What is the purpose of ALL Christians? To be a witness for TRUTH and GRACE found in Yeshua (Jesus Christ). Such is revealed in Matthew 28:19-20, John 8:32; and Acts 1:8:
Matthew 28:19-20 says, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”
John 8:32 says, “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
Acts 1:8 says, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
But, there is a problem. Most Christians don’t take these words of Jesus seriously! Number one, many Christians become good church members, but don’t get involved in missions work as commanded in Matthew 28:19-20. They may attend Christian training and worship weekly; serve in some “ministry” capacity that builds up the membership, and satisfy the “religious” feel-good nerve of those involved; tithe at least 3% of their income; and may give 1/10th of 1% of their income to global missions!
Number two, Many Christians think because they read the Bible, attend Bible classes, and agree with much of what they have been taught by pastors and others, that they “know the truth.” However, most Christians have not taken the time to really observe the context of the text, leaving them with a pretext! Also, many Christians don’t get a good background of the Scripture before they interpret what they read or hear through their own “religiously tinted” Gospel Googles! And then, most don’t properly apply the Scripture to everyday life, or allow the Scripture to continue to transform their life, according to John 8:32.
And, number three, few Christians ever witness or consistently invite people to their church, or talk to someone about the Good News of the Gospel as commanded in Acts 1:8. They expect the church advertising, the draw of a good preacher or church programs to bring new people into their doors. Or, they rely on new births of church members, family, and friends to keep the membership growing, or at least, stable. While some may do a little annual “witnessing” during a crusade, revival, or special church event to their Jerusalem comfort zone, they seldom go beyond their Judea known area, and would not dare go across the tracks to their Samaria. Thus, going to the uttermost part of the earth is out of the question!
The problems listed above could all be corrected if more Christians took the “Go ye” commands of Christ seriously. This means, pastors must began to hold church members accountable for more than just seeing them on their main worship day, or observe their presence in “ministry,” or showing thanks for their financial contributions and legacy funding. However, if more Christians became accountable to the “Go ye” commands of Christ, they would find partnerships for more mission work that could expand their personal growth, expand the growth of their church, and expand their connections to those who may not look like them. Such connections could go a long ways to the possibility of solving racial strife, and give the church a more multi-ethnic complexion resembling the early churches like the Antioch Church, and other mission-sending churches of the New Testament.
The possibilities garnered from more Christians taking the “Go ye” commands of Christ seriously could help eliminate racism between Anglo Americans and African Americans; put more unemployed to work by mission-minded Christians deliberately hiring or making jobs available to those to whom they witness; development of self-sustaining community projects in America’s inner cities; more safe residential and training centers for abused women and children who would no longer be accessible to those in the criminal element; all the financial resources to train local national Christian leaders around the world that could ensure reaching the world for Christ in our generation; lower taxes; higher morality; and so much more!
©December 29, 2014, Edward G. Udell, Sr.