Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Great Commission

Where is your conviction, America? Born-again Christians of the world, where is your happily returned life of service in appreciation of your salvation? For a change I am not talking about physical service, but lip service.

On any given Sunday in any Bible-believing church you may hear a sermon (I hope) about God's 'great commission' to us; that is, His call to His children to spread the Gospel to those who have not heard.

Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

We may understand from this that we are to spread the Gospel of Salvation all over the world, not just to those people we have immediate contact with or personal care for. God would literally have born again Christians to focus not on having been forgiven alone, but on spreading His Words of that which brings about forgiveness and salvation (the precious blood of Christ) to continually more people; literally to 'all kinds’, no matter what language or location. Consider what happened after He rose from the dead...

Mark 16:14-20 "Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen."

The word 'world' in the Greek refers everyone; even to elect Jews during the time of Christ. He did not intend that the Gospel be restricted to the Gentiles, but that it also flows freely to and through the Jewish community; this, as does His commission to the Gentiles, still stands today as His wishes for His chosen people. He never intended His death on the cross to alienate the Jews or to cause anti-Semitism: He meant them to receive the same love, strength and above all, eternal salvation from it.

Do you remember the passage about the Lord walking along the road to Emmaeus with the two witnesses? They had no clue that He was Christ yet He expounded to them all the things of Scripture concerning Him, beginning with Moses. (Luke 24:27) That same evening when He blessed them at dinner, He allowed their eyes to be open, and they knew Him; He then vanished. They immediately got back up and went back to Jerusalem (to the disciples), where God appeared to them again and spoke, allowing their eyes to be opened to the scriptures with understanding.

Luke 24:45-48 "Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.”

It is clear through the Bible that God would have us to tell. Nobody is exempt from this commission once they become a child of God, so I ask again: where is your conviction, America? How many wars and natural disasters do we have to be distracted by, playing the blame game, before we realize that He has set up the existence of the world; indeed, the exact pattern laid out over time? Does it even matter what any natural disaster really means based on whom it hits?

How many verses do you need to read about God knowing us from before birth (Jeremiah 1:4), knowing the hairs of our head (Luke 12:7), and knowing the time that we will die (Job 14:5) to realize that our free will lies within the natural boundaries God has placed in His timeline?

Can you really say that the processes of His Earth are removed from His overall plans for us? Get your heads out of the sand, people. Tornadoes hit the good and the bad. Rain falls on the righteous and the unrighteous; the constant is that it IS allowed by God's hand for any or even no particular reason. However you personally choose to interpret or ignore the natural happenings of God's creation, know this: His message for us to reach the world has not changed since the beginning of time, and will never change.

Don’t waste time bickering that God's judgment has fallen on this person and that for reasons x, y, and z; spend it fulfilling His commission. There are souls to be won and you, my friend, are accountable to God for each soul you make contact with whether you like it or not.

Get on your knees, Beg God until His conviction falls over you in such a mighty way that you cannot help but witness for Him. You may have lost the ability to physically serve God in some way, but there has never been a more accommodating time to serve Him by spreading the Gospel. We may spread it from our own living room if we have to, thanks to modern technology.

Grieve the loss of your conviction, America. Confess those sins and vices which hold you back, no matter how small, and then move forward, never looking back. Recognize and fulfill the Great Commission in your life in whatever way the Lord God allows you to.

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