Monday 1st March 2021
The Great Commission
Pastor Soong Kok Kee
Matthew 28: 18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
On 8th February we looked at the Greatest Commandment (Mark 12: 29-31) – Upward towards God and on 15th February we looked at the New Command (John 13: 34-35) – Inward towards one another in Christ and today we will look at the last being Outward towards the world – the Great Commission. As God’s children, we need to live out those three priorities simultaneously – our whole-hearted love towards God, our unconditional love towards one another and our Great Commission towards the world. If we truly love God wholeheartedly – with our heart, our soul, our mind and our strength, then we will naturally obey the New Command to love one another and to carry out the Great Commission to make disciple of all nations. Today two thousand years after that Great Commission was given, roughly one third of the world’s population are Christians – we still have lots of work to do to reach the other two third.
I still remember almost 40 years ago in an Evangelism Class in Dallas Theological Seminary, Texas, USA, the Professor who taught that class commended us, especially international students for coming from all over the world to learn how to evangelize the world. While we were brimming with pride – the next thing he said cut most of us to our hearts – don’t you realize that while you are studying here how to evangelize the world, if your non-Christian parents or any other family members die before you go back, you will never see them again?
That night, with tears in my eyes I typed (yes, early 80s either write or use type-writer!) a letter to my step father to urge him to become a Christian. I told him he has been such a good and kind step father to me and my two sisters that we want very much for him to be with us too in heaven. I then asked one brother around his age from my church to visit and share the gospel to him in person. Not long after, while I was still in Dallas, I was over joyed to learn that he had accepted the Lord as his personal Savior. He gave us one half-sister and two half- brothers, and all are Christians including my mum. PTL.
Yes, the Great Commission is to bring the Gospel to all nations of the world, but what about those closest to us? Our parents, our spouse, our children, our siblings, our relatives and dear friends? Wouldn’t you want all of them to be in heaven with you? If they are already Christians PTL! If not, start by praying for them, for God Almighty to open their hearts to our Lord. Like what I did, ask someone from our Church around their age, with their same interests or hobbies to befriend them and slowly share the gospel with them. Friendship evangelism has been proven to be the best tool. Claim the promise of Acts 16: 31 “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your household.” For our merciful God does not want anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet 3: 9).
If the rich man in hell can beg Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his five brothers “so that they will not also come to this place of torment” (Luke 16: 28), how much more we who are on our way to heaven would also want our loved ones to be eternally with us in heaven?
PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank you for reminding us about the Great Commission. Someone had said evangelism is one beggar telling another where the bread is. You are the Bread of life and we thank you Lord for forgiving our sins and saving us for eternal life. We want not only us but all our family members, relatives and dear friends to be with us too in heaven. Help us Lord to have the boldness to share your salvation with them, and please open their hearts Lord to accept you as Lord and Saviour. Work a miracle in their lives, reveal Yourself to them in a special way so they will know you are the One and Only True God. In Jesus precious name we pray AMEN.
2月1日，我们看了最大的诫命(马可福音12:29-31) – 向上 – 向上帝；2月15日，我们看了新的命令(约翰福音13:34-35) – 向内 – 在基督里彼此相向。今天我们将看最后的一项 – 向外 – 向整个世界 – 大使命。作为上帝的儿女，我们需要同时活出这三个优先事项 – 我们对上帝全心全意的爱、我们对彼此无条件的爱，以及我们对世界的大使命。如果我们尽心、尽性、尽力、尽意爱主，那么我们自然而然地会服从这新命令，彼此相爱，并实践大使命，使万民作门徒。在颁布大使命两千年后的今天，全世界约三分之一的人口是基督徒 – 要达到另外三分之二的人口，我们仍有许多工作要做。
我还记得大约40年前，在美国德州达拉斯神学院的一堂 ‘传福音’ 课上，授课的教授赞扬了我们，尤其是来自世界各地要学习如何向世界传福音的国际学生。当我们洋溢着自豪之情时 – 他说的下一句话让我们大多数人极为伤心 – 你难道没有意识到，当你在这里学习如何向世界传福音的时候，如果你的非基督徒父母或任何其他家庭成员在你回去之前离世，你将再也见不到他们了吗？