Saturday, July 31, 2010

Discipleship - the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion

The Pew Research Center conducted a study in 2007 interviewing over 30,000 Christians in the U.S. with one simple question. The question was whether you believed that your Christian faith was the only way to Heaven or if there was more than one way to Heaven, or in other words, could more than one religion lead to eternal life. Shockingly, 70% of Christians answered that they believed that there was more than one way to get to Heaven.

Here is why I was shocked.

Jesus said himself, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6)." He goes on to say in verse 7, "If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well." Romans 6:23 reads, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." We deserve eternal death, but God gave us the gift of eternal life through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.

Question:  If a Christian goes on to believe that there is more than one way to enter Heaven, how does this affect the way he lives his life as a testimony for others to follow?

We are commissioned by Jesus Christ to do the following in Matthew 28:19-20:
  1. Go (we take action, do something, not just read our Bible study books, attend church, and feel good).
  2. Make disciples
  • Baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (we get new believers)
  • TEACHING them to obey everything commanded by Jesus
We are instructed to duplicate ourselves in 2 Timothy 2:2, "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."This is all the Great Commission. We are all charged to do this, however many American Christians push this responsibility on to the Pastors, Ministers, and Priests of their churches.

Question:  How does your approach or intensity towards ministry shift in light of the Great Commission? Why do so many Christians view Matthew 28:19-20 as a light suggestion rather than a clear instruction from God? What can we as Christians do to change that?

It is not enough to simply gain new believers into God's kingdom. We have an obligation to teach our new believers and our current believers Biblical truth because that is what God has called us to do. For some of us who do not feel comfortable or confident in Scripture, we owe it to ourselves and to our fellow Christians to get confident and understand the Bible. This does not happen overnight. It is a process that occurs in combination of private, solo study and study among small groups in fellowship. Discipleship should be at the core of everything we do in our ministry, we need to train up our Christians in the way they should go.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent post Jerry! This is my passion to teach and encourage women in their walk with Christ, so I could not agree more!!!


Your comments are valuable to me and the discussion of this blog.

Use the "Name/URL" (no need to leave a URL) or "Anonymous" options for commenting.