Are you feeling called to missions? Is the Great Commission for everyone? In this episode, Nik Ripken asserts that it doesn’t matter whether you feel called to missions or not. He explains that we are all commanded by Jesus to share the gospel throughout all the nations.
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What Does God Call Us To Do in Matthew 28:18-20?
Matthew 28:18-20 is a well-known passage that outlines the mission that God has called us to do. In this passage, Jesus gives us a clear command:
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, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Making disciples involves sharing the Good News with others and teaching them about Jesus Christ. We are called to be witnesses for Him so that others will know about His crucifixion and resurrection. Additionally, we need to offer spiritual guidance by helping people develop their relationship with God through prayer and study of scripture. Ultimately, our goal should be helping individuals grow closer to Christ so they can experience His transformative power in their lives.
Debunking a Call to Missions
Nik firmly believes that Christ has commanded everyone to share the gospel in all nations, and a call to missions is just to help us decide which country we should go to. He claims the act of evangelizing is not only a mission for full-time missionaries: it’s a duty for every believer.
However, Nik also tells us about his first experience with a mission board that felt differently:
For the next 30 minutes, they gave me a four-point sermon. They took turns with it. With this mission board, for you to be a missionary in an overseas setting, you had to have a four-fold call. You had to have a call to salvation, a call to ministry, a call to missions, and a call to a particular country.
The panel asked a young Nik Ripken what he thought about their call. Then, Nik’s response stunned the mission board:
I said, “It sounds like to me that you Baptists have created a four-fold call that gets you to missions. It allows you to be disobedient to what Jesus has commanded you to do.”
I got a one-way ticket to Africa.
After serving for 35 years, Nik Ripken still believes that the Great Commission is for everyone.
Why is Christianity Declining in the West?
Although it can be tempting to live in comfort, Ripken explains that we must be willing to spread the gospel beyond our own churches or communities. Otherwise, our faith will suffer drastically:
In the Western world, Christianity is declining because we’ve turned the command of Jesus into something else: some miraculous, secondary call that we are to hear. What are we supposed to do? Hear the voice of God again, saying, “I’m calling you; get up and go to the mission field?”
If we do not engage in cross-cultural work, Nik believes, our churches become inward-looking rather than outwardly-focused on teaching others about Christ’s path to salvation.