I had a conversation with a friend recently that caused me to examine my heart and mind regarding being a disciple of Christ, making more disciples for Jesus Christ, and advancing the Kingdom of God through the building of His church.
In Matthew 16, upon Simon Peter proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of the Living God, Jesus’ response was to bless Him and what the Lord had revealed to Him by saying: “…you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church…” This proclamation of Peter and this response by Jesus is highly important for every follower of Christ to understand. People can strive for all they want — they can build buildings and establish Christian organizations, but only Jesus Christ can build the church!
In Matthew 28, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Word of God tells us this: “Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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.’”
The disciples of Christ believed when the Messiah came, there would be a great spiritual awakening and revival and there would also be a large-scale takeover of the land of Israel and the Messiah
would crush the Roman government and establish a kingdom in this world that would lead and govern all. And yet, this wasn’t happening this way.
Instead, Jesus told them: go make disciples. And He had already said to them: I will build my church. And yet, what do we often see today? Most often we see people striving to build the church and failing at making disciples of Jesus Christ. Too often we see people making disciples of themselves, or of a particular pastor or teaching or specific church instead. We must return to God’s desire for us as His followers and we must be faithful to do His will and live out His agenda.
The Lord desires from those who have made the choice to follow Him to be His disciples, to point people to Him, to preach the unadulterated crystal-clear gospel Jesus alone can save and redeem us. As His disciples, we are His ambassadors in the world. We are the example to this world of what it means to be His disciples. What example have you been to the world around you?
We are here to live out the realities of the Kingdom of God and to proclaim to an unbelieving world there’s a Kingdom, Heaven and Hell are real, and to enter into Heaven you need to encounter Jesus Christ as your personal Savior and Lord. This message is urgent and is of the upmost importance.
We have a tremendous responsibility to live like true disciples of Christ, not builders of the church. This will push us to look beyond ourselves and to truly seek God’s heart for the church and for each one of us who live in surrender to Him. The Lord will build His church. It will be complete and nothing will slip through the crack on His watch. Our role in this process is be His disciple and make more disciples — to point people to Him.
I want to challenge you to examine your heart and compare it to God’s Holy Word in regards to being His disciple and your efforts in the building of His church.
Nick Emery is the pastor of Good Shepherd Wesleyan Church.