"No Steeple, Just People"


What exactly is the "Great Commission"?
by Doug Perry, www.TheChurchOfLiberty.com

This term is applied to the final command of Jesus just before He ascended into heaven following His resurrection.  It is the command to not just go and evangelize, but to train and prepare and an assurance that when you do it HIS way, signs and wonders will follow.

Depending on which passage you use and which version of the Bible, it goes like this:

Matthew 28:18-20

    Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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."

Mark 16:15-18, 20

    He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."  Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

So ... is the "church" in America really doing it right?  If so, are signs and wonders like this following?  For the amount of time and money and people involved, we ought to be getting some really astounding miracles, right?  Seems to me this is a guarantee. 

IF Jesus wasn't kidding around, THEN He was just sure that if we did it HIS way there would be some surprising results.  In America we are "evangelizing" all the time, but who are we reaching and what are we preaching?  It would sure be a shame if we looked back and realized that we haven't really been doing it His way this whole time!  What a waste of time, energy, money, lives and more importantly, souls, that would turn out to be!  Seems like we ought to take every precaution to make sure we're on track.

I find that sometimes it's helpful to point out the reverse of an argument.  For example:  "IF dogs are man's best friend - and cats are not dogs, THEN cats are not man's best friend."  Or like this: "Jesus never lied, so IF Jesus said big things would happen when we went out in His name - and big things aren't happening, THEN maybe we're not going out in His name."

Hmmm.  Could that be?  Are we preaching another Jesus?  He said that if we loved Him and we were OF Him we would obey all His commandments - the last and greatest of which was the Great Commission.  It's not the "Get-Around-To-It-Eventually Commission" or the "Leftover-10%-of-Budget Commission" or the "Somebody-Else-Can-Do-It Commission".  It's the GREAT Commission and it applies to EVERY individual. There is no escape clause, there are no loopholes, there is no avoiding it and still claiming to be a Christ-like Christian if you ignore it and don't obey His command.

Maybe we're not doing it right. Should at least be worthy of some serious discussion, right? I mean, just if you want to please God and keep from being a Goat at the final judgement. 

Here are some things that Jesus NEVER said to do: 

  • Go into all the world and build big buildings.

  • Go into all the world and entertain the Christians.

  • Go into all the world and ask them for money.

  • Go divide up into factions and constantly argue with each other.

  • Go find people you can pay to go into all the world so you don't have to tell anyone yourself.

  • Go into all the world that's easy to get to and will let you in without too much hassle.

  • Go and elevate certain men above all the others and listen to them more than you listen to Me.

  • Go into all the world and set up really excellent child-care programs.

  • Go into all the world and see what you can learn from them about how to influence people.

  • Go into all the world and identify the target demographic segment that will grow your church the fastest and then just focus on them.

  • Go into all the world and find out what their gods have in common with your God and play to that.

  • Go get an education so you'll be thoroughly prepared by the theories and programs of Man before you go do what Jesus commanded.

  • Go into all the world and use sports leagues and antique car shows as a "low-impact" outreach tool.

  • Go into all the world and build relationships for years before you can figure out how to work into a conversation the hard truth about their sinfulness and need for repentance.

  • Go into all the world and preach the Tithe and that the people are stealing from God if they don't give you their 10%. (So you can spend it on things on this list.)

  • Go into all the world and make as much money as you can so that you can give it to the Pastor and then you'll be blessed for your faith.

  • Go into all the world and ignore all the poor people, recruit all the rich people, and then spend 95% of all the revenue on yourself and your own comforts.  Oh, and let people inside your organization steal 5%. (see Scary Stats page)

  • Go into all the world and learn to be just like them.

  • Go into all the world and put them under "Law" instead of "Grace".

If we're doing ANY of those and it's not what HE wants, we're in big trouble. You better be VERY, VERY sure you know what you're doing!  There's going to be a lot of blood on somebody's head if we're off track.

Maybe it's time we started doing it HIS way for a change.

 


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