I am Not “Called” to do That

I recently completed a study of Dr. David Platt’s book RADICAL with PI4C 24/7 (Passionate Influencers for Christ 24/7 which is our college-aged guys Bible study group on the campus of Mississippi State University) and Upsilon Gamma Alpha (the Greek letters are used to represent “Under God’s Authority” for our men’s Christian fellowship in Starkville, MS).  This book gives the reader a keen awareness of how we have “Americanized” the gospel and made it conveniently fit into the” American Dream” our culture is so focused upon.  Platt takes the reader on a journey of looking at what God’s word says about our responsibilities as a disciple of Jesus Christ.   


As Jesus prepared to ascend into heaven he told his disciples “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”[1]  I would imagine that many of you are reading this and saying to yourselves “Okay what does this have to do with me?  I’m not called to be a missionary!”  That’s where I would beg to differ with you.  You see, we conveniently read that word “go” and interpret it to mean being “called” to go somewhere.  Maybe a better way to read Jesus’ directive is “as you go” make disciples.  If we profess to be a follower of Jesus Christ and claim to be His disciple, we have an assignment; “as you go make disciples.”   


Platt says “But where in the Bible is missions ever identified as an optional program in the church?  We have just seen that we were all created by God, saved from our sins, and blessed by God to make his glory known in all the world.  Indeed, Jesus himself has not merely called us to go to all nations; he has created and commanded us to go to all nations.  We have taken this command though, and reduced it to a calling—something that only a few people receive.   


I find it interesting that we don’t do this with other words from Jesus.  We take Jesus’ command in Matthew 28 to make disciples of all nations, and we say ‘That means other people.’  But we look at Jesus’ command in Matthew 11:28, ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest,’ and we say, ‘Now that means me.’  We take Jesus’ promise in Acts 1:8 that the Spirit will lead us to the ends of the earth, and we say, ‘That means some people.’  But we take Jesus’ promise in John 10:10 that we will have abundant life, and we say, ‘That means me.’   


In the process we have unnecessarily (and unbiblical) drawn a line of distinction, assigning the obligations of Christianity to a few, while keeping the privileges of Christianity for us all.  In this way we choose to send off other people to carry out the global purpose of Christianity while the rest of us sit back because we’re ‘just not called to that.”[2]   


Far too many men are sitting back and applying the great commission to mean those who are “called” while people all around them are condemned to hell.  We want our ticket into heaven but we have lost sight of our responsibility to “die unto self” and follow Jesus for the remainder of our days in this world.  “Die unto self” is not a onetime occurrence when we accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior but a daily act of obedience so that we can fulfill the role of being Jesus’ disciple.  Let me be very clear, salvation is by grace through faith in Christ as Savior and is a free gift of God.  Man’s works cannot add to the finished work of Christ or in any way earn God’s favor. After salvation, discipleship is how we demonstrate our love and devotion to Jesus Christ.  God’s men must not sit back and relegate making disciples to those “called” to this assignment.  It is time for all of God’s men to step up to the assignment of making disciples “as you go.”  This means no matter what your occupation or status in life, no matter what your education level, no matter what your socio-economic or social status, we have got to get busy making disciples!  Not only are the consequences eternal but the rewards are also eternal.   


As this will be the last article of 2010 let me wish you and yours a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS. Please remember the reason for the season and celebrate the birth of the Messiah, God’s Jesus Christ.  I pray that God’s men will commit 2011 to “Loving another man to Jesus until he is ready to love another man to Jesus.”[3]  Let’s commit ourselves to discipleship in 2011!

[1] Matthew 28:19-20 All scripture used in this article is taken from the NIV translation of the Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.

[2] David Platt, RADICAL, Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream, (Colorado Springs, Colorado: MULTNOHMA BOOKS, 2010) 72-73

[3] Taken from Men at the Cross which states its mission and purpose as “Equipping every man in our church, stadium, and arena events to “love a man to Jesus until he’s ready to love a man to Jesus” is the bull’s-eye of Men At The Cross.”

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