When I was a kid in Sunday School, we sang this song at Christmas-time: Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.
I love that sentiment. Just get out there and belt it out. Go climb a mountain and use that as a platform for preaching. Not just at Christmas, either.
One of the 4 Pillars of Harvest Bible Chapel is Sharing the Good News of Jesus with Boldness. That is, when God gives me opportunity to speak for Him, I will take it. I want to use this space to talk about that over the next few weeks.
Witnessing. Evangelism. Sharing your faith.
For many Christians, just reading those words can stir up some bad thoughts and feelings.
“Oh no, here comes the guilt trip. I should witness more.” Yes, maybe you should. But my job isn’t to book guilt trips. My job is to just say what the Bible says. So we have to start here: Why do we have to talk about this? Why is this a pillar of the church?
And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."
There it is. All of it. Right there. Why should we be so fired up for evangelism?
- Jesus’ last command is my first priority.
This was the last thing Jesus said before He returned to heaven (it‘s also in Acts 1). I’m leaving, I’ll be back, here’s your job, get on this. Four commands in those verse, did you see them? Go (Get out there. In your family, in your workplace, in your neighborhood…). Make (Not “Say something.” -- it‘s “Make something!” Make disciples. How…?). Baptize(When they respond to Jesus, let them identify with His death, burial, and resurrection). Teach (It doesn‘t end there, it begins. Teach them to observe all that Jesus commanded).
No asterisk. No footnotes. No exceptions. Have you been touched by the Gospel? Then Go-Make-Baptize-Teach. “Yeah, that’s not really my gift.” Yeah, but it’s your job: Go-Make-Baptize-Teach. “I‘m not really great at it.” Do you know the Gospel? If you are saved, you must know something. So Go-Make-Baptize-Teach. “What if people reject me?” There is no “what if“. Some will. But others will get saved. Results are up to God. Your job? Go-Make-Baptize-Teach.
- Jesus’ power and presence is manifested in this work.
“What give you the right to be going around telling people about this religious stuff?” Jesus said that ALL authority in heaven and on earth had been given to Him. That’s the top of the ladder. The boss of everything. He said to do it. And… He said He’ll be with us while we do. “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Why in the world would He choose to work this way? Use people like us? Proclaim salvation through fallen people? Entrust the message of heaven to people like me?
I don’t know. But one thing I am sure of: He wants me to Go-Make-Baptize-Teach. And He’ll be with me.
More to come.
p.s. - wonders how people in Ohio “tell it on the mountain”