AMARILLO – The Great Commission can be fulfilled within the century or even possibly within the decade, according to Bob Roberts, pastor of NorthWood Church in Keller.
As the world moves faster along highways of global connection — via the Internet, airplanes, social media and more — the challenge of evangelism and worldwide missions changes, he explained. From “every person getting to hear” the gospel, it now takes on a new question: “Do they understand the message?”
Roberts recalled the rich, non-traditional history of Texas Baptists, one steeped in passion, boldness and creativity.
“Now what would it look like if we were to take that same sense of passion, that same conviction, that same belief and see the Great Commission fulfilled?” he asked, adding emphatically ,“It will happen.”
In order to see that take place, “We need to look at two things: The Great Commission and the 21st century,” he said. He referenced Acts 1:8, corresponding to Hope 1:8, a Texas Baptists initiative to spread the gospel through missions and outreach.
Concerning the 21st century, he outlined four specific points regarding its platform for fulfilling The Great Commission.
First, Christians today live “in a global public square.”
“There is no privacy,” he noted, adding that everything is wired and connected. “The whole world is listening, and it’s not a bad thing; it’s a good thing. … It gives us an opportunity to think about what we say and how we are saying it.”
This leads to the second point, that collaboration — amid that connection — is key.
“When the Great Commission is fulfilled, it’s because we connect the whole body of Christ around the world. It’s not just about us going. It’s also about us receiving those who are coming to America,” he said during the Texas Baptists Annual Meeting.
Western-culture evangelical leaders need to learn from the world church, he said, which is “exploding.”
“I think we need to take the posture of a student and of a pupil and say, ‘Help us—we need help.’”
And that calls for an examination of our relationship with other religions, he said.
Roberts described an idea he calls “multi-faith”— which is learning to get along with one another “without compromising the message” of Jesus.
“We’re so arrogant and harsh with the truth,” he said. “Truth never makes a man haughty and arrogant; it makes him humble and broken and gentle and kind. Because if he has the truth, he wants men to know the truth. And if that’s the case, he’s going to be broken before people, not cocky and arrogant and mean spirited and—,” Roberts added amusingly, “—sometimes, ‘Baptists.’”
Since God has brought all religions into Texas communities, we need to focus on building relationships and “loving them here” before heading halfway across the world, Roberts said.
“Faith is validated or vilified by its impact on the society,” he explained.
And that can happen anywhere, all across the world.
“We want to start preaching to people. But if you’re serving together — you’re building the common good in a city — and you start talking about Jesus, it changes,” he said.
He concluded his message with imperatives toward fulfilling the Great Commission.
First, Christians should “quit wondering about when Jesus is coming back” and just “get busy,” he said. Secondly, it is essential to become filled with the Holy Spirit.
“I need the power of God in my life to see the fulfillment of the Great Commission. It’s not by human ingenuity, but by the Spirit of God,” he explained.
Thirdly, “We need to make disciples,” he said.
SAN ANTONIO – Hispanic Baptists are well-positioned to focus on what God has laid on their hearts for the convention’s future, said Jesse Rincones, Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas executive director. Full Story »
Sitting on couches overlaid with colorful quilts, university students from Dallas Baptist University and the University of Sao Paulo each sang to the tune of “Amazing Grace” in their own language. Full Story »
Texas Baptists voted to lay aside our normal annual meetings and gather every 5 years. This year – 2013 – marks our first Summer annual meeting. Full Story »