The Great Commission

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Do you think it is significant that the last words the disciples heard from Jesus were "I do?"

“Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word of Christ.”  Romans 10:17

Jesus’ final instructions to His disciples before He ascended into heaven are found in what we now call The Great Commission.  He exhorted them (and all who would follow Him throughout the ages) to go and make disciples of all nations, which includes sharing the Gospel, teaching God’s commands, and baptizing in His name. Do you think it is significant that the last words they would physically hear from His holy lips were these? I do. He could have chosen hundreds of other topics, but He didn’t. Scripture teaches that, “Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).”  Jesus’ words, then, show us His heart.  And His heart is that all nations hear the message of His salvation. 

As believers in Christ, we have been entrusted with this message of hope.  We have within our grasp the very words of life.  It is a message of healing, reconciliation and joy.  How can we be tempted to keep such a gift to ourselves?  To do so is perhaps the most hateful act in all of humankind.

Think of it this way…Have you ever seen someone whose body has been ravaged by cancer?  The silent killer eats away on the inside, leaving a haunting shadow of what used to be.  Hair falls out, the limbs wither, the body cannot digest food, and the kidneys shut down.  Little by little, the body dies.  It is excruciating to watch someone die in this manner, especially someone you love.

But wasting away of cancer is not the worst thing that can happen to a person.  In fact, no horrific fate of this life can compare to what can happen in the next.  Physical death is temporary, but our souls are eternal.  It is so easy to be outraged by the atrocities we see in this life…The Holocaust, school shootings, the attack on 9/11, genocides, and the list goes on and on.  While such things should break our hearts, they should also move us to act.  

Each and every time a person dies his eternity is sealed forever.  And every person we meet will die one day.  How we handle the message of the Gospel can change the eternity of another person.  While it is not our sharing the message that saves, God uses our obedience to bring about saving faith.  Romans 10:17 clearly shows us that a person cannot be saved without hearing the Message.  Once heard, God can awaken that person’s heart to believe in Him, just as He did with Lydia in Acts 16:14, which says: “The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.”  Paul brought the message, and God opened her heart to respond in faith.

Are you a faithful messenger of the Gospel?     

Father, Give me Your heart for the lost.  I want to be a warrior for the Gospel and for Your glory.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

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