When I visited Israel I went and walked around the city of Jericho because my name is
Joshua and the Bible tells Joshua to do this. To my disappointment, even though the Bible tells Joshua to do this, the walls did not fall down and the city was not given into my hand. Why did this promise and command not work for me? The reason is context. When we read any command or promise in the Bible we must ask if this applies to us today in the 21st century.
Matthew 11 says to come to the Lord if you are tired and he will give you rest, you can
be confident that this can be applied to us today because in the context it was given to all
people. On the other hand John 2 the promise to turn water into wine was not given to all people but just to the servants who were drawing the water at that time, this means that if you are planning on serving wine at a wedding you probably need to budget for wine and not water. In 1 Peter 5 we can be confident that as Christians that we can cast our anxieties on Christ because this promise is made to the church as a whole.
Matthew 28:19 which says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” Is this a command given to just the people present at the time or was this given to the church as a whole? Is this just for those who feel called or for those who have all the bible training? In this passage it is written to all who believed in Jesus. We as Christians do not have the choice to pick and choose what promises and commands are given to us, if that were the case I would claim the super speed of Elijah in 1 Kings and go become super rich by fishing for fish that have gold coins in their mouth just like in Matthew 17. If I could pick and choose promises and commands that apply to me I would choose to disregard loving my enemy and being persecuted for the Gospel because that just doesn't sound too great. The good thing is I don’t get to choose because when we love our enemies we are more like Jesus and when we are persecuted for the sake of Christ we are blessed because the kingdom of heaven is ours.
The point is when we are in the body of Christ we do not have the choice to pick and
choose the promises or the commands that are given to us. The great commission to go and
make disciples of all nations is a command, the last command from Christ on earth, to all
believers in Christ. This is not to just the people who feel the call to go overseas or to foreign
missions. This is a command to each and every one of us to live mission minded in our own
community, church, and the whole world. My question to you is: are you picking and choosing
your promises and commands from the bible or are you submitting to the Lord's truth in
On March 11-12th 2022 the youth will be digging deeper into this Great Commission at the Lake County Youth Conference. Mark your calendars for the Commissioned Conference.
- Josh Bridges