Make Disciples is the Command
The Black Nazarene procession just ended this week and an interesting and disturbing article came out in Rappler about a group of Christian Evangelicals picketing and telling the people that what they are doing is idolatry and idolatry is sin. And surely they did receive a lot of hatred for their actions.
According to the street preachers,
“We’ve been doing this for the past 4 years. We call this street preaching. We come here to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and against the sin of our nation,” Faculin said.
“We will continue doing this despite the negative treatment we get… until people repent from their sins,”
Now don’t get me wrong, Scripture is clear that worshipping any graven image is against the Ten Commandments.
Exodus 20:3-4 English Standard Version (ESV)
3 “You shall have no other gods before[a] me. 4 “You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
The article that came out showed us a picture of some ways we as the church try to reach the world with the message of the gospel. Some Christians tend to focus on the sin rather than on the redemptive work of the cross. Some would choose a shot-gun, street style approach to deliver their message ( which I believe need to be reevaluated if they have actually made any disciples using that method).
But Jesus was clear on how we are going to reach the world. It is not through picketing, mass rallies, or one shot gun approach.
Jesus actually commanded us and showed us how to do it:
Matthew 28:18-20English Standard Version (ESV)
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
It’s messier, harder and time consuming but it does produce changed lives and transformation – not more hate and division over a gospel preaching that is full of do nots rather than “it is finished” – Christ came, died on the cross for our sins and gave us redemption.
It is relational. It is not a one time deal. It is not here let me share the A to Z and leave you to chew on it. It is walking along side and loving on the person we are discipling. It is taking time every week out of our busy schedule to love on people and live out the gospel in friendship.
It is grace-filled message of the gospel and not just a list of things we point out that people are doing. It is first accepting them before letting the gospel change them rather than you change first before we accept you. In fact, it is not our job to convict sin and change a person – it is the Holy Spirit’s job.
I do hope that as a church we would rethink how we do evangelism and discipleship. Let’s evaluate the effectiveness of what we do. I know we have heard the argument even “if one person gets saved by our efforts – it would be worth it” but why not have the same effort exerted but more people getting the message of the gospel. Let us be faithful to the pattern Jesus showed us in how we can reach the world. We can never go wrong if we do it the biblical way!