Firm Foundation Chapter 15

Doug Woolley



The "Great Commission" is the command by Jesus to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded us (Matt. 28:18‑20).  As Jesus' disciples, we need to go to every nation and preach repentance and the gospel of the Kingdom of God.  We are called to preach about Jesus and His resurrection to all men.  Only after every nation has been affected by the Gospel will the end come (Matt. 24:14).

To be an effective witness for Jesus we must have the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).  The Holy Spirit will not only empower us with boldness and authority, but He will also give us the proper words to say to those who need to hear the Gospel message (Matt. 10:19‑20).  With wisdom and the Spirit coming forth from us, people will be convicted of their sin and be convinced of the truth.  After giving our testimonies, we can expect to encounter conflict with religious leaders, members of our household, and government officials (Matt. 10:17‑18, 36).

We must not allow conflicts with people stop us from giving our testimonies about Jesus.  The fear of man brings a snare [a trap] (Prov. 29:25).  Many times we need to do what God wants us to do, regardless of what other people think about it.  On the other hand, sometimes God will have us obey the governing authorities that He has placed above us.  However, we must never be intimidated or ashamed about witnessing for our Lord, but we must be willing to confess Him before any man.  As a result, He will confess us before the Father (Matt. 10:32).  We must not shrink back from declaring the whole purposes of God.

Some times we will have to suffer for the Gospel's sake.  The apostle Paul came to a place in his life where he could say, "I consider my own life to be worth nothing to me;  I only want to complete my mission and finish the work that the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the Good News about the grace of God" (GNB Acts 20:24).  Similarly, we must not consider our own lives' as dear to ourselves' in order that we might finish our courses' and the ministries' which God has given us.  Before our deaths', we should hope to be able to say as Paul did, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.  There is laid up for me a crown of righteousness" (II Tim. 4:6‑8).

Matt. 9:36‑38 says that Jesus saw the multitude and felt compassion for them because they were distressed and downcast like sheep without a shepherd.  Furthermore, He said that the harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.  He also said that we ought to pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out workers into His harvest, since it is ripe NOW.  Therefore, we should not put off witnessing and reaping in the harvest of souls, but we should be ready now.

There are many benefits for believers who turn a sinner from the error of his way.  First, we save the sinner's soul from death, and we cover a multitude of sins (James 5:20).  We are also told in the book of Daniel that we will shine like stars forever and ever.  Not only the one who actually reaps in the harvest will be rewarded, but also the one who has sown, planted, and watered.  Through all our efforts, God is able to move and cause the seed that is sown to grow and bring forth fruit.  First Corinthians 3:8 says that each will receive his own reward according to his own labor.  The one who takes care of the supplies of the people who actually go into the harvest will also receive a reward for their help.  John 4:36‑38 also says that both the sower and reaper will be rewarded for their labor.  Often the one who reaps has entered into the labor of others and he may think that he did it all himself, but God will reward accordingly.

In order to serve God fully, we must overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb, by the Word of our testimony, and by loving not our lives even unto death (Rev. 12:11).  Almost all the apostles died martyr deaths' for the sake of the Gospel.  How much more should we preach about Jesus since we are not threatened with physical violence and torment as they had.  We should suffer hardship as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.  Furthermore, II Tim. 2:3‑6 says that we should avoid entangling ourselves with the affairs of everyday life in order to please God by being productive and reaping in the harvest of lost souls.  Paul compares us to an athlete and a hard‑working farmer to illustrate the dedication and effort needed to win souls.  We need to endure all things for the sake of those who are chosen that they may obtain salvation (II Tim 2:10).