Preach the Real Gospel!
The Lord is exhorting His church to take a good, hard look at our lives and to realign our priorities, deal with any disinterest, discouragement and dissatisfaction and get to work in building His house (the church). He encourages us by reminding us that He is with us and that it is His Spirit that empowers us to do the work He has called us to do. What is the work He has called us to do?
Jesus has commissioned His church in Matthew 28:18-20. I have been meditating on these verses and the Lord has given me a message to the church of Jesus Christ.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Mt 28:18-20 NKJV)
Let’s take a closer look at what God is saying to His church in these verses:
1. All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (Mt 28:18 NKJV)
Jesus has received the authority promised in Daniel 7:14.
As my vision continued that night, I saw someone like a Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient One and was led into His presence. He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey Him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. (Dan 7:13-14 NLT)
Jesus says in His Word that all things have been given to Him. (Mt 11:27; Lk 10:22) Here is an amazing truth: Jesus has given His church power and authority, in His name, over all the power of the enemy. Even though we can rejoice in this truth, Jesus reminds us that there is greater rejoicing in the truth that our names are registered (written) in heaven. We only have power over the enemy and assurance of eternal destiny because our names are registered in heaven!
When the seventy-two disciples returned, they joyfully reported to Him, “Lord, even the demons obey us when we use Your name!” “Yes,” He told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you. But don’t rejoice because evil spirits obey you; rejoice because your names are registered in heaven.” (Lk 10:17-20 NLT)
2. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. (Mt 28:19 NKJV)
Jesus speaks to us also in the gospels of Mark and Luke.
And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mk 16:15 NKJV)
Then He said to them, “These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.” And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. Then He said to them, “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the third day,and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high.” (Lk 24:44-49 NKJV)
To further understand what Jesus is saying we must understand the meaning of some words:
Go, poreuomai: to go on one’s way, to proceed from one place to another
Disciples, mathetes: From the verb manthano, “to learn,” whose root math suggests thought with effort put forth. A disciple is a learner, one who follows both the teaching and the teacher. Therefore, a disciple of Jesus is a learner who follows Jesus and His teaching.
Repentance, metanoeo: From meta, “after,” and noeo, “to think.” Repentance is a decision that results in a change of mind, which in turn leads to a change of purpose and action.
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” (Mt 3:1-2 NKJV)
From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Mt 4:17 NKJV)
Both John the Baptist and Jesus preached saying “REPENT”! The first call of the kingdom is to repentance. There is no birth into the kingdom without hearing the call to salvation, renouncing one’s sin, and turning from sin toward Christ the Savior.
Remission, aphesis: From aphiemi, “to send away.” The word signifies a release from bondage or imprisonment, dismissal, sending away, and forgiveness, with the added quality of canceling out all judgment, punishment, obligation, or debt.
And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. (Heb 9:22 NKJV)
Jesus says in Matthew 26:28, For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. I encourage you to read Hebrews 10:1-22.
NOW THIS IS GOOD NEWS!
Church! If you are not preaching repentance and remission of sins, you are not preaching the gospel. If you are “preaching” only what Jesus can do for people then you are not preaching the gospel.
Read Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:14-38 as an example of preaching the gospel with authority and power given to him by Jesus and filled with Holy Spirit-the good news about Jesus Christ. At the end of the sermon, as a response to the truth, the people asked, “what shall we do?” Read Peter’s response in Acts 2:38-39.
Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
3. teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt 28:20 NKJV)
We are encouraged in the scriptures to continue steadfastly in teaching disciples of Jesus (Acts 2:42) to observe (obey) all things He has commanded remembering the words of Jesus, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Age, aion: forever and ever!)
*The commandments of Jesus are attached
The commission of Jesus to His church is to "Go". What we are to do while we go is clear in these scriptures. We are to preach the gospel (good news of Jesus Christ)-repentance and remission of sins, in the name of Jesus! We are to make learners who follow Jesus and His teaching. We are to baptize them. We are to teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded.
I would like to end with Ro 10:14-17:
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Ro 10:14-17 NKJV)
“It is the Word of God that Holy Spirit uses to awaken a response of faith within us, and it is the reliability of the Word of God on which we rest our faith for salvation. The words of Scripture are the words of eternal life (Ja 1:18; 1 Peter 1:23). This is why preaching of the real gospel is absolutely necessary.” (from notes on Ro 10:17 in the New Spirit Filled Life Bible)
Church! Preach the gospel. Remember we have been given power (Holy Spirit) and authority (the name of Jesus). Remember Jesus is with us. When the real gospel is preached there is repentance, remission of sins, baptisms (publically declaring Jesus is Lord) and growth of a Spirit-filled powerful church that is passionate about Jesus and fulfilling His commission! (read Acts 2:40-47)
Why are we not seeing this? Perhaps we are not preaching the real gospel? Ask yourself, “Do I preach the real gospel?”
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev 2:7 NKJV)