What a beautiful, Great Commission month April was at Boone’s Creek Baptist Church! Our team arrived back from Trinidad as we spread God’s glory to the nations—and four came to know Jesus Christ and countless others had the seeds of the gospel planted in their hearts, both young and old.
The Hazard missions team helped with the Easter Egg Hunt that saw 300+ children come through—and were a key part of 103 coming to the first preview service at Summit Community Church on Sunday, April 17th – and five came to know Jesus there. Mark called, excited that they just scheduled that church’s very first baptism.
Our Eggs-traordinary Easter Egg Hunt was a tremendous success. Even with the horrendous rain, over 40 children (and lots of adults) had a great time with the inside Easter Egg Hunt. We had tons of children visitors, three of whom did not have a church home! This is why we had this hunt—to reach children (and their families) for Jesus.
Are you seeing a pattern here? Our vision of reaching our neighbors and the nations is coming into clear view. This was not a vision that I or others at our church concocted—Christ gave it to us. We are simply ambassadors, not out to write out a new way of doing things, but simply conveying the marching orders of the one who sent us.
What Fuels the Great Commission
As David Sills said at our Neighbors to the Nations Sunday back in September, “Jesus’ last command is of first importance.” The word ‘gospel’ comes from the Greek word euangelion (you can see the word ‘evangel’ in there) which in a military term. It’s the sending of good news from the commander to the battlefield telling of how the war was over, declaring victory over the opponent. This gives us confidence in sharing the good news with family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and the nations—it’s a message of victory, given by the authority of Christ Himself.
When thinking about the Great Commission, we often start at Matthew 28:19: “Go, and make disciples . . . .” Yet, the Great Commission begins in the previous verse, where Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (28:18). Christ births, institutes, plants, and sends His church to minister as a missions hub, a launching point to tell the Good News of the victory He’s won! No wonder all authority was given by the Father to His Son. Only He conquered that which was unconquerable—sin and death—and only He provided atonement for that sin.
When Jesus tells to, as we go, to make disciples, this is not simply garnering decisions. We must resist feeling satisfied in folks ‘walking the aisle’ or filling (or as the case may be, staying) in our pews and recognize the joy and beauty as followers of Christ in coming alongside new believers and making disciples—those who sit at the feet of Jesus and His Word and learn about who God is, what He has done, and what He aims to do through us! There’s a joy in connecting with others, growing in Him, and serving Him! How do we make disciples?
We help others find their identity in Christ. “… baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit.” To be baptized means to be immersed. Christ did not die on the cross for Him to be just an add-on to our house. Jesus takes up our old foundation and lays a new one through the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:19-22)—that is, the Word of God! He is the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last (Isaiah 44:6-8; Revelation 1:17), and thus He must be our First and Last. And given all He accomplished for us, why wouldn’t we want Him to be?
We help others follow the Word of Christ. “… teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.” Remember, Christ said this. We teach them to observe everything. Oftentimes, we are tempted to pick and choose that which we teach, either due to the fear of man, or due to the fact that that passage just seems so hard. After all, some say, how can we reach people with such hard teachings? We know the commands about adding to or taking away from God’s Word. We are commanded to teach everything Christ commanded us. The Word of God is that lamp to our feet, and we are to hide its words in our heart so we may not sin against God (Psalm 119:11, 105). All we are doing is conveying orders as ambassadors from our Commander. We don’t determine which ones to convey and which ones we don’t. The world needs to hear the “whole counsel of God” (Acts 20:24) and we are to preach it “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2).
We help others to know that our Commander is with us on the field. “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). How? Jesus promised to send the Spirit to help us, come alongside us, convict us, empower us to witness—so we would not be orphans in this world (read John 14-16 about the Spirit’s ministry). We are not left on our own to do business on our own, living for Jesus by our own power, drawing on the world’s ways to do to God’s work! He is with us!
Starting this month, we will continue on with Luke’s second volume, known to us as the book of Acts. Your Bibles may entitled this book “The Acts of the Apostles,” but they are really the Acts of the Holy Spirit. All through this book, you will see a people who lived beyond their means, who never knew what was coming, Through the Spirit, they lived beyond their means, and never knew what was coming next, but were doggedly clinging to God’s Word, regardless of what men had to say. All they had to rely on was Jesus and His body, the Church! They stayed obedient to what was clear—and God took care of that which wasn’t. I can’t wait for this journey!