Posted by: Yvonne | May 3, 2011

The Missionary & the Great Commission

An excellent post from Defending. Contending. blog:

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What Happens If….?

by Desert Pastor

There are many mission organizations in the world today. In fact, we are currently visiting the Colorado Springs area where there are several hundred para-church organizations based. What is the purpose of these groups? They are involved in medical work, education endeavors, humanitarian aid, etc., etc., etc., but are they truly accomplishing the Great Commission? What happens if they are not?

Lives are being spent across the world for many causes. People have been willing to leave the creature comforts that they have been used to all their lives and continue to move to the far-flung reaches of the world. They are involved in many different mission endeavors, some maybe more questionable than others. Are these “missionaries” truly accomplishing the Great Commission? What happens if they are not?

Churches are spending portions of their general and mission budgets to support the works that are spread across 6 of the 7 continents. Seeking to fulfill their part of the Great Commission, their money is being given and being spent with the purpose of supposedly reaching 7 billion people, the vast majority of which have never heard the good news of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Are these churches truly accomplishing the Great Commission? What happens if they are not?

Part of our problem is seeking to define exactly WHAT the Great Commission is. When the Lord Jesus Christ left His disciples, His command was to “go into all the world and PREACH the gospel to every creature.” After they have been PREACHED to, they are to be baptized and discipled in all the things that the Lord Jesus Christ taught His disciples.

So, our next questions should be – What part of the Great Commission have we failed to understand? What part of “preach the gospel” have we failed to comprehend as being a command from God?

By no means do I seek to demean the work being done in the name of Christ, but it is important that we give due diligence and see if the work being done in the name of Christ is actually what Christ commanded us to do!

For example, there are many who would throw verses from James around as though it is our responsibility to alleviate the poverty of the world. Verses from Deuteronomy or Isaiah somehow are twisted out of context to show how it the responsibility of every Christian and every church and every pastor and every missionary to “do their part” to rid the world of the evil blight of this disease called poverty that racks our world.

So, what happens when we provide clean water, solid nourishing food, a basic education standard, improved medical conditions, new buildings, properly built homes, good sanitation systems, commercial endeavors in the area of agriculture to all the nations of the world – yet fail to follow the Great Commission to PREACH the gospel?

1) We will have raised the living standard of the poor around the world.

2) We will be able to feel better about ourselves.

3) We will have raised the self-esteem of those who do not have the “privilege” of living in our exalted conditions here in the West.

4) We will be able to sleep better at night knowing that we have “done our part” in making the world a better place.

BUT ———

1) We will have forgotten that the root of the problem is NOT poverty.

2) We will have turned a convenient blind eye to the depravity of mankind.

3) We will have failed to understand that this world is NEVER going to get better until the Lord Jesus Christ returns and establishes His forever kingdom.

4) We will have missed the cry of the damned as they pass into eternity with full stomachs, nicer houses, educated, and in good health.

This will be information for a later post, but I would like to encourage our readers to give Biblical consideration to the message of the Gospel as well as to the purpose of the Gospel. People who live in a stone age existence continue to die, but those in poor villages who die without all the conveniences that we insist they MUST have but who have heard the gospel and accepted Christ as their Saviour die rich beyond compare.

What happens if….you could ask those in hell whether they are happy because they received medical support, a longer life expectancy, good education, better food, clean water – ALL AT THE EXPENSE OF THE GREAT COMMISSION??

The Great Commission is NOT a social gospel. It is a gospel that proclaims Jesus Christ came to a sin-cursed world to atone for the sins of mankind. He left His throne in glory not to make this world a place with better living conditions. He came because the wrath of God had to be turned aside and because sin’s penalty had to be paid. He came to redeem us from the bondage of sin, and one day He is coming back for His spotless Bride.

Everything else is but a facade covering the face of the broad road to destruction in hell if it is done at the expense of the Great Commission. Selah!


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Responses

  1. One thing I think we forget when it comes to improving life without preaching the gospel is that increasing contentment on the part of the lost could also lead to a decreasing perception of their need for salvation. In other words, a purely social gospel can be actually counter productive.

    • Welcome, Aubrey,

      I would contend that the true Gospel of Jesus Christ has no social component at all. When Christians add to the Gospel any aspect of social/economical standing it becomes another gospel which is false. That is no different that ‘peddling the word of God’ (2Cor2:17). So I agree that any change to the true Gospel is counter productive.

  2. Thank you for being willing to share my post here. I know that it is not popular to speak against social gospel, but it is necessary. The fight is difficult enough without giving in to the social agenda of those who do not truly love Christ as it is. Every blessing to you and your readers. – The Desert Pastor

    • Welcome, The Desert Pastor,

      I appreciate your willingness to speak the truth. May the Lord be glorified!

  3. What can one do when a church you know and love is going down this very path? I’ve attempted to share my concerns with my former senior pastor several times, but he defended the showing of love of Christ without the sharing of the Gospel. He believes that outpouring of love will create a desire to know about who/what is creating this love.

    • Welcome, Wanni,

      I empathize with your situation; my family had a similar experience. First of all pray for the Lord to guide your steps. Then you might consider approaching the Elder board and/or Deacons with like-minded members to share your concerns. And remember, we are to speak the truth–in love. I often forget that part. /-:

      Lifting you in prayer,
      Yvonne


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