Who are you? Why are you here? Where Are you going?
The Great Commission from Jesus to Churches across the world makes it very clear to each Christian in a local Church.
Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV)
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.”
Lets break these verses down and see if we can discern what the answers are to the questions above.
1. First of all, it is important to understand that Jesus is speaking with authority. In fact, with all authority! Jesus is our Lord and our God. That is authoritative as it can get! This leads to the next very important point.
2. Each and every Christian is a follower of Christ, a disciple! Disciples are given this command from an empowered local New Testament Church. The command that our Lord gives us is simple. Go!!!! We need to be people that are going to our world and reach the masses with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At Alamo Heights, our vision is the same for every other Church. That is, that we are “Disciples Reaching Our World”! Paul said in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” Simply meaning everyone!
3. When we go, we are to make disciples. That starts with us sharing the Gospel, and the Holy Spirit revealing the truth of Christ and His salvation to a person. (1 Corinthians 15:3-4) When one surrenders to Christ as their Lord and Savior, they become a disciple. Disciples make disciples!
4. The next thing that we see, is that we are to baptize them. Baptism demonstrates that someone has died to their sins and risen from the death of our sins to newness of life as a Christian. It is important to note, baptism is not how we are made alive spiritually, rather it demonstrates what has happened when we trust Jesus as our Lord and believing in our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, demonstrating that He has power over death, and being a righteous God can do the same for each of us! (Romans 10:9-10) Another important thing to see here is when one is saved, then baptized, we are to be added to a Church! (Acts 2:41) This is the institution that is established and empowered for us to carry out this Great Commission! (Acts 1:8)
5. This leads to a final important thing for each of us to understand as a disciple! That is that we are to teach the individuals that have surrendered to Christ. How does one know how to live as a disciple? We, in our Churches, are to teach them! Is the purpose of this teaching to make each person a knowledgeable person that can quote scripture better than others? Absolutely not! It is so that they too, can lead others to Christ and continue the discipleship process that is given to each local Church. (Matthew 16:19)
This is the process that a Church should have for a “Church growth” program, even more than any attractional way that our own human minds can contrive! The real challenge here then becomes, will there be individuals that will follow the command of Jesus to “go”? Will we realize this is who we are to be, why we are here, and we are going to heaven with as many people that will respond to the Gospel of Jesus that He commanded us to share? Obviously, the more people that become real disciples of Christ, the more that will go to the destination that Jesus has promised us!(John 14:2-3)