I was trained by some of the best disciple makers in the world and, as they were investing in me, they invested the idea of the urgency of the Gospel. As I have grown in my faith by walking with the Lord, and as I have grown in the ministry, I have noticed that there are many “brothers” and “sisters” in Christ who have a much different philosophy of ministry than the one I was taught. Part of that includes a lack of urgency when it comes to making disciples and getting the Gospel out to the lost and dying world. I would like to examine the Scriptures and focus on the idea of the urgency of making disciples because the days are evil.
I. Time is a gift from God
As people, we are all different in many ways. Some are tall. Others are short. Still others are somewhere in between. There are many different characteristics that separate us but, there is one level playing field for all of us, the gift of time. God gives the gift of time to all of us, every single day. We all have 24 hours, no more, no fewer. On top of that, we cannot save time up to use at a later date. All we can do is either spend our time wisely or waste it, spending it foolishly. This principle is laid out for us by the Apostle Paul. He was a man who understood the urgency of making disciples and getting the Gospel out to the lost and dying world.
14 For this reason it says, “Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.”
15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise,
16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil.
17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5)
There seem to be many who are asleep when it comes to the urgency of making disciples and getting the Gospel out to the lost and dying world. The same was true during Paul’s lifetime. We need to awake from our slumber and be wise. How can we be wise? How can we show our wisdom? It is plain and simple. We need to be careful how we live, living as wise people who make the most of the gift of time that we have been given. Are you making the most of the gift of time that God has given to you every single day? Do you live with the urgency of making disciples and getting the Gospel out to the lost and dying world? There are some who waste precious time sitting around waiting for the will of God to magically reveal itself to them. I had a person in a church tell me one time that she had been waiting for the last 20 years for God to reveal His will to her so that she could serve Him. I felt so sad for her because during all of her time in church, no one explained to her that God has already revealed His will for each believer. According to Matthew 28:19-20,
“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.”
we are all to be discipled and organize our days around making disciples by teaching people the eternal Word of God.
II. Use your time to store up treasures in heaven
When Jesus taught His famous “Sermon on the Mount“, He touched on the subject of how we use our time and our resources shows us where our true priorities lie.
20 “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal;
21 for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6)
We have all been given the gift of time and resources. Time is the same for all. Resources are different. Jesus challenges us to spend the time that we are allotted by using the resources that we have to invest the Word of God into the lives of the people around us.
18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
19 “Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5)
Are you doing this every single day? I think of the person I mentioned in the previous paragraph. She lived in the richest country in the world for 20 years and never invested God’s Word in any other person’s life. She sat on both of those gifts and did not store up any treasure in heaven. I wish one person, one believer, one pastor in that large church would have sat down with her at one point and shared these simple truths with her. As ministers of the Gospel, we must be about the process of teaching people the will of God and how to apply it daily so that they can use the gift of time and their abundant resources to store up treasures in heaven by investing the eternal Word of God in the lives of the eternal souls around them. This is what gets me out of bed every morning and challenges me to work late into the night sharing with people using every means possible. I teach when face to face. I write, like I am doing now and use the tool of the internet to proclaim the message of the Gospel 24 hours a day. It proclaims for me, even while I sleep.
III. You will give an account to Jesus Christ one day
Many believers do not realize that one day, we are going to stand before Jesus Christ and give an account of how we used our time and resources for Him from the time we became a believer until the day we die. God rescued us from His judgment because of sin and that is a done deal when we become disciples of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, we will stand before Christ and give a report.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. (II Corinthians 5)
The Apostle Paul understood this fact and he lived in view of it. He understood the urgency of using the gift of time and the resources that he had to invest in the kingdom of heaven. The Corinthian disciples did not get this. They did not seem to live under the urgency of making disciples and getting the Gospel out to the lost and dying world. As a result, Paul has to write to them at least twice to remind them that they will stand before Christ and give an account. Are you ready to give an account? Are you actively seeking to make disciples every moment of every day? Are you just “waiting” for God to open the door up for ministry for you, and in the meantime, wasting the valuable gift of time and resources that God has given to you?
May the Lord help us live under the urgency of making disciples and getting the Gospel out to the lost and dying world!