Many Christians in church today fail to understand the Great Commission – the command that the Lord Jesus Christ gave to all who believe in Him to "go and preach the Gospel to all creation" (see Mark 16:15). Why is this so? Is it ok to neglect it and still be Christian?
Let's talk about that.
Being a 'good' Christian
Many Christians today equate Christianity with going to church, raising hands, shouting "hallelujah" and then leaving the church halls feeling blessed. Well, Christians do go to church to worship God together, lift up holy hands and sing psalms together, but it's more than just getting that "blessed feeling." Christians have a sacred responsibility.
Christians – Christ-followers – are expected to follow Christ. They listen to Him, take His word and apply it to their lives. They not only hear Him; they obey Him. This is what makes a 'good' Christian: obedience to Christ, whether we feel good or not.
In John 14:23-24, we read the Lord Himself explain this beautifully:
"Jesus answered him, "If a man loves Me, he will keep My word. My Father will love him, and We will come to him, and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words. The word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me."
What Christ commanded
Now that we've established that a good Christian obeys Christ, what will the Christian do now?
First, we must deny ourselves and pursue Him instead of our own goals. In Matthew 16:24, He said:
"If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
This is in line with the first greatest commandment, which is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." (see Matthew 22:37)
Next is to love others. Jesus said in John 15:12-13,
"This is My commandment: that you love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love has no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends."
This is in line with the second greatest commandment, which is to "love your neighbor as yourself." (see Matthew 22:39)
Lastly, it is to bring the Gospel to every creature. We read this command mentioned in the Gospels (see Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:46-48) before the Lord ascended, and it is our sacred responsibility as His people to obey it (see 2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
"He said to them, "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.""
Doing this actually combines both our love for God and people: We obey Him and allow His love to spread to the people He loves through us. We become an ambassador preaching salvation to the unsaved.
Preach in obedience
Friends, I hope to help you understand that it's a Christian's identity to be a bringer of the Gospel to every man and woman. As Christ's beloved followers, we will spread the Good News to all through our words and life. If we want to be a good Christian, we can't neglect this – it's part of who we are.