Summary: To find favor in God’s eyes, it is essential that a minister understand the goal that God has sent before him.
The Minister’s God-given Goal – Part 1
To find favor in God’s eyes, it is essential that a minister understand the goal that God
has sent before him. Most ministers have some specific goal that they often refer to as their “vision.” It is what they strive to accomplish. However, the goal or vision a minister strives to accomplish may not be the God-given goal that applies to every minister. The minister’s goal or vision must agree with the God-given goal, but too often, it does not.
The first question we need to answer is, “What is the goal God has given to every minister? The answer to the question is Matthew 28:18-20.
Verse 18 – And Jesus came up and spoke to them saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.”
Jesus wanted His disciples to understand His authority over heaven and earth is not a limited authority. He is Lord. This being so, when modern day evangelists and pastors invite the unsaved to “accept Jesus as Savior, a concept never found in the Bible, they reveal a flaw in their understanding of the gospel. When the Philippian jailer asked Paul what he must do to be saved, did Paul tell him to accept Jesus as his Savior or did he tell him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus” (Acts 16:31). People are not saved because they believe in a doctrine about salvation or Jesus, but when they believe in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ. People are not saved from the consequences of sin because they believe that Jesus’ death was a sufficient sacrifice for their sins, or salvation is by faith, or some other doctrine about Jesus or salvation. Demons believe the doctrines about Jesus and salvation. Saving faith consists of faith in a person, Lord Jesus.
When sinners believe that Jesus is Lord, they will act as if He is Lord and submit to Him from the depth of their heart. If they do not submit to Him, they do not believe in Him. When people say they believe in Jesus but have not repented of their sins and submitted to Him in their hearts they do not really believe in Jesus. They do not really believe He has all authority in heaven and on earth.
If a minister does not understand or believe the Father has given Jesus all authority in heaven and on earth, he is in big trouble and so is his congregation. There is no way he will find favor in the eyes of God if he misrepresents the most foundational message God wants the world to hear, Jesus is Lord.
What is the goal or vision God has given to every minister?
Verses 18-19 – Jesus told the disciples “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Note if you will, Jesus used the word “therefore.” That is to say, because of what I just said, because I have all authority in heaven and on earth, because I am Lord and I command you to “make disciples of all the nations, teaching those disciples to obey My commandments, go as I have commanded you.
God’s given goal or vision to all ministers and our responsibility to make disciples and teach them to “observe all” that Jesus commanded is why the Apostle Paul said, the grace of God had been given to him as an apostle to “bring about the obedience of faith among the Gentiles” (Romans 1:5). This is why the Apostle Peter said on the Day of Pentecost, “Therefore let the all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified” (Acts 2:36). Peter wanted those who turned Jesus over to the Romans to be crucified, those who rejected Him as their King to know God made Him Lord and Christ.
When a minister reads the attendance report on Monday morning he should ask the question, “Am I making disciples; am I teaching them the commandments of the Lord?” If we are merely asking sinners to accept Jesus as their Savior without telling them to repent and turn from disobedience to obedience our ministry is flawed. If we are trying to build a big congregation by keeping everyone happy, feeling good about themselves and organizing social activities our goal and vision is not in harmony with God’s goal and vision. If our church is overflowing with people who claim they believe in Jesus but do not obey Him we our in big trouble. If we are preaching ear-tickling message our people are in big trouble.