As believers in Christ, we have been given a tremendous honor and responsibility to tell others about the love of God, and the message of salvation which is available to all of the world through an intimate relationship with Jesus (John 1:9; John 17:3). We are also directed by God to “teach, rebuke, correct, and train” in accordance with His Holy Word (2 Timothy 3:16). Consider the following verses of Scripture.
Ephesians 4:11-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
Eph 4:11-12 is the marching order of our ministry. Its teaching is that Jesus gives spiritual gifts of leadership to key people in the true church, the body of Christ. The context is not that of a brick and mortar church, but is that of those who have been born again and are spiritually indwelled by Christ. The spirits of such believers also indwell the Spirits of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as well as the spirits of all other people who have ever been born again and who know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. The visual and physical leadership of brick and mortar churches is described in 1 Timothy Chapter 3 and Titus Chapter 1. It is important to notice that in Eph 4:11, “He gave” the gifts. He, “Jesus,” gave those spiritual gifts to key people without any church vote being a part of the process. The terms “pastors and teachers” are used here to describe two separate and distinct people of spiritual leadership. In the context of this scripture, those pastors and teachers who have been spiritually gifted for leadership by Jesus. Other spiritual gifts are described in 1 Corinthians 13 and Romans 12, but they are not necessarily gifts of spiritual leadership as are identified in Ephesians 4. Also, please note that the spiritual gifts of leadership, that Jesus gave in Ephesians 4, are given without specification to education or congregational vote; they are spiritual gifts. Neither is there an expiration date on any of those gifts.
Deuteronomy 6:1-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
The Greatest Commandment
1 Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the Lord your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess, 2 that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. 3 Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the Lord God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Caution Against Disobedience
10 “So it shall be, when the Lord your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build, 11 houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full— 12 then beware, lest you forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Deuteronomy 6:1-12 tells parents that they are responsible to teach their children the Word of God. In this time in our nation’s history, we have many children, who are children of children. Out of wedlock babies, and homes without fathers, create a major problem for a nation, and for the church of Christ. We, who are aware of such dysfunctional home situations, should become involved in helping those families to know the Word of God. Grandparents may be the instruments of God to teach their grandchildren about the Word of God. There may be believers in Christ who are recognized in communities as being trusted agents of righteousness. There may be other situations where the true born-again church of believers may be able to make a difference in our world. Please pray about this situation. Consider what you may be able to do to teach God’s Word to those who have a great need for it, but know little or nothing of it.
Ezekiel 3:1-19 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Moreover He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” 2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.
3 And He said to me, “Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you.” So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.
4 Then He said to me: “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, 6 not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads.9 Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house.”
10 Moreover He said to me: “Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them, ‘Thus says the Lord God,’ whether they hear, or whether they refuse.”
12 Then the Spirit lifted me up, and I heard behind me a great thunderous voice: “Blessed is the glory of the Lord from His place!” 13 I also heard the noise of the wings of the living creatures that touched one another, and the noise of the wheels beside them, and a great thunderous noise. 14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the Lord was strong upon me. 15 Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
Ezekiel Is a Watchman
16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
Ezekiel 3:1-19 explains a specific situation whereby God directs Ezekiel to warn the people of Israel to repent of their wicked ways. God told Ezekiel that the mission would be very difficult, but the Word of God still needed to be spoken to the people of Israel. Consider the fact that Ezekiel would be talking to his own people. Consider our friends and family, and their need to know the Word of God. By making Ezekiel a watchman over the people of Israel, God also gave Ezekiel a grave requirement. If Ezekiel failed to warn the people of their sins, Ezekiel would be held accountable for those people dying in their sins. God may not hold such a strong arm of judgment over us today, but we should consider the great need to share the Word of God with those who need it the most; those who are lost in their sin of unbelief in Jesus as their Lord and Savior (John 3:18).
Matthew 28:18-20 New King James Version (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
Matthew 28:18-20 is known as “The Great Commission.” In the passage Jesus commissions His disciples, who will be soon known as Apostles, to “go, teach, baptize, and teach,” the things that they had been taught by Jesus. As unbelievers became believers in Christ, they also assumed the command of Jesus to “go, teach, baptize, and teach” the things that they had learned from the disciples/apostles. That daisy chain process of evangelism has led the teachings of Jesus to you and me.
Acts 1:8 New King James Version (NKJV)
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 is also known as the Great Commission. The apostles were commanded by Jesus to begin their ministry of evangelism in Jerusalem and go outward in all directions to teach unbelievers the teachings of Jesus.
Acts 17:10-12 New King James Version (NKJV)
Ministering at Berea
10 Then the brethren immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea. When they arrived, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so. 12 Therefore many of them believed, and also not a few of the Greeks, prominent women as well as men.
Acts 17:10-12 occurred twenty years after the events of Acts 1:8. The passage shows the gospel being spread to Jews in Berea and Thessalonica, as well as to Gentiles. A unique factor in this story of the spreading of the gospel of Christ, is that as Paul and Silas preached the Word of Christ, those who heard that message in Berea were “fact checking” the words of the apostles against the words of scripture. Because the New Testament had not been put together yet, the scriptures that were checked were those of the Old Testament as they related to the coming Messiah.
2 Timothy 2:15 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)
15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman who needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 2:15 tells believers in Christ to study God’s Word, but not only should they study; they should be intentional in deeply studying God’s Word. Consider the word of the following translation.
2 Timothy 2:15 American Standard Version (ASV)
15 Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the word of truth.
Consider “giving diligence,” as we read the words of the Complete Jewish Bible, as follows.
2 Timothy 2:15 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
15 Do all you can to present yourself to God as someone worthy of his approval, as a worker with no need to be ashamed, because he deals straightforwardly with the Word of the Truth.
We are told to study, to be diligent, to do all that we can, as we strive to understand more deeply the Word of God.
James 3:1 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.
In James 3:1, we are told that we are held to Godly standards to teach God’s Word. We can’t escape the calling that God has put on our lives. God has called us to teach His Word. We must be serious about that calling.
2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
In 2 Timothy 3:16-17, we read that God’s word is literally “God-breathed.” This passage relates to the Old Testament scriptures, but just as the Old Testament was “God-breathed,” the same thing can be said about the words of the New Testament. Consider the wording of verse 16 in the following translation.
2 Timothy 3:16 English Standard Version (ESV)
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
The Word of God is “breathed out” by God, which shows that it is originated in God, and by God, and is “of God.”
Consider “Tellin’ ‘Em?”
It is without a doubt that in today’s world there is a major populace that has not been told the Word of God. If they have had the gospel spoken to them, they don’t understand it. If all of the people who are rioting, looting, burning and destroying public and private property, and doing other acts of violence actually knew the word of God intimately, we would not be seeing scenes of such anarchy through television outlets almost every hour of the day. So, what should be the responsibility of those of us who know Jesus, and His Word, intimately? We should be intentional in performing the commission of the Great Commission. Yes. We should “go, teach, baptize, and teach” the Word of God to people who may not be in our normal circle of friends and acquaintances. We need to teach our family members to protect them from the Satanic influences that they will encounter in life. We also need to share God’s Word with those people in our world who have no idea of the teachings of Jesus. Otherwise, those people are likely candidates to be indoctrinated into cult and Islamic groups. So, let’s agree, that our God-given responsibility is to “Tell ‘Em,” the Word of God.
There are times when we find ourselves in times of uncertainty, as it relates to our direction of ministry. Some of those times may be very difficult for us. During those times, let’s remember the Words of Jesus, as follows.
Matthew 11:28 New King James Version (NKJV)
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
The following song, that is sung by Charles Billingsley, closely reflects the teaching of the Words of Jesus.
When I Don’t Know What To Do
Thomas Road Baptist Church
Southern Baptist Convention
Lynchburgh, Virginia, USA
That song was so good, that we should listen to another one that tells us of “our Source, who is Immanuel,” which is also sung by Charles Billingsley. Jesus is the source of our “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (The fruit of the Spirit is singular. If we have one of the fruit, we have all of the fruit. Galatians 5:22-23). As scripture tells us, Jesus is Immanuel, who is “God with us.”
Isaiah 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
Matthew 1:23 New King James Version (NKJV)
23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
I can’t let this go. Charles Billingsley will now sing a song that should be the cry of our nation to God. We should individually, and collectively as a nation, cry out to God for His mercy to be shed upon us. Consider the words that God spoke to the nation of Israel after It had drifted away God.
2 Chronicles 7:14 New King James Version (NKJV)
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
Lord, Have Mercy