Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. 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 28:18-20)

How About You; Are You Going?

The above has become known as our Lord’s “Great Commission” to His Church. Matthew 28:18 — And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Since we’ve all read this many times, let me emphasize something you may not have given much thought to. This would be the clear distinction that we need to make as we share Who Jesus really is with others around us. Because of movements like the Emergent Church—Satan’s growing attack aimed at our precious impressionable and somewhat disillusioned young—we need to make sure people know clearly that the “Jesus” they believe in must be Jesus Christ of Nazareth as revealed in the Bible.

Case in point, “evangelical pastor” Joel Osteen just said Mitt Romney and Mormons are Christians and yet the Mormon Church Says Jesus Is Satan’s Brother. Now look at verse 19 — Therefore go — there is a misconception among many here as to what Christ means here. In the original Greek this reads — “As you are going” — this is not just an option intended for a few ministers in churches. No; this is a command to all Christians — “as you go about your daily life”— at home, at work, at the grocery store, wherever the Lord is creating a “spark.” As you are going — the Master says — make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Did you get that? First, we are to make “disciples” i.e. students among people of every culture and nationality. That’s why, as Christians, we can’t be tolerant of the false idea that other religions are legitimate pathways to God; because our Lord, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is the God—in human flesh—Who created them! And secondly, these disciples are to be baptized into the Name—singular—or the “Power” and “Authority” of—God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit—Who are the Co-eternal, Co-equal, Name of the only true and living God. It as the classic hymn goes — “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God Almighty…God in three Persons; blessed Trinity.”

And we end our brief look at “The Great Commission” with verse 20, where Jesus of Nazareth continues — and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Not just the stuff they happen to like; but everything that Jesus taught, like for instance Matthew 10:38 — anyone who does not take up his cross [daily] and follow Me is not worthy of Me. As Dr. John MacArthur—one of the great Bible teachers that God has given His Body today whose Grace Community Church in Southern California has some twelve thousand members—points out on his book Hard To Believe the real Jesus would know nothing about the man-centered seeker sensitive easy believism which is taught throughout way too much of our Lord’s Church.

Well I say to you, if you want them, then you can have Rick Warren, and you can have Rob Bell, and you have Joel Osteen to tickle your ears from their positions of leadership in the man-centered emerging church of the post evangelicalism and all its various deviant brands of “Christianity-lite.” Because the true Christian says — “though none go with me; still I will follow” because “I have decided to follow Jesus” — and the absolute Truth is that He’s taking His Cross outside the corrupt American Christian Camp.

The fact is, this has always been the way of the real Christian doulos of God. Look at Hebrews 13:13-14 — Let us, then, go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore. For here — [in pagan “postmodern” America—which is rapidly becoming the human cesspool of a modern-day Sodom and Gomorrah] — here we do not have an enduring city – [the Lord be praised!] — but we are looking for the city that is to come.

And rather than to be offended by what you have heard, the true Christian should echo Paul’s words in Philippians 3 — But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for Whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbishskubalon in the Greek — “dung” — that I may gain Christ… The Apostle Paul continues on in Philippians 3 to say what all of us who are Christians should be willing to say — Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect,… [but] I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me Heavenward in Christ Jesus. And then one final thought on this matter, here is Philippians 3:15 — All of us who are mature should take such a view of things.

The Battle Begins To Intensify

Men and women, this age in which we live will be one of increased spiritual warfare, and you need to know that our time grows “very” short before the return of our Lord. Now I make no prediction as to when Christ comes again—it may not be in our lifetime—but, I can tell you this: When Jesus returns, He will not be in a good mood. And further, because Christ Jesus is God, Paul is trying to remind us in the passage of Philippians I just quoted, that we must put forth some kind of an effort, if we really want to know Him. Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean that you immediately have a deep, intimate, personal relationship with God.

You know if you think about it, in this life we have to spend a lot of time together, to “relate” with and get to know each other to fully develop a “relationship.” For example, a parent loves their child and opens themselves to that child to give them every opportunity to get to know them better. However, if the child won’t make the time to spend with their parent, to listen to them, and to cherish them, then how could they get to really know each other—even though the parent wants the child to? And how much more so should this kind of effort be made to get to know our Lord—Who is Almighty God—and what is more, is the very Creator of all life? Perhaps, don’t you think, there’s just the slightest possibility that He might know just a little bit more than our current evangelical leaders?

Please know I would never wish to cause one of my family in Christ to stumble, nor would I want to sound harsh, and unloving. One minister who was accused after preaching a tough message of being “too hard” replied: “I would never want to be any harder on you than Jesus Himself would be.” But the truth is, the life of the true Christian can be hard at times, and especially so in an evil generation like this when men call what is good, evil and what is evil, good. More than ever we must really be a family in Christ—united around our Savior and Lord—Jesus of Nazareth the King and Commander of the Army of the living God, which is a real good reason to come home into His Church and to worship your Lord with your fellow soldiers.

The United States Marine Corps is an organization with a very storied heritage, and this nation owes much to them. But what you may not know that a recruit is not really considered a Marine, until he has finished their Basic Training Program. Then in the graduation ceremony, there is a very special moment when the top Marine Commander turns to these soldiers and calls them a Marine for the very first time. And as you might imagine, it is a special feeling creating an unbreakable bond to a proud organization with a gallant history.

Well I pray that we here in the Body of Christ may feel this way as the Lord addresses us—the Church—His own even more storied and gallant organization of fellow soldiers that God has stationed here in this foreign mission field of increasingly paagan America. As the song goes — “God bless America; land that I love; stand beside her, and guide her; through the night with the light from Above.” O how glorious that Jesus—Who is that Light—has called us His Christians. And remember, all of us have special tasks in this Army called the Church of God.

Take Up Your Weapon And Join The Battle

I invite you to end your Basic as a recruit and to join us—fellow Christian—as we go to war for the souls of the lost here in America. We have “decided to follow Jesus” and there is still room in His Church. As one looks at all the lunacy in the Lord’s Name going on in the Ecumenical Church of Deceit it becomes obvious that God needs more soldiers for the harvest, as we move out on the offensive to take back the aisles of our local churches for Jesus. Men and women, we need “special forces” who can attack Satan’s doomed troops with the Sword of the Spirit. We need “nurses” to tend to the wounded; “engineers” to do maintenance and “drill instructors” to equip our soldiers for battle, and most importantly we need “Prayer Warriors” to fire our most powerful Weapon—the Prayers of the true Saints of God.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 — The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have Divine Power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. I ask you—fellow Christian—does that sound like we should cower before our enemy, and just let him pound us until we break? For Jesus’ sake—no! You must understand that not even Satan himself can stand when God’s people go to their knees and pray!

So beloved of God, won’t you come into His Army while there’s still room in His Church for you. And finally, no matter how insignificant you may think you are, please understand that just by coming into your local church each week you encourage somebody there. You may not even know which of your fellow soldiers it is, but they need to see you there, because you are an encouragement to them. It’s also very important to your pastor—your ranking officer so to speak—to see you here as well; for do you not know he misses you when you’re not there. In fact, all of your local church family does.

I am reminded of a show I saw once about a platoon of soldiers who were on patrol in Vietnam miles from home on Christmas Eve. It so happens that they get the chance to go to an orphanage and share a Christmas dinner with the kids. However, one soldier doesn’t have the chance to participate because someone has to stand out on Guard Duty. After a while the Commanding Officer goes out to this soldier at his lonely post, and the C.O. tells the man that he’s sorry he has to miss out on dinner and the fun to stay outside in the cold guarding the orphanage. The man looks at his Commander, slowly smiles and says — “You know sir, it’s ok. I’m a soldier. Yeah; I’m miles from my home, but I’m doing what a soldier does. I’m making someone’s world a little safer tonight. And you know what sir; it just feels kind of right.”

In closing, although I don’t see eye to eye with him on all of his methods, I will paraphrase evangelist D.L. Moody here — “The world has yet to see what God can do with, and through, one of his soldiers who is totally dedicated to Jesus Christ.” Might each of us reading this today be willing to echo Moody’s own vow — “By the Holy Spirit in me; I’ll be that soldier of the Cross of Jesus Christ that God wants me to be.” And I can truthfully say, that deep in my soul; “it just feels kind of right.” So, how about you?