In Philippians 3, Paul states that the goal is to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. Knowing Christ is everything, but that goal is incomplete if you are not also making Him known to others in your sphere of influence. Every believer is called to be a disciple of Christ (Luke 9:23) and every disciple of Christ is called to make disciples (Matt. 28:20). The Great Commission was not given as a choice for us to decide upon, but rather a command to obey. Charles Spurgeon said, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” Jesus said we would be fishers of men.
In Life on Mission, Dustin Willis and Aaron Coe state, “The gospel moves forward on the shoulders of men and women willing to do the difficult work of making disciples!” In your spiritual growth journey, there are always three influencesat work — your personal involvement in the process (Phil. 2:12), the providential work of God in your life (Phil.2:13) and the pastoral element, the equipping responsibility of your church (Gal. 4:19). If you are not growing spiritually or being fruitful, you can rest assured that God is always doing His part.
When you fall short in the area of your spiritual goals, the problem lies in one of the two other areas of influence. It is either an unwillingness to obey God’s clear command (it’s personal) or it is a lack of clear Biblical training (pastoral). In no way am I implying that this all falls upon the pastor, but only using the term to summarize the responsibility of every local church (Eph. 4:11-12). Are you willing to surrender to what God is calling you to do? Is your church providing the necessary training and guidance in how to build relationships with people who are far from God and how to present the gospel clearly and concisely?
Accepting Jesus’ command to make Him known requires that you accept your personal responsibility. Mark a dot on a map where you live, then prayerfully begin to develop a strategy to share the love of Christ with those who are far from God. It may not be a geographical dot but a relational dot because of your interests, hobbies and daily activities. It means adopting the mentality that you have a work to do in representing Christ well by living on mission. Every believer is called to live as a missionary right where God has placed you. Who do you need to have a gospel conversation with?
Everyday missionaries are those who practice life on mission daily in their zip code. It requires an all-hands-on-deck mentality, but it does not call for adding something to your already busy schedule. This should intersect with your current daily rhythms as you live daily as ambassadors for Christ. Willis and Coe refer to this as, “Driven by the truth of the gospel and defined by the mission of God.” It means that we accept our role as everyday missionaries who are committed to introducing people to Jesus. No matter what you do, whether you are white collar, blue collar or have no collar at all, tell people about Jesus.
Thankfully, the entire weight of this endeavor does not depend entirely on your efforts. Our missionary God is not waiting on you because He is already at work. He is inviting you to join Him in His mission of redemption and reconciliation. Believers are expected to be disciples, and disciples are expected to make more disciples. As you follow Him, you should be looking for where He is at work and as Henry Blackaby in Experiencing God has said, “Join Him there.” You are asked to join Him right in the middle of the greatest rescue mission ever given — the mission of God. We are to be like Paul — passionate about persuading men and women to Christ.
God has provided His salvation to all, and He has called you to join Him on His missionary endeavor to all. As the ultimate missionary, Jesus is asking you to represent Him and join Him in His heart and passion, reconciling more and more people to Him. God has always been about forming a gospel people with a gospel mission. Leighton Flowers, in His Soteriology 101 podcast, states a firm belief in the truth that God provides salvation for everyone (Titus 2:11). He believes that God is more interested in providing salvation to all than in controlling who receives Christ and who does not.
He quotes A.W. Tozer: “God sovereignly decreed that man should be free to exercise moral choice, and man from the beginning has fulfilled that decree by making his choice between good and evil. When he chooses to do evil, he does not thereby countervail the sovereign will of God but fulfills it, inasmuch as the eternal decree decided not which choice the man should make but that he should be free to make it… Man’s will is free because God is sovereign. A God less than sovereign could not bestow moral freedom upon His creatures. He would be afraid to do so.”
God is sovereign, and He decided that man would have the ability, the choice, to follow Him or not. The gospel is the good news to those that are without Him and provides real hope to all in the redemption Jesus offers to all. Your efforts as His messenger do make a difference, and making Him known glorifies Him. No matter how bad things may appear, all is not lost as long as His redemption is available and offered. May all of us press toward the goal of knowing Him and making Him known.