“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 (NIV)
There is something powerful about a person’s last words. If they come from someone whom you truly love and yet may never see again for a long time, our ears and hearts want to remember their parting request or encouragement. How much more would we want to remember the last instructions of God Himself after dwelling in our world as man? After three years of being constantly in His presence and bearing witness to His death and resurrection, the disciples must have been waiting with anticipation to hear the final words Jesus would speak before ascending into Heaven. His last command to His disciples was to go to the four corners of world telling everyone of the hope available to them through His redemptive sacrifice and guiding them along on their Christian journey. We know through historical records that all the disciples took Christ’s final instruction very seriously; proclaiming His truth and training others to walk in His ways even if it cost them their lives.
In an era where religious pluralism and political correctness seem to stifle any meaningful presentation of Christ’s message, we often become apprehensive about sharing our faith in Christ. Fearing that we will be ignored, ridiculed, or not have the ability to present what Christ has done for humanity, we excuse ourselves by saying it is beyond our capability. However, in our weaknesses Christ makes us strong. If we allow His Spirit to indwell within our hearts and allow Him to take control of our speech and actions, we will be able to boldly proclaim the message of Christ. It was because of the Holy Spirit’s enabling that Peter, in the second chapter of Acts, was able to preach Christ’s truth eloquently amidst the voices of ridicule and scorn. It is because of Christ’s Spirit imparting upon His followers the strength and confidence to carry out the task He has called them to accomplish, that even today they go out and make disciples of His Word even at the risk of much grief and suffering. We are not the ones who bring about salvation in the lives of individuals, for how can the imperfect build perfection? Rather Christ is the one who draws people to Himself. Our role is to simply be willing to be the conduit through which God speaks and acts for the furtherance of His redemptive mission for the world; taking refuge in His promise to be always by our side until the day He comes to consolidate His eternal and wonderful Kingdom on Earth.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.