The Great Commission
We should only be spending our time sharing the gospel. Have you ever heard someone in church say this? Maybe it was a Pastor, or a friend, or even someone you don’t know. If so, what was your response? It seems that many Christians feel this way about life… all we should do is share the gospel. What does that mean, though?
There have been instances when I have told other believers about my passion for politics. Occasionally I am told that all we should be doing is sharing the gospel. When someone tells me that, it makes me wonder how they arrived at that conclusion. I wonder if they just don’t like politics or maybe they believe that the separation of church and state means something other than keeping the state out of the church.
The truth is that we should be spending our time sharing the gospel. In the Great Commission, Jesus commanded us to do so… “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, 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 28:19-20
How we share the gospel
What does Jesus want us to do with the Great Commission? And what didn’t He want us to do with it? First of all, notice that the scripture in Matthew in this context is referred to as the ‘Great Commission’ and not the ‘Only Commission’. In this passage of scripture, Jesus did not limit us to only talking about the gospel. Think about what we would not be able to do, if that was so. We couldn’t sleep, eat, work, play, create, etc. Is that what He meant for us?
Does sharing the gospel mean that you have to give up everything else you do? Absolutely not! It means that you share the gospel right where you are, and in everything you do and say. God wants us to live our lives for Him, but He does not call us to stop living. Even the disciples kept on fishing after they met Jesus. They did not stop living their lives in order to share the gospel. They sacrificed and their lives changed, but they continued to sleep, eat, work and play. They shared the gospel by their words and actions in the things that they were already doing.
Yes, we are called to go. However, the ‘go’ is different for everyone. Some believers are called to go outside of the country to minister to an unbelieving world. And some believers are called to go to a different state or city. And some believers are called to go to their next door neighbors, or their co-workers, or anyone else they may know. We are all called to share the gospel, but we are not all called to reach the same people.
We have more than one mission
God wants us to share the gospel in everything we do, as opposed to quitting life in order to share the gospel. He clearly gave us more than one mission in life. God called us to look after others in need… “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
The gospel is filled with scripture referencing many missions (Matthew 5:16, Matthew 7:12, Matthew 9:37–38) that God has planned for us. Yes, we should be sharing the gospel and it should be our highest priority as followers of Jesus. However, that means that we should be living and sharing the gospel in the things we do. It doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to stop doing the things we are doing.