"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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Most of us know the "Great Commission" in Matthew 28. This is the command that Jesus gave us just prior to the Resurrection. However, there is a very important piece that is missing. Somehow through the years we have decided that it would be much easier if we just ommitted verse 20. The two can't be separated, and one without the other is incomplete.
"Pop Christianity" has told us that all we have to do is to live our best life now. It is all about our happiness, and not about sacrifice and surrender. The truth is that a life as a Christian will not and should not be a bed or roses. Buildings with steeples on them are filled with goats and sheep. The goats are stubborn and have not given their lives over to their creator, and are comfortable just living their life the way they deem appropriate. Sheep on the other hand are at the mercy of their shepherd. They succumb to His will and direction in their life, and willingly accept a prod and poke from time to time. The "Church" is only made up of sheep, as they are His followers.
In order to go and make disciples, we must first be a disciple. So in order to GO and make disciples, baptizing in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, we must first BE a disciple. What does this look like? Verse 20 holds the key. We must already be obeying everything that He has commanded of us. OBEDIENCE IS NOT OPTIONAL, IF YOU ARE A SHEEP!!! I can't stress that enough. If you are not willing to succumb to the Holy Spirit's direction and correcting in your life, then you are not a Christian. No, this is not me being judgemental or harsh, but rather what Jesus said.
The end of Verse 20 gives us assurance that He will be with us always!!! That is comforting for me to know that Jesus through His Holy Spirit will never leave me. Remember that in order to BE a Disciple, we must understand Mark 1:4. John the Baptist came "Preaching a Baptism of Repentance for the Forgiveness of Sins." It is not sufficient to come to Jesus without repentance, and without asking for forgiveness.
I am fully aware that I have touched on about 3-4 topics in this Blog that would each make great separate blogs in and of themselves. In the mean time, don't ommit Verse 20.