WHAT ARE WE DOING?
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus Christ, who is the Head of His church, left His followers with marching orders. Matthew records:
“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.’”
Jesus had spent three years with His disciples preparing them for this moment. He had lived with them, eaten with them, taught them, rebuked them, and done miracles among them. They were His disciples. Simply put, they were to be His followers and imitators. His commission has been given to His followers, of which Parkway Baptist Church is a local body of committed disciples. Therefore, we ought to focus in on the promises the risen Christ gives and the command that He encourages His followers to obey.
Notice the two promises Jesus gives. He begins His commission with a wonderful promise that will cause His eleven followers to multiply to billions. He reminds His disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. There is no place where His followers would go where Jesus did not have authority! They might be leading members of Caesar’s household to Christ or thrown to the lions in the Roman Colosseum – Jesus wanted His disciples to know that He had all authority. He is the Risen Son of Man who has received a kingdom from the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13-14)!
Jesus also finishes His command with a promise that He would be with His followers wherever He would send them. They would go to the ends of the earth to preach the good news about Jesus Christ coming to save sinners, but they would not be going alone – He would be with them. The angel told Mary, the mother of Jesus, that His name would be called Jesus, for He would save His people from their sins (Matthew 1:21) and Immanuel, which means God with us (Matthew 1:23). The risen Son of God has all authority and promises to be with His disciples as they carry out the task He has given to His church.
What is the task Jesus gave to His followers? He told them clearly to go and make disciples of all nations. He ordered them as disciples to make other disciples. He told them to baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He also told them to teach them to obey all that He had commanded them. These new disciples needed to learn from their Master what their new life would look like and they would do this through the teaching of those who had led them to Christ.
So what is Parkway Baptist Church about? We are about worshiping God and living out the Great Commission. We, as a group of disciples of Jesus, are those who are being obedient to our Master’s mission, who Himself came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). We make disciples, we baptize disciples, and we teach disciples to obey all that He has commanded us. We do this primarily locally, in our families and neighborhoods, yet we also do not ignore the nations! We support missionaries through sacrificial giving and we also send church members to far off places – a couple of members went to Kenya this summer and a team is going to Oaxaca, Mexico to work with an orphanage. In the process of our obedience, we remember the promise of the authority and presence of Jesus. And we look forward to that day when our faith will be turned into sight and we, with all tribes and languages and nations and peoples, will worship around the throne of God and the Lamb who was slain for sinners (Revelation 7:9-10)!
So, church, what are we waiting for?