Before Jesus’ ascension into heaven, He gave His followers very speci c instructions to be carried out here on earth. Mark 16:15 tells us that we are to, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel.” We are to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ so that lost sinners in the world “may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sancti ed by faith in [God]” (Acts 26:18).
Matthew 28:18-20 goes even further in explaining this job description. Jesus says to his disciples, as well as to you and I, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” In these verses, Christ tells us that He has been given all authority. We, in light of His authority, are to go to all nations and make disciples, teaching them all He has commanded.
There are three distinct commands that Christ gives to His followers in these two passages: to preach His Good News, to baptize new believers, and to disciple them in His teachings.
In these passages, when Christ says words like world and all creation, where does He mean? In Acts 1:8, Jesus says to His disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” If we take our cue from this direction, we need to begin evangelizing in our home communities. This is what Jerusalem was for the disciples. Simply following this direction, we spread out from our home communities to neighboring towns, eventually reaching across our own nation. The ultimate goal of the Great Commission is that we would reach to the “remotest part of the earth.”
Christ then reassures His disciples, as well as you and I, that He will be with us “to the end of the age” and that we do not need to fear. The need for Christians to do this is stressed in Romans 10:13-15: “For whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved. How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?” These verses show us that unless Christians take up the command of Christ to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel,” sinners will not be able to hear the Good News. If sinners don’t hear the Good News, they cannot have the opportunity to believe. If they do not have the opportunity to believe, they cannot be saved.
It is our hope and prayer that you will take what the Lord teaches you through His Word and apply it to your life. By doing so, you will begin leading others to Christ, thus ful lling the commission He gave us.
- Where and how are you, the follower of Christ, carrying out The Great Commission in your life?