that Jesus died on the cross. We need to tell them why He had to be crucified and why we so desperately need salvation.
One of the things that is very common these days among believers and unbelievers is to call someone a “good” person. What does that mean? Is that Biblical? Of course, there are some nice people who do good, generous, and kind things. But if we can be good on our own, then why did Jesus have to suffer on the cross and die for the sins of humanity?! Many people don’t see themselves as sinners in need of forgiveness. A a result, they don’t have an appreciation for the powerful spiritual transaction that took place on the cross.
Part of the discipleship is to teach people the word of God. Ultimately the Holy Spirit is the true teacher who convicts, reveals, and provides insight. But we also need men and women who patiently open the word of God and help others to eat it, digest it, and be nourished by it, so they can grow in God!
In addition to teaching the word of God, we need to help people see that true growth in God comes from obedience. We cannot grow in God unless we use the mustard seed of faith and exercise it with God’s grace.
God sent Jesus to the earth, and Jesus is sending us out with His authority. He also tells us that He will be with us to the end of the age. That’s empowering, encouraging, and comforting to know that we are not alone in doing this work. The Lord enables us and goes before us to prepare the way to reach the lost. Thank you Lord!