————————————————JESUS COMMISSIONS YOU
John 6:63,64: The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
The words of Jesus are far above all other words and yet, as you know, there are many non-believers who will not trust in those precious words and be saved. As a born-again believer you can see their folly. You should not be equally foolish. You have read that the words of Jesus are “spirit, and they are life”; it would be wise to anchor the remainder of your christianity onto these precious words. If you are like me, you have already wasted too much time pondering other words.
A serious disciple heeds the words of “the Teacher”. Labour to esteem Christ, to set Him in a high place. Let the emphasis of your life be the emphasis of His heart; care about what He cares about. You cannot esteem Christ without esteeming His words. Just can’t. Many words Jesus spoke reveal His love for the lost. Jesus, the chief evangelist, “the Lord of the harvest”, has much to say to you about saving unbelievers from the clutches of “the god of this world”.
John 4:35: I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields,
The Lord Jesus Christ, “the Lord of the harvest”, admonishes His people to gaze upon “the fields” – all the fields, all the nations – with seeing eyes and a compassionate heart. No, not an occasional glance between life’s appointments or when pursuit for gain permits, but a gaze that is enduring and a heart conformed to His. Jesus would have you hear the silent mourning empty lives induce, feel their hopelessness, and never forget you once were where they now are.
Matthew 28:18,19 (AMP): “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words],
Jesus was talking to the eleven, but not only the eleven. Jesus was speaking, and is speaking, to you. Consider: If Jesus was, by extension, speaking to His church (you are His church!) He was therefore speaking to me, to you, to all. (Mt.23:8 NLT: “All of you are equal as brothers and sisters.”) Because most are casual, even disobedient, to this His Great Commission, it is no reason why you should be. You will come to deeply regret complacency.
I heard it said, “Christ and you are an overwhelming majority.” Should you say, “Yes Lord, I will go”, know that His “grace is sufficient for you”. Jesus partners with you. (“I will never leave you.”) If you suppose you need people to help fulfill this mandate you need to apologize to Jesus, your sufficiency. Consider Paul. And then reconsider Paul. When analyzing this apostle’s christianity you are thus considering your own potential. Paul didn’t need a denomination or a local church to send him out. Therefore you can safely conclude, “Neither do I.” Jesus said “go”, Paul went, Jesus accompanied him, together they conquered.
Matthew 28:19: Go therefore
Jesus didn’t specify how to go. You can go by plane, by train, by car. Or you can go by mail, by internet, by radio or television. And I don’t think it’s a stretch that you can go by sending others. How you go is not your decision to make; Lord Jesus will guide you via the Holy Spirit. When you say, “Yes Lord, I will go”, you are actually saying “I will go by Your grace (‘My grace is sufficient for you’) and in Your timing.”
Learn from Jesus, our chief example. As you are a sent-one, Jesus was a Sent-One. He ministered in the Father’s power (“God anointed Jesus of Nazareth”) and in the Father’s timing (“in due time Christ died for the ungodly”). You minister in the power of Christ Jesus who has been given “all authority”. When alone, Jesus could say, “I am not alone, because the Father is with Me.” When alone, you can likewise say, “I am not alone, because Christ is with me. (“I will never leave you.”)
Matthew 6:19: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth,
Christians aren’t going because christians are accumulating. Christ’s Great Commission comes far behind a nice house, an impressive car, a closet of clothes, vacations, and many etceteras. Most donations pay for unsanctioned buildings and salaries. The Great Commission gets leftover change. An unsanctioned church building is one of many “treasures on earth”. (Are most, perhaps all, church buildings unsanctioned?) Are salaried pastors, hired to do our job, likewise “treasures on earth” ?
Matthew 6:20: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
“Treasures in heaven” are rewards for obedience. And…. “treasures in heaven” are people. Yes, people, those rescued from hell by christians participating in Christ’s Great Commission. When you arrive how many will you bring with you? Let’s use the gift of imagination….
You are strolling down one of heaven’s many walkways when a white-robed saint stops you, saying, “Because of your obedience (sacrifice, boldness, investment) I received the gospel of Jesus Christ! I am eternally saved!!!!” He will hug you and thank you and always remember you (as you will those involved in your salvation). You continue your walk. Soon another white-robed saint stops you, recognizing you as one of those responsible for her salvation. Same rejoicing, same gratitude. This scenario is repeated numerous (dozens? hundreds? thousands?) times throughout your eternity simply because you had taken Christ and His Great Commission seriously. Now let’s imagine something quite contrary….
Instead of following Christ you followed christians. Instead of financing the Great Commission you financed your religion…. or your toys…. or indulgences. Instead of going you parked. Now you are in heaven, one of many “saved, yet so as through fire” walking the same walkways. You look in vain for people saved through you. Nobody. Now you fully realize the actual cost of all those “treasures on earth” you left behind. Because of your disobedience to Christ and your obedience to religionists many are suffering eternally.
As an incentive we should try to envision sowers and reapers dancing and rejoicing with our spiritual offspring in “the New Jerusalem”, “the city of the living God”. A beautiful picture, isn’t it?
John 12:47: I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.
Jesus did not enter the human race as a son of a virgin for the purpose of bringing judgement against the world. He does not pleasure in pointing a condemning finger and declaring, “Guilty! Guilty!” And likewise today it is not His heart to judge those in rebellion.
Love compelled Jesus to come, to rescue us from darkness and the fruit of our sin. Now that He has returned to the Father He needs disciples such as yourself to love through.
John 15:4: As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
Soul-winners love Jesus Christ much, and souls are a fruit of that wholesome relationship. Salvation of others is a good fruit of branches abiding in “the vine” and evidence of their abiding. Caution: Do not be the foolish branch who departs from the vine to evangelize; evangelism is something you do with Jesus. He has told us plainly, “Without Me you can do nothing.” (Jn.15:5) As you simply abide in Christ souls will come. You are to love Him, speak of Him, consider Him, walk in the awareness of His nearness.
Luke 10:2: the laborers are few;
Jesus has many converts, but few disciples. Many of His children live to receive His blessings, few to pour out their lives for His concerns. Most vigilantly maintain a distance from Him. Few can say of Jesus, as He had said of His Father, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.” (Jn.4:34)
It is written of Jesus, “He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem.” (Mt.7:13) Jerusalem is where He was sent, Jerusalem was His commission, the cross awaited Him in Jerusalem, and so Jerusalem is where He went.
Will you “steadfastly set” your face toward your ‘Jerusalem’? Will you fulfill the commission God has long ago placed on your life? Will you be one of His “few…. laborers”? Will you postpone pleasure for a season and get to work, knowing your work will actuate living “treasures in heaven”?
If Jesus had shrunk back from His assignment we would still be on “the way that leads to destruction”. If His disciples cower from their mission many will die in their sins.
Matthew 4:19: “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
All followers of Christ are “fishers of men”. They became fishers of men by simply following Christ. Disciples “go”. Disciples beget disciples. Obedience to Christ is the key to fruitfulness. The branch firmly connected to the vine “bears much fruit”. This reality you can never forget. This simple truth must be grafted into your christianity.
Christ died for all but only a small part of all are saved. This puts an incredible responsibility on the minority to reach out with passion to the majority.
Romans 10:14,15: How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?
The Great Commission is your commission. You are as responsible for reaching the lost as anyone. If they don’t hear about Christ they won’t believe in Christ. If you don’t hurt for the lost you won’t reach out to the lost. You live in a battleground, not a playground. You have one opportunity to bless your generation. No redo’s. Fun and luxury can wait until heaven.
You may be insignificant to others, but not to Christ. He knows your potential is immense. Your obedience will release latent power. Your christianity will be no more and no less successful than your faithfulness. Being a soul-winner (a people-winner) is not complicated; simply commit yourself to the lordship of Christ and His Sent-One, the Holy Spirit.
I am not suggesting obedience is easy. Not at all. Friendship with Christ is enmity with the lukewarm. Your fervour is their reproof. Expect exclusion. If you are popular something is wrong. (“Woe to you when all men speak well of you.”)
Luke 6:38: Give, and it will be given to you:
One way to get is to give. The more you give the more you get. (“With the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”) However, giving to get is honourable only if your heart is to release what you get. Don’t let getting be your motive for giving. Wisdom is laying up “treasures in heaven”; dumb is laying up “treasures on earth”. Dumb? Like really? Well, yeah…. momentary “treasures on earth” costs eternal “treasures in heaven”. Sounds unwise to me. On that theme, I have a suggestion that will enlarge your heavenly account vastly. Will you listen? Repeat: Will you listen? (“He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”)…..
I advise you to prayerfully consider opening a bank account for the sole purpose of directing your donations. You can, should you so choose, feed this account every day, a little or a lot. You spend from this account only by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
This could be the best advice you heard for a long time. You would be wise to talk it over with Lord Jesus. Jesus is your Lord, isn’t He? If you haven’t relinquished your finances to Jesus He is not Lord; you are. (“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?”)
To open such an account or not open an account is (are you ready for this?) not your decision to make. It would be your decision if Christ were not seated on the throne of your life, but He is (isn’t He?). Your place is to discern His will. That’s it. No, I am not suggesting you will get an instant yes or no. If you are like me the will of God slowly grows on you.
You may find your account building because the Lord hasn’t been directing you in a particular direction. But He will. He is not wasteful. He has a purpose, just not yet. Just keep feeding your account regularly.
John 4:36: “And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life,
We owe Jesus so much. And even though our indebtedness is more than we could ever repay, and even though at best we “are unprofitable servants” (Lk.17:10) simply doing “all those things which you are commanded”, yet He will richly reward us for obedience.
If you join His army of soul-winners (people-winners), if you lay down your life for the sake of the Father’s kingdom, if you put aside your interests and adopt His burden for a lost and suffering world, if you obey His command and set your eyes and your compassion on the lost and dying, as you submit to the lordship of His Spirit, the Lord Jesus Christ will surely supply your needs as He does every soldier who enlists in His army. For all eternity you will enjoy “fruit for eternal life”, your reward for obedience “where neither moth nor rust destroys”.
Luke 10:9: heal the sick
When we get to heaven we will wonder why we ignored this simple command, “Heal the sick”. How can we imitate Christ and not do what He did repeatedly?
You heal by His power resident within. You heal in His name, by His authority. Multitudes would be cured if His people would boldly and routinely say in faith, “Be made whole in the name of Jesus Christ!” Many would be delivered from strongholds of darkness if His church would rise in indignation and declare, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” (Ac.16:18)
Failure to heal the sick and cast out demons is an admission of lack of faith in Jesus. “Branches” that abide in – take power from, live in communion with, believe in and rely upon – “the vine” do not back away from sickness and disease and demons. Power of believers is relative to faith, and faith is relative to the quality and consistency of that abiding.
John 5:36: the very works that I do – bear witness of Me,
Oh, what a weak and impotent and uncaring Christ the church presents to the world! This Christ does not heal, He does not deliver, He does not multiply loaves, He does not raise the dead, He does not set men and women free from their addictions. But it is His church, not Jesus, that is weak and impotent! His ambassadors misrepresent Him. His people are commissioned to “heal the sick” in His name, and all of heaven’s resources are behind their commands of faith. Yet His redeemed buckle in fear.
Do not flow in the current created by the lukewarm masses.
Mark 16:20: And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.
Do not leave the preaching to others. You must preach “everywhere” the Spirit leads, preach only “Jesus Christ and Him crucified”, and expect “accompanying signs”. Refuse to lower Christ’s standard. Do not look to the way it is for an example; look to His Word written for your benefit.
Mark 16:20: the Lord working with them
Jesus had risen and was seated at the right hand of His Father, yet He was “working with them”, His eleven apostles. Evangelism was something they did together. Likewise, He is with His people today, and wanting to be “working with them”. With the eleven, He was their life. Can the same be said of you? You could have the same alliance with Jesus the eleven possessed. They benefited from His personal presence; you have Christ via the Holy Spirit. By the Spirit you can develop the same rich relationship with Jesus, and with that relationship will come His power for “accompanying signs” .
Luke 18:8: when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Four times the Bible says, “The just shall live by faith”. You have been justified by faith in Christ: now you are to carry out your commission by faith in Christ. Paul is a good example, “The life that I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God”. (Gal.2:20)
Faith will come by saturating yourself in the Bible. (“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”) Much Bible, much faith. Much faith, much fruit. Evangelizing without faith is akin to the labourer going into the harvest field without a sickle. Without faith you cannot please the “Lord of the harvest”. You cannot be effective. You cannot be people-winners. And you will not be the one rejoicing on that day of accounting.
And what is faith? Faith is trust. Faith in Christ is trusting in Christ. You trust Christ as a child trusts his mother. “The just shall live by” a childlike trust in Jesus Christ.
Matthew 23:8: you are all brethren.
The prime obstacle to evangelism is the homage christians render to christians. The way it is produces the effect of “branches” abiding in “branches”. Not good.Fruit will not come from such a relationship. God has commanded us to love one another, bear with one another, exhort each other, pray for one another. But He never told us to abide in each other. We abide with but not in. We are to abide in “the vine” and be Christ-gazers. Out of this relationship we develop a love for one another. Fellowship must be in Christ.
In His sight we “are all brethren”. Some are more obedient than others, some have a deeper devotion to Jesus, some have been given more prominent gifts. Nonetheless, we “are all brethren”, none above the other, none more important, none loved the more.
Jesus is “the Lord of the harvest”. You receive your orders directly from Him, not indirectly through fellow christians, not even leaders. You cannot allow the gifted or the charismatic to replace Him in your sight. You carry in your heart a big Jesus, not a big christian.
Matthew 28:19: Go therefore
Go by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Go by the power of the Holy Spirit.
“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” “The world” doesn’t know Jesus actually, somehow, “bore our sins in His own body on the tree.” But you and I do. Doesn’t that make us responsible to share that knowledge? Paul thought so: “I am a debtor both to the Greeks and to the barbarians, both to the wise and the unwise.”
Because others ignore Christ’s command to “go”, that can’t influence you to likewise disobey. Their disobedience makes your obedience more urgent. “The laborers are few.” I simply suggest you live as you would have wished you lived when about to pass from here to there, from temporary to eternal. Amen? Make sense?
Matthew 25:21: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant;
If you do not hear those words from Jesus you will be sorely disappointed. You will ache for another opportunity but none will be given. You will see sadness in His eyes because He cannot give you the rewards He longs to give. Wisdom is living today to hear tomorrow those words, “Well done, good and faithful servant”.
Richard had another vision, this one seemed to be related to the judgement seat of Christ. It was scary.
It was not what many would think the judgement seat of Christ to be (but similar to visions others have experienced).
My friend saw a sea of people, all robed in white, all prostrate before Jesus. They were in deep agony. They could not look into the eyes of Jesus; they were ashamed. Jesus overlooked the multitudes bowed in deep remorse before Him. He was not angry nor condemning. But He was not smiling. He spoke: “I told you not to…. I told you not to…. I told you! I told you not to lay up treasures on earth.” Over and over again: “I told you…. I told you…. I told you.”
Many (most?) evangelicals make a religion of doing what Jesus told them not to do, perhaps more proficiently, more intensely, than non-christians. Some think tithing gives them permission to hoard; giving a tenth to God justifies their “treasures on earth”.
My friend felt that what he saw was only one aspect of the judgement seat of Christ; I am sure he was right. There will be many, but relatively fewer, who will be rejoicing in ecstasy as they receive eternal rewards their obedience has earned them.
What percentage of christians will be remorseful? How many will be rejoicing? The answer is all around us. What percentage of brothers and sisters are intently laying up treasures on earth? How many are diligently laying up treasures in heaven?
More important, where are your treasures? Where is your heart? What consumes you? What, or whom, is your passion.
May the Lord Jesus Christ richly bless your life with more of Him.
—————————————————-A TRIBUTE TO JESUS CHRIST
has highly exalted
and given him
which is above
that at the name of
every knee should
of those in
and of those on
and of those under
and that every
should confess that
to the glory of
god the father