is our Commander in Chief's Marching Orders, Our Primary
What is our primary objective from our Commander-in-Chief,
Jesus Christ? Matthew 28:18-20. "And Jesus came and
spake unto them, saying, 'All power is given unto me
in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and
of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to
observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you...'"
Our objective found within Matthew 28:18-20 is two-fold:
- To communicate the Gospel in love and power to the
- To introduce Jesus to those who respond to the Gospel--to
disciple them. Or as some look at it, to introduce
those who respond, to Jesus.
We are all soldiers of Jesus Christ, and
as Paul brings out often enough in his epistles, we
are in a serious spiritual battle, a war. It helps if
you are in a war, to know what your objective is. Vietnam
was a total loss because the offensive objective wasn't
there, it was a defensive holding action without the
conquering that is equated with mounting an offensive
and winning a war. They were holding onto land and waiting
for the enemy to move on them before reacting in many
instances, not going to the enemy in the north and conquering
the enemy at the source. Most Christians go about their
lives never fully realizing what Jesus' spiritual primary
objective is, or how they're supposed to be involved
in accomplishing that objective. When a Christian becomes
strong in the Word and his walk in Christ, then what?
Does he sit back and just savor what he has learned?
Are Christian congregations supposed to be sort of like
social clubs where people of like spiritual understanding
and belief systems go to socialize and talk about what
they know with other "believers"? Or should Christians
be using that knowledge in some way? Depending on the
size of your congregation, the Lord has entrusted you
with anything from the size of a platoon to a Corp size
unit in his army [Don't laugh, the congregation Pastor
Chuck Smith personally ministers to in Costa Mesa, California
is 35,000 strong, the size of three and a half divisions!]
You know what the primary objective is. What should
you be doing to plan out and accomplish the intermediate
objectives that will help the body of Christ fulfill
the major primary objective we've been given by the
Lord? Answers to that question are given in the articles
following this one. One nice thing about pursuing the
objective the Lord has given us is that the fruit of
evangelism adds new believers to the congregations of
the pastors who undertake this spiritual warfare,
those who successfully orchestrate and command the soldiers
under their command. So the information in this general
section titled "What is Evangelism?" contains some of
the essential keys to the success of your ministry and
What follows are excerpts from the first chapter of
James I. Wilson's "the principles of war:
a strategy for group and personal evangelism".
I. The Objective
"When war is declared by Congress their objective
is victory. They pass this assignment over to the
Commander-in-Chief. The Commander-in-Chief with the
Joint Chiefs of Staff makes an estimate of the situation,
comes to a decision and develops a plan. To oversimplify
it, the decision might be to invade and occupy specific
nations in Europe and Asia. The plan would be to assign
Asia to Commander-in-Chief, Pacific and Europe to
Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic. These subordinate commanders
must then make an estimate of the situation, come
to a decision, and develop a plan. They, in turn,
assign objectives to subordinate commanders. Commander-in-Chief,
Pacific orders the Commander of the Seventh Fleet
to land certain armies and Marine Divisions in the
assigned country in Asia. This process of estimating
the situation, making a decision and assigning objectives
to subordinate commanders continues right down to
the company, platoon and squad level.
Every man in the chain of command has his objective
assigned to him by higher authority.
Now suppose an individual infantryman has as his objective
the top of a sand dune on a beach in Asia. He is pinned
down by enemy fire and he cannot make a move. While
he is in this position he suddenly sees a paper floating
across the beach.
So far this is a very real situation, but suppose
we make it unreal, even ludicrous. The paper happens
to be a page from the Joint Chiefs of Staff Operation
Order. As the page lands in front of him, he reads
the assigned objective to the Commander-in-Chief,
Pacific: "Invade and occupy--on the continent of Asia."
This is too much for him. He cannot even get off the
beach and they are telling him to occupy the whole
nation. To him it is unrealistic. Since he cannot
understand how the whole can be taken, he might even
lose the will to get to the top of the sand dune.
Enough of the illustration. Jesus Christ
is our Commander-in-Chief and He has assigned the overall
objective and put it in the grasp of every one of His
followers in the directive of the Great Commission.
Here it is:
"All power is given unto me in heaven
and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations."
To any individual Christian who thinks he
is fighting the war all by himself, this objective not
only seems unrealistic but impossible. Like the soldier
on the beach it is easy to get a "What's the use?" attitude.
The problem is the same in both cases. The man at the
bottom of the chain gets a view of the objective of
the person at the top. He is looking up the chain of
command without the benefit of intermediate
objectives. He sees only the objective of the top and
the resources at the bottom.
So for the Christian. He may see with his Commander-in-Chief
the complete objective assigned to the whole church.
He may also see the smaller parts of the church, groups
of believers raised up to reach a special segment of
the world's population. God has raised up specialists
with limited objectives in His church.
Rather than lament the multiplicity of Christian organizations,
we should rejoice that an intensive effort to meet our
objective is being made. Of course, there is the danger
that such groups will be filled with too great a sense
of importance. If, however, they seek to occupy their
own limited objective with all faithfulness, then the
warfare of the church is advanced. These many organizations
may be in existence not because of doctrinal differences
but because God has given them different objectives
under the Great Commission.
Our objective is two-fold:
- To communicate the Gospel in love and power to
- To introduce to Jesus (or Jesus to) those who respond
to the Gospel.
[Our] first objective is one of sowing the
seed. The second is reaping the harvest when the seed
falls on good ground. If we sow the seed in every heart,
but do not reap where the seed prepares a harvest, then
we have not reached our objective. We have in effect
added to the condemnation of men with the Gospel. We
have been a savor of death unto death rather than life
unto life (II Corinthians 2:16).
If, on the other hand, we reap where we have sown but
we do not sow in every heart in our assigned mission
fields, then we have not reached our objective. This
is serious. This objective is not a mere psychological
goal that makes us feel good when we get there. This
is a mission assigned by our Commander-in-Chief. Not
to get there is failure to carry out the assigned mission:
it is defeat. Even if people do not or will not respond
to the message of good news this has no bearing on the
objective to communicate the message to them. God assigns
the objective, not the people...
...Unless we know where we are going it is of little
importance how we go about getting there. The objective
That was James Wilson's description of our primary objective
from our Commander-in-Chief, Jesus Christ. I don't care
what part of the body of Christ you hail from. What
I do care about is that you find out what
specific assignment and objectives Jesus has assigned
you, and perhaps your congregation. Some within your
congregation may have special talents and thus be those
specialist's Mr. Wilson was talking about. Specialists
often have special objectives, assignments, which may
differ from the general assignment of the group they're
a part of (i.e. their congregation). Be prepared to
spot those people and give them the freedom to pursue
their objective with all their might. So be mindful
to discover what your objectives are that encompass
and help fulfill the central objective--and fulfill
that with all your might and the might of your congregation.
In this general section titled "What is Evangelism?"
I try to break that major battle objective of Matthew
28 down into it's component parts; individual, local
church, national and international evangelism--and give
some of the resources-- weapons, harvesting tools--at
our disposal. Some of those are ready to use, right
off this site. So read the articles in this section
and the section titled "What is Pre-Evangelism?", and
utilize the resources offered that best help you fulfill
the objectives the Lord has given you.
To read Mr. Wilson's complete text "Principles of War:
a strategy for group and individual evangelism", CLICK
see how you can personally help promote international
evangelism and make difference for Christ around the
world without ever stepping foot outside your house,