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THE GREAT COMMISSION

What is the core mission of Christianity? What is the ultimate purpose of being a follower of Jesus Christ? The answer to these questions can be found in the Great Commission, the pivotal mandate Jesus gave to His disciples after His resurrection and before His ascension to heaven. This commission is a historical event and a living and breathing call to action that transcends time and geography. It is the essence of the Christian mission, the foundation of Christian evangelism, and the challenge for every Christian to participate in God’s plan for the world.

 

The Great Commission is documented in three accounts within the New Testament. Matthew’s account presents Jesus proclaiming all authority in heaven and on earth, instructing us to make disciples of all nations through baptism and teaching obedience to His teachings, with the assurance of His constant presence (Matthew 28:18-20). Mark emphasizes the call to preach the gospel globally, linking belief and baptism to salvation (Mark 16:15-16). Luke highlights the necessity of preaching repentance and forgiveness of sins in Christ’s name, starting from Jerusalem (Luke 24:46-47).

 

This commission marks a departure from the earlier, more restricted mission solely focused on the Israelites, expanding the outreach to all nations, signifying a shift to a global, inclusive mission. It underscores the authority of Christ, the geographical and moral scope of the mission, and the promise of Jesus’ perpetual support.

 

The Great Commission is foundational for Christian evangelism, setting forth the conditions for salvation and the importance of faith, repentance, and baptism. It calls for lifelong learning and adhering to Jesus’ teachings. The early church exemplified this commitment, rapidly spreading the gospel despite persecution and increasing both in numbers and devotion.

 

The spread of the gospel in the early church, as seen in the Acts of the Apostles, illustrates the fulfillment of the Great Commission through the Apostles’ and early Christians’ efforts. Their dedication led to widespread evangelism, reaching diverse regions and groups and establishing a strong, growing community of believers.

 

This mission remains crucial for contemporary Christianity, emphasizing the need for persistent, widespread evangelism. It challenges modern Christians to embrace the original zeal and commitment of the early church, employing both traditional and innovative methods to share the gospel. The task requires profound dedication, prayer, wisdom, and love, recognizing the transformative power of the gospel to change lives.

 

The Great Commission, emphasizing authority, inclusivity, and perpetual guidance, is a testament to the enduring call for Christians to evangelize, making disciples of all nations. It encapsulates the essence of the Christian mission, urging believers to spread the gospel’s transformative message through teaching, baptism, and a steadfast commitment to Jesus’ teachings, ensuring the gospel’s reach extends to every corner of the earth.

 

As we contemplate the significant mandate of the Great Commission, every Christian must understand the urgency and privilege of participating in this divine mission. While this is an ancient commandment, it is a living, breathing call to action that transcends time and geography. The task before us is colossal, but we are not called to be mere spectators of faith but active participants in a movement that can transform hearts and nations.

 

Let this be a clear and urgent call for each of us to rise, step beyond the comfort of our congregations, and engage the world with the gospel’s transformative power. In our conversations, relationships, and every corner of our lives, let us be relentless in sharing the love, grace, and salvation offered through Jesus. The fields are ripe for harvest, and the time is now. Let us go forth with courage, love, and the unwavering support of the One who commissioned us, knowing that in this divine endeavor, we are never alone.

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