Week 48: The Great Commission
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 16-20
Now, if you’ve been around Bible study or church for a while, you’ll recognize this passage as the Great Commission. In some of Jesus’s final words He tells His followers to go into all the world and share the gospel with people that don’t yet know and believe in Him. He says that we are to make disciples of all people groups everywhere.
Now, historically the church has separated evangelism from discipleship. Now, let me caution you NOT to do that. In fact, one of the greatest ways to grow in your own discipleship is to get very serious about personal evangelism.
At Eleven22, we are “a movement for all people to discover and deepen a relationship with Jesus Christ.” And you’ve heard me say it a million times, there is no better way to deepen your relationship with Jesus than by helping someone else discover theirs. I promise you this, that if you will get super focused on sharing your faith over the next four weeks, that God will use that to supercharge or to deepen your relationship with Him.
Whether you share the gospel or share an invitation to church or share your story, God will use that focus to draw you nearer and nearer to Him, I promise. You see, when we get focused on sharing our faith with people that God has placed in our lives, lots of things change about our relationship with God.
For one, our prayer life changes. You see, when we are focused on sharing our faith, we begin to pray less self-centered prayers and we begin to pray bold God glorifying prayers. We spend less time asking God to fix our situations and we spend more time asking God to put us in a situation where it is clear that we should open our mouth and point someone to the gospel.
Not only does what we pray change, but also what we hear changes. When we are focused on sharing our faith, we begin to be much more attentive to God’s voice in our lives. What I mean, is that if you’re asking God to open a door for you at work to point people to Him, then you will walk into work each day with your heart and ears attuned to Him. Listening intently for God to move or nudge you, will always draw you closer to Him.
Also, when we get serious about sharing our faith the way we read our Bible changes. I promise that if you get into spiritual conversations with people that don’t know the gospel, then they will ask very legitimate questions about our faith. And as you read your Bible you’ll spend less time looking for simply a devotional thought for the day and you will spend more time mining the Scriptures for the life-saving truth for that one more.
Now, if your one more accepts your invitation and comes to church with you, then the way you attend church will change. Instead of walking through the doors of the service thinking about what you will get out of it, you’ll begin to shift your thinking to “what role can I play to help others discover and deepen?” You see, Jesus said that it’s better to give than to receive. He wasn’t merely talking about money; He was talking about the way that we live our lives.
And lastly, when we get focused on sharing our faith, our dependence on the Almighty God increases exponentially. Because we all know that the salvation of our friends and family members and coworkers is not ultimately up to us. We know that we cannot make our one more repent of their sin and surrender to Jesus. No matter how much we invite and share and explain, we know that salvation is the Lords.
Ultimately, God must remove that heart of stone and replace it with a new heart, with His heart. And with that in mind, as we are praying and inviting and sharing we are desperate for God to move and save. So you see why we should never separate evangelism and discipleship?
This Christmas season, as most of our culture seems to be more open to spiritual things, one of the best things that you can do for your own discipleship is be committed to evangelism. Because nothing will deepen your relationship with Jesus like helping someone else discover theirs.