In this second part of the Great Commission devotional, we will be looking at Matthew, chapter 28, and then relate it to what we already learned in Part 1 in Mark, chapter 16. So in Mathew 28, starting with verse 16, it reads, “then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 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 always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:16-20) So we have Jesus, our Lord, being worshiped by His disciples and then Jesus giving them specific instructions on what to do next. Those things being to teach all nations to observe what Jesus has commanded us to do. And to baptize them who believe in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. And if we go forth and do this, Jesus will be with us. So we have two key things that we need to be doing when we witness to the lost. We teach what Jesus taught, especially the gospel message of the cross and the resurrection, plus the importance of being baptized. To just lead people in prayer and not help them understand the need for baptism is not obeying what Jesus said. Also, if people in the faith do not baptize the way He said, then we are doing it wrong.
This chapter agrees with Mark, chapter 16, which Jesus said, “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:15-18) So again we have Jesus telling His disciples to teach and preach the gospel to every person. Then, those who believe in Jesus should then be baptized. And in this chapter, we learn how important our faith plus baptism really is, which is unto salvation. Notice that Jesus used “and” when he said, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16:16) So if a person believes in Jesus and is baptized, they are saved. A person is not saved through there belief system alone or by baptism alone, since they are both necessary for salvation. My friends, all I am doing is quoting what Jesus already said in the Bible. This has been very important for every generation since Jesus ascended up into heaven. We are Christ’s church on the earth today, even His hands and feet. Now, if we are His people, then we are also His disciples. So we are also called to be His witnesses and to share the gospel with our friends, family, co-workers, and other people we meet. Then, we invite them to be baptized. This is taking what Jesus said and making it a reality in the world we live in.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, it is my heart’s desire to serve You and to lead as many people as possible to know You. And Lord, I know that I cannot do this on my own. Without Your presence with me, my words will do nothing good, but only stir up contention. What I need is You speaking through me at all times. As I am called to be Your witness, I pray that I will go forth and be valiant in Your sight. I would never wish that people would want to follow me, but only follow You. As people hear Your message of hope and salvation, I wish to decrease and You increase. These people need to understand the importance of the cross and the resurrection. For only then will they desire to be forgiven and desire Your mercy for their sins. Lord, I know that You are oh so merciful and just. Your ways are pure and holy, and I wish that people would come to understand this also. Then, would they know that living a life of sin is causing You, God, to grieve. How sad it is to see people who say they believe in You and then continue to willfully sin. What a waste of a life who could have been redeemed by Your blood. So it is my prayer that these people will repent, truly believe in You, and then be baptized. And if they have already been baptized, that they will come back to You. Your arms are wide open to receive them back. I just hope that they make this choice before it is too late. Surely, Your teachings and promises are true. We are either saved and will go to heaven, or will enter death and go to hell. As for me, continue to cleanse me all my sins. Help me to walk in Your holiness and no longer cling to the things of this world. I love You, Jesus. I give You praise and honor, this day and forever. Amen.