Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Soon after I joined my university Christian Union, the committee launched a major evangelistic project. At the University of Essex, where I studied for my first degree, most first year students lived in flats on campus, with between five and sixteen people in a flat. The CU committee decided that as an expression of God’s love, we would deliver a loaf of bread and two tins of baked beans to every flat on campus. How effective it was as an attempt to share the gospel with our peers, I don’t really know, but it certainly got us lots of recognition on campus, and people were talking about us for quite a while afterwards!
Evangelism is one of those difficult things about being a Christian. Lots of people feel uncomfortable doing it, and there is much discussion and debate (sometimes even arguments!) about how we should go about doing it. Today’s verses, the final verses in Matthew’s gospel, indicate that however we go about sharing the good news of Christ, we should be doing it!
The key for me in this verse is Christ’s stipulation that we should be teaching people to obey everything that he has commanded us. In order for people to be taught that they should obey Christ, though, they need to be taught why they should obey Christ. Before people can be taught why they should obey Christ, they need to understand who Christ is. It is vital, therefore, that we all make an effort to help our friends, colleagues and acquaintances to understand who Christ is. Most people have preconceived ideas about Jesus, and it is up to us to deal with wrong ideas about Christ, and to replace them with more accurate views. What better way to do this than to introduce people to the Jesus of the Bible – to help them to see for themselves just who Jesus was, and what he taught?
Today, then, why not make another New Year resolution? Why not resolve to help people understand not just that you are a Christian, but why you are a Christian? Share with them the miracle of Christ.
Today Crossring begins a short series entitled simply “The Gospel.” We hope that you will find this a useful way of getting “Back to Basics” with your faith as we enter a new year, and that it will help equip you to “make disciples of all nations.” Why not refer your non-Christian friends to this article series, and begin a discussion with them about what they have read?