Great Commission - Witnessing or Loving God?

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by tfisher1, Mar 17, 2005.

  1. tfisher1

    tfisher1
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    Question: Once a person becomes a follower of Christ, what is their primary directive. Is it the Great Commission to witness, or is the most important thing Loving God. I ask because as I read the New Testament over and over again the theme I keep seeing is love God, love others. Yet I see some who think that witnessing is the top directive...people will go to hell and their blood will be on our hands...!! Am I responsible for someone else going to hell? I have heard the illustration of getting to Heaven and seeing someone we knew on Earth and them saying "Why didn't you tell me"...

    Obviously if I love God and love others, I will share with them the love of Christ...but is that my primary objective? Or is practicing Love,kindness,gentleness,meekness, humility, giving etc...

    Example: We take our youth group teens on door to door visitation once a week for almost 2 hours. The standard "Do you know where you'd go if you died today" rarely yields much fruit." On the other hand, my cousin was telling me how their youth group took food baskets to a local downtrodden area and distributed them to the poor. They didn't try to evangelize the people, only put a little note on the box giving the church name, and a sentence like "For the love of Jesus Christ" or something like that. A few weeks later, 2 families came and visited the church and were saved... I thought that was neat.

    I am just trying to get things put in their proper perspective for myself. There are some close to me who push and push witnessing to the extent that it will be my fault if they perish... or my spiritual condition must be on the brink of disaster if I don't attend the Church sanctioned visitation time each Monday at 7pm. (Regardless if I'm sharing Christ with co-workers, neighbors etc...)

    Jam 1:27 Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.

    Interested in your response!

    Todd
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    The Great Commandment, according to Jesus, was NOT to witness or baptize or disciple or serve your fellow man (all 4 good "next" steps).

    It is to worship/love God with every fiber of your being.

    Most of us will have hard enough time getting that down pat!

    Great Commandment
    1. Worship (love God)
    2. Minister (love neighbor)
    Great Commission
    3. Witness (as going, share the Gospel)
    4. Fellowship (baptizt into a local church)
    5. Training (disciple, teach ALL things)
     
  3. Soulman

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    Quoted by tfisher1: Question: Once a person becomes a follower of Christ, what is their primary directive. Is it the Great Commission to witness, or is the most important thing Loving God. I ask because as I read the New Testament over and over again the theme I keep seeing is love God, love others. Yet I see some who think that witnessing is the top directive...people will go to hell and their blood will be on our hands...!! Am I responsible for someone else going to hell? I have heard the illustration of getting to Heaven and seeing someone we knew on Earth and them saying "Why didn't you tell me"...


    Once Jesus saves you, your top priority should be to love Him. As a result of that you should be obedient and love your neighbor. As a result you will tell others about Christ.

    Yes He saves us because He loves us but we cannot escape the fact that He wants us to tell others. It is your highest priority of service. Loving God is done at the same time and so is loving your neighbors.

    Unfortunately most of the people that look for reasons not to witness is that they are embarrassed or haven't taken the responsibility to learn how to witness.

    Matt 10:32-33 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

    So yes. If you are being told by the Holy Spirit to tell someone about heaven and choose not to, who is to say someone else will ever get to them.

    Matt. 9:37-38 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

    We are the laborer. Don't wait for someone else to do it.

    What happens to a harvest of fresh ripe fruit that is not picked? It rots on the vine and is good for nothing.

    So you could very well have someone ask you why you didn't tell them if you had the opportunity.

    Loving God and neighbor are first. Witnessing is your highest expression of that love.

    [ March 18, 2005, 03:03 AM: Message edited by: Soulman ]
     
  4. untangled

    untangled
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    I believe we witness because of the first two. If we did not follow the first two then why would we bother with the Great Commission.

    In Christ,

    Brooks
     
  5. Soulman

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    It would be hard not to have the first two if we are really saved.
     
  6. JackRUS

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    Why can't we do both?
     
  7. Soulman

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    Let's do it!!
     
  8. mountainrun

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    People get confused about the Great Commission.
    They think it tells us to go out and evangelize the world.

    It does not.

    Jesus was speaking to the church as a whole.

    Each of us has our own individual role to play.
    We are NOT all evangelists, only some as is clearly taught in the Bible.

    The Great Commission specifically mentions teaching yet James says that not many of us should be teachers.

    Our greatest commandment is to love God and to obey Him.

    We should never take off on our own to do something unless God tells us to do it because such projects don't bear much fruit.

    MR
     
  9. Dr. Bob

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    And mountainrun, another thought in agreement with your thinking - the past participle that begins the great commission is NOT a verb!

    Even though some English translations are less than accurate, the Word of God doesn't say "Go" but rather "Having gone, therefore, disciple all nations . . "

    The assumption is that the church WILL go. No command needed. But AS they go, they will disciple and baptize and teach all.
     
  10. mountainrun

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    That is exactly what I taught in a Sunday School class some years ago, Dr. Bob.

    AS you go...

    Precisely. Well put.

    MR
     

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