The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, and it reminded me of the importance of the gospel and how easily we take it for granted. I was sharing how there have been few opportunities lately to share the gospel with others, and we started talking about this verse:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” - Matthew 28:19
He pointed out that the word “go” in the phrase “go therefore and make disciples” in the original Greek is actually a participle, not a verb, meaning in its original form, it is translated as, “As you go/As you are going, make disciples.”
Shawn mentioned in his sermon recently that as a church, we do community well; we care for each other, gather frequently, and volunteer at church. While this community is important and biblical, if we are comfortable to remain within our own sphere, we miss the important call of Christ to go and make disciples. The great thing about the people of our church is that we are spread throughout the city. We have different jobs and live different lives. That’s what struck me so much about the phrasing of this verse. We do not need to have a planned church event to go out and share the gospel. We need to share it as we are going along in our daily lives.
Like we have been learning about in 1 John, it is not just about how we live our lives but the conversations we have with others about Jesus.
We have been entrusted with this Message of Life, and its outpouring from our hearts should affect not only our actions but our words also.
So what stops us from sharing as we go?
Sometimes we fall into the lie that intellectually, we don’t know enough to talk with others about Jesus and his message. We are tempted to think we need to be a pastor or a theologian to share the gospel, when even being able to say the name of Jesus comfortably in a conversation can plant a seed in someone’s heart. Other times we shy away because we fear other people’s thoughts or judgments. I’ve certainly found this to be true in my own life - most often with the people I am closest to. A lot of the time in the busyness of life, we get caught up in our work, our homes, our families, and our friends, and we just forget our true mission.
I believe the best way to combat this is to feed ourselves more of the truth. In order to share the gospel with others, I have to know it myself and have it fresh in my mind. The more I preach the gospel to myself, the better equipped I am to share it with others around me. Our call to mission is constantly upon us as we go.
There are so many places you could point to in the Bible to help explain the gospel to someone or to yourself. These are just two of the passages I continually go back to that clearly lay out the Gospel in my mind.
“For there is no distinction: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” - Romans 3:23-25
“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justifies by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.” - Romans 5:8-9
Where would you go in the bible to help someone understand the good news? Could you walk someone through those passages yourself? Are you prepared (or willing) to do so during lunch at work or at the park with a friend? We need to examine our hearts to see if we are willing to let God use us as we go through our day-to-day routines. Jesus says in Matthew 9:37, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.” Let this be a reminder to us that our primary work is to do the will of the Father, and this work is not always planned. It happens as we are going along.