IS MAKING DISCIPLES BECOMING THE GREAT OMISSION,INSTEAD OF THE GREAT COMMISSION?
One of the early Church Fathers made a statement something like this, “the Bible never grows old but every time we read and meditate in it, the Holy Spirit shows us something new”. I have been overwhelmed at the many truths the Holy Spirit has made real to me in these last couple of years, (interestingly during much of my physical pain I have experienced).
I cannot help but ask “Why I am just seeing this?” (or seeing it more clearly) as I have been born again for almost for 72 years.
My readers know that the burden of my heart is what I call BIBLICAL DISCIPLESHIP, That we fulfil the great command of Jesus found in Matt. 28:28-20 NKJV 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 always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
We are to MAKE DISCIPLES. The definition of this has been interpreted in a 100 different ways, many methods produced none or little real fruit. I am sure my personal burden for this is because I personally was not discipled (in any way) so for many years of my Christian life the level of personal spiritual victory was not as I believe it should have been, even though I was firstly part of a “Holiness Movement” that strongly taught on living a holy life, then for many years in the “Pentecostal Movement” which emphasises the person and work of the Holy Spirit.
The writer of the Book of Hebrews speaks of “GOD’S SO GREAT SALVATION”, which I have come to see is perfect plan in every way and covers every part of a Believer’s life, (Body. Mind, Soul & spirit)._
Spiritual understanding of course takes time, but so many Believers have never seen what is their inheritance in Christ,(found in this “so great Salvation” both NOW AND FOR ALL ETERNITY.
My heart aches for so many Believers who do not know this awesome truth, and I cannot help but feel regrets that I have taken so long to see more fully these glorious truths
Sadly, most “Discipleship programs” are just for a few weeks and are totally in a class situation, I am convinced that BIBLICAL DISCIPLESHIP (in one sense is for life) BUT SHOULD PRACTICALLY BE AS LONG AS IT IS NECESSARY FOR THESE ESSENTIAL TRUTHS TO BECOME LIFE CHANGING.
I am not against a class situation, but Discipleship must involve a “one on one component” and therefore it becomes relational, and the Disciplemaker can ask the hard questions, and give the answers that are needed (from the Word of God) that will assist the New Believer. So much of our lifestyle and thought processes pre-conversion are so contrary to what the Bible teaches.
I believe Biblical Discipleship should begin as soon as possible after a person is converted, experience teaches that if it is left for a time, there is little or no desire on the part of the New Believer to be discipled. The Billy Graham organisation recommends it start within 48 hours of conversion. The Disciplemaker should be of the same sex as the new Believer.
Biblical Discipleship includes so many IMPORTANT, ESSENTIAL, FOUNDATION TRUTHS, here are 10 areas that I consider essential, but would not limit this list in any way.
1.Developing a Daily Quiet Time. covering all the essential daily ingredients.
2.The importance, place, and power of the Word of God for the New Believer, including meditation
3.If the new Believer is single how to conduct a relationship Biblically with a future life partner and any member of the opposite sex..
4.The importance and essentialness of being an active committed part of a local church.
5.The Bible majors on such truths for example, THANKFULNESS, SUBMISSION HUMILITY which are so lacking in many people especially the is younger generation
6.The truth of Stewardship of all we possess including our finances.
7.The reality that we have an enemy, but our inheritance can give us total victory against him.
8.That the goal of Discipleship is not just to disciple the new Believer but in turn he becomes a Disciplemaker.
9.That the Great Commision is for every believer without exception.
10.Discipleship should transition into assisting the new Believer finding his ministry, and being assisted to develop this in the life of the church.
I know I have written on this topic numerous times before, but would appreciate your comments and questions, my email address is johneollis@gmail .com