Have you ever been taught that the United States is not a major player in the end times? It is true, there is no clear evidence that the United States is a major player in the end times. I remember the first time I heard this teaching and it was hard to fathom! How is it possible that the U.S. does not have a major role in the end times? The U.S. is the world’s sole super power, how can it not be mentioned? Well, times are changing. The United States has incurred a national debt once thought to be unimaginable (over 17 trillion dollars and rising everyday)! Our nation’s debt is growing by $1.79 billion per day! Some estimate that by 2018 our national debt will be over $20 trillion! It is obvious that no one can continue to spend more that one’s income indefinitely. Beyond the financial issues is the reality that the U.S. military is being downsized to a pre-World War II level and is said to, by some, to be incapable of responding to known threats in the world. So, even as I write this the United States is becoming less influential in the world.
How do we respond as Christians living in a nation which is changing morally, spiritually, and governmentally? We could stick our heads in the sand and pretend it isn’t happening. Or we could throw our hands up in the air and despair. We could try to change things through political means. What does Scripture say the mission of the church is? Jesus gave us the mission of the church prior to His ascension.
Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (HCSB)
So, what does the mission of the church and Matthew 28:18-20 have to do with each other? The answer is disciplemaking is the mission of the church. The church is to respond to the chaos in the world by making disciples of Jesus Christ. Why do we do that? Isn’t there something else? Well, we need to be praying people who are utterly dependant upon the Lord. But, yes, the church is to continue to make disciples and never to lose sight its mission to do so. If the church does a multitude of other things but does not seek to make disciples according to God’s Word, it has abandoned its mission.
Next week I am going to expand upon this subject. I am going to address what Scripture says about disciplemaking in my next article.