Commanded to Make Disciples
Why is it often hard? As believers, we are commanded to tell others of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are to speak of the call to repentance and faith. We are to compel people to come into the Kingdom. We are to ambassadors for Christ, imploring people to be reconciled to God. Jesus says He will be with us as we go and make disciples. Yet, it is often hard for me to be obedient and do this.
I ask myself “why”? And the answer is simple. Fear!
I often am afraid of the reaction. I think, “they don't want to hear this. I'm just going to be a bother. I might see them again and it will be awkward.” I have a fear of man.
This shouldn't be. I can talk about other things with people, yet I have a hard time telling them the most important thing I can ever tell them. I have a hard time telling them the best thing they could ever hear. Maybe this is because in order for them to know it is the best thing I will have to tell them what they don't want to hear. I will have to tell them what they already know. I will have to tell them that they are sinners. Who wants to hear that?
What Do They Know?
I know they are sinners. I know because the Word of God says this:
“All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
I know this also because I am a sinner as well. I remember how I used to react before I was saved. I remember my rejection of people who tried to tell me the truth of Jesus Christ. I remember my sinful state before the Holy Spirit regenerated my heart when I heard the good news of Jesus Christ.
Yet, I still hesitate. Yet, I still let the moment pass because I fear their reaction.
But it is not just that. It is not just the fear of man that stops me. It is love. It is the love of self. I want to be liked. If I don't bring up this confrontational topic they will like me. They won't run when they see me coming. They will say hi when I pay for my groceries. They will enjoy me getting food at the drive-through. My neighbors won't pretend like they didn't see me when I walk in the apartment building.
I have preached the gospel in the open air. I have handed out tracts in Union Square. Yet, I have the hardest time sharing with people in my community. I have a hard time sharing with my family. “But God is sovereign,” I say. “He didn't want me to share at that moment. He will still save them if He wills.” This may be true but He still commands me to tell of the Gospel. He still has made me an ambassador and has given me the ministry of reconciliation. “Be reconciled to God!”
“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” Corinthians 5:20
But I stop. I hesitate. I think selfishly. I don't die to self.
I can just hand them a tract. I can just start a conversation. I can just tell my story but make sure I get to the story of the Savior.
But I stop. I hesitate. Then I go away thinking to myself, “Why didn't you say anything? There were so many doors opened. Why did you stop? Why did you hesitate?”
Then I bargain with myself with the old “You'll get 'em next time.”
Life Is Short
But what if there isn't a next time? What if I never see that person again? What if that was the only time I had and I said nothing? Life is a vapor. It is so short. That person can die 10 minutes after I leave them, and I said nothing of eternal significance. There is a time for all men to die and after that is judgment and I said nothing!
Do you share in this fear of man and love of self in evangelism with me? Don't get me wrong, there are days when I tell others of Christ. There are days when I hand out tracts. There are days when I live as I believe. But there are days when I don't.
“Lord I believe. Help, my unbelief.”
What can we do to overcome this fear of man and love of self?
I believe the remedy is simple. But somehow it is not always easy.
Read and study the Word of God. Pray the Word of God. Believe the Word of God. Fellowship with others who read, study, pray, and believe the Word of God. Then obey the Word of God. Then repeat.
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[b] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20
There is no one to fear. There is no reason to love ourselves more than we love Jesus. He has saved us. He has all authority.
I pray we obey and love like Him. After all, He is with us.