Rev. Sudha Mehta©
What if, the disciples had come up with various excuses when they received this command from Jesus:
Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared to the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen. 15 And he said to them, Go you into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken to them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (MKJV)
Matthew 28: 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go you therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you: and, see, I am with you always, even to the end of the world. Amen.(MKJV)
Acts 1: 8 But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the uttermost part of the earth.(MKJV)
What if, when they saw Him ascending, Andrew said “Man, this is just not for me. I don’t know enough. I am an introvert, I am not a great speaker.”
What if, Bartholomew said “I can’t give sermons like the other guys, I would rather stay with my family?”
What if, Philip said, “My work is too important, I need to go back home, my family has been neglected for these last few years, so . . . no”
What if, any one of them after the resurrection, had said “No” to the task appointed to them.
What if, they had discouraged other young zealous ones who may have wanted to go by saying, “You weren’t there! You don’t know enough!”
Or “He commissioned only us twelve.”
What if, the eleven had said, “Paul you are not one of us, you were a persecutor and will always be one, we don’t trust you to carry the message!”
Praise be to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, that these men were all obedient and set their hearts on doing what they were called to! Praise be to God that the women who also were disciples in the group never stopped to consider the price of doing what they were called to do. Rather, they considered the cost of NOT doing to be so high, that they paid the price; losing everything, including their own lives AND often the lives of their loved ones to fulfill the Great Commission.
They did so even though they were told by Jesus Himself:
Matthew 10: 16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves: be you therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will whip you in their synagogues; 18 And you shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak. 20 For it is not you that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaks in you. (BSB)
Because they were obedient they passed the Word down to the next generation, and the next to the next, and so on. and so today, we too can call upon “our” Father in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Centuries have gone by, two millennia have passed and the Word has not passed away.
Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away. (MKJV)
The Lord knew the hearts of men, and He knew that even in the darkest of times, there would always be a remnant to carry the Word in it’s pure form to pass it on.
Romans 10: 17 Consequently, faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. (BSB)
Again, Faith comes by hearing.
Some one has said we are always just one generation away from extinction. think about that . . .
Did you know the Great Commission that was given to the Church included you?
Did you know that your re-birth in Christ was because someone fulfilled the Great Commission? Your born-again experience was not accidental, someone cared, someone prayed, someone shared, you heard and were born again.
Not a one of us would have ever known of Christ and His finished work on the cross if the disciples (men and women) had not understood that the Great Commission was to be carried on, . . . and on, literally from Jesus time until He comes and sets up His kingdom on earth.
So, now comes the question, what are you doing with this same Great Commission? Who are you telling? Go- tell! We all have a sphere of influence. our spheres of influence come in various sizes just the same as the apostles.
All but John were martyred for the faith. they gave their lives to be true, and gained their reward on the other side, but their spheres of influence were not the same size. There is no book of Andrew, is there? Some died sooner for the cause while others lasted longer. some went longer distances than others. Thomas and Bartholomew died in India, one by sword and the other by spear. While there is no Book of Thomas in the Holy Canon, the church of St. Thomas continues till today! How is that for influence?
John lived the longest. they tried to kill him but couldn’t. So they banished him to Patmos, and from there we get the Book of Revelation. Consider Paul, once a persecutor, he wrote the most in the Bible, and he, along with others, continues to teach us the way even today.
These were mere mortals just like you and me. Fallible human beings. Some introverted and quiet, others outspoken and opinionated. One thing you can be sure of, they were all committed completely.
No one gives his/her life for a cause without being totally sold out to it. They did the part assigned to them. They did not shy away from speaking the truth. You couldn’t make them leave Christ out of a conversation. They lived, breathed Him 24/7, and they died for Him.
Can you say that? We are constantly bombarded with requirements like:
- Don’t speak or bring the Bible to work.
- Keep your faith private.
- Don’t be intolerant.
- The Bible is just not “politically correct.”
Some reasons I hear for not sharing Christ with others:
- I will get attacked.
- People will not like me.
- I am too timid, an introvert.
- I am afraid.
- I don’t know enough.
- It won’t make a difference.
- Finally the most common: “You don’t understand how it is out there.”
In all my forty plus years of following Christ, I have never seen a more difficult time to share Christ. The culture we live in today makes it very difficult. I am not advocating a lack of wisdom in sharing, but I am speaking against cowardice. If you think everyday life was easy for the early Christian, you do not know your history. If they were unstoppable, what reason would you give before Christ for not sharing with others?
I know I had my hands extended toward heaven trying to find answers when I was in a desperate situation. I wanted to connect with God, not even knowing who He was. You also had a need for Him or else you wouldn’t be here on this page. There are many others around the world that have a need, a hunger to have a personal relationship with God, but they, like you and me, haven’t met Him yet. Are you sharing? Are you praying? Are you actively open to speak life into them? Will you be their answer to prayer? . . . They are waiting . . .
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