Mat 28:19 – “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.
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. He gave us; (His disciples, assuming you are one), this Great Commission clearly demonstrating an outstanding example of how to go about doing it. Else there would be no need to say, “all things I have commanded you”. This implies that Jesus clearly demonstrated and taught His disciples a “lifestyle” and wanted the disciples to make disciples and teach them the same things. He commanded them to then go into all the world and do the same.
This is an example of what going into all the world and preaching the good news would look like.
First-generation disciples make new disciples for Christ and teach them to follow in the footsteps of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in turn make new disciples and teach them to make disciples and live Christ-like, who make new disciples and teach them to make disciples and live Christ-like…Get the picture. The whole earth should thus be invaded with disciples of Christ reaching out to the poor, destitute, and lost without God, winning souls for Christ by preaching the good news of forgiveness of sins and making disciples out of them, teaching them to do likewise.
When you obey the Great Commission and go into all the world, Jesus said, it will bring about persecution and suffering. It will take courage, boldness, and unwavering faith. When persecution comes, the true disciple doesn’t pray for “protection” like most believers do today, but they pray for “boldness” like in the book of Acts. This task will take disciples who are dead to themselves and are one with the Lord. A disciple who spends intimate time with the Lord. A disciple who is not at all attracted to what the world considers success. Large congregations, fame, many invitations to crowded conferences, celebrity status on media networks, being well sought after by like-minded leaders, and a busy travel schedule might all be evidence of success in the world’s eyes. Such people are considered very influential or even dare I say so-called “men of God”. That’s how the world sees success. But the disciple of Christ may not necessarily be well known or preaching to large congregations. All a disciple can see is a dying lost world, suffering in poverty and pain and his/her heart breaks because the disciple knows Jesus’ love for them. A disciple is willing to endure persecution, suffering, and even death just so some might get to experience the love of Christ. Because the true disciple knows he/she is nothing without Christ. A disciple is willing to go into all the world and preach the good news in its simplicity. The true disciple has understood the meaning of Luke 14: 26-33.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple. “For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it? “Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who observe it begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’ “Or what king, when he sets out to meet another king in battle, will not first sit down and consider whether he is strong enough with ten thousand men to encounter the one coming against him with twenty thousand? “Or else, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.
1Cr 11:1 – Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.
Here in the above verse, we see Paul categorically stating he imitated Christ. Do you have the confidence to say thus? Paul said it because he was assured, he was dead to himself and alive to Christ. He himself said in his letter to the Galatians, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me”. Gal 2:20
To truly go into all the world and preach the good news, the following needs to be done.
Go into all the world – Step 1
Reach & Win – Mark 1:38, Mark 16:15
Preach the gospel message, the gospel of Christ which is the good news of salvation through the finished work of the Lord Jesus on the cross. The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. (Rom 1:16)
Go into all the world – Step 2
Equip & Build – Matthew 28:19, Eph 4:12
The second step involves making disciples and teaching them to do all that Jesus commanded us to do. This includes mentoring and helping them grow in the knowledge of the Word of God and of Jesus and helping them mature in their faith.
Go into all the world – Step 3
Send & Plant – Acts 14:21-23
The final step focuses on the last part of the Great Commission, which is “to do all that I have commanded you to do”. This includes the first two steps too, which was part of what Jesus commanded us to do. This is where the mature disciples are to be sent out to do likewise, which is to reach and win, equip and build, and send and plant. This is how churches are to be planted.
The latter part of the Great Commission is a promise from Jesus Himself. “And I am with you always even till the end of the age”. This promise is for those who decide to go into all the world and preach the good news.
John 15:12- “This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
How come most professing Christians don’t even appear to be bothered or hurt when considering the millions that are dying without Christ every day, every hour, every minute. How is it possible for people to walk out of a church service and immediately switch on secular FM music in their cars and drive away with a smile, commenting what a great service that was, without any reverence or gratitude for such a great salvation! How is it possible for someone to experience the forgiveness and liberating power of our Lord and then be so caught up with self-centeredness?
Yes, it is possible because of our pride and not recognizing the extent of our sinfulness. When you recognize the depths to which you have fallen, it will make your heart cry out to the Lord for mercy and grace and when He showers His grace upon you, you will find that His grace is the mighty power to set you free from the power of sin. This experience will break you and humble you, while at the same time, filling you with immense love for the lost, and a burden to see them experience the same grace you did.
Instead, bless me Lord, prosper me Lord, heal me Lord, keep me happy Lord, seem to be the more popular prayers these days whilst thousands around them suffer in poverty, pain, and rejection? At best they see a poor drunk on the street and comment “Oh! how sad”…or “You know, it’s their choice…they choose to live like that”…and even those thoughts only last for a minute. See John 15:12 again. Is this how Christ loved us? Could it be that the church is to blame? Could it be that the church has lost its purpose and is caught up with filling up seats and increasing in size, running well-organized programs and seminars designed to maintain people’s interest in the church?
The church seems to have lost sight of Jesus’ command to go into all the world and preach the good news.
Most church leaders equate church size to church growth. God equates the number of disciples to church growth. Sadly most professing Christians are yet to become true disciples of Christ…(as defined in Luke 14:26,27 & 33) because if they truly understood their unworthiness before God, the value and the preciousness of what Jesus has done for them, then they would realize He is truly that pearl for which the farmer sold all he had, to buy that pearl. They will by their new nature, be compelled to share the gospel with the lost, and by their new nature, they can’t help but be hurt for the lost. A believer attending church doesn’t bring about church growth. Only a disciple reproduces and brings about church growth.
Evangelism through disciple-making: Go into all the world and make disciples
Do you see how the early church disciples, though very few in number full of the Holy Spirit and armed with the gospel of grace through Jesus Christ turned the world upside down? Most parts of the early church world knew or had heard about “The Way”. But today’s churches with so much more technology, media coverage, books by so-called experts, cleverly planned marketing strategies for church growth, and fiery preaching are far from even being considered a threat.
Amidst all of this, however, are the true disciples of Christ purely motivated by love, who are not in the limelight, not interested in what the world calls success, and are “nobody’s” in the circle of the more famous preachers but are seeing multitudes of lost coming to know the love of Christ. Their ministries usually accompany many miracles, signs, and wonders with many churches being planted on a weekly basis because the Lord is always with them, even to the end of the age just as He promised.
There are those disciples who willingly endure persecution, beatings, insults, and even death just to preach the gospel. That’s how the church grows and grows strong with mature disciples of Christ, every member doing its part which causes the body to grow. How is it that these “nobody’s” without much money or media coverage are able to do so much more than so-called mega-churches with multi-million-dollar budgets? There is absolutely nothing wrong with mega-churches, but being a mega-church simply means it has so much more opportunity to do what really matters to God. They can fulfill the “Go and make disciples” command so much more than an ordinary disciple from a small church can ever do. But unfortunately, they would prefer spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in self-fulfilling conferences, concerts, marketing gimmicks, publishing books, paying influential and famous speakers, and maintaining the mega-ship they have built.
Instead, send out disciples to go into all the world and make disciples…..from your own flock which God gave you to care for. If you can’t find one single disciple whom you can send out from your flock and plant a church, that tells you something, doesn’t it?
Luke 12:48 – ” For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him, they will ask the more.
John 4:34 – Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.
Most books in Christian bookstores today are about filling man’s emptiness in life. Jesus always had food to eat “spiritually” because His food was to do the will of the Father.
You take your stand beside Jesus Christ and His cause, and you watch the devil come after you and buffet you from all sides. That’s the persecution and trials Jesus warned His disciples about.
In most part of developed nations, people are bombarded with the gospel through bookstores, DVDs, TV, Radio, and personal evangelism more than 5 times a day, while poor multitudes of people in countries like India, Vietnam, Laos, Burma, and several others don’t get to hear the gospel preached to them for several years. Why is there no sense of urgency in the western churches?
I urge the church to wake up and get back to its first love. I wish to remind you that you probably at first started your church because you were gripped by Jesus’ command. Go into all the world and preach the good news. Lift Jesus up again and He will draw all men unto Himself. Teach Christ, teach what the Lord has done for us, and teach Jesus. You can spend your entire life as a preacher teaching Jesus and still will not be able to adequately explain Him and His love for mankind. Get the lost to see the “preciousness” of Jesus. Teach the lost to release their hold on self-esteem, self-effort, and faith in the flesh. Teach them to rely on Christ and Christ alone, on the finished work of Christ on the cross. Keep doing this and you’ll make disciples for Christ who will be more than eager to go into all the world with the true gospel.
Col 2:8-10 – Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.