Living in the Tension of Great Commission Urgency

Just before the Bible ends are these words: “He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20, NLT).

At the same time, the apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians, “We plead on Christ’s behalf, ‘Be reconciled to God’” (2 Cor 5:19-20, CSB).     

That’s the Great Commission tension the title of this blog post points toward. We cry out to the Lord, “Come, Lord Jesus” even as we plead with others, “Be reconciled to God!” We do want Jesus to come back, but we want our loved ones and friends to turn to Christ before He does; that is, we want non-believers to respond to “Be reconciled to God” before Jesus responds to, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

Thus, the words, “Be reconciled to God” drip with urgency. Indeed, living with Great Commission urgency means:

    1. Praying with urgency. None of us can open blinded minds (2 Cor 4:3-4) or heal broken hearts. Not one of us can produce conversions to Christ; only God transfers people from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of His beloved Son (Col 1:13). Urgent prayer is therefore non-negotiable.
    2. Turning from our own sin with urgency. The reasons for doing so are multiple: (1) we want Jesus to find us faithful when He does return; (2) we desire to live in such a way that others see something different in us; (3) we know that any unfaithfulness to God on our part can weaken our credibility when we do speak the gospel, and (4) Isaiah 59:1-2 reminds us that sin in the camp hinders our praying in the present. The stakes are too high to live with anything less than repentant urgency.
    3. Recruiting prayer warriors to join us in praying with urgency. Our supernatural enemy, Satan, will do all he can to distract our non-believing family and friends from following Jesus. I know that fact, for I watched for 36 years and 47 years, respectively, before my dad and mom became believers in their 70s. And, I’m convinced God heard my personal prayers because I aggressively asked believers all over the world to pray for my parents—with urgency.
    4. Proclaiming the gospel with urgency. Billions of people have little or no access to the gospel, and it is our responsibility to get the Word to them and then equip them. Many of us, in fact, followed Christ because others faithfully shared the gospel with us. Christ wants to find us watching and working (and, doing so with passion) when He comes again. He wants us telling the good news with urgency.
    5. Trusting God with urgency. God’s still in the business of saving souls, and He’s still a trustworthy God. We can rest in His plan to draw others unto Himself according to His timetable (John 6:44). Trust matters now with urgency.

“Come, Lord Jesus.” “Be reconciled to God.”

May you and I pray the first phrase to God and announce the second one to the world with urgency.

Posted on May 29, 2024

Dr. Chuck Lawless is a leading expert in spiritual consultation, discipleship and mentoring. As a former pastor, he understands the challenges ministry presents and works with Church Answers to provide advice and counsel for church leaders.
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