Posted Nov 17, 2020 by Michael L. Brown

When it comes to our greatest priority as followers of Jesus in this world, it this simply this: we are here to know God and to make Him known. Or, put another way, our highest calling is to be disciples and make disciples. Nothing matters more than this.

As expressed by Jesus in the Great Commission (not the Great Suggestion), “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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” (Matthew 28:18-20).

This is the command we were left with. This is our sacred mission.

And while it is hardly the only thing we do, the Great Commission must be our primary goal.

In the words of the Methodist leader John Wesley to his workers, “You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go always, not only to those that want you, but to those that want you most.”

He continued, “Observe: It is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care of this or that society; but to save as many souls as you can; to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance, and with all your power to build them up in that holiness without which they cannot see the Lord.”

Of course, Wesley gave this directive specifically to his evangelistic workers.

He understood that moms and dads and workers and students had many other responsibilities in life. He was hardly calling everyone to stop what they were doing and simply preach to the lost.

At the same time, the redemption and transformation of the lost must be our highest priority. It is why we are here, commissioned by Jesus Himself.

He shed His blood for a perishing world. It is our sacred responsibility to share that Good News before it is too late. Nothing matters more.

As expressed by Salvation Army founder William Booth, “On to Calvary! On to death for the world! Let us not refuse the smiters! No halting! No rest! On, suffering, sorrowing, weeping, dying for God and men, till the hosts of hell fly from their last defense, and we march on over a burning world into everlasting glory!”

No sacrifice is too great when it comes to bringing someone from eternal death to eternal life.

It is this burden and vision that has carried missionaries to the ends of the earth and church planters to the streets of our inner cities.

It is a burden for the lost, a vision for their transformation, a recognition that we are ultimately passing through this world, an understanding that we live our lives here in the light of eternity. That is a consistent theme throughout the pages of the New Testament.

To repeat: it is our highest priority.

As the Moravian leader Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf once said, “I have but one passion: It is He, it is He alone.” But his devotion did not stop there. Instead, love for Jesus meant love for the lost. As he also said, “The world is the field and the field is the world; and henceforth that country shall be my home where I can be most used in winning souls for Christ.”

Sadly, we have largely taken our eyes off that prize here in America. We have become so consumed with politics and so obsessed with the outcome of the elections that we often talk about Trump (be it positively or negatively) more than Jesus. (Before you get angry with me, ask yourself if I’m telling the truth.)

We need to be jarred back into reality. We need to get our priorities in order. We need to put first things first. We must keep the main things the main things.

That means seeing our fiercest political opponents as people for whom Jesus died and who need the gospel. (We can stand against their ideas and vote against their politics while caring for their souls.)

That means recognizing that our ultimate enemy is not the left or socialism or a political party but the devil himself (see Ephesians 6:12). He is the destroyer and deluder and deceiver and the divider, and he is absolutely murderous in his intent. Our hatred of him and his ways should not become hatred of those he has misled.

Again, this does not mean abandoning politics or giving up on the culture wars. God forbid.

As one who writes 5 op-ed pieces a week and hosts a daily, live radio talk show, I would be the last person to give such counsel. To the contrary, for many years now, I have categorically rejected the mindset of abdication and strongly opposed the attitude of escapism.

I’m simply talking about our priorities. About our ultimate focus. About our greatest burden. Looking back a billion years from now, would anyone argue with these words.

But we have gotten off track.

Consider the ongoing, intense, fervent prayer for a righteous outcome to the elections, fervent prayer that I affirm and appreciate. (I was just sent a link to an election prayer meeting in Pennsylvania that was barely two hours old, and it already had more than 126,000 views on YouTube.)

But how often do we pray like this for the lost? Or do we even believe people are lost without Jesus? And these days, are we more interested in winning a political argument or in winning someone to the Lord?

Again, I fully understand that we are called to be disciples in a holistic way. That means feeding the hungry and ministering to the poor. That means loving our spouses and caring for our children. That means being responsible employees. That means infiltrating the darkest places of society and shining like bright lights. That means playing a role in politics and the culture.

As Jesus also said, “let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).

But the fact remains that, regardless of who is in the White House two months from now, America is a mess and there is no political solution to our problems.

Let us, therefore, reset our focus and regain our burden and renew our vision. The gospel remains the hope of the nation. Let us be disciples and let us go and make disciples.

I leave you, then, with these three quotes, all cited in my 1993 book, It’s Time to Rock the Boat: A Call to God’s People to Rise Up and Preach a Confrontational Gospel.

May they pierce your heart as they have often pierced mine.

“Oh that the Lord would saturate us through and through with an undying zeal for the souls of men.” (Charles H. Spurgeon)

“No Christian is in a right condition, if he is not seeking in some way to bring souls to Christ.” (C.H. Mackintosh)

“I cared not where or how I lived, or what hardships I endured so that I could but gain souls for Christ. While I was asleep I dreamt of such things, and when I waked the first thing I thought of was winning souls to Christ…. All my desire is the conversion of sinners, and all my hope is in God.” (David Brainerd)

May God’s burning heart for the lost become ours.

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SteveW posted a comment · Nov 18, 2020
Thanks RAS for the encouragement and I like the quote. After all, 2Co3:17 says, "Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty".
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RAS posted a comment · Nov 17, 2020
Steve, you asked: "How can we preach the Gospel if we are banged up inside our houses as virtual prisoners?" I think a profound answer to that was recently expressed by a Hong Kong protester who said something to the effect that, "the best way to obtain your freedom is to act like you already have it. I loved he said that! I won't be locked up or shut up. You think the Church should clean up the rubble, I agree, so let's make the Church a whole lot bigger as fast as we can so there will be a lot more help doing it. Rather than expending all our energy trying to destroy them, let's make them expend their time and energy trying to destroy us. There are two ways to expose Satan's work. 1. Scream at the world with all the evidence of his global cabal, which is what many have been doing to little avail. 2. Lift up Christ to the world like never before; it is then Satan's followers will come out of the woodwork and expose themselves. In so doing they will become the evidence against themselves. Then people will know.
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SteveW posted a comment · Nov 17, 2020
Thanks for your words RAS and I agree that we should not be driven by fear. But on a practical note, how can we preach the Gospel if we are banged up inside our houses as virtual prisoners? I think there are three huge problems that the world is currently facing: (1) The Great Reset; (2) The Great Covid Hoax and (3) The Great US Election Fraud. These are not separate problems but are all intertwined i.e. (2) is the pretext for both (1) and (3). God is, of course, greater than all these challenges, and I believe that all three of these pillars will fall to the fervent prayers of the saints. I also believe that when these fall it will usher in the greatest revival the world has ever seen. So, I agree that we need to recover the priority of the Gospel, but I think the Church needs to clear away some rubble first!
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RAS posted a comment · Nov 17, 2020
SteveW, I doubt that Dr. Brown is unaware of the "Great Reset". However, what we all must keep in mind above all other things is the Great God. When the disciples were in the ship and the great storm arose, they feared greatly crying, "Lord save us, we perish". That is what we are facing now. We can walk on the water that is drowning the world. But if we put our eyes on the boisterous waves and wind, and take them off of Jesus as Peter did, we will begin to sink. Recovering the priority of the Gospel is exactly what we should be focused on, not the waves or the Beast coming out of the sea that is causing them. For who can make war with the Beast, who is like unto the Beast? Satan will certainly have his moment at the appointed time. We cannot stop that, neither should we desire to prevent it anymore than when Peter told Jesus the Crucifixion should be prevented. Jesus responded to Peter by saying, get thee behind me Satan. Indeed, we should stand up and fight against the "Great Reset", but not fear it, God is greater. We can and should oppose it, but if it happens, do not fret, it is for God's purpose and will fit perfectly into His plan. So, to quote the great philosopher Alfred E. Newman, "What Me worry"? As for us, we should not fear but prioritize reaching lost souls.
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SteveW posted a comment · Nov 17, 2020
What you say Dr Brown is true. However, I think you spend so much time writing Op-Eds that you don't seem to take time and lift up your head and look around at what is really going on. Do you know about the 'Great Reset' that the globalists are now openly pushing around the world? What is happening right now is bigger than Dems vs Repubs. It does not invalidate what you say, but you do not seem to have the true picture of what is really going on.
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RAS posted a comment · Nov 17, 2020
2 of 2: This article provoked me to post 2 comments, the first to qualify this second one. The neglect of proclaiming the reality of God in the discourse of politics and the direction of our nation is something that has long troubled me. I understand that in fighting a battle where you are facing a worldly enemy who uses worldly deceptions and sophistry, you would counter with worldly wisdom. The tendency is to rely on hard facts and man's wisdom, and to shy away from faith to avoid disputations on things you believe but cannot prove. As understandable as that may seem, that is exactly how you lose. They don’t accept your hard facts anyway, do they? Thus, being that anything good we believe in stands on knowing the reality of a righteous and holy God, there is nothing to lose saying so. Even the most popular pundits and radio talk show hosts--a number of whom I usually strongly agree with—will fail unless they stress God first and foremost. There should be no fear in proclaiming God in all things, even in your politics. Why? Chiefly, because you should fear God more than anything else; but it also follows that whether people serve God or not, by far, a large majority of people in the US realize God exists. Whether they rage or laugh, your words will ring true. But here’s the real kicker; you don’t have to preach politics and add God. Preach God, wins souls, and the politics will follow. Don’t let politics become your first love. Jesus said “If I be lifted up I will draw all men unto me.” You want to win? That’s how you win; that's how you MAGA, proclaim the Gospel.
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RAS posted a comment · Nov 17, 2020
1 of 2: At the very foundation of America, our liberty, and the political system instituted, lies faith in the reality of an omnipotent God. Everything that brought forth American greatness stands on that faith. This is made evident in the very first words of the first American declaration made, on which, the Constitution and Bill of Rights would follow with clarification. It was upon this Rock, belief in God, America was built. --- The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it… [Without faith, we have no foundation, Why then would we forsake proclaiming God to build with man’s wisdom, a structure based on the sand of a pure political ideology?]