The Urgent Need to Make Disciples (Matthew 28:19) - Radical

The Urgent Need to Make Disciples (Matthew 28:19)

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”
-Matthew 28:19

So much we could talk about here. So much we could pray based on just that, that one verse in the great commission. But I want us to pray based on one truth in what we just read, that I think many people often miss.

Father, help us to be faithful to make disciples. Use us to take the gospel where it has never gone so disciples will be made among all nations.

So when Jesus says, “Make disciples of all nations,” that is not a general command to make disciples among as many people as possible. No, that’s a specific command to make disciples of all nations; Panta ta Ethne, of all the ethnic groups, of all the peoples of the world. So Jesus has told us to go to every ethnic group, every people group in the world and make disciples there.

So what that means is, if we are not working in our lives, our families and our churches to take the gospel to people groups, ethnic groups, places where the gospel’s not yet gone, then we are disobeying the great commission, disregarding what Jesus has told us to do here. And the reason this is so important it’s because, well, we are ready and our lives and families and churches even. In our churches, we spend so little on missions, taking the gospel to other places.

But then even out of that which we spend on missions, did you know that 90 plus percent of missions resources in North American churches, so resources we’re spending on missions, are actually going to places in the world where the gospel has already gone, where churches have already been planted, many churches, even Christians?

When we think about missions, we think all over Latin America, we think all over Subsaharan Africa. When the reality is, by God’s Grace, the gospel has gone all over Latin America, all over Sub-Saharan Africa. Yes, there are small pockets in these places, these regions where the gospel’s not yet gone, but for the most part, the gospel has gone, disciples have been made, churches have been planted. And it’s not wrong by any means to come alongside our brothers and sisters in these places to learn from them, to work together for the glory of God; no question.

At the same time, we’re fooling ourselves if we call that missions, when the reality is, we’re still not obeying the mission. When 90 plus percent of our resources are going to places where the gospel is already gone, and Jesus has commanded us, not suggested, not implied, he has crystal clear commanded us to make disciples, take the gospel, the good news of his love to people, groups, places where the gospel’s not yet gone.

So this is why, just as a side note, why we at Radical have started Urgent, just to identify the places in the world, the groups of people in the world, even in the countries in the world, where there’s the least access to the gospel, and to mobilize resources; to go to them. It’s called urgent. That’s what the initiative’s called, because there’s urgent need.

There are people dying and going to an eternal hell who’ve never even heard, nobody’s even brought the good news of how they can go to heaven through Jesus, to them. So I just want to lead us to pray accordingly,

Jesus, we want to obey your command. We want to make your grace and your glory known among all the nations. So we pray that you would open our eyes in our churches to see where the gospel’s not yet gone and to work to take the gospel there. And our lives, and our families and our churches to go and to send and to come alongside brothers and sisters who are in these places, a few brothers and sisters; I think about that we are partnering together with, and these places in the world. God help us to get behind him and work with them for the spread of the gospel to those who’ve never heard.

God, we pray, even as I think about all of these countries that we’re focusing on in Urgent like Syria, God, for your glory, in the making disciples in Bhutan and North Korea, and across India, and Iraq, and Afghanistan, and Iran, and Laos, and Lebanon, and Nepal, and Somalia and Yemen. Jesus make your glory known in those places and use us to do it.

God don’t let us sit back, content to hold onto the gospel or just to take it where it’s already gone. God help us to work, use our efforts to take the gospel where it’s never gone, so that disciples might be made in all the nations, just as you’ve called us to do for your glory, for the glory of the name of Jesus and all nations, we pray these things, Amen.

David Platt serves as pastor at McLean Bible Church in Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

Less than 1% of all money given to missions goes to unreached people and places.*

That means that the people with the most urgent spiritual and physical needs on the planet are receiving the least amount of support. Let's change that!