Matthew 28:19-20; “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; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” This is the ultimate “Pass It On” from our Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ. (ESV – all emphasis mine)
Acts 8:12; 14-17; “But when they believed Philip, as he preached good news about the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for He had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then, they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.”
Luke 3:16; “John answered them all saying, I baptize you with water, but He who is mightier than I is coming; the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Finally, Acts 2:1-4; “When the day of “Pentecost” arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly, there came from Heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them, and rested on each one of them, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.” It should be noted, all the apostles had been previously water baptized, but this occurrence was the ultimate “immersion” into the Savior. From this point on, they were led by the Holy Spirit.
When Philip was at Samaria, it said he preached the “good news,” which means he preached the “gospel.” He was passing on to them what they needed to save their souls for all eternity. Through their water baptism, they were showing they believed in the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and were seeking forgiveness of their sins. Their “true immersion” came when Peter and John laid hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit just as the apostles had at Pentecost.
It should be noted, Samaria was an area that Jews avoided, as Samaritans were not to be associated with. Of course, Jesus changed all that with the woman at the well (John 4:4-42). Through His “visit” with the people there, he was showing that John 10:16 applies to all people, all over the world as His “other sheep.”
Water baptism is significant as a demonstration of one’s desire to become a part of the Savior’s flock; Holy Spirit baptism completes the process.
In Acts 10, Peter received a vision that he was to go to the house of a Roman Centurion, who believed in and had faith in the Lord God. Acts 10:44-48; “While Peter was still saying these things, the Holy Spirit fell on all who heard the Word. And the believers from among the circumcised, who had come with Peter, were amazed because the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out even on the Gentiles. For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and extolling God. Then Peter declared, ‘Can anyone withhold water for baptizing these people who have received the Holy Spirit just as we have? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.”
In the Old Testament, people were saved that were in the will of the Father. One faithful person who found favor with God was Abram, later called Abraham. The Genesis 12:2-3 blessing is a covenant God made with Abraham that still applies today. All who honor Abraham’s offspring – the Jews – will be honored; likewise, all who dishonor the Jews will be cursed.
Another place in the Old Testament that is repeated twice in the New Testament is Joel 2:32a; “And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Peter uses this in Acts 2:21, and Paul includes it in Romans 10:13. In the “ABCs” of salvation, confessing that Jesus is Lord, believing God raised Him from the dead, and calling on Jesus to be our Savior is what saves us (Romans 10:9-13).
Through the Great Commission, our Savior was telling us we need to pass on, to all who will listen, the message of receiving Salvation.
Initially, the Jews believed they would be the only “chosen” ones, but in John 10:16 as mentioned above, Jesus set this concept straight. “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to My voice. So there will be one flock, one Shepherd.” Please note, Jesus did not say that all religions worship the same God. Our Heavenly Father is the only true Creator, Lord God Jehovah, and the only way to Him is through His Son, Jesus the Christ (John 14:6; Acts 2:21).
Kurt Kaiser (12/17/1934 – 11/12/2018) wrote a song called “Pass It On.” It is a breath of freshness in today’s troubled world. There are three, but powerful, verses.
(1) It only takes a spark to get a fire going; and soon all those around can warm up in glowing. That’s how it is with God’s love once you’ve experienced it; you spread His love to everyone; you want to pass it on.
(2) What a wondrous time is spring, when all the trees are budding. The birds begin to sing, the flowers start their blooming. That’s how it is with God’s love once you’ve experienced it; you want to sing “It’s fresh like spring”; you want to pass it on.
(3) I wish for you, my friend, this happiness I’ve found. You can depend on Him, it matters not where you’re bound. I’ll shout it from the mountain top – Praise God! I want the world to know, the Lord of love has come to me; pass it on.
Everything that is taking place today is Bible prophecy coming to life. God is not surprised by anything that is happening, and soon two major prophecies will be fulfilled. First will be the removal of all true believers to keep us from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53). After the Rapture, an evil world leader will come forward, and the 7-year Tribulation will take place. What is unfolding all around the globe today is a prelude to this. He’s being held back right now, as a “Restrainer” is not allowing him to come forward. When that Restrainer is taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2), then all those who are indwelt by Him will be removed also.
The “lawlessness one’s” way is being prepared right now by the new world order who will be happy that all the “haters” are gone. At least initially.
Our “Commission” today is to pass on the Gospel to all who would receive it. We need to be faithful prayer warriors, asking the Father to touch the hearts of all our loved ones, to give them encouragement to seek Jesus. We are past the Luke 21:28 warning of the beginning of signs of the end of this age. Jesus could call His flock to rise up to meet Him in the air at any moment now.
Those who receive and accept the gift our Savior gave us, and are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, are truly born again. Our eternal address changed from eternal darkness to eternal light, and to live in glory forever with our Lord and Savior.
In the ABCs of Salvation as mentioned earlier, Admit, Believe and Call, are what is required. Nowhere does it say we have to do “works” or whatever else to earn our Salvation. That’s covered in Ephesians 2:8-9. We’re saved by the Grace of the Savior, through the Mercy of the Father. Best part of all, no one who truly calls on the Lord will ever be turned away. He won’t force anyone, but the bottom line is that all who call on the name of the Lord will be saved.
We have not been given the exact day or hour that our Savior will call, but it could be at any moment now. Today would not be too early to receive and accept Him; tomorrow could just be too late. It will still be possible for souls to be saved during the Tribulation, but the cost will be enormous. Doing so will very likely lead to martyrdom.
God’s word is true and faithful (Titus 1:2), and with all the things that are happening right now, Jesus Is Coming Soon! God wants no one to fail and is possibly holding off for just a bit to give all a chance to repent and come to Jesus (2 Peter 3:9). The door will close soon – be sure to be on the proper side of it when it does.
Maranatha – Come, Lord Jesus!