It seems like forever since we last talked. This week has been something else from fighting vertigo to watching Sharron Angleâ€™s great victory in Nevada. Last night as I went to bed very early feeling exhausted the Lord put something on my heart to write about this morning and it includes Sharron. Oh this is not going to be about politics; itâ€™s about the Great Commission.
That has actually been titled improperly. The reason I say this is because a commission is something we can disobey and yes, that is sin. But letâ€™s take a brief English lesson shall we? The Random House Dictionary defines commission as â€œthe act of committing or giving in charge; an authoritative order, charge, or direction.â€
Our Great Commission comes from the last three verses in Matthewâ€™s Gospel:
â€œAnd Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, â€˜All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.â€™ Amen.â€ (Matthew 28:18-20)
Jesus tells us to go in verse 19 but if you literally translate the Greek it says:
â€œTherefore having gone make disciples of all the nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.â€
Jesus is not committing us to go; He is assuming we have gone or that we are going. This is not just the Great Commission, more importantly it is the Grand Assumption. Back to our dictionary: assumption â€“ â€œsomething taken for granted; a supposition.â€
Jesus didnâ€™t tell us this with the thought we might not go. Of course in His omniscience He knew we would be disobedient and I believe He purposefully used the Greek present perfect simple tense which puts the emphasis on the result and it being an action that is still on-going.
Given this light do you think when I tell Jesus sorry I disobeyed the Great Commission; sorry I didnâ€™t goâ€¦do you think He might say, â€œAh but David I had assumed you were going?â€ Tell me which would cause more shame in a Christian; you confessing to the Lord you didnâ€™t do what He said or Him saying I had assumed you were already doing it? I may just be playing semantics here but I donâ€™t want my Savior saying that to me.
Which leads me to Sharron; she lives the Grand Assumption. Last October during the NFRA national convention on Saturday night we had the Ronald Reagan Awards Banquet. This was a great chance to meet Republicans from all over the country, some very powerful. We were in Reno on Sharronâ€™s home turf. Sharron had a great opportunity to network and rub elbows with some influential people like many others were doing.
Sitting at her table was a man named Tawfiq Hamid; read about him here. Dr. Hamid is a somewhat influential man, greatly admired in Washington D.C. So what did Sharron and Tawfiq talk about? Sharron, in the middle of this huge banquet, shared the gospel with Tawfiq. She asked him what he believed about God and when he was done explaining it to her, she shared the biblical truth about the Holy Trinity, the Heavenly Father, and the Suffering Savior. She could have thought I donâ€™t want to offend this Muslim or ruin the evening; this isnâ€™t really the right venue.
No, she doesnâ€™t want Tawfiq to go to hell and after hearing his story she knew he would without a saving relationship with Jesus.
After the Lord reminded me of this story He asked me, â€œWhen was the last time you shared the gospel David?â€ I knew I had again shared it with my nephews last month while I was in Nevada, but I have had opportunities since then. I didnâ€™t take those opportunities because I didnâ€™t care if those people went to hell; at least not as much as I cared about being too busy or it not being the right time or whatever inexcusable excuse I came up with.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
â€œFor â€˜whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.â€™ How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?â€ (Romans 10:13-14)
Sharron knew that Tawfiq could not call on Jesus if he had never heard the good news. Neither can anyone else whom God gives us opportunity to share the gospel.
After I confessed last night to the Lord I committed to Him that I would share the gospel with everyone I had opportunity. He said, â€œGood, do it tomorrow morning with your devotional readers.â€
I immediately knew what He meant.
I donâ€™t know the spiritual condition of many of you. And even if I think I do, I do not know for sure because I am unable to spend time with each of you.
But here is what I do know, without a saving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ you are going to hell. Thatâ€™s not just Dave Jeffersâ€™ opinion; itâ€™s the biblical truth:
â€œThen Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, â€˜Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the â€œstone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.â€ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.â€™â€ (Acts 4:8-13)
Peter was either lying, deluded, or telling the truth. In fact, he was merely telling the Jews what Jesus had already said:
â€œJesus said to him, â€˜I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.â€™â€ (John 14:6)
Now come on Dave you canâ€™t mean to say the Jesus is the only way, perhaps He meant He was a way. Really? Do you remember this?
â€œFor God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.â€ (John 3:16)
If Jesus is only one of many ways into Heaven then that means God gave His only begotten Son as an option. Does that pass the common sense test?
Yeah, but Dave I’m a good person; a good husband; a good wifeâ€¦I believe my good works will outweigh my bad. Really? How about this?
â€œFor by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.â€ (Ephesians 2:8-9)
If youâ€™re saying you can get to heaven based off of your good works, are you not boasting of them?
If you believe you can earn your way into heaven and you do good works to get there, then you believe in salvation by works.
However, if you believe as I do that salvation is a gift from God through His graceâ€”unmerited favorâ€”then you believe in salvation by grace. And because I am saved by grace I do good works:
â€œFor we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.â€ (Ephesians 2:10)
So if the way into heaven as you believe is through works, then we are bothâ€”you and meâ€”are going to heaven.
However, if the way into heaven is through grace, then I am going to heaven and youâ€™re not.
So let me ask you this; if what I believe is right and what you believe is wrong, then whoâ€™s gambling with their eternity?
Now thatâ€™s what I call a grand assumptionâ€¦
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Copyright Â© 2010 David Jeffers