disciple all the nations, (baptizing them -- to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days -- till the full end of the age.' Matthew 28:19
Statistics show that there are over 2 billion Christians worldwide. Considering that less than a dozen men (Matthew 28:16) were originally commissioned, it would seem that today's mission of spreading of God’s Word would have strength in numbers. However, modern day disciples face several disadvantages of discipleship compared to the original disciples.
The original disciples received a direct command to spread God’s Word from the very mouth of His Son – Someone they loved, left, mourned and praised. Jesus’s verbal Instructions to begin His Work had not yet been recorded to be read at their leisure, handed down through generations or lost in translation.
Also, Jesus had just recently resurrected from the grave. When He first Appeared to them, the disciples initially thought they had seen a ghost Luke 24:37, (then they probably turned as white as a ghost). After watching Jesus ascend into Heaven, it is probable that the story of Jesus’s Journey to, from, back, and away from the earth again captivated the interests of pagans like a ghost story.
With 11 disciples outnumbered several times over by pagans, the world was an oyster needing to be filled with the pearls of wisdom about God’s Love, His Salvation and His Son.
Fast forward a couple thousand years and 2 billion people later.
Jesus’s verbal command has gone through a grapevine of Bible transliterations. Also, Jesus, now sitting at the right hand of God, is out of sight and out of the minds of many more. Without a single, surviving eyewitness to testify on Jesus’s behalf, sadly, the testimony many Christians give are weak and lack credible evidence in their lives supporting God’s Saving Grace.
However, the biggest disadvantage modern-day disciples have is an oversaturated market filled with Christians who want to preach, but don’t want to practice. Unlike the current job market, Christianity is over-employed and under-utilized.
It wasn’t until a recent experience that I realized I too was an out-of-practice preacher.
I was in the company of an individual complaining and worrying. Before long, instead of counting all of my trials joy (James 1:2), I, too, was counting all of my sorrows. How was I going to convince someone to trust God with their problems, when even I wouldn’t. Do not even the tax-gatherers do that? Matthew 5:46
Before I could tell anyone about God, I have to obey Him.
My disobedience reduces me into a spiritually blind person attempting to lead another blind person to God, whom neither one of us can see.
I have to obey God until it hurts, until I heal, until I die.
With 2 billion people saying that they are a Christian, it is imperative that actions speak louder than words.