I saw this quote online today:
It raised an interesting point that I think needs brief elaboration. Here’s the great commission from Matthew 28:18-20:
Matthew 28:18-20 ESV And Jesus came and said to them [the eleven disciples], “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (19) Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Now, in the quote above, he mentions that evangelism was the job of the disciples. And I agree, the great commission was originally given to the remaining disciples. Here are three points:
- The disciples are told that making disciples includes, “teaching them to observe all that I [Jesus] have commanded you.”
- This means that making new disciples is one of the skills Jesus commands them to obtain.
- The word for all Christians by the time the book of Acts was written was, “disciples.” “Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution.” (Acts 6:1 ESV)
So, I think that all Christians are supposed to evangelize at some point (raising up children in the faith, sharing the gospel with somebody who asks a question, or initiating a conversation with a friend, family member or stranger).
Now, the individual who made this point made a few interesting points that deserve consideration because they were intelligently and honestly made:
- God doesn’t need evangelists. This is a fact. God needs literally nothing.
- God doesn’t want evangelists. This doesn’t hold if it’s true that Jesus represents God’s will and commands people to become disciples who make disciples. If God wants you to obey Jesus’ commands, then he wants you to be an evangelist.
- Ask God what he wants you to do. While I think God can supernaturally make his will apparent, God’s will for our lives is clearly taught in the four gospels, the book of Proverbs, and frankly the rest of Scripture. Waiting for specific, personal words from God when God has made clear what we should do in public revelation might leave us waiting too long.
- Unless your life is his will it takes some pain. I think that pain can come from doing good or evil. Not all pain is bad and some pain exists precisely to tell us to repent. It all depends.
- Unless we rise to his level, we are servants. Jesus makes clear that even among those who are saved, some people know his business and some don’t. Here’s what Jesus said about the matter, “You are my friends if you do what I command you. (15) No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:14-15 ESV)