May 2024 Newsletter

From Pastor Nelson

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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20, ESV)

“Go and make disciples of all nations…”

We, the Church, have been commissioned. We have a mission. You christians have a God-given purpose for your life. You are “sent ones” or “apostles” of Jesus Christ. What is the objective of this mission? To make disciples, or followers of our Rabbi (teacher) Jesus. To where and to what people has He sent you? All nations from America to Russia, in Uganda and to Sudan, throughout Israel and Palestine, and all of the rest of them. God is sending His people to every people group from North Dakota to North Korea. Jesus wants every person to follow Him for He is the Light of the world, the King of Kings, the Savior of all sinners, and the Final Judge. One day every human being will stand before Jesus and answer for what he or she has done. Every person will be declared guilty and sent into the eternal lake of fire, unless he has received Christ’s salvation. Jesus wants everyone to be saved! That is why we must go!

 What is Jesus’ strategy and the method He gives us to make followers of Christ? He gives us two: baptizing and teaching.

“…baptizing them…”

I wonder if we tend to skip past this one, but clearly we cannot and must not. Baptism is a means by which God delivers His grace to us. Jesus finished the work of paying for our sins on the cross, and He has taken away the sting of death through His resurrection, He has ascended into heaven to prepare an eternal home for us who believe, and He has defeated our evil foe the Devil. But how does all of that victory get applied to you? Through baptism. Romans chapter six explains that in baptism we are united with Christ in His death and resurrection. In baptism our sinful nature is drowned and buried. In baptism we are raised up to newness of life with our sins washed away. This is what the world so desperately needs and God has commissioned us as His agents to bring them this gift of forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life.

“…and teaching them all that I have commanded you.”

Jesus has also given us the textbook or manual for life and salvation in His Holy and authoritative Word. Jesus also told His disciples that the whole Old Testament was about Him. We know that the whole New Testament is too. The Bible contains all of Jesus’ commands, which contain commands of the Law and the Gospel. The message we share convicts the world of sin and proclaims the Good News of Jesus’ payment for the sins of the world. Scripture is sufficient for all that we need for this life and to be given life and blessing in the next.

But this is an overwhelming and scary mission! How can I possible succeed? I don’t have the ability to help all of those people. If I go to North Korea, I may be killed or imprisoned. How can I even reach the people around me? I don’t know what to say? I don’t have enough money to feed all the hungry that God tells me to feed. I can’t even take care of my own life and my own problems!

“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

It is true that we cannot. But Jesus can. And He is with us always and all the way to the end. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the loving Shepherd, and my Victorious Savior. Remember that He has already defeated our foe, stolen the sting of death, and paid for our sins. Nothing can steal that from us. We don’t need to be afraid, because Jesus is with us. Let’s go!

View the May 2024 Newsletter here.