Following the Great Commission
Published 12:00 pm Sunday, November 19, 2023
The Great Commission was given by Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV). “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The disciples were to baptize people because baptism unites a person with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live God’s way and identification with God’s covenant people. The church should have a strong evangelistic ministry.
Evangelism refers to the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs. The term is often used in reference to Christianity, where the scripture often describes “evangelism” as spreading the Gospel. Christians who specialize in evangelism are known as evangelists, whether they are in their home, communities or acting as missionaries in the field. Some Christian traditions consider evangelists to be in a leadership position. They may be found preaching to a large meeting or in government roles. Christian groups who actively encourage evangelism are sometimes known as evangelistic or evangelist. Before we go out, we need to be trained, dedicated and full of the Holy Spirit. Over the past years, God has blessed me to attend the General Missionary Baptist Convention State Congress of Christian Education, where I have been attending for several years, there is always something new to learn. Due to a recent illness, I was not able to attend this year. Being certified in Evangelism, helps to effectively evangelize to all types of people. The Bible say we are to go whether it is next door or to another country and make disciples. It is not an option, but a command to all who calls Jesus Lord. We all have received gifts that we can use to fulfill the Great Commission. As we obey, we have comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is always with us. How is Jesus with us? Jesus was with the disciples physically until he ascended into Heaven and with them spiritually through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4). The Holy Spirit would be Jesus’ presence that would never leave them (John 14:26). Jesus continues to be with us today through his Spirit. The gift of Evangelism is preaching the Gospel. It is motivation, training and equipping Christians to do the work of evangelism. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:11-12, and he gave some as evangelists for equipping of the saints for the service to the building up of the body of Christ. We come to church (the sanctuary) to praise, worship and hear the preaching and teaching the word of God. We suppose to leave the four walls and go out in the streets to serve. We need to realize while we are in our comfort zone, there are people who have never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. Whether they are homeless or with homes, whether they are sick or well, rich or poor, educated or illiterate, if they do not know Jesus, they are walking in darkness and need a Savior. They need to hear the good news that Jesus saves and forgives and gives a new life in Him. We need to let those that are lost know that Jesus is the Son of God (John 17:1) and he lived a sinless life (Hebrew 4:15). They need to know that Jesus came to die for mankind on an old rugged cross. He suffered a brutal death, but he chose to do it all for us. (Romans 5:6-8) He was mocked and scorned by those who did not know or believe in Him. He died on the cross, then buried in a borrowed tomb. He stayed in the grave three days. He rose from the dead with all power in his hands. (John 10:15-18) (Romans 10:9) We need to tell them that Jesus is alive and well today, sitting at the right hand of the Father (Acts 7:55). Finally, we need to tell them that Jesus is coming back on the clouds in the same manner he left.
We as God’s ambassadors need to represent Him in these last and evil days. We need to have a heart for witnessing, give testimony clearly, and present the gospel regularly with increasing skill to teaching, observe all things and most of all live by example. Knowing all of this, we cannot go wrong in following and fulfilling the Great Commission. We have so much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!
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Prayer: “Dear Father, we pray for your divine strength and Spirit to be in us so that we might do your work and go to the places you direct us to help those who are lost and need a Savior. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!”