LET US BE OPEN TO REVISIT TRUTH.
I guess I am showing my age when I mention a Minister and Radio Evangelist called Theodore Epp, who founded a radio program in 1939 which continued until his death in 1985, it was entitled BACK TO THE BIBLE. He was a voice calling his generation to go back to the Bible, sadly we need Theodore Epp’s in every generation to call the Church Back to the Bible.
We are living in a generation of Biblical ignorance, and “believers” are gullibly believing everything they hear from many “colourful” preachers, there are also many believers that need to revisit certain truths in the Word of God, and see what the Holy Spirit is saying TODAY. The reality is TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE, and numerous truths(for example) that were propounded hundreds of years ago, need to be looked at afresh, in the light of our greater understanding and revelation that has been received since that day. The Apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:12) encourages us to be established in PRESENT TRUTH (what God is saying by His Spirit TODAY).I wrote recently about the doctrine of cessationism, that was promoted for hundreds of years, if the Gifts of the Spirit ceased at the death of the last Apostle, how do we deal with the half a billion believers (the largest block in the Church today) who believe and experience spiritual gifts today. The Holy Spirit has progressively opened up the Word of God (since the days of the Reformers) and we see those gifts are still in the Church today.
We need to revisit other old established truths and see if we are truly embracing them and fulfilling them TODAY. I want in this blog to talk about the Great Commission as found in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8. Jesus said:
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 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 even until the end of the age.
But you shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Firstly, Jesus has delegated His divine authority to us, to share the good news, and also equipped us with the power of the Holy Spirit to get the job done.
What is that message? that all men (and women) need to REPENT and in obedience are baptized and become disciples of Jesus, and embrace the teachings of the Word of God.
Sadly, much of the above is more the great omission, often there is no mention of the need to repent, just “try Jesus”!!!! Discipleship is not simply a 4-6 week class it needs to become a lifestyle experience, (which must include a one on one component) so the discipleship moves to mentoring, and the disciple becomes a disciplemaker.
The Commission includes going to the nations, the Greek word for nations is Ethnos) where we get the English word ethnic. Australia for example is one of the most multicultural nations in the world, and has literally hundreds of ethnic groups, that need to be specifically reached with the gospel. Then, what of the second generation form these groups, the children are bicultural, and straddle both their parents ethnic culture and the new culture of the nation they have been born into, they also need specific ministry to reach them.
Then there are unique sub culture groups within our nation such as for example surfers, bikers, etc, they almost have their own language and culture, they need to be specifically reached.
The Great Commission in Matthew 28 clearly assumes the need of local churches that need to be planted to minister to these people. In the light of the above:
IN THE LIGHT OF THE ABOVE ARE WE TRULY FULFILLING THE GREAT COMMISSION?
I wrote in FB this morning about the privilege I have of partnering in prayer with numerous past students and friends who are planting churches to fulfil the Great Commission in Mumbai India, In Kiev, Ukraine, In Alberta Canada, in California, in Florida USA, in Bali Indonesia, in Buenos Aries Argentina, and So Paulo Brazil, may hundreds of new churches be raised up to help fulfil the great Commission.
Acts 1:8 tells us that we cannot effectively fulfil the Great Commission without the empowering of the Holy Spirit, today it is often promoted as a “feel good” experience, of just for personal empowering to live a holy life but it is so much more than that, If Jesus is to be the Lord of this earth, then we must re-commit ourselves to letting Him build His church through us.
I need to conclude this blog on a sombre note, In Matthew 28:20 Jesus guarantees His presence if we obey the great commission, is His presence guaranteed if we do not fulfil the great Commission?