The Call To Discipleship
Matthew 28:18-20. “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
The call to make disciples, like the great commission, is a command not a suggestion. We have the greatest privilege in the world to go forth and demonstrate the Lord Jesus Christ in love and in power and to reproduce others to do the same. Just think, we can give the person and power of the Holy Spirit to anyone, any place, and at anytime and we don’t need anyone’s permission because our Father has given us pre-permission to do so. That’s what authority is. We have the greatest message in the world concerning dominion, the new creation, the New Testament and it’s all by God’s grace. Jesus paid it all and he freely gave it to us. All we have to do is to show up and open our mouths and extend our hands. All we have to do is to let our light to shine forth in a world of darkness.
Luke 9:23-26. “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life will lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same will save it. For what is a man advantaged if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or be cast away? For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.” Usually, when we hear scriptures like this we cry “legalism” yet these are the words of the Master himself. The problem is we have not denied self. We have not yet experienced the freedom of being dead to self and alive to God. We can get as many people saved, healed, delivered, and disciple as many as we want , but we don’t do it because we have not denied self. My observation of the church today is we are too busy with ourselves and “stuff”, that we’ve missed the greatest opportunity given to mankind and that is to show forth His glory on this earth. We make time for what we want to make time for. We do what we want concerning what is important to us. I’d have to say with the multitude of excuses heard as to why we can’t do what we are commanded and commissioned to do that the majority of the church is lost. Lost in themselves and their own little world of us four and no more.
Philippians 1:20-21. “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” The apostle Paul was the most contented man on the face of the earth apart from the Lord Jesus Christ. He gave it all up for the sake of the gospel. He gave it all up to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Today people sing and shout and pray and do everything but what is needed to see God’s love and power manifested through their life. They do everything but what is necessary to experience Him in the fullness of His life. We are to live Jesus Christ every second of every day and to die to self which is gain. If we want His life then we must lose ours. I am not saying and God is not saying that we cannot vacation and enjoy our families or do things of recreation or enjoyment. But when we enjoy those things more than living Christ and dying to self, when those things bring us more pleasure than winning souls, healing the sick and making disciples and preaching the gospel then something is seriously wrong.
The Lord did not save us to go to heaven or not to go to hell. He certainly didn’t save us to be nice quiet church people that just mind their own business and not rock the boat. He saved us to be lights shining in a world of darkness, to turn this world upside down, to GO and make disciples of all nations. And He said He would be with us as we Go and do this even unto the end of the age.
In Him, Pastor Joe