It’s useful to regularly look at what we are doing as the body of Christ and ask two important questions.
Are we absolutely faithful to our Lord in both our teaching and in our deeds?
Are we employing the best methods possible to expand the body and reach the lost?
Let’s first ask if we are absolutely faithful to the Lord.
A man once asked what would be expected of him if he became a faithful member of the Lord’s church. I guess he was “counting the cost” (Luke 14:25-33) which is good. But my answer was a jumbled mess of talking about regular attendance and participation, which is important, but misses the bigger picture. The correct answer was very simple. What is expected of a man when he enters the body of Christ? His entire life! Jesus himself said:
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.”Matthew 16:24-25
It may be that we have lost sight of the total nature of our commitment to Christ and have, instead, relegated our faith to a couple of hours most Sundays. The Bible teaches that once in Christ, we cease to exist – we die. As Paul said, “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20). My interests, my desires become suppressed as I seek to serve the Lord. Whatever he says, I do. Whatever he wants, I want. I must be completely subservient to Jesus. If there is any area of life that we withhold from him, we cannot claim to be his servant.
One area that we are woefully lacking in is personal evangelism. Although Jesus said “Go ye into all nations and preach the gospel…” (Mark 16:15), we do not. Evangelism is no more optional than prayer. It is no more to be set aside than the confession of faith in Jesus as the son of God. Nevertheless we ignore evangelism and rationalize it away.
How many years since you engaged someone in a planned, systematic method of Bible study? Too long? Some think we can indirectly evangelize by paying a preacher and by supporting a missionary in a foreign work but the Bible knows no such plan.
Every Christian must be seeking to make disciples as it is the only way the church will grow!