Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Do Catholic Young People Believe in the Great Commission?

Tonight, my daughter and I stopped at McDonalds for dinner. The table next to us was empty, except for two Bibles and a couple of other books and spiral notebooks. Soon, three young men returned to their table with food. Their Bible study commenced.

They were talking about the Great Commission.  One man was clearly the leader. He would ask someone to read a passage and then ask them questions out of the study guide:

"What do you think it means: the Gospel must go into the whole world? How can we help that to happen?"

I wasn't eavesdropping. They were speaking loudly enough that it was easy to follow their conversation without even trying.

As we were leaving, I asked them what Church they belonged to. I can't even remember the name of it now. It wasn't a mainline -- anything. Something clearly non-denominational, which, of course, is a misnomer. Even a non-denominational church is a denomination  - just with a unique name and no believers by that name (or specific theological slant) anywhere.

World Youth Day - Madrid - 1.5 Million

I wondered what they made of the mandate to go into all of the world and preach the Gospel. I wondered if they thought this had happened, if they thought it had happened to some degree, or if they thought it had barely begun to happen.

This young men from the denomination that I can't remember-- I wondered if they could name a single country that contained another church by the same name as their church. What about another city in the U.S.? Had their version of the Gospel gone anywhere?

They were young. Attractive. Totally into what they were discussing. And, I'll admit, they were full of zeal and that was pretty terrific.

But, did they believe that there were many other young people like them in other countries? If so, what denominations did they belong to? Which countries? How many followers?

It seemed hard to believe that there would be many young people like them, of their Gospel-version, anywhere in the world except the U.S.

But there are young people in the world who love Jesus. The Gospel message has gone into all of the world. It is preached on every continent (in which people inhabit) and has believers in every country of the world. And yes, there are young people just like them, although not quite like them in name or Gospel message, in every part of the world.

In the U.S. - sadly - there is a distinct feeling among many non-denominational groups that Catholics aren't "saved" or that they are downright lost - when, really, Catholics are the ones who have answered the call of the Great Commission more than any other Christian group in the history of humankind!

In fact, that Church is the only church to go everywhere - to truly spread the Gospel to every nation
and people.

The name of that Church is the Catholic Church. It's a memorable name because it's everywhere.

And soon, young people from all of those countries will be meeting as one to worship Jesus Christ - this time in Brazil. That's proof that the Great Commission was heard and answered.

Man, I love being Catholic!

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