Today’s Scrip-Bit   6 May 2023 Matthew 28:19a.

Matthew 28:19a.       Go ye therefore and teach (make disciples of) all nations,

Well, at long last a sunny day without any foreboding clouds! Glory be my people! And there couldn’t be a better day for it than this lazy-day Saturday which is all consumed with the crowning of King Charles and Queen Camilla. Brother, that will be fodder for the news mills and social media for weeks to come. Especially since they’ve now become a somewhat dysfunctional family through the public spectacle that’s being brought on by Andrew’s and Harry’s antics. 

Now that’s not totally true, for like any other family, they’ve always had problems, remember the days of Princess Margaret, who flouted a lot of the royal traditions. But I guess back then, the news media was not as nasty, vituperative and greedy as they are now, neither were there the many current outlets of social media. Everybody will have their own take on the subject, and every real or imagined scandal will be dragged back into the public’s eye, though very few will ever know the true reality of the situation. 

And what we all fail to realize is that they are people, and people don’t always get along, although they might have close ties together. They’re no different to any other dysfunctional family in our society, though they hold a loftier position than most, but that doesn’t make them immune to the problems that befall all of us. And not everybody can keep a stiff upper lip and strong backbone for as long as the late Queen did. And though we expect the Royal Family to meet a higher standard than ordinary families, the saying, you make the children but not their minds, goes for them as well as for all of us. 

Times change and so do people. And we’ve become such full-fledged hypocrites, that we just LOVE to criticize others, when we’re doing the same thing, or even worse. Yes, we’ve become a weak, over-critical, permissive, compassion-less, entitled, drama -filled society. And unfortunately, it will only get worse, unless and until we supposed believers in Christ Jesus, develop some kind of unity and stand up and fight the evil and nastiness that’s overwhelming our world. 

Ah friends, I know that seems like a huge and somewhat impossible task, but we know that with Jesus in our corner, ALL things are possible. And furthermore, it wouldn’t have been this bad if we had come together earlier and stood up as one and fought the enemy mano-a-mano, instead of sitting on our fat fannies through, fear, indifference or whatever caused our lack of involvement. Now, though the task has become more difficult, it’s still not too late to begin doing something worthwhile. 

But we have to begin RIGHT NOW! We can’t put off our serious involvement in Christ’s LOVE Revolution any longer. And the first and possibly most important move is becoming a unified, rather than divided church. For the enemy will just keep dividing and conquering us, if we don’t unify and stay unified. Whatever happened to Jesus’ promise that upon the rock, the body of believers, He would build His church eh? 

When Jesus asked the disciples: ‘But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. and I say unto thee, That thou art Peter (a stone), and upon this rock, (large rock) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ (Matt. 16:15-18) 

Now, contrary to popular opinion, Jesus didn’t mean that He was going to build His church on Peter, but on all the disciples, the work and doctrine that they would go out and make known to the world. And this is corroborated by the fact that Jesus said the same thing to them all later on when teaching them how to deal with a trespassing brother. ‘Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.’ (Matt. 18:18) 

Oh my fellow believers, Jesus is depending on us to build the church. He is the rock or solid foundation on which we are to build. It’s all based on Peter’s confession, that Jesus is indeed ‘the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ And His promise that the ‘gates of hell shall not prevail against it,’ ensures us that death and evil will not permanently overpower the Church. But to accomplish His wish, means we have to go out and continue what the disciples begun; to spread His word, His doctrine, His wonderful philosophy. In other words, carry out the Great Commission which He assigned to His church, to His followers right down through the ages, until whatever time He returns. 

And we all know what the Great Commission is, but just to refresh our memory, (smile) let’s proclaim it again nuh. Jesus instructs the disciples. ‘All power (authority) is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore and teach (make disciples of) 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 always, even unto the end of the world.’ (Matt. 28:18-20) 

And it’s obvious that as the body of Christ, His church, we have sadly fallen down on carrying out that commission, otherwise the world would not be in the sad and sorry, evil and ungodly state its currently in. And we’ll close today with a couple of definitions and explanations by the scholars of the church and the Great Commission. As per the church, they say: ‘The word church is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, meaning “called out” or “assembly.” In the New Testament it usually refers to a local group of Christians. 

In this sense a church is an assembly of baptized believers under the discipline of the Word of God. They are organized to carry out the Great Commission, the administration of New Testament ordinances, and the exercise of spiritual gifts. When a group of Christians today follows this example, it is a church in the biblical sense of the word. In the New Testament, Christians assembled as churches for fellowship, instruction, and worship, and to carry out the Great Commission. Every Christian should follow the example of New Testament believers by identifying with a local church, and getting involved in its ministry.’  That tells us we can’t be true believers unless we are associated with a local church and are involved in its ministry. 

And as per the Great Commission, the scholars say: ‘The controlling purpose of the local church is to make disciples of all kinds of people. Those who are evangelized and converted should then be baptized, attesting to their identification with Christ and the local body of believers. The final phase of the Great Commission is to train disciples in Christian knowledge and for effective service. A church cannot choose one aspect of its responsibility and neglect the others. The Great Commission is a simple command with three steps – evangelism, baptism, and education. Every Christian should determine that his ministry for Christ in the church upholds God’s objective for that institution.’ 

And now that we are more enlightened as to the purpose of the church and the Great Commission, (smile)  let’s spend some time today pondering if we, and the local church we belong to are indeed following the ideals noted above. And if not, let’s do our best to bring them into line. Much LOVE!

…each chain is as strong as its weakest link…the same goes for Christ’s church… 

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