Bible-based | Christ-centered | Family-focused | Mission-minded
As Christians, we have been given the responsibility to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mark 16:15) It is through this action and the message of the Gospel that souls can be redeemed, just as God redeemed us. The result is, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.” (Mark 16:16) It is what Jesus meant when He said, “Come unto Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28) This “Great Commission,” as it is known, is clearly demonstrated in John 1:40-41 in the example of Andrew bringing his brother, Peter, to Jesus. It is also seen in the preaching and response to the first Gospel sermon (Acts 2:40-41), through Phillip’s efforts in Samaria (Acts 8:12), and Paul’s evangelistic work in Philippi (Acts 16). Bringing people to Jesus through the Gospel is God’s prescribed method for rescuing souls from sin.
Have you considered if you are fulfilling the Great Commission? Remember, it is not a suggestion, it is a command. Every Christian has a personal duty to sow and plant the seed – the Word of God (cf. Matthew 13). By spreading the Good News, we are presenting an opportunity for people to access the free gift of God. It is still their choice to accept Jesus or not, but whatever the outcome, we have been charged with showing them the way. So, how many people have you brought to the foot of the cross? How many souls have you led to Jesus?
Sadly, many Christians fail to meet the divine obligation of the Great Commission due to a host of disingenuous reasons. For example, some believe evangelizing is only the preacher’s job. Others feel as if they are incapable of teaching someone else. Many claim they don’t have the opportunity to evangelize or will use the excuse of “No one wants to listen to me talk about Jesus.” There are innumerable pretenses given, but they all fall short because if someone could learn how to become a Christian for themselves, they certainly can teach another or lead them to a teacher who can help. The truth is that everyone is capable of evangelizing lost souls.
A similar commission was given to the prophet Ezekiel, he was made a “watchman” over the people. If he warned the people and they didn’t listen, God would not hold him responsible and said, “you have delivered your soul.” But then God told him, “if you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.” (Ezekiel 33:7-9) The same principle applies to us today. God hasn’t changed.
What’s more severe and might be considered the opposite of the Great Commission is what Paul teaches in Romans 14:13, “let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall.” So, instead of preaching the Gospel and leading a lost soul to Jesus, this passage describes one who causes a Christian to fall away from the faith, putting their soul in danger of eternal condemnation! Simply because of some foolish word or hurtful action committed by one individual, the result was another stumbled, left the church, and is now lost again! Rather than a soul being led to Jesus, they were led to Satan! How tragic! Yet, this scenario seems more common than evangelism. It appears as if it is easier to drive someone out of the church than to bring them in.
With all that being said and understood, how often do you think about the impact you have on the souls of others? In the end, “How many souls have you led to Jesus? vs. How many souls have you led to Satan?” This is ultimately what our words and actions can do! The example of our lives to others, the things we say, and how we make people feel can enormously impact a soul’s eternal destiny. The Great Commission makes you and me God’s “watchman.” We will all have to give an account to God for the charge of warning lost souls. Did we fulfill our task or allow souls to be attacked and perish? Did we offer rescue through the Good News or cause them to stumble? When you stand before God’s throne on that Day of Judgment, what will your “record” be?