And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen (Matthew 28:18-20).
In our first two articles, we considered the power and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ in the giving of the Great Commission, and the privilege bestowed upon us as believers to go forth with the precious Gospel. We also looked at the programme which reflects the extent of the Great Commission, and the teaching/discipling ministry entrusted to us.
In this concluding article, we will be learning about our Saviour’s promise of His presence:
“Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world”
The disciples were grieved that their risen Lord was about to leave them. But He assured them of His divine presence. The Lord knew they would meet with rejection and persecution, even death. Hence, the promise that He would carry them through their sufferings for the Gospel’s sake. He would bless their efforts to teach and disciple nations in accordance with His commands.
Even today, these blessed words of our Lord bring comfort and quiet assurance to those who preach the Gospel. We are not alone in doing the Lord’s work. Our Saviour is ever with us. He not only promises His presence - “Lo, I am with you alway” - but also the extent of it - “even unto the end of the world.”
To conclude this grand subject, let us look at how we can obey the Lord, and be part of the Great Commission:
- Find opportunities to share our faith in our work place and school. Be a good testimony, especially in our responses to stressful or difficult situations. Be patient and gentle in all our dealings.
- Share the Good News on a one-to-one basis. Christ often spent time with just one person: Nicodemus (Jn. 3); the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4); the rich young ruler (Lk. 18). Philip the evangelist ministered personally to the Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8: 35).
- Show Christian love to one another. Look at the wonderful example of the New Testament Church. Multitudes turned to the Lord because they saw the unity and love of the believers (cf: Acts 2: 41-47; 4: 32-35). The early Christians enjoyed true fellowship in the Gospel. They reached out in love to their needy brethren. There was no discrimination; the master and slave worshipped together. The church father Tertullian (about AD 200) quoted the non-believers as saying: “See how they love one another … see how they are ready even to die for one another.” Jesus said to His disciples: “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another” (Jn. 13: 35).
- Overcome our fears of witnessing. When it comes to giving out tracts or witnessing, few in the church show up. Why? Most of us do not find it easy to talk to someone about Jesus Christ. Perhaps we are not fully convicted concerning our faith. We may be ashamed of our Lord; or we may be afraid of ridicule or rejection. We need not fear the faces of men: “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD” (Jer. 1: 8). The risen Lord promises us His presence: “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matt. 28: 20).
Another possible reason for our silence is our fear of failure. We are afraid that we cannot handle the objections raised. This fear is understandable. However, it should not deter us. We can always share our testimony of God’s grace. God does not expect us to tell people what we do not know; He expects us to be witnesses to what we do know - of His grace at work in our lives. Take time to study God’s Word so that we can equip ourselves with the right answers concerning our faith: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (I Pet. 3:15).
Are we fearful of witnessing for the Lord? Take courage! All glory, authority and power belong to our risen Lord. Our Saviour is ever with us. The Apostle Paul said, “What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Rom. 8: 31). None can stop the Christian witness nor the power of the Gospel to save. Our task is to evangelise. It is the Holy Spirit’s work to draw souls to Him through our witness. Let us all fulfil our role as ambassadors for Christ. May the Lord help us to be His faithful and fearless witnesses.
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