Guarding and proclaiming the unchanging truth in a changing world

In thanksgiving… for the Commission to GO! (Matthew 28:19)

24th November 2020
Audio: 

In thanksgiving… for the Commission to GO! (Matthew 28:19) 

The Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs

As Jesus ascended into heaven after this resurrection, he declared the words which have become known as the Great Commission: “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.”  [Matthew 28:18-10, ESV].

Jesus still says, “GO” and the church today, as in every generation, has received these marching orders directly from Christ.

As the year 2000 dawned, the late Dr. Billy Graham, perhaps this generation’s most well known evangelist said, “In spite of the difficulties, the twenty-first century could mark the greatest evangelistic advance in the history of the Christian Church. In order for this to happen, however, the church (in all of its diversity) must embrace the challenges it faces and must mobilize every possible spiritual and physical resource to declare the gospel that has been committed to us.”

I am so thankful that Jesus has entrusted the faithful proclamation of the gospel to his disciples in the Church.  What an incredible privilege our Lord has given us!  And what an incredible responsibility!  If the gospel is to be proclaimed, we are the ones who are to proclaim it.

Listen to Paul writing to the church in Rome in AD 60: “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’ But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, ‘Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?’ So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”  [Romans 10:14-17, ESV].

Notice, Paul writes that faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.  It is the word of Christ that we are called to proclaim.  It is the gospel once for all entrusted to the saints that will heal the brokenhearted.  It is through Christ alone that the chasm between sinful human beings and God will be bridged.  It is through the faithful preaching of the word of God, from the pulpit, in the school playground, at the office, or in the home that will plant a seed of faith into the heart of the hearer.

Our concern as followers of Jesus Christ is neither with a religion called “Christianity,” a denomination called “Anglican,” but with a person, Jesus of Nazareth, who gave his lives for the sins of the whole world. This is the message we are commissioned by Christ to proclaim.

Jesus still says, “GO!”

The Rt. Rev. Julian Dobbs 
Diocesan bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word, a diocese in the Anglican Church in North America.

Prayer: 

A Prayer for the Mission of the Church

O God, our heavenly Father, you manifested your love by sending your only-begotten Son into the world, that all might live through him: Pour out your Spirit on your Church, that we may fulfill his command to preach the Gospel to all people. Send forth laborers into your harvest; defend them in all dangers and temptations; and hasten the time when the fullness of the Gentiles shall be gathered in, and faithful Israel shall be saved; through your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.  

BCP 2019, p. 651

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