Return to the simplicity that is in Christ Jesus.
"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.
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He gave us; (His disciples, assuming you are one), this Great Commission clearly demonstrating an outstanding example of how to go about doing it. Else there would be no need to say “all things I have commanded you”. This implies that Jesus clearly demonstrated, taught His disciples a “life style” and wanted the disciples to make disciples and teach them the same things.
This is how it would look. First generation disciples make new disciples for Christ and teach them to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in turn make new disciples and teach them to make disciples and live Christ like, who make new disciples and teach them to make disciples and live Christ like…Get the picture. The whole earth should thus be invaded with disciples of Christ reaching out to the poor, destitute and lost, winning souls for Christ and making disciples out of them, teaching them to do likewise.
This task, Jesus said will bring about persecution and suffering. It will take courage, boldness and unwavering faith. When persecution comes, the disciple doesn't pray for "wisdom" like most believers do today, but they pray for "boldness" like in the book of Acts. It will take disciples who are dead to self and one with the Lord. A disciple who spends intimate time with the Lord. A disciple who is not at all attracted to what the world considers success. Large congregations, fame, many invitations to conferences, celebrity status on media networks, well sought after by like minded leaders, a busy travel schedule might all be evidence of success in the world's eyes. Such people are considered very influential or even dare I say a so called “man of God”. That's how the world sees success. But the disciple of Christ may not necessarily be well known or preaching to large congregations. All a disciple can see is a dying lost world, suffering in poverty and pain and his/her heart breaks because the disciple knows Jesus' love for them. A disciple is willing to endure persecution, suffering and even death just so some might get to experience the love of Christ. Because the true disciple knows he/she is nothing without Christ. The true disciple has understood the meaning of Luke 14: 26, 27 & 33.
Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
Here in the above verse, we see Paul categorically stating he imitated Christ. Do you have the confidence to say thus? Paul said it because he was assured he was dead to himself and alive to Christ. “Its no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. Gal 2:20
To truly fulfil the Great Commission, the following needs to be done.
1> Reach & Win – Mark 1:38, Mark 16:15 (Preach the gospel…The gospel of Christ (the good news of salvation through the finished work on the cross) is the power of God unto salvation. (Rom 1:16)
2> Equip & Build – Matthew 28:19, Eph 4:12 (Make disciples, teaching them….)
3> Send & Plant – Acts 14:21-23 (to do all that I have commanded you)
"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
How come most professing Christians don’t even appear to be bothered or hurt when considering the millions that are dying without Christ every day, every hour, every minute. How is it possible for people to walk out of a church service and immediately switch on secular FM music in their cars and drive away? How is it possible for someone to experience the forgiveness and liberating power of our Lord and then be so caught up with Bless me Lord, Prosper me Lord, Heal me Lord, Keep me happy Lord, whilst thousands around them suffer in poverty, pain and rejection? At best they see a poor drunk on the street and comment "Oh! how sad"...or "You know, its their choice...they choose to live like that"...and even those thoughts only last for a minute. See John 15:12 again. Is this how Christ loved us? Could it be that the church is to blame? Could it be that the church has lost its purpose and is caught up with filling up seats and increasing in size, running well organized programs and seminars designed to maintain people's interest in the church Most church leaders equate church size to church growth. God equates number of disciples to church growth. Sadly most professing Christians are yet to become a true disciple of Christ…(as per Luke 14:26,27 & 33) because if they truly understood their unworthiness before God, the value and the preciousness of what Jesus has done for them, then they would realize He is truly that pearl for which the farmer sold all he had, to buy that pearl..They will by their new nature, be compelled to share the gospel with the lost, by their new nature they can’t help but hurt for the lost. A believer attending church doesn't bring about church growth. Only a disciple reproduces and brings about church growth.
Evangelism through disciple making :
Do you see how the early church disciples, though very few in number full of the Holy Spirit and armed with the gospel of grace through Jesus Christ turned the world upside down? Most part of the early church world knew or had heard about "The Way". But today’s churches with so much more technology, media coverage, books by experts, cleverly planned strategies for church growth and fiery preaching are far from even being considered a threat. Amidst all of this however, are the true disciples of Christ purely motivated by love, who are not in the limelight, not interested in what the world calls success and are “nobody’s” in the circle of the more famous preachers, but are seeing multitudes of lost coming to know the love of Christ, their ministries accompanying many miracles, signs and wonders with many churches being planted on a weekly basis. There are those disciples who willingly endure persecution, beatings, insults, even death just to preach the gospel. That’s how the church grows and grows strong with mature disciples of Christ, every member doing its part which causes the body to grow. How is it that these “nobody’s” without much money or media coverage are able to do so much more than so called mega churches? There is absolutely nothing wrong with mega churches, but being a mega church simply means it has so much more opportunity to do what really matters to God. Send out disciples to go and make disciples…..from your own flock which God gave you to care for. If you cant find one single disciple whom you can send out from your flock and plant a church, that tells you something doesn’t it?
" For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.
Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Most books in a Christian book shops today is about filling man’s emptiness in life. Jesus always had food to eat “spiritually” because His food was to do the will of the Father.
You take your stand beside Jesus Christ and His cause and you watch the devil come after you buffeting you from all sides. That’s the persecution and trials Jesus warned His disciples about.
In most part of the developed nations, people are bombarded with the gospel through book stores, DVDs, TV, Radio and personal evangelism more than 5 times a day, when poor multitudes of people in countries like India, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and several others don’t get to hear the gospel preached to them for several years. Why is there no sense of urgency in the western churches?
I urge the church to wake up, get back to your first love. Lift Jesus up and He will draw all men unto Himself. Teach Christ, Teach what the Lord has done for us, teach Jesus. You can spend your life time as a preacher teaching Jesus and still will not be able to adequately explain Him and His love for mankind. Get the lost to see the “preciousness” of Jesus. Teach the lost to release their hold on self esteem, self effort and faith in the flesh. Teach them to rely on Christ and Christ alone,…on the finished work of Christ on the cross. Keep doing this and you’ll make disciples for Christ who will be more than eager to go out into the world with the true gospel.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.
I was radically transformed by the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ back in 1997 in a most unusual way and unusual place. Read my testimony here. Over the years of my walk with God, I have come to realize a few basic truths that have altered my life.
True freedom is freedom from self-centeredness. Dying to yourself, your wants, your desires and to what gives you pleasure for the sake of others is more liberating than you think.