WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE GREAT COMMISSION?

The Great Commission, that is, the making of disciples of all nations by going, baptizing, and teaching them to obey all that Christ commands us, has been pushed aside as the church scrambles after various social and political causes to make itself relevant.

People in churches are seeing and hearing virtually everything else except their need for repentance and faith in Jesus Christ and what life really submitted to Jesus Christ really looks like. They are being taught to look to external measures to solve issues in our world, rather than asking the Holy Spirit (the third person of the Trinity) who is our counsellor, teacher, and comforter. Jesus made it clear that what He accomplished for us on The Cross was life-changing. He made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to enable us to live the Christian life. Proverbs 20:27 tells us that our Spirit was always meant to be the lamp of the Lord which requires oil, the Holy Spirit to function as God intended.

The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all his innermost parts. Proverbs 20:27

Instead of people hearing that the problem of mankind is endemic—that each individual is culpable for their own sin before a holy and just Lord, they hear that the largest issue of our day is systemic racism (Critical Race Theory and Black Lives Matter). Instead of recognizing issues bound within homes due to selfishness and fatherlessness many wish to relegate issues to a lack of money, education, or healthcare. Instead of shunning every instance of sexual immorality, impurity, and sensuality, our culture and entertainment promote them as exciting and desirable.

The natural result is half the populace is confused about what the gospel is, with roughly another half confused about how the gospel applies to all of life. The second group wants a seat at the table in the cultural marketplace. Nearly ten years ago Carl Trueman challenged the Reformed world with these words: “…the beautiful young things of the reformed renaissance have a hard choice to make in the next decade. You really do kid only yourselves if you think you can be an orthodox Christian and be at the same time cool enough and hip enough to cut it in the wider world. Frankly, in a couple of years, it will not matter how much urban ink you sport, how much fair trade coffee you drink, how many craft brews you can name, how much urban gibberish you spout, how many art house movies you can find that redeemer figure in, and how much money you divert from gospel preaching to social justice: maintaining biblical sexual ethics will be the equivalent in our culture of being a white supremacist.”

Peruse any Reformed group on Facebook and you’ll see that these words are equally as applicable as they were when Trueman first gave them, which means they’ve been largely unheeded. Even many who hold strictly to their confessional documents are wildly inconsistent with a rigorous Christian worldview. Simply ask a piece of basic advice and see how many different prospective teachers offer up counsel that is not only unbiblical but often anti-biblical.

Obviously, this is not all Reformed Christians, nor all Evangelicals for that matter, but I have to wonder at what point people will stop scratching their heads when they see surveys that reveal most people don’t “get” the gospel. At what point, will people drop the convenient talking points and blame-shifting, and take a long, hard look at what has happened? Proper discipleship still demands a comprehensive biblical worldview born out of the gospel. Therefore, we now need to target those in our churches who reject parts of the Biblical worldview for whatever reason. We need to focus our efforts and funds on the proclamation of the gospel.

How many young people in the Reformed island of conservative Christianity are wedded to degenerate worldviews opposed to that of the Bible and enjoying it? How many of them no longer believe that the proclamation of the gospel is the primary mission of the church? How many of them are lying to themselves about why the majority of people in the broader church cannot articulate a saving gospel?

Jesus told us that in the last days there will be a great falling away (apostasy) in the church. This is evident now even in Reformed and Evangelical circles.

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