All That Jesus Taught : Bible Study Part 4 | Zac Poonen

We turn once again to Matthew 28:19-20. Our subject is ‘All That Jesus taught’ that we’ve been considering in our last sessions or subtitled completing the great commission. There are many Christians who imagine that they are fulfilling the great commission when they have only fulfilled the half of it and neglected the second half almost completely. The first half is very important. Evangelism, reaching out to the lost, to those who have never heard of the gospel but the second half is equally important. Who are we to say that one half is more important than the other half? And yet the great tragedy in Christendom is that many who are fulfilling the first half do not realize how important it is to fulfill the second half. What is worse is that there are many who fulfill the first half despise those who are seeking to fulfill the second half. If we are humble, we would see that we are fellow workers in the body of Christ and that one is as important as the other. The man who goes out to reach those who have never heard the gospel with the message of Christ dying for their sins is as important as the one who is seeking to complete that job by making that person a disciple and in teaching them all that Jesus commanded. It is very exciting to do the first part of the Gospel because you have so many wonderful stories to relate. Missionary work, evangelistic work is always exciting. There are stories to relate. People delivered from demons and idolatry and many things like that, especially a lot of statistics to report.

Evangelists can boast about the number of people they have brought to Christ. What about a person who is taking that convert and making him a disciple? He doesn’t have statistics to boast about but he may discover when Christ comes back that that person has done a more faithful job without getting honor on earth for making his disciples. Generally speaking, Christians like to do those ministries that they can report about and where they can quote numbers. And that’s why the Mark 16:15 aspect of the great commission is more popular than the Matthew 28:19-20. We were talking about teaching people all that Jesus commanded. Supposing you spend your 25 years reaching out in to the different parts of the world preaching the gospel, doing evangelism, probably if you’re an evangelist to have the opportunity to report statistics of hundreds perhaps thousands of people whom you have brought to Christ. But if you spend those 25 years teaching a group of converts who are not yet disciples to do all that Jesus commanded, you may not have much to report in terms of statistics. But you have produced Christ like people who are a far better testimony to Christ on earth and whom God can show forth to the devil as specimens of people who are redeemed from the nature of Adam and who could manifest the nature of Christ. That brings glory to heaven not on this earth. So if you are a Christian who is seeking honor from men, honor from fellow Christians, you will not care much about the second part of the great commission because you don’t have much to report. You will only be interested in the first part because you are only interested in statistics and numbers and the honor of men. The Old Testament prophets were never popular. The false prophets were popular in Israel. What is the difference between the two? One of the differences was this. The false prophets told the people what they like to hear. The true prophets told the people what they needed to hear.