Most of the churches prepare quarterly preaching roster, and some of them do so half-yearly. With great excitement, you will see the ministers and elders, going through a new roster, looking for the days they will be ministering. A stranger, noticing their enthusiasm, may conclude easily that they have much love for the Lord Jesus and as a result, they are sold to the ministry of evangelism. Ask any of them the last time he went out on personal evangelism, you may be surprised to hear that it has taken many years. No wonder, the Great Commission has become the Great Omission. My God!
What it means is that we have failed the Lord Jesus. We have turned our back on the responsibility of soul winning, which He committed to our care. “Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creatures,” In Mark 16:15, He charged us. We ignore this command and preach only when we are scheduled on the roster. That day, we will minister beyond the time alloted for it. It gives false impression to people about us, that we love ministering God’s Word. In all these, we forget that the Owner of the work has told us to go into all the world and win souls. He did not tell us to do what He did not do. He went everywhere to minister. Why should we not do as He did and also as He told us? Is it not a simple task of bringing good news to the sinner, by informing him that the Lord Jesus loves him, in spite of his sins? You then drive the message home with your personal testimony.
In 2010, a church in Dallas, US, gave me their pulpit and 1 enquired from the Senior Pastor the topic of the message I would share with them. “As the Lord directs,’ he told me. The Lord directed me to minister on evangelism, using the encounter the Lord Jesus had with the woman of Samaria. That was the Aunty, who went for evangelism immediately she was born-again. Ministering, I reminded them that the Lord Jesus commissioned us to be ministering to the sinners wherever they are. This is usually outside the sanctuary because, according to Evangelist T. L. Osborne, “sinners do not go to Church.” Build the loftiest auditorium, furnish it tastefully, put air conditioners all over it, for comfort and prestige, and have the best choir in the church, sinners will not be attracted. Jesus is aware of all these, hence He commissioned us to be going to the homes of sinners and minister to them.
I was surprised when the Senior Pastor of that Church in Dallas started to weep, pleading with God for forgiveness for disobeying His commission of going out to witness to people. In the US, though, it is not normal to go out to minister. Loudly, he promised God that he would be doing that. Still convicted on my evangelism message, a few weeks later, for a combined programme of gospel and Pentecostal churches in Dallas, he recommended me as their speaker. Last year, 2019, I was in Dallas, US, and was told that, true to his word, evangelism is now a regular programme in his church, resulting in the explosion of their membership to God’s glory.
It is strange that in many churches, we spend hours on end, making announcements, counting the huge amount of offerings, tithes and donations, collected during the worship service. With great enthusiasm, we attend vigils and church programmes.
We hold, most of the time, various meetings, including the board, but one thing we will not do is to heed to the Lord’s commission of going out to win souls for Him. We even forget that it is not a plea from Him but a command. ‘Go’ is a command and it is flagrant disobedience if a command is not obeyed, for whatever reason. That is where we are today, settling with the Great Omission! Tufiakwa!
Some people are worried for the rapid spread of churches in many places. They are angry, if in some places, they see three church denominations in one building. This is most common in Houston, US, and also in Aba, in Nigeria. It does not bother me, since we also have various businesses in one building, and nobody complains. We have these businesses in one building because, our delight is make money. There is nothing wrong for many churches also to be in one building, since God’s delight is to save souls. The challenge, however, is whether the man of God, who opened the church, is saved!
If he is, why do we then hear all the time, reports that a Pastor has been arrested for raping a member of his church or is involved in one crime or the other? May the Pastor be honest to tell us, which is more important to him, the offering and tithes he receives with enthusiasm or the souls of men? If souls, why does he preach on ‘sowing and reaping’ always, but rarely about souls? Why does he ignore the Great Commission? When last did he preach about the Rapture?
In our compound, in the village, there were people there, who were attending various churches before I became born-again in 1972. None of them ever witnessed to me. Some of them would spend most of their time in their church, especially on Fridays, for one programme or the other. I could not see any difference between them and me or with any other person, except that they could sing beautiful songs, addressing God reverently or parading their Pastor and church. Outside my compound, nobody also sat me down to share the gospel with me. The only people, who could come to us to talk about their religious organization, were members of Jehovah Witness. Their focus was selling their Awake magazine and how we would join them. That was also outside our commission of going out to witness for the Lord.
The early Apostles obeyed this command of going out for soul-winning. The Lord Jesus went out too. In Amsterdam in 1986, during Billy Graham’s programme, he went with us for soul winning. It made me know that nobody is exempted from evangelism, as it is for all believers. As the early Apostles were heeding to the Commission, signs and miracles were rife. The growth of the church was also, tremendous. The Lord kept on adding souls to them daily.
It is possible for someone to go out and be preaching about his church or pastor. That is not evangelism. Jesus ordained us to be preaching the Good news. That is, what the Lord Jesus did for us, by His vicarious death. The Good news is not to condemn the unbelievers for drinking alcohol or sexual immorality. As bad as these things are, if anyone stops doing them, he is still a sinner, until he is born-again. Let us be ministering Jesus to them with compassion as the Lord Jesus did. This is the Great Commission, winning souls as He did.
For further comment, Please contact: Osondu Anyalechi: 0802 3002-471; [email protected]