Thursday, December 1, 2011

Go Tell it on the Mountain...

There is an old Christmas Carol that I can remember hearing when I was little.  I haven't heard it in a very long time...but the chorus goes like this:

Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere!
Go tell it on the mountain, our Jesus Christ is Born!

There is a theme in the song, GO!  The song doesn't say have everyone come to you  and then tell them.  It also doesn't say put a post on facebook, send a text or an email.  It says GO!

Jesus also said GO!

Matthew 28:16-20

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 Emphasis in italics and blue font above is of course mine...

This set of scriptures is commonly called the Great Commission.  Jesus did not say, "Call all people unto your synagogues and tell them I love them, how to gain financial prosperity, or to name and claim it."  He said to go and make disciples of the nations.  In order to make disciples of the nations, one would have to go into the nations.  Not only are we to go, but we are to teach the new disciples how to obey the things Jesus commanded the disciples. 

(I want to make it clear before I continue that I am not anti-church.  I am not anti-congregation.  I am anti- anything that exalts itself over the knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Our country is so full of tolerance right now that we won't speak out against sin.  We don't want to run the risk of making someone mad at us or offending someone.  That attitude of tolerance has bled into the church and is not pushing forward the Gospel...generally speaking.  What we must do is to call sin what it is, teach repentance, share the love of God and the salvation of Jesus Christ.  I do recognize that not all churches have the below mentality...but the vast majority I have been apart of do so I am speaking in generalaties, and not specifics.  I do not believe churches need to focus on teaching a book other than the Holy Bible but in the last few years, we have seen many books openly taught and pushed to their members as the way to learn and live.  I won't name any, because I am sure you know the books I am talking about. I do not mean we should never read any other books, I am saying we should never substitute a book and man's teachings for the divinely inspired Word of God.) 

What I am seeing in the demoninational churches is membership drives.  Churches have invite-a-friend Sundays and other means of increasing their membership numbers.  It would seem gaining members in churches is much more important than teaching members how to obey the commandments of Christ.  In fact, many pastors, preachers, teachers have gotten away from teaching how to be obedient to the Word of God.  They seem to focus on faith teaching or prosperity teaching and so many other messages.  There does not seem to be a focus on how to be alive for Christ; how to be on fire with the Holy Spirit; how to live and be an example to the world while walking the narrow path. 

What makes today's denominational churces any different from the pharisees?  I can't see any differences.  The pharisees sat in their synagogues and the people had to go to them.  They were not out among the people in the community.  They did not minister to the unlovely, the poor, the needy.  They prayed, bowed their heads, and fasted in the public eye to be seen as righteous and spiritual.  It is much the same today.  Churches are asking the "people" to come to them.  They are not going to the people.  Today's churches put yard signs in their members yards that talk about living for 30 a purpose driven life, or they publicly announce a corporate fast so everyone is aware of what they are doing. 

The followers of Jesus Christ should be GOING out into their communities, their states, their countries to make other disciples and to teach the new baby Christians how to live an obedient life of service to the One and Only True God. 

The Great Commission is still very applicable today.  So, who will shout from the mountaintops that Jesus Christ is born?  He is risen!  The Son of God is alive!

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