Summary: Two weeks ago I asked the question, why are we here? The answer was Jesus’ call for us to be, first, disciples, and second, to disciple others. Last week I asked you, who have you been hanging out with?
WHY DO I HAVE TO BE A DISCIPLE?
Two weeks ago I asked the question, why are we here? The answer was Jesus’ call for us to be, first, disciples, and second, to disciple others. Last week I asked you, who have you been hanging out with?
So I went home thinking over what I had said and I asked myself, why do I have to be a disciple? Why can’t I just come to church and relax? I know I need to be saved, but why all the fuss about being a disciple? Why all the push to try and make other people Christians? A friend of mine goes to a church were they want everyone to be comfortable. Everybody only has to do what they want to do. I call it a fell good, do nothing church.
So why should I be a disciple of Jesus? Let me tell you a story.
John Harper became a Christian when he was 13 years old. He started preaching by age 17. He received his biblical training at the Pioneer Mission in London. In 1896 he pioneered a church that is now known as Harper Memorial Church. He began with 25 and the church grew to over 500 by the time he left it 13 years later.
In 1912 John was traveling on the Titanic with his 6-year-old daughter. After the ship struck the iceberg and began to sink, he got his daughter into a lifeboat but made no effort to follow her. Instead, he ran through the ship yelling, Women, children, and unsaved into the lifeboats!
Survivors report that he then began witnessing to anyone who would listen. He continued preaching even after he had jumped into the water and was clinging to a piece of wreckage.
John’s final moments were remembered four years later at a meeting in Hamilton, Ontario, by a man who said, I am a survivor of the Titanic. When I was drifting alone on a piece of the boat that awful night, the tide brought Mr. Harper near me. ‘Man,’ he said, ‘are you saved?’ ‘No,’ I said, ‘I am not.’ He replied, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.’
The waves took him away, but, strange to say, brought him back a little later, and he said, ‘Are you saved now?’ ‘ No,’ I said, ‘I cannot honestly say that I am.’
He said again, ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved,’ and shortly thereafter he went down; and there, alone in the night, and with two miles of water under me, I believed. I was John Harper’s last convert.
What made John Harper so passionate about Jesus and telling others about him? So much so, that his last moments were used to tell one last man about Jesus.
John had read Jesus’ last command and it affected everything he did from them on. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:18-20
This statement was made by Jesus to his disciples shortly before he ascended to Heaven. This is what we call the Great Commission. It was the marching orders for the eleven disciples, and it has been the orders for the church ever since. So, why do I have to be a disciple? Because Jesus said so!
Jesus’ command to us is simple and straightforward, go and make disciples of all nations. Go make disciples of everyone, not just people we know or people we are comfortable around, but everyone who does not know him!
Jesus didn’t preface it with, when you have spare time, when it’s convenient for you, or when you decide you’re comfortable to do it, it says go and make disciples.
I think we as a church body, have gotten comfortable with where we are at in our walks with the Lord that we have completely lost site of this command that Jesus left us with.
I consider myself to be a pretty giving and unselfish person. I’m willing to give of my time, talents, and money to those that are less fortunate than me. If someone calls me to help them out, I’m willing to change my schedule to accommodate them.
But all of that aside, the truth is I am a very selfish person. I’m as selfish as they come, because I have become comfortable simply focusing on my walk with God rather than focusing on those who still need the Lord.