Frustrations to the Great Commission
"Then Jesus came to them and said, '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 28:20) Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. (Matt 22:29) So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17)
Although these three verses aren't in context here, the meaning hasn't changed the Biblical principles nor the facts. We (believers) are still compelled to do as Paul wanted to do, "For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect. For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." (1 Corinthians 1:17,18) Our purpose and the method has never changed. But neither has Satan as His purpose is just the opposite, and his method is to deceive. Anyone that has tried to share "The Gospel," (Yes, there is still only one Gospel message that saves - Matthew 7:13,14 and Galations 1:6-9) has seen how well-meaning, but Biblically ignorant people can be fooled just by their answers to others. Here are a few of replies that, no doubt, are frustrating to those that attempt to "make disciples."
"Who are you to judge?" - The Bible tells us, simply, that when a person speaks, they usually say what their feelings and beliefs are - ".... for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." (Matthew 12:34) Since this is true, if someone listens to you long enough, they would begin to understand your beliefs. Therefore, knowing that there is only one Gospel (Galatians 1:6-9) or one path to salvation (Matthew 7:13-14) and that your beliefs are different then that one way, it isn't that we are judging you, but rather we're trying to warn you of the facts, that if you were to die now, you'd be destined to Hell. After having understood what your beliefs are, and knowing what God's Word says, we simply are stating this based upon comparing the two, "For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned." (Matthew 12:37) If you were to die with these beliefs, your eternal destiny would be Heaven or Hell because of them. (Ever wonder why no one asks this question to you when you compliment others, but only when you try to warn them?)
"You know the Bible so much better than I do, but I don't trust your interpretations." This comment is usually followed by any number of reasons for which they try to explain why they don't want to bother with "seeking first the Kingdom of God." Neither do they want to make some tough decisions as a result of finding out that they have been deceived. This is particularly frustrating to hear because it is often given by someone that admits the importance of knowing Scriptures, but they are simply in their comfort zone of life. (Why is it that just because we know Scriptures, some assume that we are out to deceive them, but if we were to share the fundamentals of football, fishing or fun stuff, that they'd gladly listen to, appreciate and trust the information the we share as valued insights?)
"Your beliefs give you a free license to sin without accountability for your actions!" After sharing the Gospel, that Salvation is a free gift for believing in the finished work of Jesus Christ Crucified to cleanse us of any and all of our sins, even the sins that we haven't yet committed, this reply is particularly frustrating as the truth is just the opposite. Actually We sin even less now because we no longer practice the many traditions, ceremonies and rituals that seemingly were so holy, but often times were sins themselves. A new believer actually sins less because, "....if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17) The Gospel message (and the point that they misunderstand what we're sayig) isn't about how often someone can sin, as Paul wrote (in Romans 6:2) saying, "God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" but rather, how a person deals with the sins that do occasionally still happen. Paul explained further about this very thing, citing the fact that he still sees sin occurring occasionally in his life, but that he knew his salvation was secured. (Read Romans 7:15 to verse 8:1)
"We have the same Jesus/God/Gospel!" - This answer is given often times by someone that is, or has family members that are, very nice and often times very religious. It comes as result of not understanding either what their Church really teaches or not understanding the Gospel message itself. Sadly, the problem is that people are often not interested with our "divisive doctrinal talk." All they care about is that a person loves Jesus, as if, no matter what church they go to, they're a "brother in Christ." That may sound good, but when it comes to truth and error, even Jesus caused division. (Luke 12:51) Rather then to consider the doctrinal issues, they'd rather just look at us as to be unloving. The reason we disagreed with them on this is simply because there are many today that claim to love Jesus, but when comparing their Jesus to the Bible, they definitely have a false Christ. The Bible tells us, "If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth." (1 John 1:6)
In each example given above, there appears to be some wisdom to their remarks, however misguided. Often Satan uses "logic" as his tactic. In closing, I urge you to use discernment and to be aware of the disservice you render someone by simply accepting anyone that claims to name the name of Christ. The best counterfeits are those that appear to be the most convincing, that is why they are called deceptions. Knowing "historically" that Jesus is God, that Jesus died on the cross and/or being a devout Church goer who likes to be charitable with others, doesn't save them anymore than ..... (If I told you, I'd be judged as a judgmental, unloving, "Fundamentalist" that can't be trusted! What a paradox! See what I mean?) Gospel Light Ministries writes these articles wondering, how many people make the mistake of thinking that they're going to Heaven like the individual that said to Jesus, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?" only to hear Jesus say, "I never knew you" (See Matthew 7:21-23) simply because they and/or you, the reader, weren't aware of the situation as concerned Paul when he wrote: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him." (2 Corinthians 11:3,4) An excellent article, that further explains the many "different" types of Christs in which people believe today, can be attained by contacting Gospel Light Ministries.