The Big Picture of the Bible focuses on Jesus.
What about now? What about today? Did the story of God end with the New Testament or does it continue today?
The Church is today’s Big Picture.
The Church is God’s current collection of parts and people for his purposes and plans. We are “on screen” in the story of God.
In Matthew 28:18-20 we read Jesus’ last words to his followers before he ascends into the Heavens. They are words of action and mission. They are words of power and authority.
It is by the power of Christ and in the authority of Christ that we know that the eternal victory is won but the everyday battle continues. We know this battle and we have caught glimpses of this victory in our everyday lives as we struggle to faithfully live out our part in God’s mission.
This active mission is spoken in four action words: Go. Make. Baptize. Teach.
Go means, well, go. It means consistent, constant, and concerted effort.
Make means cause people who are not followers of Christ to become followers of Christ.
Baptize means to put under the water and bring up out of the water those who are boldly confessing with their lives that Jesus is Lord.
Teach means to instruct in a way that causes more than head knowledge but life change.
There are three tensions in this mission.
Go to get or get to go?
Is church something you go to get what you want and/or need in life? Or is church what you get to go be in the world around you?
Make meetings or meet to make?
Is church something you need to make sure you make the next meeting at? Or is church a place where you gather with the purpose of being a part of making disciples alongside other followers of Jesus?
Taught to learn or do we teach to teach?
Is the responsibility of leaders and pastors in your church to teach you so you might learn or to teach you so you might teach others?
We are not the ending point of this story. We are never the focus of any chapter in it. Jesus is the focus and he is the ending.
We get to go as ambassadors of Christ and make his appeal to the world around us.
We meet to make disciples. We have the privilege of not forsaking the gathering of the saints as we are corporately and individually made more into the likeness of Christ.
We teach to teach. The purpose of everything the Church teaches you is so that God might use you to teach others. Everyone is not a “teacher” in the traditional sense but we are all teachers in the spiritual sense. Who is learning who Jesus is because of you?
God has not invited us to church activities, but to be the Church in action.
This is not a call to abandon faithfulness in the gathering and working of the Church but a call to understand why you are there. You are not there for you. Jesus is the focus of this Big Picture. So get focused and get active.