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High Calling Discipleship 11: Fish

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When Jesus came back from the dead, he came with a purpose. He came with a message. During the 40 days between his resurrection and his ascension back to heaven, he had one message. Jesus told his followers to tell everyone about what he had done for them. He wanted them to take this message to the whole world. All four gospel writers (Matthew (Matt. 28:19-20), Mark (Mk. 16:15-16), Luke (Acts 1:8), and John (Jn. 20:21)) record Jesus’ unwavering instruction during this momentous time. Jesus’ charge to the disciples is often called the “great commission” and it was given on at least three different occasions (right after his resurrection, in Galilee, and just before his ascension).

Jesus’ disciples understood that their life mission was to reach the world with the gospel, and they threw everything they had at this mission. The book of Acts (or Acts of the Apostles) records the life of the Holy Spirit at work in the early church, and from beginning to end, we can see the seriousness with which Jesus’ disciples gave their lives to tell people about Jesus. Throughout the book we can see the apostles were completely focused on the spread of the gospel, and we see the same thing from those who believed through their efforts. The church grew rapidly in the time frame covered by Acts, and by its abrupt close, the gospel had reached most of the known world.

We can make a strong doctrinal argument that Jesus’ mission for the early church is still the mission of today’s church, but even more persuasive may be the argument from love. If we really believe that judgement awaits us at the end of life, and that each of us will spend an eternity in heaven or hell, then love demands that we do something about it. Love demands that we do all that we can to snatch everyone we can from the fire (Jude 22-23).

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