Saturday, January 28, 2006

Ministry is...

"Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matt. 28:19-20)

We have an awesome responsibility before the Lord to win the lost and disciple them. This is what Jesus wants from each and every Christian to do. Fundamentally there are two things that we must be involved in if we are going to be the Christians that God wants us to be. First, we must be soulwinners. Simply put, we must be interested and obedient in telling others about the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. A good indication of spirituality is the answer to these questions: How is your soulwinning going? Are you truly active in leading people to Jesus Christ? Do you have a burden for those around you that they may know about Jesus and may be saved from the penalty of sin? Have you a plan to learn to become a better soulwinner for Jesus? This Christmas I visited my grandmother-in-law. Marcia and I got a chance to visit a nursing home in Ohio and listen to an 'Evangelical Methodist Pastor' speak. He spoke very well about the shepherds and why God choose to reveal the birth of the Lord to them. I was a good sermon BUT he did not tell those people HOW they can know for sure about Heaven. I could not believe I heard a message that was void of the Gospel, void of the cross-work of Jesus. I am not foolish as to expect every message to contain evangelistic overtones BUT I must confess my heart sunk as I saw all these senior citizens without a Gospel witness. I guess I would like to ask, do you have a set time where you go out perhaps door knocking of visiting new move-ins or friends and telling them about the Lord? If not, why not? Why not get involved in this great task of leading souls to the Savior?
Another aspect of the ministry in Matt. 28:19-20 is that of discipleship. We are not to just leave people alone after they confess the Lord as their Savior. We are responsible to bring them along and edify them and continue to invest time and energy so thay they can become stronger Christians. I know that the first step to growth is baptism, therefore if someone professes to know the Lord as Savior I immediately ask them if they have followed the Lord in baptism. After baptism, there is much more to teach them. It is a slow process BUT highly rewarding. I don't believe I do these things because I am a pastor -- If I wasn't a pastor I would still be involved in soulwinning and discipleship. In fact I was involved in this prior to attending Bible College, and this wonderful work was reinforced in Bible College. I guess what I am saying is that the work of the ministry is simply obeying what Jesus has said, and is to be accomplished by every blood-bought believer.

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