Picture a world where God decided not to involve us in sharing the good news of Jesus with others. Instead, he rescues people without any believers’ involvement. What would that world look like? Let’s imagine that in this strange world you go to a church where everyone became a follower of Jesus without any human intervention. You find your seat, and the music begins. But the songs are all different in this strange world. “Amazing Grace” and other songs based on New Testament teachings do not exist because the New Testament was not written. Because if there were no commissioning people to make disciples, there would be no reason to write about God’s mission.
In such a world, our purpose – or entire existence – would change for the worse. Our joy in sharing Jesus and his teachings with others would disappear. We would miss the thrill of seeing someone move from spiritual death to spiritual life. Our privilege of being God’s tool to transform a human soul would be lost. Our attitudes, actions, and callings would be very different. If God had not invited us to be a part of his work of salvation, our lives would lack so much joy, hope, and purpose.
For God so loved the world that he gave us the ministry of reconciliation.
Praise God that is not our world! For God so loved the world that he gave us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor 5:18-20). This priceless gift is for our good. We draw close to God as we work with him to make disciples. Yes, God can and does resume people without involving others, but it is a privilege that God chooses to spread the good news through us (2 Cor 2:14). We are given this gift to share Jesus with others so they can be forgiven, made new, and reconciled to God’s forever family. We have eternity-changing medicine to give to people who are dying spiritually. We cannot keep the gift of God’s grace to ourselves. Jesus already did the hardest part. All we need to do is share his story.
Surprisingly, some churches and believers operate as if they exist in this strange world we’ve imagined. They are uninvolved. Sharing the good news of Jesus (engaging in the work of evangelism) is simply not a priority. Instead, they tuck away Jesus’ Great Commission, hiding it away like they would hide spending money in a drawer. They may lack joy, growth, hope, unity, or purpose. They may wonder why they are not growing personally or corporately. They are unaware that they are not doing what God designed them to do. In their circumstances, evangelism truly is a lost cause.
Jesus’ mission is always to seek and save the lost.
Jesus’ mission is always to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). Through the Holy Spirit, we receive the power we need to create healthy faith families where new believers are mentored by mature believers. We all continually draw closer together – to each other and to the reasons why we exist. To love God, love everyone, and make disciples.
In Matthew 28:18-20 we read these words from Jesus: “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Let’s dig into this passage:
- Jesus was “given all authority” to make disciples. To follow in his footsteps, we need to first be disciples who follow him, denying ourselves, and submitting to his authority (Matt 16:24)
- “Therefore, go” – given Jesus’ authority, we need to be willing to go and share.
- “Make disciples” – we are directed to make followers, believers who want to constantly grow in Jesus and make him known in their communities and spheres of influence.
- “All the nations” – every soul matters to God. We are called to share him with everyone.
- “Baptizing them” – baptism is the outward sign of an inward change, and believers’ first step of obedience.
- “Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands” – we are instructed not only to know Jesus’ teachings but to obey them, and teach others to do the same.
- “I am with you always” – through the Holy Spirit, God remains with us at all times and empowers us to share the gospel with others and make disciples.
The Holy Spirit empowers us to share the gospel.
God chooses us to be his ambassadors, Jesus promises to be with us, and the Holy Spirit will empower us to share the gospel and spark transformation in our families, churches, workplaces, and communities.
Let’s all lift our voices and pray that the Holy Spirit inspires a new sense of urgency and commitment to pursuing the lost and hurting world around us. Let’s prove that evangelism is not a lost cause to us because it has never been a lost cause to our Savior.
Content adapted with permission from Your True Story: The 50-Day Essential Guide to Your New Life With Jesus by Susan Freese.
Susan Freese (DHL, Trinity Baptist College, M.Div. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary) is the founder of All In Ministries International, which serves the local church by equipping under-resourced believers worldwide to be disciple-makers for Jesus. Serving across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americans, she and the All In team train women to disciple women across cultures. Previously, Susan served as minister to women at Chets Creek Church in Florida, where she lives with her husband and sons.