In Your Bible Read This Out Loud: Luke 24:45
Memorise This Verse: Matthew 24:14 ‘And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come’
Afterwards Talk About This: Why was it Paul’s great ambition to preach the gospel where it had never been heard (Romans 15:20)
Something To Do Before Next Time: Pray for the work of missionaries around the world
Written Diploma Work: Write one side on why the Great Commission is God’s top priority
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse: Romans 15:20
Having established the Great Commission biblically in both the Old and New Testaments it can be further established that the Great Commission is in fact the very highest priority of God in the earth at this time and as such is the fiercest battleground with the Kingdom of Satan. In the below 3 subsections, different statements will be unfolded that should lead to the conclusion that the Great Commission should be the personal top priority of every individual Christian.
Much use will be made in the next few sections of a book entitled ‘A passion for souls’ by possibly the greatest missionary father the church has ever known – Oswold J Smith. Such is the stature of this spiritual giant that the introduction to the book is written by the world’s greatest evangelist – DR Billy Graham, who says, ‘As a missionary statesman he has no peer. Around the world the name Oswold J Smith symbolises world-wide evangelism’.
1) The Unanswerable Question
‘Why should anyone hear the gospel twice, before everyone has heard it once’?
The above question is surely an unanswerable question for any bible believing Christian which shows the priority of the Great Commission in the plan of God in the earth at this time. Remember, Jesus told his disciples to shake the dust from their feet if a village they preached in refused to listen and move to the next. Remember also that the Apostle Paul had one great and burning ambition in his life – to preach the gospel where Christ was not known (Romans 15:20). Can you answer this question and biblically justify not putting the Great Commission as your number one priority.
By this, and this alone, we must judge all spirituality, all Bible knowledge, all doctrinal and theological discussions. If we are truly spiritual, if we are real Bible students, if our doctrines are Scriptural, we will put world evangelism first we will give, and give liberally, to missions.
All our Bible knowledge, all our spirituality, all our doctrinal standards are nothing but make believe, unless we are putting first things first, and we are only deceiving ourselves’. (Oswald J Smith – The Passion for Souls)
2) The Undisputed Priority
‘The supreme priority of the church is the taking of the gospel to those ethnic groups who have never heard it’
If you have failed to answer the unanswerable question then it follows that you must have as your number one priority the taking of the gospel to those ethnic groups who have never heard it. If your country and city has bibles, churches and Christians then your area is of secondary importance to those areas where the inhabitants have no bibles, churches and Christians.
Will you spend your time, money and whole life taking the gospel to your locality that already has the gospel or will you make it your life’s ambition to take the gospel to those people groups who have never heard it?
‘Think, if you will, of the hundreds upon hundreds of different organisations here at home for the propagation of the Gospel. Then think of the few in foreign lands. It just doesn’t seem fair. We have concentrated on the home work and have forgotten those for whom nothing has been prepared…….
Why then be so concerned for those in the home-land, who for the most part are not interested, and so little concerned for those in distant lands who would be interested if they had a chance’ Oswold J Smith – A passion for souls
3) Who is waiting for who?
Sadly, there is much teaching, many songs sung and many prayers offered that Jesus would return to the earth as he promised he would – the impression is given that the church is aimlessly gazing at the sky waiting for Jesus to return and it appears that the church is getting somewhat impatient! How often do we hear Christians tell the lie that ‘Jesus could return tonight’? The reality is that Jesus cannot, and will not return to the earth until the gospel has been taken to every ethnic grouping (Matthew 24:14)
Consequently, it is not a case of the church waiting for Jesus to return at any moment but more a case of Jesus waiting for the church to complete the Great Commission to allow him to return. Do you believe Jesus was telling the truth when he said he would return again? do you long for him to return and establish his rule and Kingdom? If so, don’t wait and wonder when this will happen but work towards this hope by making it your top priority to take his gospel to those who have never heard it that the conditions for his return might be fulfilled.
‘Christ wants to return. He longs to reign. It is His right. Then why does he wait? He is waiting for you and me to complete the task. He is waiting for us to do what he has told us to do. Many a time he must say to himself as he sits there, ‘How long, I wonder, are they going to keep me waiting? When will they let me come back? How soon can I return to earth to sit on My throne and reign’
‘We have but one great task and God’s Word, “his blood will I require at thine hand”, will apply to us if we withhold the Gospel. If the King is to reign, we must finish the task. He is counting on us. How long, I wonder, are we going to keep him waiting? We should lay everything else aside and concentrate on this one great objective, the completion of the evangelisation of the world in our own generation’. (Oswald J Smith – A Passion for Souls)
A House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Kyrgyzstan
4,699,337 people, 13% Non-religious
Poverty, Islam and Spiritism are all conspiring against the emerging church.
This study contains the personal beliefs and practices of of the author who recommends them to the reader. The author takes no credit for their success where applied and likewise takes no responsibility for any failure or disappointment.
The House of Prayer for the Poorer Nations at the end of each section is based on Operation World 21st Century Edition © Patrick Johnstone, Jason Mandryk. Published by Paternoster. All scriptures are NIV © Hodder & Stoughton.