READ: 1 Chronicles 4-6, Psalm 117, Matthew 28, Hebrews 2
Jesus has all authority on heaven and earth. Because He is supreme it is fitting that He gives us orders. Every Christian then should live and die under these commands:
GO. The Greek has the sense of “as you are going.” Implicit is movement and flexibility. The follower of Jesus is intended to have a peripatetic gene–spiritually if not physically. We should be ever moving, seeking: “Who has not heard? Where has the gospel not gone? Where does the Church not exist?” The Jesus follower was never intended to settle down into comfort or self-absorption. If the eyes of the Lord rove to and fro around the earth seeking the lost–so must we.
DISCIPLE. Wherever we go we are to make followers of Jesus. Matthew 28:19, however, gives a very clear qualifier of who we should disciple: all the nations. The Jesus follower must have a clear focus on the ethno-linguistic peoples who have not heard about Jesus. Reaching unreached peoples is not the exclusive responsibility of frontier missionaries. Every believer in Jesus has the responsibility to participate in some way in the endeavor to see every tongue and ethnicity represented around the throne (Psalm 117/Rev. 5:9).
BAPTIZE. Water baptism is a public declaration that we belong to Jesus. Spirit baptism empowers us to public witness–it affects our speech and propels us to invite others into the body of Christ. The Bible makes no allowance for private faith. Jesus is too precious to be hoarded. To follow Jesus must include a public stand with Him and with His body. The great commission and secret belief are mutually exclusive. A full orbed Trinitarian encounter (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) must be pursued.
TEACH. We are to teach disciples “to observe all things [Jesus] commanded” (Matt. 28:20). Doctrine matters. Obedience matters. It is not enough to be familiar with the Word. We need to know and obey the Word of God. Every aspect of the disciple’s life must be conformed to what the Bible teaches. We are to be actively involved in helping one another understand and apply the Bible into our daily lives. To not obey what Jesus says in His Word is to be unconverted. You can’t be a disciple if you don’t obey.
ABIDE. In reciprocal living, if Jesus is with us always, even to the end of the age, we must be with Him. All the activities above are predicated on spending daily extravagant time in the presence of Jesus and walking with Him all day long. We cannot expect to represent Jesus well in the world if we are not intimate with Him in both intentional daily blocks of time and ongoing communion. As John York simply stated: “There is no ‘Go’ (into all the world) without ‘Lo’ (I am with you always).”
Go! Disciple! Baptize! Teach! Abide! We have our orders. What are we waiting for?