The Great Commission
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 28:18-20
These are among the last words Jesus spoke on earth before ascending back to heaven. They are our standing marching orders. Notice four things in this passage:
First, it begins with Christ’s POWER— “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” We operate under the authority of Christ. It is His command and we simply need to obey.
Second, it fulfills Christ’s PURPOSE— To go and make disciples among all nations. Every country is a mission field and every person is a potential disciple of Christ. Think about this as you go about your daily business.
Third, it outlines Christ’s PLAN— We win the lost, baptize them, and then teach them to go and do likewise reproducing themselves. Thus God’s work is multiplied.
Fourth, it reassures us of Christ’s PRESENCE— “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” He is with us at all times, in all places, and in every circumstance. We have nothing to fear.
This is not just the job of foreign missionary. It is the responsibility of every Christian.
Keep On Fishing!
…they caught nothing… —John 21:3
After an entire night of fishing Peter and the other disciples did not catch a single fish. They were about to pack it up their gear and quit when Jesus called to them from shore, “Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes.”
Have you ever toiled for the Lord and felt you had little or nothing to show for it? Fear not! Jesus will reward your work for Him. His Word will not return void (Isa. 55:11).
William Carey worked seven years in India before he baptized his first convert. While the number of actual people Carey actually won to Christ was relatively small, the number indirectly attributable to him is innumerable. America’s first foreign missionary, Adoniram Judson, labored seven years in Burma before seeing a soul saved. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Nott toiled for twenty-two years in Tahiti before they baptized their first convert on May 16, 1819. Allen Grinner traveled repeatedly to the islands of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego seeking win souls to Christ. He died of starvation without seeing one soul saved, but the South American Missionary Society he founded has been winning people to Christ for more than 150 years.
Christian, don’t quit fishing for souls. It may look like you’ve got empty nets now, but you’re doing more good than you may realize. You may only see the full results of your labor for Him when you get to heaven. It is our job to sow the seed, and God’s job to give the increase.
So, work in faith… lower your nets in obedience… and trust God for the catch!