Saturday, February 26, 2011


Contrary to popular belief, obeying the great commission to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19) is not optional! Unfortunately, it seems that the devil has tricked many of us into thinking otherwise. It reminds me of an incident that happened years ago…

When I was about 11 years of age my cousin Tim and I went to play squash. We found some rackets, got a bouncy little ball and headed to the court. Just before we entered, we saw a sign on the door (you couldn’t miss it): “Eye-goggles Mandatory.”
We turned to each other and asked that all-important question, “What in the world does ‘mandatory’ mean?” With wisdom in his 9 yr old eyes, my cousin said, “I think it means something like ‘optional.’” Amazed at his great learning, I chimed in, “You know, I think you’re right!” So in we walked ready to play our little hearts out.

Five minutes later I was writhing on the floor, having just taken a squash ball to the eye. My dad quickly drove me to the Emergency Room. Wouldn’t you know it, the first words out of the doctors mouth were, “Doesn’t that squash court have a sign saying eye-goggles are mandatory?” In between tears I tried to explain the conclusion my cousin and I had arrived at – we sincerely believed the sign meant goggles were “optional!”

Likewise, many in the church today look at the Great Commission as optional. Or perhaps some feel that it’s mandatory for evangelists or super-Christians, Bible College students or adventurous unmarried folk. But surely it doesn’t mean me? For me it’s optional, right?
I fear that one day, with tears streaming down our face as we stand before the Great Physician, we’ll be pathetically trying to excuse our actions in this life. “But Lord, I sincerely didn’t realize you were talking to me! Well, You know, I thought of going after I retired…maybe.” Or, “But Lord, I couldn’t just quit my job!” Or “But what about my kids...?”

As pioneer missionary, C.T. Studd so powerfully stated,
"I am getting desperately afraid of going to heaven for I have had the vision of the shame I shall suffer as I get my first glimpse of the Lord Jesus; His majesty, power and marvelous love for me, who treated Him so meanly and shabbily on earth, and acted as though I did Him a favor in serving Him! No wonder God shall have to wipe away the tears off all faces, for we shall be broken-hearted when we see the depth of His love and the shallowness of ours."
I am not trying to bring guilt on anyone, nor am I saying that disobeying the Great Commission will make you lose your salvation. No, it won’t send you to hell. But – note this – your disobedience could send others to hell. It can rob dozens or hundreds or thousands from ever hearing the life-saving Gospel of Jesus Christ. Let this serious truth be known: there are many whose salvation hinges on your obedience! With over 50,000 people who die daily without ever hearing the Name of Jesus, with billions still lost, our task is clear! Missions is mandatory! 

It’s not optional.  It’s not the Great Suggestion.  Can you imagine Jesus shouting, “Hey Peter, ask the other guys if they think it’s a good idea to go into all the world to be my witnesses.  Think about it and get back to me with your answer…”  No, you are called to go; or you are called to send through prayer and through financial backing.  You are called to do something in obedience to the Great Commission!  God has gifted you, He’s given you talents to use for His Kingdom’s sake.  Seek His face until He makes your role in missions clear.  Search for opportunities to serve, send or go.  Jesus wasn’t just joking around - missions is mandatory!