“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” Matthew 28:19-20
At a recent conference I was flabbergasted to hear that only 10% of Evangelicals can clearly and correctly verbalise the Great Commission. That’s frightening, the Great Commission is the essence of the mission of the church. Every believer should know that we’re called to “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” Matthew 28:19-20.
This isn’t an optional extra. The church must reach out and introduce people to Jesus; invite them to join the church, and involve them in acts of service in the church and in the world. On the personal level it means that every believer must be a soul winner, every believer must be in the disciple-making business, and every believer must be 100% committed to reaching the world with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But what is this gospel? What is the message of the church? It’s captured in John 3:7, “You must be born again.” This is the message of first principles. It’s the message of a new life and a fresh start.
We can never be casual or cavalier about this message. We must go to it. We must proclaim and promote it with passion. Millions are going to a lost eternity every day and their blood cries out to us. We must therefore reach out and snatch them from the brink of disaster. We must “go for it” in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must pray for a crop yielding “thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown” Mark 4:20. So let’s not stop at false finish lines. It starts in our neighbourhood and goes out from there. We must want our neighbours, our neighbour’s neighbours, and our neighbour’s neighbour’s neighbours hot-wired to God. For that’s what counts. That’s what brings heavenly recognition. That’s what gets the Sovereign’s approval. And that’s what brings a smile to the face of God.
Anything short of telling people that they must be “born again” is inadequate. It’s not enough for a church to have good services, good music and good preaching. The fundamental mission of the church is to call on boys and girls, on men and women, to be of another type, to be cleansed from sin, to have God’s kingdom created within, to have lives transformed. If we ever stop preaching and living out this message we’ve stopped being the church and may as well pack up and ship out!