At a church I was visiting today, I heard a sermon on The Great Omission. It isn’t an unfamiliar term for I’ve heard it used many many years ago. It is a favorite term of evangelists and missionaries. They use it to convey to the Body of Christ at large that by not “Going” and preaching the gospel to the lost, they are in fact committing the sin of omission (not doing what you ought to). I’ve been a missionary before (once a missionary, always a missionary) and I’ve used the same approach to challenge other Christians to “Go!”. It has worked to some extent. Today wasn’t much different.
I am all for evangelism and saving souls. I know heaven rejoices when one sinner returns to the Lord, and so do I. But is The Great Commission just about preaching the gospel and saving souls? What is the real sin of omission?
Let’s read the command again…carefully.
It says, “Go…and make disciples”. It is a two-part command. Hence, you have NOT obeyed the command if you have only kept one part of it. So, by stressing the need to “Go” alone we are still not fulfilling The Great Commission. The Great Commission still remains as The Great Omission.
According to the website of Evangelism Explosion International, there was an astounding 7.8 million professions of faith in Christ worldwide last year (2012). I say, “Praise the Lord”. But what does this translate into? Statistically speaking, only 10 per cent of all professions of faith are retained. How many, I wonder, of these new babes in Christ are being discipled and taught to obey the commandments of Christ right now? If we have only done the former (leading people to Christ) and not the latter (making them disciples of Christ), then we have NOT obeyed the Great Commission. Sorry.
Many years ago, in Kazakstan, the Lord spoke to me as I was driving around the suburbs of the city. It was summer time and many people were taking advantage of the warm weather to build their homes. Bricks were the common building material. The Lord then asked me to imagine the following:
Imagine that you building a house but have run out of bricks. You sit on your plot of land, sad and dejected. Just then, a truck drives up to your plot and dumps a truck-load of bricks on to your property. The driver of truck shouts to you, saying, “Its for you” and drives off before you could thank him properly. You were overjoyed at this wonderful blessing. But you joy turns to dismay as you walk up to the pile of bricks. They were all of different size and shape. Many were broken and cracked. “How can I use them?” You think to yourself. You spend the rest of the day sorting out the bricks: those you could use and those you could not.
Then God said to me: “This is what the church does to Me. They hold a rally and win many souls. Then they present them to Me and say, “Here, Lord. It’s for You.” I reply, “How can I use them? They are not suitable for the house I am building.” But no only listens. They celebrate their accomplishment but My house is still incomplete.