As I turned on the radio in the car the other day, I was greeted with, “The Christian’s ultimate priority is the Great Commission.”
That statement hit me hard. I immediately turned the radio off.
I’ve been hearing similar statements for more than 40 years now. Almost every evangelical, Bible-believing Christian knows what the Great Commission is, and most subscribe to the sentiments expressed by whoever it was I heard on the radio.
I say ‘most’ because I am one who does not. I am evangelical. I share my faith with both saints and sinners. I believe the Bible. I’ve taken the Bible at face value and applied it to my life for almost 40 years.
The so-called Great Commission is found in Matthew 28:19-20 where Jesus told the apostles to go into all the world with the gospel. I believe that passage is for all believers, not just for those apostles. We each have that call on our lives in some form or fashion.
What is it, then, that I do not believe? I do not believe that is the ultimate priority of every Christian.
First of all, that was the very last command the Lord gave His disciples. Therefore, in order of priority, something came before that.
If Jesus spent three years with the disciples before giving them this directive, shouldn’t we consider asking why?
Why, then, do we instruct the brand-new believer who comes to the altar Sunday morning to be a witness before this same time next week?
Yes, there were those who were instructed to go show themselves to the priest as to what God had done for them. Just as many were told to tell no one.
In order to avoid a lengthy diatribe about the futility of the Great Commission being our First Priority, suffice it to say that there is some training involved first.
We must first become more like the Master. We must first be free from our sin patterns. We must first answer His call to follow Him. We must first spend time with the Lord.
Jesus did not put any more emphasis on this command then He did on Love One Another.
Which do you find more deficient in the church and the world today? Love, or Preaching?