Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry


the great commission

Our mission isn’t to win converts; it’s to make disciples. So what is the difference?

What did the Great Commission REALLY command us to do? Here are some great thoughts from James at the Isaiah 53:5 Project. Blessings and enjoy!


  • Converts are believers who live like the world. Disciples are believers who live like Jesus.
  • Converts are focused on their values, interests, worries, fears, priorities, and lifestyles. Disciples are focused on Jesus.
  • Converts go to church. Disciples are the church.
  • Converts are involved in the mission of Jesus. Disciples are committed to it.


… the rest of the post here: Our mission isn’t to win converts; it’s to make disciples. So what is the difference?

OK, Now Everybody Go! Some Reader Thoughts.


Monday, we talked about the seemingly sudden shift from Jesus telling people not to spread the word about His activities(for the most part, there were exceptions), to telling his disciples to tell everybody. We looked at two questions:

What changed? Why did He suddenly want them to tell the world?

Who was the instruction to “go,” even given to? Was it for just the disciples then, or everybody now?

I came to the conclusion that the command to “go” was a universal command, and it still applicable to all believers even today. That seems to be a consensus among readers, as universally the response was agreement with the premise of the post. There were also some great additions made in the comments. As I like to do sometimes, today’s post will let some of those comments see public light, so to speak.

There were good comments by good bloggers. Each comment also has a link to the particular bloggers last post. Go read; there is some good Christian writing going on out there. Blessings and enjoy.

Desiray at The Devotion Cafe started things off with this:

When He gave the great commission He was talking to His Disciples in and us who follow Him.

Here was a stirring personal testimony from Bruce at Godsmanforever:

Wally, I only shared the Gospel twice in the first 7 years and 2 days after God graced me with salvation… I had somehow taken back control from the Holy Spirit until 6/04/2009… I am living proof that it is the power of the Holy Spirit motivating the heart of the Christian who allows Him total control of their lives…that will give the Christian not only the confidence to share their own testimony and the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ… But He will give us the opportunity and the right words to speak when we pray for opportunities to share our faith…

Don at My Heart Is for Israel had some great additional reading and study for us:

I know for sure that I am NOT an evangelist because I have not received that gift from the Holy Spirit. However, I can sure witness to what Yeshua has done in my life as did the man born blind in John 9. That’s a tremendous passage on how to witness by the way.

James at the Isaiah 53:5 Project addressed some reasons why we don’t witness, even though we are told to:

I think the command is for all of us but many don’t go out of fear. We live in a time when witnessing is not always easy to do so people pass.

Evangelism is not everyone’s gift either so a few pass because of that.

Nothing but enthusiasm here from John at Not For Punks:

Here I am Lord, send me!!

A great teaching as always from Patrick at Serving Grace Ministries:

Well…as written above He gave some to be Apostle, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers FOR THE EQUIPPING OF THE SAINTS FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY and the edifying of the Body of Christ! (Ephesians 4:12). Last I checked, telling the world about Jesus was a work of the ministry. If you look at it according to verse 12, it is the NON-Five fold that it appears has the greater calling to evangelize the world.

Also, the difference between us and the first disciples…also mentioned above…was that they were to tarry in Jerusalem until endued with power. They were the initial recipients of the Holy Spirit being poured out upon all flesh. Peter was still the same ole weak Peter Jesus walked with until the day of Pentecost. After Pentecost, we saw Spirit filled Peter. That same outpouring is available to us today.

But notice this….Not all 120 in the upper room were of the five fold ministry. Yet, they were equally empowered by the Holy Spirit. I could go on but this is your soap box:)

And, finally, we close with this from Jim at The Domain For Truth(Anybody who agrees with me has to be on the list!):

I agree with both the conclusion to your two questions

Thanks for those great comments, friends!

Next up: What does to mean to evangelize? What does it mean to witness? Is it the same for all of us?




When Jesus Finally Said, “Go,” Who Was He Talking to, Anyway?


We have been taking a look at the many times during His earthly ministry when Jesus told others to Not tell about the great works He was doing; many were instructed to keep the things He had done secret. I think we have all arrived at some very reasonable reasons why Jesus issued these instructions over the course of a couple of weeks.

It also seems clear that, at some point, Jesus changed this instruction and then commanded people to go out and tell as many as they could. Two questions seem to arise: 1. Why did this change, and 2. Who was instructed to go tell?

What changed?

Obviously, the biggest thing that changed was the resurrection. This event established clearly just who Jesus was; it established clearly that He was, in fact, The Messiah. Before, seemingly to avoid too much attention on only His miracles, Jesus commanded that these things sometimes be kept quiet. Now, it was time to tell the world.

Peter clearly revealed the nature of who Jesus was during his famous sermon on the day of Pentecost:

Acts 2:32 This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses.

Acts 2:36 Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Jesus, appearing to some disciples after His resurrection, taught them that they now knew all of Him they needed to know and that their teaching was complete:

Luke 24:44-48 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things

His instructions soon became explicit to those who followed Him.

At the Last Supper Jesus informed those present:

John 15:27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

At His Ascension, He told them:

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

So, we can clearly see that Jesus’ instructions changed; now His followers were instructed to tell His message far and wide, and to everybody. Only one question remains.

Who is supposed to go? Are all believers to be witnesses?


That seems simple, right? Well perhaps it is, yet to some it is not. Allow me to explain. There seems some thoughts out there about just who is to tell the world about Jesus. This is not going to be deep theology here, just some simple thoughts as revealed in God’s Word to us.

Some say, that the Great Commission was only delivered to the Apostles. In other words, when Jesus said these words:

Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inb 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.”

that He was only speaking to those directly assembled with Him, and that the instructions do not apply us today. Well, yes, technically Jesus was in fact speaking to the Apostles. Just because this message was given to the Apostles does not mean it was only for the Apostles.  I would suggest we should be careful in applying that logic to things Jesus and other writers said to specific people; using that thinking we could lay claim large parts of God’s Word not being applicable to us, as “Well, that writer was only talking to ________ there, not us.” While directed at those present, there in nothing overall to indicate that we are released from this instruction today.  In fact, if we place it into relation to some of the words we talked about earlier in the post, it is pretty evident there is no restriction on the “who,” here.

There seems to be some concern by some that we aren’t all evangelists, given the gift of Evangelism as put for in Ephesians 4:11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

There are a couple of issues here. Sure, not all are called to occupy any official office or position as “evangelist.” So what? Nothing there says we are released from the obligation to practice evangelism, or to be witnesses for Jesus. This is true no more than saying not being given the gift of helps means we don’t have to help, or not being given the gift of prayer means we don’t have to pray.

In summary, the command for believers applies to us all. We don’t always like it, and sometimes would rather be exempt from it; nonetheless, we are all subject to it.

What are your thoughts on this?

Next: If the command to “go,” is for all of us, why don’t we?




So…Why Did Jesus Say Don’t Tell?

great commission

Over the last week or so, we have been having an interesting conversation around here concerning the topic of why sometime during His Earthly ministry Jesus told some people to NOT tell anyone about His activities, and at other time He told people to proclaim it every where. The question of the hour is….Why?

Comments have been great, and really the question has been answered. I just wanted to sort of wrap things up in a tidy little package for reader perusal and thoughts. I am not really adding a thing to the many great ideas which have been presented.

Perhaps the most overriding point that was made in so many comments was something like this: “God knows what He is doing.” Simple huh? Simple but yet so very true. Like many things we don’t always see clearly exactly why or for what reason things may have occurred, but we can rest assured that God was working His plan in the best way possible to accomplish His plan. As I have heard said around the blog world, “Compared to God we are all morons.” In summation, theorizing is nice, and great study, but ultimately we may just not get it one hundred percent right this side of Heaven.

Let’s move on, then and look at some specifics and examples.

A lot of the injunctions to people not to say what had happened to them had to do with Jesus being able to stay on message.

Jesus’ message then is the same as it is now. Repentance, faith, and salvation. It was not about the healings and the miracles. Those were not the message; those were the proof that His message was real.

We can see in many of these accounts that people came from all over, not always to hear the actual message Jesus had, but simply for what He could do for them. Mark 1:45, Mark 6:54-56

Jesus seemed quite certain of this motivation in the words He spoke to the man seeking to see his servant healed. John 4:48

Jesus was constantly being followed and stalked by the pharisees, which may be why he instructed the leper He healed to go straight to the priests to be pronounced ceremonially clean by them, so that they could not dispute the nature and truth of what Jesus had actually done. Mark 1:41-42

What about the audience for His message? This I just toss out as food for thought and readers can draw their own conclusions. God knows who will respond to His message and who will not. It seems in the cases where Jesus told someone to spread the word, or allowed them to spread the word, there were differences in both the places and the audiences involved. Both the demon possessed in Gadara, Mark 5, and the woman at the well in Samaria, in John 4 seem to fit this thought. Just think about it and chime in if you feel like it!

That’s really all I want to say here, as it’s all been said well thus far in our talks. If you want to catch up on those, just pick the last few Monday’s or Wednesday’s and read up.

Next, we are moving on to Jesus’ clear instructions to us to get out there and  spread the Word, and the unfortunate fact that, for the most part, we don’t.

Until next time!




Just a Thought

great commission

Of course, we should show Jesus everywhere we find ourselves.

Jesus also said to “GO”


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