Friday, September 2, 2011

The Christian Warrior's Mission Impossible

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Mission Impossible?

Let me paraphrase what Jesus said to His disciples in this Great Commission: "Since I am the ultimate authority, I want you to take over the world and bring all its nations under My rightful rule. You are not to do this by force of arms or political machinations. You are to conquer the world by converting and discipling the nations. You must also transform their pagan/humanistic cultures by teaching them to observe everything I've taught you. You won't be in this alone and in your own power, for I will be with you."

Any way you look at it, that's a pretty tall order. It goes way beyond what we normally think of as evangelism, or even world missions. In fact, it's so far out of line with what most churches teach, that evangelical Christians tend to dismiss it out of hand. Here's a dialogue based on actual objections raised to me  by people who call themselves Bible-believing Christians.

Objection: It won't work; it's impossible.

Answer: While I believe it is possible, it makes no difference; it's the mission assigned to us

Objection: This would sidetrack us from the main business of the Church: saving souls.

Answer: It's the mission our Lord assigned to us, and it includes saving souls.

Objection: That's not how I interpret the passage.

Answer: But that's what the passage says in clear terms -- disciple all nations and teach them to obey Christ.

Of course the mission is not easy; it's well-nigh impossible. So is healing the blind, lame j& sick with a touch, raising the dead and saving sinners in rebellion against God. Yet, Jesus has done all these things, and He has promised to be with us as we carry out our mission.

Your mission, should you decide to accept it -- and the King leaves no room for the idea that His command is optional -- requires that you think strategically and tactically about how to accomplish it. A serious consideration of Matthew 28:16-20 will require that your church recognize and organize itself in terms of that mission. It will also require that you teach your converts a new, Biblical worldview, and that you teach them to think self-consciously and to act in terms of that worldview.

In other words, to understand the Great Commission correctly and purpose to obey it will necessitate enormous changes in the way you view and conduct yourself, your family and your church.

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