A big portion of the work the New Testament sanctions for Christians was stated by Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20: “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 always, even unto the end of the world.”
The congregation which follows this commission will be a mighty redemptive instrument in the hands of God. Since Satan knows this better than we do, he has always tried to subvert what is perhaps Jesus’ greatest command. He does not deny its validity openly, but he seeks to distort and misrepresent it. He does this in the following ways:
- He substitutes the good for the best. He causes us to substitute attending, singing, giving, and even praying for going. He is willing for us to be busy with good activities if we will forget the best — telling others about Jesus.
- He reduces the requirements. There are several requirements in the commission (going, baptizing, teaching). When Satan gets us to emphasize going to the neglect of baptizing those converted and teaching them to convert others, he wins a great victory.
- He limits its scope. The scope of Jesus’ commandment in Matthew 28:18-20 is worldwide. He ﬁghts to get us to neglect the world for our own little corner of the world.
- He misrepresents the nature of faithful teaching. Teaching is twofold — by life and by lip. It is not one or the other but both. The person who says, “I do not talk to people about Christ, but I teach with my life” is deceived.
- He professionalizes the commandment. Satan has convinced many of us that evangelism belongs to professionals (i.e., the preacher). Since the church is made up mainly of those who are not supported by the church treasury, this excuses most Christians from the important task of leading the lost to Jesus.
Has Satan pulled one of these tricks on you? He has been successful with multitudes of people and churches. He leads them to inactivity and an uncaring concern for the lost souls of the world.