Take Your Place in the Adventure
We’ve looked at the fact that we were actually created for something greater than this life, and that Jesus command to us is to take the truth about His saving grace to the world. Which means we’ve established that we are made for the adventure, and we’ve seen what the adventure is; leaving only the question of will we embrace our true role and get in the adventure?
Now if you’re like me and you’ve been around church for very long the command to make disciples isn’t some revelation to you. You probably aren’t sitting in your chair going, ” Wow! This Rothacher guy is just spitting new truth all over the place.” In fact you quite possibly were a bit let down by the revealing of the adventure and frankly feel like I gypped you. Let me tell you why I think that is. We associate the command to make disciples with an uncomfortable evangelism class. We have tried hard in the past to live that way, you know have the awkward conversation with the waitress, and it was just another thing you’re supposed to do as a Christian. What we’ve been trained to believe is that being a follower of Christ is following a big long list of rules without grumbling, because if you grumble or worse don’t follow the rules God will send you to Hell. So, you hear make disciples, and you instantly check out. It’s why more and more young people are leaving the church, it simply isn’t worth it. What if being a follower of Christ isn’t about following the list of rules? What if it isn’t about doing better or more? What if in actuality it only requires one thing from you? Die.
Jesus tells us in Luke 14:
“27 Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.” -Luke 14:27
He says this multiple times, recorded by multiple witnesses. We like to down play these verses, and try and make it sound like Jesus is really saying to give up R rated movies, or alcohol and thats bearing your cross for Jesus today, but we’re wrong. Jesus is straight up saying, “You want to follow me? It’ll cost you everything.” This is certainly not the come down front, pray a prayer, fill out a card and stand in the back while every old lady in the church comes by and hugs you simplicity that we have made it. It’s a call to stop existing. You lay down your wants, your passions, your desires and you become something greater.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:17 (the verses that follow are some of my favorites and give us more insight into how to accomplish the mission, so it’d be a good idea to go back after reading this and read them):
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.t The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” - 2 Corinthians 5:17
It’s very plainly telling us that when you are in Christ, you are a new creation. Look what happens to you, “the old has passed away.” Sometimes we like to apply some hyper spiritual application to the text when we’re reading the Bible cause all the words must have come from a different plane of thinking. So I’ll put it this way. If I told you that someone you loved had “passed away” what would you conclude happened to them? Exactly! They died! So we don’t try harder, we don’t do anything. We don’t exist anymore. Jesus in and through us is leading us in this adventure just like He led the heroes of the past.
Have you ever wondered why God didn’t save Paul for our generation? There are more people alive today than ever before, and with the internet he could have boldly taught thousands. How about Moses? Or Abraham? Peter? They could have done really well today. Why didn’t God save them for now? Because he has you! You are His plan for today, it is your time in the epic eternal adventure. You have the chance to take your place along the line of human history and make a difference. He has chosen you to carry the message of salvation to the world.
I want to point out one last thing, look at the scene in Revelation chapter seven:
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
Do you see the picture of this amazing scene at the end of time? It says he saw “a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne”. So here in John’s vision of the end of time there are people of every nation, tribe and language which means the word of Jesus’s salvation makes it to the ends of the earth. I want you to see that, because what that means is God doesn’t need you! He will accomplish bringing salvation to the world with or without you and me. Which leads me to the conclusion that His command to be a part of the epic adventure of saving the world is for me, not because he needs me. In other words, Jesus commands you to make disciples, because it is what is best for you. It is what connects that yearning in your soul with the divine purpose you have. Will you join up? Take your place in the landscape of human history, leave the rules and traditions behind and come and die so that you may truly live the fullness of life and adventure that He has in store for you!