The Gospel is a 'Message to Go'
This passage echoes Matthew 28:18-20 which we know as the Great Commission. It also reflects John 3:18 which makes an infinite distinction between those who believe in the Lord Jesus and those who do not - the former are saved but the latter are already condemned. That is why the Commission is so 'Great' - it has huge importance because those who do not respond to the Gospel message are already in the lap of hell. And it is only the Gospel that has the power to reveal Jesus as the Saviour who can 'rescue us from the coming wrath' (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
Faith comes through hearing the Word of God and believing the gospel (Romans 10:17). As we believe the gospel, we realise that we are opposed to God and He gives us the grace to repent. Baptism is a physical act of submission for those who have believed and submitted to God's authority. The Great Commission is to proclaim Christ in His death and resurrection and call people to repent and be baptised (Acts 2:38).
If Jesus had intended to save sinners without any participation from those who have already been saved, He would never have issued this call to go. Nor would He have been interested in risking the lives of martyrs, if their sacrifice had no benefit to His Kingdom. The fact remains that He did commission the disciples and through them, the church. His chosen method for the growth of the Kingdom is that ordinary Christians should tell what Christ has done for them, and urge others to believe in Him.
So, it is time to dispose of the old excuses which are based on the fear of what others may think (even if they are dressed up in spiritual looking clothes), and accept our responsibility to tell of Christ wherever we go. If that is our first thought in the business day or the family weekend, then it will not be long before the opportunity comes to do it. All we have to do is to tell!
© Dr Paul Adams