No Time to Lose: The Urgency to Go and Make Disciples
by Michael A. Asher
One definition of URGENCY is “a force or impulse that impels or constrains.”
The apostle Paul wrote to churches about his intense motivation to share the gospel of Jesus Christ wherever he went. He exclaimed, “For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died” (2 Corinthians 5:14, NIV). Near the end of Paul’s third missionary journey, he said, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there” (Acts 20:22, NIV).
Next to Jesus, I can’t think of a man who was more compelled to share the gospel than Paul. The Holy Spirit was the force and impulse that compelled him. After his radical encounter with the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus, there was an urgency for leading others to Jesus that dominated the rest of his life. He didn’t care if it caused riots in the cities where he traveled. He didn’t care if it meant beatings or imprisonment or death for him. He had counted the cost, had staked his life on Christ’s claims, and was willing to take whatever risks were necessary in order that he might “save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22).
Can I ask you a few questions today? Is there an URGENCY about Jesus’ claims in your life? Do you hear God’s Holy Spirit calling you to act? Is your conscience speaking to you right now? What does it mean to you when Jesus instructs you to take up your cross daily and follow him?
Among the final words Jesus shared with his apostles just prior to being taken up into Heaven were these, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you . . .” (Matthew 28:19, 20, NIV).
Often, the message someone leaves you with is the most important thought they want you to remember. Jesus left this earth with very significant directions for his followers—both then and now. With Jesus in Heaven, we may be the only representative of Christ some people will ever witness. You have one life. One allotted span of time for you to do Christ’s work. This should inspire true urgency within the heart of every believer. Frankly, there is NO TIME TO LOSE in embracing the great commission Jesus gave us. He didn’t say to sit back and watch others “go and make,” he wants all of us involved in his urgent mission. Each minute breathed in becomes a sacred trust between us and the Lord.
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this, the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation” (Hebrews 9:27, 28, ESV).
Think about this: It is appointed to men (and women) once to die. After that; the judgment. We live here ONCE. Not many lives, but only ONE. Jesus Christ himself was motivated by that thought. He said, “I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (NKJV).
“‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments’” (Matthew 22:36-40, NIV).
Love the Lord.
Love your neighbor.
These are the instructions from the ultimate judge of the world. We will all stand before his judgment seat. These are the things that he has told us matter most. Do you love God? You love your life; you love his people; you love his creation; you love his blessings; none of which you would have if God hadn’t created you. Do you actually love God, though? He tells us if we love him, we will obey his commandments. The great Creator, who came into the world for you as flesh, bled for you, was crucified for you, and overcame death for you. Without him, you are nothing. We have every reason to love him with our whole heart. Jesus Christ, the one who upholds everything by his Word, is more than worthy to be loved.
We must face some facts squarely. As people pass away daily without Christ, what can we do to share the good news with them? Hell could be their final destination if we fail to act. We have the answer to redirect their fate, if only we are bold enough to share the truth with them. We must step out of our comfort zone to redeem others from the fires of Hell.
One day, I believe every single second of your entire life will be examined in detail at the judgment seat of Christ; then eternity will follow. That’s why we should invest our time wisely in eternal things, not things that are temporary. That’s why we should store up our treasures in Heaven, as Jesus said, not on earth.
What are some practical ways in which you can store up treasures in Heaven? Here are seven sure ways you can do that:
- Have a genuine desire to follow Jesus, the Savior of the world.
- Develop a profound love for the Word of God.
- Pursue an intimate relationship with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and engage in an ongoing, prayerful conversation with the Lord.
- Seek after the kingdom of God by putting on his whole armor daily (see Ephesians 6:10-18).
- Shine your light brightly so others can see Christ living in you, striving to be holy and blameless.
- Run, don’t walk, after the purpose for which God has designed you.
- Serve others in practical ways, just as Christ came to serve all when he entered this world.
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10, NIV).
You may ask, “What good would it do for me to begin now?” I want you to know that the instant you fully realize you should be living every moment for God can transform you into a completely new person. The good you do for God’s kingdom will last forever. It will echo throughout eternity. That is why you don’t have a moment to waste.
Michael A. Asher is a financial controller who has nourished a lifelong love of the Bible by sharing God’s Word through creative writing.