When is the last time you gave serious consideration to the directions our LORD Jesus left us with in our instruction manual? His final words before departing from the world focus on what we have called the Great Commission. It constitutes His last command to us. In my opinion it becomes the measuring stick of our obedience as followers of Christ.
In 2007 a team from Beulah Baptist Church was with me in F-village of Mali. It was our 5th trip into this village where we had witnessed God launch a church among muslims who had never previously heard the Gospel. It was brutally hot and we were resting on Sunday afternoon under the shade of our “hangar”, a thatched roof in front of our hut. One of the translators, a friend named Isaac asked, “Brad, is there anything I can do for you.” I responded, “I would love a ice cold coca-cola.” I was joking because it was a village without electricity, running water, or other conveniences of comfort. I was surprised a few minutes later when Isaac presented me with a cold coke. “Where did you get this?” I asked. “From the boutique in town. He has a refrigerator run by a generator,” he said.
In 1984 Ralph Winter noted that 97% of the world has heard of Coca-Cola; 72% of the world has seen a can of coke. He said, “If God had given the task of evangelization of the world to the Coke company it would have been done by now.” WOW! Coca-Cola has been around for about 130 years, and Christ gave this commission more than 2000 years ago.
My experience was just that. I was in a village that had not heard the Gospel before, and yet coca-cola was there already.
We do not have enough missionaries to complete the task by sending vocational missionaries to every village. We do not have enough money in our churches to finish the job the way we are currently doing it.But Jesus entrusted us with an amazing strategy of making disciples who make disciples who make disciples, and so on. Thus I ask my question today. When is the last time we seriously considered our instruction manual. Jesus said, “Go into all the world and make disciples of all people groups.”
When we stand before Christ at the end of time, I do not think He will ask us how large our church budget was, or how many people sat on our pews or in our chairs at church. I do not think He will focus on the number of committees we served on, or how many building programs we have overseen. I am not suggesting that there is not a place for that. But I do believe that the most important issue on that day will be how many disciples did we make.