There is an issue that I have wanted to write about for a while. Honestly, I have been holding back because this is a pretty intense topic that draws my heart to the surface. If you are a Christian, I want you to think about this: Right now, as you read this post, there are people dying in your neighborhood and going to hell. They are lost; forever separated from the love of God. For some of you, this may not hit home so I will try to help you understand the Father’s heart. Close your eyes and picture the one person you love the most; your husband, your child, your parent or sibling, your best friend. Allow the love you feel for that individual to swell in your heart. This is the person you would freely give everything to save. This is the love our Heavenly Father has for every single human being on the planet. Period. He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to save the whole world through His death on a cross. Thousands of people were healed and lives were changed during Jesus’ ministry. Right before He went up into the heavens to sit next to His Dad, Jesus gave us a powerful little nugget. I will give you both accounts:
Matthew 28:18-20 “And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, ‘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 the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’”
Mark 16:15-18 “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.’”
Believe it or not, I have actually heard a pastor say that we aren’t required to “GO” anywhere to share the good news. Jesus was pretty clear – He said “GO”. This command from God implies some kind of movement on our part. There is this teaching going around that breaks my heart. It goes something like this: Go to church on Sunday and Wednesday night, tithe, listen to Christian radio, and be really really nice to the people already in your life. If you do that, people will be attracted to you and then they will want to come to your church. Once you get them into church, all of the great church programs and awesome preaching will make them into disciples and then they will be saved! Ummm, guys. This isn’t biblical. The Bible tells all of us to “GO” and make disciples! What happens if you want to make a table? Do you walk around in Home Depot or Lowes looking a lot like someone who wants to make a table? Then the lumber, tools, fixtures and wood stain just jump off of the shelves into your cart right? Once you get them home (without paying any cost for them) you sit and wait for a certified carpenter to come make the table. After which, you walk around saying “Look at the table I made!” Sounds ridiculous right? This is what we are doing in the Christian Church today. Folks, people are dying and going to hell right now. People you know. If we really allowed our hearts to receive this understanding, we would be praying for people everywhere we go. I was watching a few movies by Darren Wilson (Wanderlust Productions) lately. One particular gentleman stood out to me. Well, first let me give you a little background… Darren Wilson has documented on film his own journey of faith. In this particular film, he was travelling the world to see the effect the Holy Ghost has on people. He went to Salt Lake City, UT and filmed other Christians praying for people on the streets. There were many who were healed and a group of teenage boys who accepted Christ right there on the sidewalk. So, like I said, there was one gentleman who stood out to me. This man was a Christian from the UK and preached outside the Mormon temple for people to repent and turn to Jesus. He did not believe the gifts of the Spirit (including miraculous healings) were for our present time so he stood all day, every day calling out for people to turn to Jesus. I am not going into the issue of gifts versus no gifts right now. What I want you to know is, this man has done this for 30 years. In 30 years of preaching this way, he has prayed with a handful of people to accept the gift of eternal life. He said that the 30 years of standing for hours each day, every day, would be worth it for just one life saved. I wept.
We all can’t just go out all day and preach the gospel Sarah! There would be no one to work! Guys, there are so few believers and so many lost. So many lost. Trust me, our world needs Jesus more than it needs Engineers and Dental Assistants! We get wrapped up into this mentality: “Make sure you are called”, “You should go to college for Bible training first”, “Let someone who doesn’t have kids go”, “That is the job of the outreach leader”, or “We don’t have the money right now”. What happened to the simple gospel from Jesus’ mouth?
Matthew 6:24-34 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow, they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith! Do not worry then, saying ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for you heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So don’t worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of it ‘s own.”
Luke 9:57-62 “As they were going along the road, someone said to Him, ‘I will follow You wherever You go.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.’ And He said to another, ‘Follow Me.’ But he said, ‘Lord, permit me first to go and bury my father.’ But He said to him, ‘Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.’ Another also said, ‘I will follow You, Lord; but first permit me to say good-bye to those at home.’ But Jesus said to him, ‘No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.’
Throughout all four of the gospels, Jesus is clear about giving up our whole lives to proclaim the kingdom of God everywhere. I tried for years to find a loop-hole somewhere in there. A place that said “Don’t talk about Jesus too much so you don’t get fired” or a place that said “the Bible is only there to help Christians achieve success”. There are no loop-holes. You either believe the Bible or you don’t. You are a Christian or you aren’t. Simple. It reminds me of a little song we sang as kids in Sunday School. “I have decided, to follow Jesus. I have decided, to follow Jesus. I have decided, to follow Jesus. No turning back. No turning back. Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me, still I will follow. Though none go with me, still I will follow. No turning back. No turning back.” I had no idea that the words to that song came directly from Luke Chapter 9 and Jesus’ mouth! Powerful.
Sometimes during praise and worship at church on Sunday morning, I just look around at everyone else singing to our Abba Father. I think about what every one of those Christian has on the inside of them. The very Holy Spirit of God. The same power that Jesus carried, we have.
1 John 4:4 “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
Jesus said we would do greater works than Him! John 14:12-13 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
So, what does it look like when Christians do as Jesus said? Well, after Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit before going out to the world to share the good news, there were about 120 folks praying and waiting in that upper room. Then one day, the Holy Spirit came and inhabited these Jesus-following Jews and they began to speak in different tongues. Immediately, folks began to gather and mock these new Christians saying that they were drunk on wine. So, Peter remembering the words of his Savior, began to preach the gospel. In one day, ONE DAY the number of saved souls went from 120 to over 3,000. All because one guy obeyed his King. Imagine if the Holy Spirit came and tongues were spoken and the disciples were teased about being a little tipsy and then STOP! Peter decided that he was done. He had his Holy Ghost experience, met some resistance so he went back to fishing. Church! This is what we are doing!! We have the Word, the power of the Holy Spirit, the love of our Heavenly Father. We go into church on Sunday morning to get our God-touch and walk back out into the world and hope that it will rub off on our co-workers because we are so nice. People are dying right now and going to hell.
I will finish with this: God is infinite and eternal. He is not confined by time or days. We however, are. I am 36 years old and assuming I live until I am 90 years old (personally I am planning on 103 yrs); I only have 19,710 days left until I am in heaven with Jesus. Let’s say I only pray with one person a year to accept Jesus into their heart, that is only 54 people with me for eternity. Only 54 out of the billions of people on our planet that are currently bound for hell. Did you lead someone to Christ last year? How about the year before that? Now, let’s do a little more math. Let’s say you go to a small church of about 100 people and every person leads 1 person a month to Jesus for 10 years. That is 12,000 souls that are saved from hell and placed with Christ in heaven for eternity. That is only 9,000 souls more than what God did through one man (Peter) in one day! The point is not to come up with a mathematical equation for how to save the lost. What I am saying is that obedience to God is not optional in this war. We must do as He has asked, it is our call.
Hosea 4:1-4 “Listen to the word of the LORD, O sons of Israel, For the LORD has a case against the inhabitants of the land, Because there is no faithfulness or kindness or knowledge of God in the land. There is swearing, deception, murder, stealing and adultery. They employ violence, so that bloodshed follows bloodshed. Therefore the land mourns, and everyone who lives in it languishes along with the beasts of the field and the birds of the sky, and also the fish of the sea disappear. Yet let no one find fault, and let none offer reproof; for your people are like those who contend with the priest. So you will stumble by day, and the prophet also will stumble with you by night; and I will destroy your mother. My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”
Knowing God and His love is the only cure for the world. How will they know if we don’t go out and tell them? And how can we tell them when we don’t even know the Word?
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
Matthew 10: 7-8 “As you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.”
Come on church! Lets GO!!