Commitment To The Great Commission
By Lois J. Stucky
As we read the messages that God has provided for readers in this April issue of Herald of His Coming, might each of us hear the voice of Jesus speaking individually to us to: "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:19-20). We may be so familiar with this strong charge our Lord Jesus Christ left with His followers shortly before He ascended on high, that we do not sense the earnestness and compassion with which it must have been spoken. It was only weeks after costly, costly Calvary, where He had laid down His life for a lost world. It was for the whole world throughout all ages that He died. When He returns, will He find the task finished, or perhaps we should say more fittingly, will He find the passion of His heart fulfilled?
We tend to think of "Go ye…" as referring to those dedicated saints who hear the Lord’s call and leave home to go with the Gospel to places afar, to eventually return in honor or to die and be buried in a lonely grave far from home. Or we think of those who risk their lives to preach faithfully among their own countrymen, most of whom are opposed, even radically, to their message. We esteem them for their commitment to Christ and His great commission, but do we leave too much of Christ’s charge to ones so called? Do we exclude ourselves too easily?
Both Henry Blackaby and Dick Eastman address all of us – including those who have not felt a call to full-time Christian work – when they urge us to cast aside what is of secondary importance and respond to the need to unite in reaching this generation in which we live and which is our unique responsibility. Do not miss the urgent note they sound for us to be active now in spreading the Gospel as Jesus commands us to do. Dr. Blackaby speaks of the "limited time" people have to respond to the Gospel before our Lord comes again. Dr. Eastman writes of how the Lord spoke strongly to him, "It is time!" when God will do through the least and the smallest of us a work beyond our imagination! This urgency calls for commitment! A casual, off-hand effort is akin to lukewarmness. Beware the consequences of lukewarmness! (Rev. 3:15-16).
Both Henry Blackaby and Dave Butts mention the "neglect" of God and His agenda which typifies much in this age. The article on page four mentions our "slide" away from the reality of heavenly things. Neglect and sliding away are not intentional things we do, but they easily happen in this hour when the things of the world are so near at hand and so enticing, or on the other hand, so stressful and pressing. It takes effort to intentionally set our hearts on things above and not on things of this earth. Our choices, which the article on page four talks about, need to be made with eternity in mind.
Where Can God Use Me?
Dick Eastman brings to our attention the number of prayer movements taking place around the world. Often since 1993 God has led us to print in Herald of His Coming prayer calendars for the "10/40 Window," for "Seek God for the City," for "Ten Days of Prayer" and for "The Global Day of Prayer." The Herald also carries each year a call to share in the National Day of Prayer for the U.S. We sincerely hope that a number of you Herald readers take these calendars to heart and participate, as the staff does here at Herald of His Coming. O friends, consider that God is giving all of us the opportunity and the blessing and the responsibility to unite with untold numbers of other Christians in seeking Him to come down in power in this significant, late hour! God is offering us a place in His holy army of intercessors to help prepare the way for Him to come forth and do around the world that which is "beyond imagination"! God does not conscript; He entreats for willing volunteers. Enlist at once if you have not already done so!