16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 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 28:16-20, NIV)
The Great Commission begins by stating there were only eleven disciples. Jesus started out with 12 disciples, so what happened to the other one? Even after having experienced the presence and teaching of the Good Shepherd, who promised to lay down His life for the sheep (John 10:11), Judas still rejected the Gospel message. Romans 10:9 states to become a Christian one must declare Jesus Christ as Lord of one’s life. To become born again (John 3:3) one must surrender the ability to choose one’s own path in life (Matthew 16:24) over to Jesus Christ our Lord. By being a member of the 12 disciples Judas had an appearance of religion but the inside of his cup remained filthy. The Pharisees had a similar problem. They loved places of honor in the Synagogue (Matthew 23:2) or in public settings as ones deemed “religious” but in reality were “full of dead man’s bones and all things unclean” (Matthew 23:27). Judas betrayed Jesus for a meagre 30 shekels of silver, the equivalent of four months worth of wages. Obviously when Jesus told the disciples to not love the world or anything in it in 1 John 2:15, Judas ignored the command and kept both of his feet in Satan’s kingdom.
Lest we think too little of Judas and too highly of ourselves let’s look at what Jesus says awaits many people inside of the modern-day church. According to Jesus not everyone who comes to church, worships God, prophesies or even does miracles; will make it into heaven (Matthew 7:21). As a church we must confess that some of the reasons why people associate with the body of Christ has nothing to do with loving God! Some come to socialize, some to obtain positions of honor as church leaders, some to appease parents or spouses and even some to try to “buy” their way into heaven by doing good deeds. To those who are still dying in their sins inside of the church (Romans 6:23) I believe we have an obligation to show them the light (Matthew 5:14-16), plant the seeds of righteousness (1 Corinthians 3:6-9) and pray that they will receive the Spirit of God (2 Corinthians 1:22) and become His children (John 1:12).
Our mission and outreach field begins inside of our own church!