Radical Chapter 4
According to Matthew 28:19-20, “Jesus commands us to go. He has created each of us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, and [David Platt proposes] that anything less than that radical devotion to this purpose is unbiblical Christianity (pg 64).”
Are you, as a believer, taking the gospel to all nations? How much of your financial resources support global evangelization? Is your church taking the gospel to the ends of the earth?
These questions bring to bear the prospective and focus of today’s American church.
The American church is quite busy with programs and activities. We focus on church growth and status within the community. We fellowship and entertain our children and youth. We connect in Bible studies with no expectations of real transformation to take place in the lives of the believers. In light of all this “good work,” we miss Jesus’ command to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
According to the text in Matthew, strong disciples and healthy church body regularly asks the questions:
Who’s going? Who are we sending? Are we making disciples? Is that truth evident in the daily lives of our membership? Are we baptizing people into the faith (not asking this question for statistical purposes, but rather as an indicator of whether are not people are accepting Jesus and making that public profession in your midst)? Are we teaching them to obey what God commands of his chosen people?
How many churches never discuss global mission work? I always say that if you cannot be an international missionary, then definitely consider supporting one. In this manner, God’s mission is carried throughout the nations.
“How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent (Romans 10:14-15a NIV)?”
We spend our wheels going about a lot of good works and sacrifices that God will not receive if we are not obedient to the things that he has clearly told us to do in the Bible. God is not impressed by our “good work.” We make dangerous assumptions when we think that because mankind praises our efforts, God is somehow pleased. That is not always the case.
Here in lies the problem, by-in-large America has a self-centered Christianity. Many American churches are inward focused. Many professing Christians claim to love God and desire his blessings, but have no desire for obedience. They don’t want to pray or meditate on his holy Word. We don’t love as he desires for us to love or quickly forgive has he commands us to forgive. We don’t extend the same grace and mercy to others that we receive of him. When I talk about mentoring, discipleship, accountability, and commitment to the gospel, I’m often met with various forms of “I love God but…” not “I love God and therefore…”
God has called us all to share his good news, both at home and internationally. We cannot continue drawing “a line of distinction, assigning the obligations of Christianity to a few while keeping the privileges of Christianity for us all (pg 73).”All of us are called to evangelism and that starts at home. This call is an obligation and a privilege.
Let us remember that “God blesses his people with extravagant grace to they might extend his extravagant glory to all peoples on the earth (pg 67).”
How far does your extension reach?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011