Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Here's an interesting point to remember regarding the Great Commission & our evangelism:

Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."

Matthew 28:18-20 18 καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων· ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς. 19 πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος, 20 διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ᾽ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος.

Last week I heard a sermon from Kevin DeYoung on the Mission of the Church & he argued that the mission of the Church is the great commission. That should be our foremost focus. I agree with him in this regard. But he made a passing statement that caught my ear & I think it is worthy of mention.

The importance of this commission given by Jesus to His followers cannot be overestimated. He calls His followers to go into all the world and make disciples (μαθητεύσατε). Isn’t it interesting that Jesus used that word for the mission of His followers? Speaking to this, Kevin DeYoung note that “Jesus said ‘Go and make disciples!’ He did not say ‘Go and get decisions!’” I think there is something to this.

Often Christianity in today’s culture seeks to get decisions for Christ and count the number of people that at a camp, a service, a retreat, or a public rally make a “decision” for Jesus Christ. And yes, becoming a Christian does—and it must!—include an intellectual knowledge of Christ and His work on the cross and a determined effort to follow Him as Lord and Savior. But at the same time, a “decision” for Christ does not make someone saved. A one-time choice does not validate someone’s conversion. Search the Bible. Search the New Testament. You won’t find it.

What is it, then, that shows or validates whether someone is truly saved? If someone is walking in holiness, obeying Jesus Christ, and bearing Godly fruit, then his election is sure (cf. 2 Pet 1; 1 Thess 1:4). And this is precisely what our Lord states in the Great Commission. Go and make disciples. And this mission to make disciples involves teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. A true disciple is one who obeys Jesus Christ. A true follower of Jesus Christ is one who determines to follow Christ and it is one who is evidencing the sovereign regeneration in his heart by walking in purity, holiness, godliness, and the enjoyment of God.

Would it be that in our church ministries and as you evangelize with others that we would be less concerned with “decisions” and much more concerned with ongoing, life-on-life, honest discipleship where the sinner who repents of sin and believes in Christ then grows in Christ, matures in Christ, and increases in sanctification thus being conformed more and more to the image of Jesus Christ.

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