The Reality of Eternity and the Great Commission
Matthew's version of the Great Commission quotes Jesus as saying it this way, “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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” As believers in Jesus, these two main directives from heaven are ours to take very seriously and live out in our everyday lives. John Arnott speaks of them in terms of three journeys. First there is the Upward Journey – Loving God, Knowing Him, Worshipping Then, the Inward Journey – healing of our hearts, loving ourselves, receiving from God for. Lastly, the Outward Journey – reaching out to others, loving others, taking the kingdom of God to the world.
I don't know of a more important expression of love than that which effects the eternal soul of the one you are seeking to love. It ties into the Great Commission: Go and make Jesus's heart of compassion for the lost is outlined in Matthew 9:35-38, “Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every disease among the people. But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out labourersinto His harvest.”
Without a heart of compassion for the lost and without prayer, we will not be effective It was years ago, while attending a Canadian Prophetic Counsel event in Kelowna, B.C,that I was apprehended by the Lord in my lack of compassion for the lost. Patricia Kingwas speaking about going into the streets of Vancouver and winning souls for Jesus. She spoke of the depravity of the state of lost souls. Suddenly, during her session, the Spirit of the Lord hit me and I began to weep. I wept and wept and wept for lost souls feeling the compassion of Jesus for them. My indifference melted away and I knew I was being called to have an evangelistic call – as every Christian should.
When I returned to Ontario I decided to act on this new found love for the lost right away. I asked another gal to join me and we went to the mall to go 'fishing.' That day a lady, her sister and later both of these women's children gave their lives to Jesus and joined our church. I was exhilarated. God could use 'little ole me' to win the lost. After listening to a talk given by Bill Weise, my heart was further stirred for the souls of lost men and women. Bill, a self described 'previously nominal Christian' had a shocking experience that forever changed his life. After going to bed at midnight, he was awakened at 3 am to have his spirit leave his body and descend into hell. He describes the horrors of hell in great detail. When he came out of this experience he was found on his living room floor and his wife, awakened by his screams, noted the clock said 3:23 AM. For further detail, see his New York Times best seller book, 23 Minutes in Hell. Bill's experience lined up with the 400 different scriptures on hell cited in the Bible. In fact, Jesus spent more time talking about hell than He did about heaven. Hell is a real place, where real people go who have refused to accept Jesus as the only way to the Father. Isaiah 14 speaks of the fall of Lucifer and some components of hell. Other verses similarly describe a place of perpetual torture and torment. The Luke 16:19-31 parable about the rich man and Lazarus describe the regrets of one who finds himself in hell and longs to warn his family. Psalm 9:17 says, “The wicked shall be turned into helland all the nations that forget God.”
After I heard Bill Weise's riveting story, I determined to help plunder hell and populate heaven. I also said in my heart, “I don't want to know anyone in hell.” It was then I remembered my unsaved brother who I hadn't particularly prayed for in years. In fact, this brother was not known for love or kindness. However, I began to travail in prayer for his salvation. For one week, I was particularly burdened for the saving of his soul. I left for a speaking engagement in the U.S. praying for him even as I travelled. While on this trip, I received a phone call. My brother had had a heart attack at age 48. He had been rushed to the hospital. Later, I learned the story. My brother had a heart attack and felt his life was slipping from him. Memories of his life, thus far, flashed before his eyes as his wife drove him frantically to the hospital. In the car, as he felt he was dying, my brother gave his life to Jesus. In fact, he was able to recover from that heart attack and he is a changed man. He is kind, attends church and lives for God. I learned again lessons I hope to never forget the power of compassion for lost souls and the power of prayer to see the veil lifted and for them to surrender to Jesus. Evangelism can take many forms such as:
- Prophetic Evangelism – Combining prophetic words of knowledge with evangelism, such as Jesus did with the woman at the well (John 4)
- Friendship Evangelism – Bring people to Jesus through friendships
- Media Evangelism – TV programs, internet, radio etc.
- Service Evangelism – Acts of Service
- Prayer Evangelism – Prayer walking your neighbourhood (Ed Silvoso's book “Prayer
- Evangelism is an excellent resource for this)
- Presence Evangelism – An outpouring of the Presence of God such as at the Hebrides Revival
- Meetings / Stadiums – Such as a meeting at church or a stadium event with Reinhard
- Street Evangelism – Go and tell the good news on the streets of our city
- Missions / Ministry to the Poor – such as Iris Ministries (Heidi Baker)
- Missional Communities – living amongst those you are seeking to evangelize
For those reading this article and desiring to know how to tell someone the good news of life in Jesus, the Four Spiritual Laws have helped many in knowing how to share:
1. God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life. (John 3:16, John 10:10)
2. Man is sinful and separated from God. Therefore, he cannot know and experience God's love and plan for his life. (Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23)
3. Jesus Christ is God's only provision for man's sin. Through Him you can know and experience God's love and plan for your life. (Romans 5:8, I Corinthians 15:36, John 14:6)
4. We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God's love and plan for our lives. (John 1:12, Ephesians 2:8,9, John 3:1~8, Revelation 3:20)
A sample prayer to lead someone through can include the below:
Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be. Proverbs 11:30 says, Prob. 11:30 “He who wins souls is wise.” May we be soul winners and ones who run with both the Great Commandment and Great Commission.