January 26, 2020
Matthew 28:19-20 tells us the last words of Jesus after his resurrection and just before He leaves His followers and goes to heaven.
He said, “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.”
What did that commandment, that commission, mean to those 500 persons who heard Him that day? It is just as valid a commandment today as it was 2000 years ago when Jesus first spoke it.
Does that mean, then, that we are supposed to go all over the world teaching about Jesus? Yes, of course. Somebody has to do it. Missionary work is the most important thing one human can do for another human who doesn’t know about Jesus. But not everyone can go to a foreign country. Fortunately, Jesus further clarified this commandment in Acts 1:8. He said ”’ye shall be witnesses unto Me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
What’s the difference in the two citations of the Great Commission? In the later, Jesus was saying, in effect, “Start at home. Then branch out to other cities, and eventually spread out your witness even to other countries.”
It would be exciting to be a foreign missionary if that’s what God called you to do.
My late son, Spencer Junior, was a medical doctor. He told me once that when he got older, maybe after his children got grown, that he would love to go to a poor country and be a medical missionary. He never got that chance as he died at 34 years of age.
Fortunately, many people do get to go abroad to do mission work. They feel God’s call on their life to do that – even if it’s just a short stint. My dear friend, Randy Grasso, left earlier this week to go to Africa on a short mission. He is part of a two man team who was chosen from the USA to go over there and teach about 250 locals how to evangelize. It is very dangerous where he is right now for Christians. Just last week I read the story of a man in that area who was beheaded because he would not renounce Christ. Randy will be gone a little over a week, and his family and friends are really praying for him. We all are so proud of him.
But as Jesus said, mission work starts at home. I heard about a woman once who went to a church revival meeting and got so inspired that she told her pastor that she felt like God was calling her to be a missionary. The wise pastor said he agreed with her, and that God had already given her her own mission field to work in: right in her own home, raising her six young children.
According to the Bible, the father of a family is supposed to be the high priest of the home. It’s his job to see to it that the family stays in church, worshiping and learning about God. (The lack of obeying that call is what’s wrong with the world today, but that’s another post for some other time.)
Joshua emphatically stated, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua’s home was his mission field.
In Acts 16, we read about Paul and Silas being locked up in the inner prison, shackled hand and feet. But God sent an earthquake that shook the prison doors open so they could escape. Immediately the guard rushed to them and recognized the miracle that had happened and asked them what he must do to be saved? They told him how to be saved and the jailer took Paul and Silas to his house where he and his entire house were baptized at the midnight hour.
It’s your responsibility to see that your household is saved. You can’t save them, but you can expose them to God’s word and discipline them accordingly. And set a good example for them.
I once pastored a church that had just fired the former pastor because he could not control his own children. His children were teenagers, and as soon as church was over they would go outside and start smoking cigarettes and cussing and rushing their father to hurry up and leave. It was a terrible situation.
Sandra and I were blessed with three wonderful children. And we raised all three of them in church. Three times a week.
I was so honored to have been the one who baptized all three of my children.
Now I have five grandchildren. And I saw all five of them being baptized.
Our family is mine and Sandra’s biggest legacy, our pride and joy. It’s what we did with our lives. God said to be fruitful and multiply. We did that, and did our best to train them to be good Christians. That was our great commission.
What is your great commission?
God Bless You,