Is the Great Commission a Hot Potato? – John Boruff

Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature.
                                                                                        –Mark 16:15

Great CommissionIt seems that when evangelicals study their Bibles, they approach it with a “life application” orientation. Revelation, interpretation, and personal application is the general way that Bible-believers study the Bible. They have no problem with this. There is even a very popular study Bible called the Life Application Study Bible, so popular is this method of studying the Bible. But if we’re honest, many Christians are SELECTIVE with what they apply to themselves from Scripture. “That’s for me, but not that part” they say. Picking-and-choosing what applies to them. Nothing could be more opposite to sanctification. That’s not a very obedient attitude to have towards God. Suppose God gave us 20 commandments on Mt. Sinai. What, would you say, “Sorry God, I’m only going to obey 7 of them.” In reality though, God gave us 10 commandments on Mt. Sinai, and He expects us to try to obey ALL 10 of them; and also hundreds of other moral laws all throughout the New Testament. 

One of those commands is: “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). That is a direct, imperative command from Jesus. But when Christians read this, they seem to either ignore it or explain it away, and say, “That was only for the apostles.” Why was that only for the apostles? Why are Christians willing to live out and apply the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) to themselves, but are not willing to apply the Great Commission (Mark 16:15)? I have no idea why. Or, actually I do.

Hot PotatoMaybe Christians see the Great Commission as a hot potato; it’s something to be passed along to someone else in the church—perhaps the pastor or an evangelist or a missionary, but not them. It doesn’t apply to them. I submit to you that this is hypocrisy, lawlessness, and disobedience to God; to try to live by the Sermon on the Mount, but totally ignore the Great Commission. Billions of souls are on their way to Hell right now! Broad is the way to destruction! (Matthew 7:13). And are you Christians going to say, “Preaching the Gospel is just not for me?” What are you doing! That’s totally unloving and careless! Where’s your concern for the lost on their way to Hell? 

Methodist Camp Meeting 1819I got news for you: most pastors don’t really preach the Gospel that saves lost sinners from an eternity in Hell. And if you find one who does, email me, because I would like to go to his church. Pastors, by and large, are simply not inclined to preach “repent and believe in the Gospel” (Mark 1:15) in their pulpits on Sunday mornings. You know why? It’s the evangelist’s job they say. Pass the hot potato. I got news for you: most churches don’t make use of evangelists either. That’s a thing of the past now. Some country churches might, like Church of God. But the majority doesn’t use evangelists. A superintendent of Assemblies of God once told me, “It’s the pastor’s job to get people saved; but the evangelist’s job to get them speaking in tongues.” What!

The documentary Go Stand Speak offers us a glimmer of hope. There is an emerging group of Generation Y street preachers (evangelists) who are actually taking the Great Commission seriously. I hope to contribute. Will you? That’s not for you? What about the shame of the cross? (Hebrews 12:2). What about HELL?

Churches are not supposed to be clubhouses Lions Club Dinnerfor little old ladies, or country clubs where you pay your membership fees and dues, for family-friendly events and activities for all ages. Churches are supposed to be centers of missionary activity in the community. Sorry ladies—in the Bible, the church is not about YOU; it’s about the LOST.

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About John Boruff

John Boruff is the founder of WesleyGospel.com, a husband, father, and sometimes an open air preacher. He graduated from UNC Pembroke in 2008 with a B.A. in Philosophy and Religion and views himself as a Wesleyan Pentecostal. As a Christian, he feels connected with all members of the body of Christ, but can identify the most with churches like the Assemblies of God and the Vineyard. In 2015, he released "The Gospel of Jesus Christ," which is meant to be a Bible study for open air preaching. For his other writings, search articles on this site or see the E-Books section.
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