Many do not recognize the fact as they ought, that Satan has got men fast asleep in sin and that it is his great device to keep them so. He does not care what we do if he can do that. We may sing songs about the sweet by and by, preach sermons and say prayers until doomsday, and he will never concern himself about us, if we don’t wake anybody up. But if we awake the sleeping sinner he will gnash on us with his teeth. This is our work – to wake people up.
To wake people up…but how? How is our work best done? How do we wake people up? Do we need to update our songs, add lights and a fog machine to our church buildings? Should we change our theology and soften our message? Shall we focus on social programs and building projects? Perhaps the church should concede the cultural war and stop offending sinners. Would it wake people up if we abandon our moral stances? Maybe if we break from our history our tradition then people will wake up. Surly if we build a separate building for the youth, offer separate services based on preferences people will wake up.
Of course all of that is misguided at best when done to wake people up. Isn’t it interesting that we often call upon the church to change instead of calling the sinner to change? The only way to awaken the sinner is to proclaim the Gospel. Everyone has sinned. The wages of sin are death, but the free gift of God is eternal life. Whomsoever will believe in the Lord Jesus will be saved.
One of the best summaries of the Gospel is found in 1 John 3:23 “This is [God’s] command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another.” Believe in Christ, his death and resurrection and you will be saved. Then you will live a life marked by love, that is the effect of salvation.
May we be torchbearers of this truth. May we seek to wake people up!
It should be clear that all these theologians believe in the same gospel; that the first priority of the church is to take the gospel to all men everywhere; that man’s eternal destiny is involved; and that the task of the church is an urgent one.
Urgency for the central truth and mission of the Church is the mark of a Christian who has adopted the same passions as our Lord.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to send her away privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
~The Apostle Matthew 1:18-25
Unless I am sure I am doing more at home to send the gospel abroad than I can do abroad, I am bound to go.
-A. B. Simpson
In Matthew’s rendering of the Great Commission Jesus puts legs on the Great Commandment. Love of God and love of our neighbor demands that we are in perpetual motion. To that end Jesus says go. Go is such a simple command and yet it is often misunderstood or worse ignored. Greek, the original language of the New Testament sheds some light on our call to go. The participle “go” is followed by the aorist imperative “make disciples” which linguistically means that “go” becomes part of the imperative. Consider the words of Daniel B. Wallace, professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary, “Don’t ever let anyone tell you that grammar is inconsequential! Matthew’s grammar paints a picture and urges an action, and we seriously err if we neglect what our Lord is really teaching at the end of this Gospel.”
In light of the Scripture, may the measure of our calling reflect the wisdom found in A. B. Simpson’s words. May we weigh our responsibility to the Great Commission in terms of effectiveness.
We recently read a very good interview with Debbie Taylor from the Church of God Global Missions office. We think one particular question and answer needs to be amplified. Here is a quick explanation of the Living Link Partnership Network we are currently building.
Not everyone is familiar with how Church of God Ministries functions. What is Living Link and how do you keep it going?
Debbie: Living Link is the financial support ministry of Global Missions that gives both churches and individuals the opportunity to be involved in the Great Commission through partnerships with our missionaries. Relationships are key, and partnerships are essential, to accomplishing kingdom work beyond the borders. My role, as the liaison between the missionary and local churches and individuals, is in facilitating the connection with the missionary, and keeping our partners updated on their investment through missionary newsletters and videos. I assist the missionaries as they raise funds and keep them updated on their progress. We trust God to supply the need, and he is faithful to do this through our wonderful partners in ministry. It takes a team! (you can read the complete interview here.)
We agree, relationships are key to what we are called to do! In fact relationships are the secret power that all effective world changers draw upon. If you would like to partner with us to bring the life changing Gospel to Ecuador you can do so by clicking here or calling Debbie Taylor at 1-800-848-2464, ext. 2129.