Loving Jesus: The Fuel of Evangelism
The disciples loved Jesus. Imagine having a friend who was without sin. That, my friend, would be a good friend. No wonder they spent every waking moment with this sinless buddy.
Not long after this quote from Jesus, He ascended to heaven. Can you see why the disciples were such passionate missionaries? Jesus said, ‘I am with you, every single day…’ He said this after he put forth the great commission. So the promise is only for those who do the commission.
And for someone like Peter, who spent 3 years with Jesus, this is a promise he really wants! He does not want that time with Jesus to end. But, in a sense, it was going to. And, in a sense, it wasn’t. Jesus was physically taking off to heaven. But, spiritually, He is present for anyone who would be involved in this commission. And what was the range of the commission? All nations. So the disciples did the best they could. I’m sure they had the passion to reach all nations in their lifetime. Why? Just so they could see Jesus again.
1) If a Church doesn’t treat Jesus like He’s in authority (over them, over their traditions, over their leaders), is it a true Church?
2) If a Church doesn’t uphold water baptism as high as it is in the commission, is it a true Church? *
3) If a Church doesn’t hold to the Trinity (or even, gulp, teach the Trinity**), is it a true Church?
4) If a Church doesn’t teach Jesus always, is it a true Church?
5) If a Church is disinterested and uninvolved in missions, is it a true Church? ***
One Serious Implication
The Church is made up of Christians. And so, what can be true of the Church as a whole can still relate to us Christians as individuals:
1) Is Jesus in authority over my life?
2) Have I been baptised in water? Why? Why not? ****
3) Do I understand the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as my God, and how I relate?
4) Do I enjoy learning about Jesus?
5) Do I have a heart for missions? ***
* I understand the baptism to be about water baptism. I could look it up in a commentary to be doubly sure but, meh, just working off what I think makes the most sense.
** Some Churches have the Trinity in their statements, but I think the preaching of a Church, year in-year out, should point to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as God. Not just put it in their ‘What We Believe’ webpage.
*** For the Church, John Piper once said that we can be radical goers or radical senders, the only other alternative is disobedience. For the individual, a heart of prayer for the unreached is a heart for missions. Google “Unreached People of the Day” to see who you can pray for.
****I grew up in the Church and had my reasons to wait until I was older to get baptised (I can’t remember my age but it was early 20’s). I was saved before then. But I can’t conceive that a Christian could go their whole life and not do it.