“Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 NLT
This is called "The Great Commission!" The task of the church is to carry the gospel of Jesus to all the world. The early church took this most seriously. In fact, they sent out missionaries to preach the gospel in every city they possibly could. The book of ACTS in the Bible is the historical documentary of these events. Their goal was to reach the entire world with the good news of Jesus Christ. No expense was spared in fulfilling this directive, including their lives. The early disciples knew Jesus and understood who He was. This motivated them to carry His message of salvation to anyone and everyone. NOTHING was more important to them! I love the way Paul says it in Acts 20:24:
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.”
We are recipients of this great call! We have been handed a torch to carry in this world. The darkness must be expelled by the light of Jesus Christ. He is the hope of the world! Without Him there is no future. The inhabitants of this world are rushing to destruction by the billions. We MUST understand our objective as the church. We are called to preach and teach the truth of the gospel to all who will listen. The world, as we know it, is perishing. The people in this world are dying! We must "rescue the perishing, care for the dying". Listen to the lyric of a well known hymn by Frances J. Crosby from the year 1869:
"Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;
Weep o’er the erring one, lift up the fallen,
Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.
Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,
Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.
Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,
Waiting the penitent child to receive;
Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently;
He will forgive if they only believe.
Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;
Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.
Rescue the perishing, duty demands it;
Strength for thy labor the Lord will provide;
Back to the narrow way patiently win them;
Tell the poor wand’rer a Savior has died."
Does your heart pound with passion to share the gospel with those around you? Are you aware of the reality that you are a part of something much more grand than yourself? As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ we have a responsibility to share the gospel with others. If only we fully understood the critical nature of this very truth. Lives are on the line and eternity is at stake. We cannot afford to get caught up in the selfish and mundane living that is so alluring in the American culture. Souls are headed to destruction! If you knew someone that was going to die today, would you share the gospel with them and would you be able to lead them to salvation? Every believer must take this seriously. Our short lives will soon be over in this world and we must make them count for something greater than ourselves. We must live for the One who created us and we must fulfill His purpose in our lives. We have a mandate:
“And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.”
Matthew 24:14 NLT
Anyone with any common sense can see that the world is groaning and aching for hope. Jesus is that hope!!! There is no other alternative!!
This hope cost the early church everything! What about you? Are you truly saved and plugged into a Bible believing, preaching church? Are you actively pursuing the proclamation of the gospel to those around you? We must get our house in order and get busy with the Father's business.
We need not fear for Jesus is with us. All power is in His name! Let's run TO the darkness not FROM it.
“But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.”
1 John 4:4 NLT
Until the whole world hears!!
Curtis R. Norris
Rev. Curtis Norris