To be a Disciples and to Make Disciples.
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV)
The born-again experience is God’s business; the discipleship process is ours. Obviously, God’s hands are in everything righteous we do; what I am teaching here is a Gospel that gives us responsibilities and specific instructions. Just as we are called to preach the gospel (Mark 16:15), we are also called to make disciples (Matthew 28:16-20). Our focus should be in preaching the Gospel, but we should be equally passionate about making disciples. I think that we become content with hearing somebody repeat the sinner’s prayer. We feel that after that, our job is done.
Some do not even preach the gospel anymore; they feel that giving food to the hungry is the gospel and, even as it is important that we minister to the poor, the Gospel is not in the bowl of soup or in the sandwich; the gospel MUST be communicated. Likewise, discipleship requires action; people can’t be disciple on their own. All of us should have a Paul in our lives, a pastor a leader and a Timothy, someone who we are discipling.
I am aware that Paul tells us in First Corinthians 3:6, “I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow.” (NIV) This verse does not mean that we turn our back on our call to disciple; so, we go after discipleship until that person is able to find a local church and a place, he can call his church family.
If a Born-Again believer is not willing to submit himself to discipleship something is wrong. The first love of a believer compels him to go after God with all his heart. So, the next time we are out there preaching the Gospel we must be ready to invite folks to come to come to our local church and, with time, to come to our homes so that we can aggressively and lovingly engage in making disciples.
To be continued…