Jesus said in Matthew 28:19-20, “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.” The Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) is our Lord’s command to take the gospel to every person throughout the world and to make disciples in all nations. It involves building and multiplying disciples in all nations so that they can, in turn, saturate their nations with the Good News and train other disciples to do the same generation after generation through the process of spiritual multiplication. Christ did not commission us to Christianize all nations; He called us to disciple and evangelize them. Our responsibility is to preach and teach Christ’s dynamic gospel; it is the Holy Spirit’s responsibility to make our witness effective. With the responsibility, however, Christ also gave us everything necessary for success. If the Great Commission is to be fulfilled in our generation, now is the time for action. We must begin now and dedicate ourselves daily – as a way of life — to communicate God’s love and forgiveness to everyone we meet. From the time we awaken in the morning until we go to bed at night, our number one priority should be sharing “the most joyful news ever announced.”
Spiritual Addition vs. Spiritual Multiplication. When you personally introduce another person to Christ, this is called spiritual addition. But when you deliberately disciple the new Christian and help him to win, disciple and send others who will do the same to win and disciple others, generation after generation, that is spiritual multiplication! The apostle Paul was referring to spiritual multiplication in his second letter to Timothy. “You must teach others those things you and many others have heard me speak about,” he said. “Teach these great truths to trustworthy men who will, in turn, pass them on to others.” Beginning with only two persons and using this simple, continuous cycle of discipling, or spiritual multiplication, the entire world could be totally evangelized and saturated with the gospel in only thirty-two subsequent steps because two, multiplied by itself thirty-two times, equals the population of the world! “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” (Philemon 6)
The First Step. In order to make disciples, you must be a disciple yourself. The person who is committed to Christ, who understands how to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, is going to influence and help to produce the same kind of Christians. “A student is not above his teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40) Just as God has used Paul and millions of others like him through the centuries, so is He looking for men and women in our time through whom He can accomplish mighty exploits for His kingdom. Although it has been almost twenty years, it seems like only yesterday that I heard a pastor preach about God’s search for a special kind of person. The pastor challenged me about the value of one person who is fully committed to God, and he challenged me to be that person. The pastor’s text was Ezekiel 22:30: “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land, so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” Here is the all-knowing, all-seeing God searching Israel for a person He could trust to intercede and plead for His people, and He searched in vain. Something of the intensity of His search is revealed in a cross-reference to 2 Chronicles 16:9: “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” As a young man, D. L. Moody once heard a preacher say, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man who is fully yielded to Him.” So Moody resolved in his heart, “By the grace of God, I will be that man.” In spite of all of Moody’s educational and physical limitations, God used him to bring thousands into the kingdom. God is still looking for that man or woman with a heart to do His will and with a commitment to His work. Will you tell Him today that you’re available?