District of Columbia Baptist Convention

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The Global Gospel

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

{Matthew 28.16-20, NRSV}

“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.  When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.  And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.  And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

{Matthew 28.16-20, NRSV}

 

The gospel of Jesus Christ was not meant to kept in our corner of the world, shared only with our community or passed around in our culture.  No, the Great Commission compels us to go outside of our comfort zone, to travel beyond the cultural boundaries and to share what belongs to all of God’s children— the message that God loves them and desires to be in loving relationship with them.

 

In the metropolitan region, the nations are represented by our neighbors.  The world in our backyards, in our schools and places of employment, America has become increasingly more integrated as it has always been diverse.  With more opportunities for interaction, occasions to share the gospel of Jesus Christ also increase.  Curtiss Paul DeYoung writes in Coming Together in the 21st Century: The Bible’s Message in an Age of Diversity, “Unfortunately, the oneness of the human family and the universality of God’s love has been distorted in postbiblical times.  Instead of living as one human family with many cultural expressions, we have divided ourselves by many classifications.”

 

While this is disheartening, we are not without a charge.  Not only are we called to make disciples but we are also called to be reconciled to God and to each other.  The Apostle Paul, former murderer turned missionary, tells the church at Corinth and those who would read his letters after them, “From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way.  So, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!  All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us.”  So, Christianity is not a matter of following the Roman road (i.e. Romans 3.23; 6.23; 10.9-10).

 

Instead, we are invited to do unto others as God has done unto us.  This is what is means to be Christ- like, not just talking about what Jesus did but walking it out around the globe, which might be around the corner.  Consequently, the Office of Empowering Congregations seeks to fit persons for the journey, offering to serve as a conversation partner and trainer in discipleship, evangelism and the ministry of reconciliation.