| THE GREAT COMMISSION HAS NOT CHANGED!
By Rodney W. Francis.
Recently I was challenged again of our responsibility as Holy Spirit-filled Christians to get the Message of the Risen Christ out to every nation. I say “Holy Spirit-filled” Christians because Jesus told us very clearly that when we receive the power of the Holy Spirit we would be “His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 ). The Holy Spirit brings a power to enable us to be witnesses to Jesus wherever we go. We start at “home base” and then our sphere of influence widens and grows so that it is possible for us to be His witnesses to the entire earth! Yes, beyond our immediate locality, on to regional, national and international ministry of making Christ known among the peoples.
In Mark 16:15-20 , Jesus told us to “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow them that believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” It is interesting that Jesus gave this Commission to His fearful and unbelieving disciples (at that time). Are we guilty of being just like them? Yet they rose up out of their unbelief and made a decision to do what Jesus commissioned them! “And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen” (Mark 16:20 ).
We are living in a day where the voice of Christians is being silenced more and more. Other beliefs are dominating the minds of millions ~ yet Jesus gave us (you and me) the great task of evangelizing the entire world.
Many Christians today are focused on end-time events, natural Israel, the increasing local and national disasters that are happening around the globe ~ yet we seem to have forgotten that we Holy Spirit-filled Christians actually hold the “key” to all this. Listen to what Jesus said: “And this Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 ). Wow! God is not going to wrap-up the things that are happening today until we Christians have fulfilled our destiny by being obedient to what He told us to do in the Great Commission! God’s heart is that ALL NATIONS hear of JESUS!
WE NEED TO BE BORN-AGAIN BY THE HOLY SPIRIT!
I am privileged to be in contact with people from many nations. I have been privileged to travel to many nations and to see first-hand the plight of the peoples. The answers to mankind’s problems will never be solved in natural, physical things. There has to be a spiritual regeneration that takes place in each of our hearts. Then, and only then, will we begin to understand the whole purpose of life, why we are here on this earth, and that God has invited us to be a part of His great plan. Unless a person has been personally born-again by the Spirit of God they cannot see or enter God’s Kingdom (John 3:1-12 ; in this passage of Scripture Jesus was speaking to Nicodemus, a religious Jewish leader and, in spite of his position, he did not know or understand what Jesus was speaking to him). It is not about church attendance, religious position or a title one carries, confirmation, baptism, keeping the Commandments, etc. All these things are to no avail if we have not been born-again by the Holy Spirit and brought into a real relationship with JESUS! Make no mistake about this: there are scores of people who are “involved” with church and Christian things, but who have never ~ as yet ~ known the born-again experience. On a number of occasions the Holy Spirit has given me words of knowledge to speak out to people in church meetings, that when I spoke them out they became the means of their salvation. Some had been attending church for years, but had never made the personal decision to ask Jesus to come into their lives and save them. They had never been born-again! Which leads me to ask you this question, dear reader: “Have you been born-again by the Holy Spirit of God?” If you have, you will understand what I am saying with this question. If you do not understand that question, then please take the position that you are not yet born-again by the Holy Spirit, and take the time right now to ask Jesus Christ to personally step into your life and to save you. Please pray this prayer with me right now to make sure that you are born-again of the Holy Spirit:“Dear God, I come to You in the name of Jesus Christ Your only begotten Son. I ask You to forgive me of all my sins and ignorance of Your ways. Come into my life, reveal Yourself to me so that I will know without any doubt at all that You love me unconditionally and sent Jesus Christ into this world to save and change me into a child of God. Cleanse me with your Precious Blood, so that I can stand clean and whole in Your presence. Thank You for hearing my prayer and coming into my life. Fill me with the power of Your Holy Spirit so that I may live for You and be Your witness to bring the answers to others. In Jesus’ name I pray this, Amen.”
I believe that if you have prayed this prayer with honesty and sincerity, that Jesus Christ will become very much more Real to you now. You have just experienced being born-again of His Holy Spirit, and now a whole new life is starting to open up to you. With Jesus in your life there is no limit to what He and you can do together! Trust Him and see! Now have the courage to tell someone else what you have just done.
Right now the doors of opportunity are wide open in many countries around the world. We are being regularly asked to provide speakers and people who can show others the way of life in the Holy Spirit. Sadly, many Christians do not feel capable and are full of excuses as to why they can’t go. It is time to be finished with excuses (an excuse is simply telling God that we think we know better than He), and to lining ourselves up with what the Lord Himself has told us. We are not even to put off until tomorrow what God tells us we can be doing today: “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at (“observe”) the fields, for they are already white (“ripe”) for harvest (“reaping”)” (John 4:35 ).
When we are living with the knowledge that every human being will spend eternity either in the presence of God, or in a tormented place of eternal separation from God, we do not desire that anyone should die without being born-again in Jesus Christ.
Remember, this is not my idea ~ it is the command of Jesus to His followers to be witnesses unto Him, even into all the world! That means wherever we go; we can be looking for opportunities to make Christ known; sharing what the Lord has done for us; how we have found Him to be our Personal Saviour, Friend and Lord!
If those early followers of Jesus could rise up out of their fears and unbelief and obey the Great Commission, then you and I can do the same. It is Jesus’ call for you and me! He has saved us to be witnesses unto Him and to be the means of salvation for others in all nations. When those disciples rose up and went, the Bible says “the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word (what they said) with accompanying signs”! God bless you, dear witness of the Living God!