The Bottom Line. The Target. The Goal. The Objective. The Finish Line. Net-Net. The Final Analysis. The Last Battle of the War. What is Your Driving Passion? What Gets You Up in the Morning? The Big WHY.
We use a rich set of metaphors to call attention to the Purpose for our plans and our efforts. If you ask collections of 5-Fold ministers about “The Big Why” for their calling, you’re likely to hear something like this:
- Evangelist – it’s all about souls. Jesus came to seek and save the Lost.
- Pastor – it’s all about the Church. Jesus loved the Church and gave his life for her.
- Teacher – it’s all about the word of God. Learn to rightly divide the word of truth and study to show yourself approved, a workman who need not be ashamed.
- Prophet – it’s all about what God is saying now. He who has ears and eyes, let him hear and see what the Spirit is saying.
- Apostle – it’s all about laying the right foundation, casting the right vision, and building the right team. As a wise master builder, I laid a strong foundation.
- Revivalist** – it’s all about the glory. Bring the Kingdom! Heal the Sick. Raise the dead. Cast out demons. Preach the gospel.
- Intercessor** – it’s all about prayer and fasting.
- Worshipper** – it’s all about praise and worship.
** Honorary 5-Fold “Cross-over” category
Of course, if you ask these same leaders – or almost any Christian – “What’s the Great Commission?” – they will immediately answer, “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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”
Are you Discipling Nations?
A well known revivalist (and friend) recently revealed his “big aha” about Discipling the Nations. He was being driven to the airport after a set of successful meetings overseas. His host, a national leader, said, “You keep saying that you are discipling nations. I can open this door to our nation. What would you do?” He declared, “Preach the gospel. Heal the Sick. Raise the Dead. Cast out Demons.” His host asked, “Then what?” He had no answer.
I recently met with the Board of a well-regarded school of theology. After they quoted the Great Commission, I asked, “How many nations have been discipled?” They exclaimed, “many, many.” I then asked, “How many nations are doing All that Jesus commanded?” They admitted, “None.”
How do you know?
Will there be a final exam for disciple makers? Imagine with me, that there will be a Final Exam. Imagine that it will go something like this:
Jesus sits on his throne. Two groups of Disciple makers appear before him.
Group 1: Lord, here are the Nations. Judge for yourself how well we did.
Jesus: You nations – Depart from me. Why? You didn’t love one another.
You other nations – come over here. Inherit the Kingdom prepared for you by my Father. Why? You lived the Golden Rule.
Group 2: Lord, we preached the gospel. Healed the sick. Raised the dead. Cast out demons. We did many mighty works in your name.
Jesus: Depart from me. You didn’t teach the Nations to love one another. Your Families, Communities, and Nations did not live the Golden Rule, and neither did you! That’s all the proof anyone needs that I never knew you!
Most messages that I have heard or read about Group 2 stumble over or muddle through a key point. Jesus had just sent out disciples two by two, commanding them “Go into villages. Preach the gospel. Heal the sick. Raise the dead. Cast out demons. Say to them: ‘The Kingdom of God has come near to you’.” And now He’s dismissing those who obeyed because, “I never knew you.” How do you reconcile their obedience to his command, with his harsh judgment on their report?
Can we be caught up in obeying the Word of God and disobey Jesus? Can we be circumspectly involved in Scriptural activity, consistent with our 5-Fold calling and miss the point?
Eschatology is the study of “the last events.” Much study and attention is paid to these things. Teleology is the study of “final outcomes” or “final causes” – th