Did you know that God is not calling us to go to church? Actually, he is calling us to be his church. He wants us to be the hope of the world.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach (make disciples of) 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” (Matthew 28:18-20 NLT).
Known as “The Great Commission,” Jesus commanded his disciples to go and teach or make disciples of all nations. He commanded that these new disciples be taught to observe all things whatsoever or to obey all the commands Jesus had given to his own disciples. But what exactly is a disciple? A disciple is not only a believer or a follower, but a disciple is more importantly a student and a pupil. A disciple is a person who has been trained. You cannot make disciples without some type of teaching. And yes, there is a difference between preaching to someone and teaching someone. Preaching proclaims the gospel where teaching explains the gospel.
This is not to say that there is no place for the preaching of the gospel, but preaching alone does not make disciples. For example, preaching can proclaim the good news of salvation and can convert sinners into “born-again believers,” but what about afterwards? What happens to the “born-again believer” once they have been saved or converted?
A person who is “born-again” should reflect or be like Christ, but not everyone who claims to be “born-again” is able to do so. They more than likely continue to live a lifestyle that is contrary to being Christ-like mainly because they have not been taught that Christ-like lifestyle. Scripture tells us “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17) and when that word comes in the form of a salvation message, then salvation is all that person will have faith for.
We fully understand that a person’s own evil desires play an important part in his or her lifestyle choices, but when the person is not taught to observe all things whatsoever or to obey all that Jesus commanded, then that person’s life tends to be run by the previous doctrines he or she used before becoming “born-again.” This is why there is this emphasis on teaching others to become disciples and not just “a born-again believers” or “a new converts.”
For the true disciple of Christ, he or she will have the tools needed to live a Christ-like lifestyle, but it would be entirely different for “a new convert.” A true disciple would have the faith to put God first, above everyone and everything else where “a new convert” may be in that growing stage where he or she is trying to find the true path to Christ. Without the proper guidance, “a new convert” may stumble upon the wrong path going in the wrong direction or even resort back to old habits. Most people are struggling with the hell they live in on this earth and are trying to find a way to overcome their situation. And though the salvation message will make them feel good for a moment, it does nothing for the long haul to show them what to do after salvation.
Making new converts true disciples will help them to be more Christ-like in their actions and in their lifestyle choices. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever or to obey all the commands of Jesus will give them the tools they need to teach others to become disciples and not just new converts who are left to find their own way.
There is a lot more to being a disciple than what we have stated here. This was just a short introduction for those who have that ear to hear and want to obey “The Great Commission,” where they go and make disciples of all nations, teaching “born-again believers” to observe all things whatsoever and to obey all the commands of Jesus Christ. You first must become a true disciple yourself; you must become a student and a pupil of the teachings of Christ. God is not calling us to go to church; he is calling us to be his church.
We forever pray that our inspirational message will abundantly bless you, greatly inform you, and that you will be the better for having read it. If blessed by this message, please share so that others may be blessed as well. Amen.
Enjoy your blessings. - KW