And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 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 NASB)
In these verses, all authority directly passed from God Himself to His Son. With this authority, the Son commands his followers to make disciples of all nations. The method for accomplishing this, the follow up necessary to complete the task, and the promise of His continuing presence are also given by our resurrected Lord.
Break it down! What is God's part in this undertaking?
As the Scriptures tell us, salvation comes by grace through faith, made possible by the atoning blood of Jesus. God, speaking through Jesus, both commands and promises. He commands us to go with the message of salvation to the lost everywhere and promises that He will be with us throughout the effort as long there is time.
What is our responsibility?
We are to go, to invite, to assist, to baptize and to mature disciples. That is not difficult to understand is it? The difficulty is our direct response! For some reason, we find it relatively easy to give assent and lip service to the Lord's final earthly command, but very hard to actually perform our responsibility.
The world is full of men and women who are not just "going to be lost" at the final judgment; they are lost now! The child of God has the only knowledge which can give hope to each lost soul.
What do we think our Father feels when we refuse to share that saving grace?
All around us souls are perishing and we have the answer. We may feel unqualified to carry on an in-depth study, and perhaps many of us are, but anyone can invite a friend or neighbor to church. Dr. Tom Rainer, in his recent book The Unchurched Next Door, asserts that in an extensive survey across a broad spectrum of the unchurched, eighty-two percent responded that they were "somewhat likely" to attend church if they were invited. There goes our excuse about them being disinterested.
Are we a Christian?
Do we know someone who is not?
What are we going to do about it?
"Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations ..." and we can begin with our unchurched neighbor next door.
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