Friday, January 18, 2019

Thoughts on the Great Commission

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 in the name of the Father, the Son, and 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." (Matthew 28:18-20)

As I thought about this verse this week, I came up with five observations about the Great Commission, or Jesus' marching orders to the church that I would like to share with you.

1. This is a command, not a suggestion. Jesus doesn't say, "You might want to go preach the gospel," he commands it to be done.

2. Missions is a process. Not only must we proclaim the gospel, but we much teach (or train, instruct, disciple) those who become believers. We must teach them about how to live a life that honors God.

3. We are to go to ALL nations. I believe this includes, for American Christians like myself, those we encounter in our lives in the states. We must be diligent to be kingdom workers in the states just as friends and fellow church members are overseas.

4. This command is for all of us. It is not addressed to some super-spiritual group of pastors. In the original context, the Lord was speaking to a group of 11 fishermen and tax collectors. Ordinary people who had decided to follow Jesus.

5. We are not on our own. It is with God's authority that Jesus sends us out, and he promises to be with us through the whole process of spreading his kingdom.

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