BY PR ISAAC CHANG
Eugene Peterson translated the first line of the Great Commission as “Go out and train everyone you meet, …” (MSG). As in literally “train everyone” we meet? Does “everyone” include our family members, friends, neighbors, relatives, colleagues, communities, etc. It is like there is no end to the word “everyone.”
What do we do as in “train everyone” or “training everyone that we meet into a disciple of Christ …” in an elaborated manner? Someone said, “Discipleship begins with evangelism.” And in Mark 1:14-15, Jesus made disciples by proclaiming the gospel in his kingdom ministry. I am convinced that both are very true. With this biblical understanding, shall we start evangelizing to everyone we come across with the gospel? Furthermore, as a disciple of Christ, I believe there shouldn’t be anything holding us back to share.
However, sometimes we are hesitant to share because we also believe God has predestined those whom He would call (Rom 8:29-30). Does this mean we do nothing and let our sovereign God call the lost? What do we do if we come across someone who might be open to the gospel? Do we remain silent? Will we not share the goodness and work of God in our lives? Do we share or do we not to share?
Sean Lucas, in his book “On Being Presbyterian,” argues against such hesitant thinking because he believes none of us knows whom God has chosen. He explains this with two reasons:
· “ … the same sovereign God who chose to save also chose the way in which to save.”
· “ … God knows whom he has chosen, we do not. Therefore, we are called to share the gospel without distinction and with everyone we meet.” *
Hence, let us share to everyone we meet “God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). And we entrust the remaining work of salvation unto our sovereign God.
(* Sean M. Lucas, On Being Presbyterian, P&R Publishing, 2006, p29)