Great Commission

THE MISSIONARY TASK HAS NEVER CHANGED!

(October 10, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares a very important strategy reminder…

Internationally
Christian Missions operate in a wide range of areas of ministry, service and aid!

  • Some are big enough to incorporate many activities and ministries.
  • Others specialise in one field of service such as humanitarian aid, education or medical services.
  • Significant numbers specialise in language translation and the provision of the scriptures in the language of the people.
  • The majority of missions that prioritise on evangelism, Bible training and church planting also open schools, medical clinics and other services.

A discovery
Early in my thirty years of active mission organisation leadership, I discovered that these services were often crucial to our acceptance by indigenous leaders in developing countries. Biblically they were an evidence of Christian love and compassion to people in need.

The missionary task has always been about ‘making disciples.’ Jesus commanded the early church ‘to make disciples of all nations’ (Matthew. 28:18-20). He commanded his disciples to ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel’ (Mark 16:15). Matthew adds the important dimension of the Great Commission by quoting the words of Jesus, As you go, make disciples.’

This is the primary task of the missionary – because a missionary is a ‘sent one.’ (more…)

THE FEAST THAT NEVER ENDED

(June 1, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares on Pentecost …

The Feast of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks) was observed by Israel over many centuries. It was an important time each year to celebrate the beginning of the early weeks of harvest with thanksgiving to God. Also a time to celebrate God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt.

After his resurrection from the grave, Jesus had given his followers a command to not depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father. He told them: ‘John truly baptised with water; but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’ (Acts 1:4-5).

Luke, writing the Acts of the Apostles, begins the second chapter with the words, ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.’

Then, verse 2ff, the Holy Spirit fell!

The focus of the feast
The Day of Pentecost was a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel. Devout Jews were used to celebrating the feast of Pentecost – but on the Acts 2 Day of Pentecost, the focus of the feast was changed for the followers of Jesus Christ! (more…)

THE POTENTIAL OF AN INVALUABLE MISSIONS’ STRATEGY

George Forbes 2010(February 15, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes emphasises a proven strategy…

Perhaps one of the least understood aspects of missionary work among the nations is that of missions’ strategy.  It has the potential to be invaluable or a stumbling block.

In my experience it has been very helpful when it is properly prepared, presented and understood. When it is considered unnecessary or too human, because we are being led by the Holy Spirit, there is the danger of proceeding without a plan, because we think we are trusting God for outcomes.

In some ways it is like the old saying, ‘The thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history.’ (more…)

A LIVING HOPE

George Forbes 2010(January 11, 2017) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us of a fundamental truth…

Our world is full of people who have no hope!

There are multiplied reasons for this tragedy; however my purpose is not to describe the hopelessness, but to share the reality that there is hope.

Christians have a living hope
The hope of Christians worldwide is based on God’s love and amazing mercy; on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and on the plan of salvation for all who believe.

If you need hope, if you’re asking questions about life and the unknown future, I invite you to consider what the apostle Peter wrote.  It is found in chapter three of his first letter to the churches. Here are the words he wrote, translated faithfully and clearly in English…

‘Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy has regenerated us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and unfading, reserved in heaven for you by the power of God, having been kept through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time’ (1Peter 1:3-5). (more…)

‘THE PROSPECTS ARE AS BRIGHT AS THE PROMISES OF GOD’

George Forbes 2010(November 14, 2016) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes reminds us of the reality of this promise…

 This often quoted statement by a famous missionary has inspired many to see the divine possibilities in every situation. God is on schedule with his plan for planet Earth. The prospects for completion of the task of world evangelisation have never been better.

  • God promised Abraham that through him all nations on earth would be blessed.
  • He promised Jesus that he would give him the nations for an inheritance and the ends of the earth for his possession.
  • He declared that all the ends of the earth would remember and turn to the Lord and all the families of the nations would worship before him.
  • He promised that he would pour out his Spirit on all flesh and that whoever called on the name of the Lord would be saved.

The Bible is full of God’s promises
Especially regarding his purpose and plan to gather to himself a people from every tribe, tongue, nation and ethnic group in the world. (more…)

MISSIONS – WHAT’S NEXT?

George Forbes 2010(October 12, 2016) Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes shares on a  modern missions’ trend…

The history of modern Christian mission can be helpfully described by trends in given eras of missionary enterprise. Dr Ralph Winter in his classic article on the Three Eras of Protestant Mission defines modern mission as the period since the resurgence of missionary activity in the 19th and 20th century portrays trends of great difference.

Significant eras  and appeals

There was the era of …

  • Coastal Missions
  • Inland Missions era came next and
  • People Group Missions

Each era had its own distinctives and advocates. (more…)

RANDOM THOUGHTS OF A PHYSICAL BIOCHEMIST

Ron ChatlierScientist Ron Chatelier shares…

In some ways my life started when I was 14. When I was a teenager, the good news about Jesus Christ was presented in a very direct and clear manner. It was as simple as ABC…

A: Admit that you are a sinner and need God’s help.
B: Believe that Jesus is the Son of God, that he loves you and died on the cross to pay the penalty for your sins, and that he rose again from the dead.
C: Confess that Jesus is Lord, and then do what he says. (more…)

THE END IS NIGH?

Jim McClureDr Jim McClure, noted theologian, brings a new slant to the Great Commission onus in these troubled times … days when not only does the world need to hear and the accept the gospel message but side-tracked Christians need to understand scripture deceptions by so-called ‘teachers’ …

I don’t think anyone would disagree that we are living in very difficult days. I don’t remember in my lifetime a period when the world has been so restless, confused, violent and hopeless. (more…)

MAKING DISCIPLES – GOD’S PRIORITY

George Forbes 2010

Missionary statesman Dr George Forbes asks: ‘Are we counting decisions or making disciples?’

When one considers the matter of evangelism and church planting the question of counting decisions or making disciples comes into centre stage. Some have, and still do, only count decisions. This tendency is not exclusive to evangelists and big crusades, but also to local churches, mission agencies and individual ministers or missionaries.

It is easier in some respects to count decisions. To only count the hands raised or the names entered on decision cards. It is perfectly understandable when you consider crusades with vast numbers in attendance and thousands coming forward at the closing invitation. I have been there and seen these moving minutes and hours at the conclusion of great crusades. A majority of recognised evangelists have in place good systems of counselling and follow up, though they recognise the difficulty of discipling new converts in that context.

Making disciples is a long-term task
My focus however in this article is the question of making disciples, as this is what Jesus commanded. It is my belief that the majority of disciples are made in a one-on-one context of daily life. This is where character is developed and the word of God worked out in life situations. The Great Commission in Matthew chapter 28:18-20 makes it absolutely clear that Jesus placed the imperative on ‘making disciples’ and not on counting decisions.

Jesus’ words still motivate many to this great and primary task of the church. He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising 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.’

It isn’t done in a couple of briefing sessions or instruction times, but over a good length of time, including both the good times and the difficult experiences of growing in the knowledge and grace of Jesus Christ.

When I came to Christ many years ago, I made a decision to repent of my sin and call on the name of the Lord, in a Salvation Army gospel service in Box Hill, Melbourne. I thank God for the faithful preaching of the gospel of Christ that night by Major David Hewitt. I was born again that evening with life-transforming experiences immediately following.

I thank God too for the young man who knelt beside me and invited me to be his friend and who offered to help me in my new walk with God. He arranged to meet me the next day, after work, and talk to me as we walked to my home. He spoke of what it meant to be a follower of Christ, encouraging me to read the Bible and pray daily.

Immeasurable impact
That journey continued each evening that week and for the following months. By the Friday of the first week I shared my testimony publicly as I stood with the Salvation Army Band outside the local theatre.

My mentor guided me in no time to study the major doctrines of the Christian faith, using RA Torrey’s What the Bible Teaches as my daily textbook. His impact on my life was immeasurable. This young man who discipled me was Kevin Conner, who later served the Lord for many years with distinction as a great Bible teacher and pastor. I count his ongoing friendship as special.

Disciple Making

 

 

Disciple making is still God’s priority! The task is long-term and it calls for long-term commitment by those who would obey Christ’s commission.

May we not fail in this priority for the advance of the kingdom of God. It’s acknowledging and accepting our responsibility. As the Message version of Matthew 28:19 says, ‘Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life…’

Dr George Forbes is internationally recognised as a missionary statesman with a heart for the lost of the nations. With a wealth of missionary knowledge and a unique ability to communicate the global picture, he is widely known as the ‘story-teller.’ Link: georgeforbes2@gmail.com