The Great Commission

The Great Commission is found in all four Gospel accounts.  In Matthew 28:18-20 there is the most popular and perhaps the most detailed account of the Great Commission, In

Mark 16:15-18 there is a dispensational account, dealing with signs and wonders that would follow true believers, in Luke 24:47-49 the need for repentance is taught as well as the emphasis on tarrying for the power of the Holy Spirit and in John 20:21-23 one should note that the church is taking up the mission of Jesus himself and is being sent out by God in the very same manner that Jesus Himself was sent out by His Father.

As one studies the Great Commission one should notice that the Lord Jesus has not left His followers powerless in the mission which He has called them to.  He states in Matthew that all power is given to Jesus and therefore the church is commanded to go and know that I am with her.  In both John and Luke the Lord directly refers to the ministry and power of the Holy Ghost which was to be made available to the church regarding her mission.  In Mark the visible signs of that power are shown to the early church as confirmation concerning its authenticity until the work of the New Testament was completed.

In these accounts of the Great Commission the Lord expounds upon the mission.  The church is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world, starting at Jerusalem.  The church is to bear witness of the Lord and share with the world that personal knowledge of Jesus.  The church is to preach repentance and remission of sins first of all.  The church is to evangelize the lost.  The church must go into the entire world and do this; at work, at home, at school and everywhere in between.   The church must never lose sight of this most important of goals.

In addition to the power and evangelism of the church, she is to disciple these new believers to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The process of discipleship begins with simple obedience to follow the Lord in baptism.  The Lord expects from His children willing obedience.  The church must teach this.

Following salvation and baptism, the church must move to make these new converts to Jesus true disciples of Jesus.  The church itself must learn and apply the words and the commands of Jesus and teach others to follow Him.  A disciple will produce godly fruit in his or her life.  There will be the fruit of the Spirit and also the fruit of another believer.  The Great Commission doesn’t stop at evangelism.  Seeing people saved without training and teaching them to follow the Lord is abusive to that new believer as well as the Lord.  The word disciple incorporates not only the teaching or receiving of information, but rather the transformation of the disciple to be like his master through that teaching.  It is the fundamental need for the church today.  The church must not stop with doing only one third of the Great Commission, we must move forward and train people to reach others and train them to do the same.

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