Discipleship is the commission to build the church with love by teaching others how to love.
– Pastor J
“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.”( Matthew 28:19-20 NAS)
It is said that anything not growing is dead. A recent study has found that in the United States we are just one generation away from Christianity becoming extinct. Jesus said, “However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8) What kind of indictment is that against the church; our failure to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ? Why is true Christianity dying in America? Is true Christianity even a reality in the modern day church?
The church has substituted the mandate to disciple for programs, services, classes and events hoping to produce educated and well equipped believers to carry the message of the gospel to those who do not believe. The problem is discipleship, ministry and evangelism was never intended to be carried out by any other means than relationship. Not that there is anything wrong with programs, classes, events, etc. But when they become the means by which we are trying to fulfill the commission of Christ we have neglected the very fundamentals of the great commandment that the great commission authorizes us to teach; to love one another. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ “This is the great and foremost commandment. “The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ (Matthew 22:36-39)
Everything about the church and ministry is meant to be personable. We have become a very unrelational society. We all want relationship, but we don’t want the inconvenience that relationships imposes upon our lives. The church cannot exist without relationships because everything we are commanded to do requires relationships to accomplish.
Relationships are the training ground for our learning to obey the great commandment, and it is the means by which we teach others how to obey the great commandment. Everything about our faith is based on our relationship with the Father through the Son by His Spirit should and that relationship with God is validated by the relationship we share with one another.
We are failing as the church because we don’t know how to love, and because we don’t know how to love we don’t have the ability to teach others to love. This will be the reason that Christianity will cease to exist. We are no longer growing because we are no longer loving. We must rediscover first our love for God, then for each other and then the world. Without it we have no future! Good deeds will not preserve the church’s existence; only love will.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35 NAS)
Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another ; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” (Romans 13:8 NAS)
Therefore I, a prisoner for serving the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of your calling, for you have been called by God. 2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. 3 Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace.” (Ephesians 4:1-3 NLT)
“and may the Lord cause you to increase and abound in love for one another, and for all people, just as we also do for you…” (1Thessalonians 3:12 NAS)