Brad Neathery photo Freely
We are now living in the already inaugurated not yet consummated age of the kingdom of God. After rising from the dead Jesus told His disciples that He has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. (Mt. 28:18) He commissioned them, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Mt. 28:19-20, NASB) According to John; “as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” (Jn. 20:21, NASB)
The Lord’s teaching recorded by the apostle John in The Gospel According to John chapters 13-21 is amazing. It is what the apostle Paul calls in 1 Corinthians 9:21 and Galatians 6:2 “The Law of Christ.” The law of Christ is sacrificial love for the sake of one’s brother/sister. Both scripture and church history are filled with people who are called God’s own position doing bad things. The triumphs of faith in Hebrews 11 is filled with people such as these: Noah was a drunkard; Abraham a liar; Moses a murderer; David was all of these and an adulterer to boot. Yet each of them gained approval through faith.
Who hasn’t heard of a staff member of some congregation somewhere committing fraud, stealing the churches money? Who hasn’t heard of some pastor somewhere committing immorality? Who has not been hurt by someone in the church? The answer to all three of these questions is that we all have.
The church of Jesus Christ is a leader in integrity so long as it is looking to Jesus Christ and not to self. Our societies since the first century are better for the gospel of Jesus Christ. However, people do bad things, they always have, and they always will until all things are made new at his second coming. Should we continue in sin? Absolutely not, we have died to sin when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. (Rom 6:1-2) He died for our sins and was raised because of our justification. (Rom 4:25)
The only way that the Church of Jesus Christ is to be the leader in integrity is through the great commission. It is my belief that American Evangelicals have done a bad job of fulfilling the great commission. Beginning with “The Great Awakening,” American Evangelicals have focused their attention on conversions, but this is not what Jesus commissioned his disciples to do.
The Son of God, Jesus Christ, who has all authority in heaven and on earth commissioned his disciples to make disciples, bring them into fellowship through the ordinance of baptism and teach these new disciples all that Jesus our Lord commanded. The church of Jesus Christ most turn its attention to teaching if she is to be the leader in integrity.