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“Our weekly article in the Northport Gazette and the West Alabama Gazette”.

Watering the Tulips

05/02/2012

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature’” - Mark 16:15

Christ’s commission to His churches to spread the Gospel into the entire world should never be taken lightly. At this point, Jesus was soon to leave the little flock He had founded during His ministry. He was giving them important instructions on what to do when He was gone. Of course, the church was empowered by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost. However, her commission was given before that day.
We are to go. This is not optional. The Lord doesn’t give us the right to distinguish whether we feel “led” to go or not. Plainly stated, we are to go. When we do not, we are no better than the prophet Jonah. When we refuse to go, we are in rebellion to Christ’s plain command. In laymen’s terms, the Lord’s churches are to be missionary minded.
We are to preach the Gospel. Paul defines the Gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:3-4: “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures”. We are to preach the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus as a substitutionary sacrifice for His people. We are to tell the entire world that Jesus alone is the Way into fellowship with the Father. This is our commission. This is our duty.
Luke expands on the scope of our commission a bit in Acts 1:8. Quoting Jesus, he wrote, “…and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth”. Oddly, we seem to have missionary work backwards today. It seems our desire is to send missionaries as far away as possible and work back towards our home base. I certainly am not knocking foreign missions as they surely are part of our commission. However, I fear American churches have forgotten their home base. Certainly, America is a field of evangelism and in great need. The spiritual decline of our once great country should be obvious to any Bible believer.
Local churches should begin mission work in their region of the world and work their way out. Certainly, the church in Jerusalem is instructed by Jesus to establish a solid base in Jerusalem. Then, they were to work out into the regions surrounding them. Following that, they were to move on to “the end of the earth”. The order can never be reversed and work properly. I’m confident we would all agree that God’s way is always the right way.
Bible believers, missionary work cannot be done by proxy. That is, we cannot, as a body, pay missionaries to do our work for us. We, as individual churches, must take the commission to spread the Gospel seriously. May we ever commit to carry forth the commission by spreading the Gospel in our local communities and move outward.


Watering the Tulips is brought to you by Sovereign Grace Baptist Church in Northport, AL. For more information, please visit www.sovereig

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