The brethren often pick up bad habits from the denominationals. Here’s one: Saying that the “Go” of Mt 28.19 means, “as you go.” It appears to be a justification for not going into all the world as a defined mission for the church.
Except that it’s all wrong.
When an aorist participle is followed by an aorist imperative in narrative literature, it almost invariably piggy-backs on the force of the imperative. That is, it is translated like an imperative because the author is trying to communicate a command. — The Great Commission or the Great Suggestion? – Daniel B. Wallace
I don’t often say something is a must-read. This one is.
A comment on Mat 5.16:
“The policy of obscuration, of hiding beliefs and convictions, is often urged by lukewarm Christians, so-called ‘reasons of prudence and wisdom: gradual accustoming of men to new ideas; deference to the prejudices of good men; avoidance of rupture by premature outspokenness; but generally the true reason is fear of unpleasant consequences to oneself. ‘ To think and act thus is deliberate disloyalty to Christ. Your light, given to you from above, not to be used according to expediency, but to shine; your light, not you, the object being not to make your person prominent, but your Christianity. The Christians, individually and collectively, should perform this task as their steady work. For the light which shall be thrown out from them in every direction, before all men, consists in their good works, the fruits of their regeneration, the proof of their being illuminated by Jesus. These should be seen by the people for a definite reason. All men that come in contact with their works shall be forced to draw conclusions as to the power that inspires them. And so the glory, the honor will be placed where it properly and exclusively belongs, will be given to the Father in heaven. This fact renders the admonition urgent by giving to it its real basis.”
On some social medium, a brother whom I am not now able to identify said that we shouldn’t confuse the mess of the world—or in his instance, of the USA—with the good health of the church. His warning is appropriate, for the family of God often thrives in less than ideal circumstances. It often grows in the midst of persecution. Continue reading
“However, men obstinately refuse to change their lives, even before the most eloquent warnings (20-21). This is the world in which we live: a world hostile to God even in its core, a world that prefers to make for itself its own ‘idols’ and establish its own models of behavior.” Continue reading
Immediately after the introduction of the sermon on the mount—the joyful beatitudes—comes the great missions statement of Jesus, making his disciples salt and light in the world, Mt 5.13-15. Here is where the joy starts, in fulfilling the purpose of God for our lives in the world. This is how the sermon proper starts, with mission.
Why does Jesus need to tell his people to shine? Continue reading
Where do we put most of our time, energies, and money?
Do we talk mostly to ourselves? Is our preaching, teaching, and writing directed largely to the saved? Do our offerings get spent on keeping the saints secure and, perhaps, comfortable?
Yes, we must edify the brethren. But if our time, energies, and monies were easily measurable, would we discover that they are devoted more to ourselves than to the lost?
Some even doubt the need to evangelize. Not a few are willing to let the rest of the world enter perdition with no effort to save them. Others have little sense of the church’s Main Mission.
God wants to save everyone. Nothing is clearer in Scripture than this. Equally clear is that he has put his people in the world to proclaim his salvation to all. That is their task.
God does not do what he has given us to do. He may raise up a faithful people to do it. His providence is still at work. But we are right that he will not appear in visions or dreams to preach the gospel.
God has give us the task of mission, and he fully expects — and equips — us to do it.
Mostly, the church of America dabbles in missions. Will the Lord of the harvest not hold his people accountable for their failure?
I ran across this story on the Internet:
Today, when I went to pick-up my daughter from preschool she was sitting on the ground in the corner of the after-care area with three blind students. All of them had smiles on their faces. The after-care instructor told me my daughter has been spending time with these three students every afternoon this week, answering questions and explaining to them in vivid detail what different objects, people and animals look like.
The story, which I assume to be true, reminded me a bit of what the people of God do for those who are spiritually blind.