“A community of Christians each multiplying the Gospel by going, baptizing, and teaching in the contexts where they live every day. Is anything else, according to the Bible, even considered a church?”
I often dream about heaven. I think if we are all honest we dream about it somewhat. What will it be like? What will we see? Who will be there? What will we do? It’s fascinating and encouraging to ponder upon. It really is! Today let me encourage you to think about heaven in a somewhat different context. The Bible is clear that in Heaven each one of us is going to give an answer to God for what we did on this Earth. Everything! Yikes! That can be not so pleasant to think about honestly. So, when we do that, what will we tell God that we were busy doing down here on the Earth that He placed us on?
David Platt provides us with an extremely intriguing quote above. It is based off Jesus’s words in Matthew 28:18-20 which is known as the Great Commission. Here Jesus says: “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” When you study the Greek interpretation of Jesus’s words in this passage it reads very similar to a military command. He is commanding His followers to Go! Charge! Do this! Jesus is not offering a mere suggestion or a self-help thought here or even a gentle nudge. He is making a direct command. The cool thing is that His followers validate this thought by living out exactly as they were told. In the remainder of the New Testament we see that Jesus’s followers (the church) consisted of people who were bent on making disciples: seeing people come to faith in Christ, baptizing them in His name, and teaching them His ways. This is the Biblical model of church life. This is what church was always and only supposed to be about. PERIOD. That’s it – nothing else. Make disciples!
Also, think about the timing of this message from Jesus. When He gave His followers these instructions He was on the verge of leaving Earth to go to Heaven Himself. This is an extremely important fact if you really think about it. This was the last thing He was ever going to say to them face-to-face on this side of Eternity. This was His last message to them. His last chance to teach them; something that no doubt, He had put much thought into. When we leave this Earth and stand before God to give an answer for how we lived this life, I believe that one thing is going to truly matter to Him (aside from our salvation/ faith in Christ). It is whether or not we obeyed Jesus’s command to go and make disciples. Everything else is secondary. The challenge for today is to live for things that matter to God. Live to make disciples of Christ! Charge!