Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The buzzwords for missions are ‘Go’ and ‘Make disciples’. In fact, some argue which buzzword is the main verb in the original Greek language to support their views.
I want to home in on a different word. It’s ‘therefore’. When you see the word ‘therefore’, you have to find out what it’s ‘there for’. The phrase before ‘Therefore’ tells us the reason why we should go and make disciples of all nations.
The reason is in verse 18: “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth.” Jesus has been given all authority. I missed that phrase for a long time and it never sank into my heart until recently when the Spirit opened my blind eyes.
When we go for missions to reclaim lost souls for God, we are backed by Jesus’ authority. This authority to win souls is because of Jesus’ victory over sin and death. We are fighting from a victory, not for a victory. Jesus already won it at the cross for us, so now we proclaim it to the world.
The question remains: Are you exerting Jesus’ authority to claim the lost? Or are you going in your own authority? Even more convicting – are you even going to make disciples?
Imagine you are fighting a war against another country. Your commander listens to the radio intently and a smile brightens his face. He turns to you and yells, ‘We won the war! We are the victors.’ And he gives you a letter with the instructions. ‘Give this to enemy. The war is over.’
So you take the letter and what do you do? You keep the letter in a nice display cabinet and go watch television. It sounds absurd doesn’t it? The letter would do no good in the cabinet. The authority is there but it isn’t exercised.
Similarly, we have the victory over the enemy when Jesus conquered sin and death on the cross. But if we don’t tell anyone, it’s useless! We need to proclaim the message for it to take effect. After Jesus was with the Samaritan woman, he talked about reaping the harvest of lost souls:
Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.
I refer to the harvest of souls, in another place:
Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Souls of men are ripe for harvest but there’s too few workers. We need more workers who believe that the victory is won. Ask the Lord to send out more harvesters.
The task is simple: Go harvest the souls from the enemy. The war is already won. Will you go?