The Christian Life

The Great Commission Part 2

The Great Commission

 

I want to share with you something that I know is very much on God’s heart, the Great Commission. I want to encourage you to get involved in God’s Master Plan of winning the lost and establishing new believers in the faith. Doing this is a guaranteed way to see God at work in your life, and for God to do amazing things through you, which will result in eternal fruit and rewards.

 

 

To help you get an idea of what God can do through you, I want to start by sharing with you

 

We are to: “GO and PREACH.” This does not mean we have to shout, but to PROCLAIM the truth of God’s word. The heart of our responsibility is the Proclamation of Christ: Who He is and what He has done, trusting the Holy-Spirit to convict them, rather than trusting in our ability to persuade, argue, reason, and convince them, for ultimately: “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9).

 

If they get saved, it will be ultimately through the supernatural ministry and revelation of the Spirit, not by our cleverness, charm or strength of personality. However, the Spirit needs us to share the words of the Gospel, for God’s Spirit works with His Word. We are not called to win every argument or answer every hard question or objection, so don’t worry about that! We are simply called to present the Gospel with conviction of faith and with love, trusting in the Spirit to confirm to them the truth of what we are saying.

 

Thus we are like a HERALD who has come before the King and received His Message to PROCLAIM throughout the Land. We have been SENT and authorised by Him to DECLARE His Message as best we can, and not to hold it back. If they believe it, but are slow to respond, we are to encourage them to recive Christ. But if they have issues and objections, or even if they reject it out of hand, that is not our problem. They will have to answer to the King. Once we have shared, we have discharged our responsibility.

 

We have seen that Jesus commands us in Mark 16:15: “GO into ALL the world and PREACH the Gospel to EVERY Creature.” 

 

Then in Mark 16:16, He describes the Results: 

“He who believes and is baptized will be SAVED; 

but he who does not believe will be CONDEMNED.”

 

This reveals the seriousness of our Mission, their eternal destiny is at stake. There is a Heaven to gain, and a Hell to shun!

 

Notice that there are only 2 possible responses to the Gospel. Either they will believe it or not. Notice that Jesus assumed and expects that those who believe it and receive Jesus as their Lord will obey Him and be baptised in water as an outward sign and confirmation of their faith, for faith without the outward evidence of corresponding actions is dead, that is, it is not genuine. 

 

Thus, the first Command of Jesus to those who BELIEVE the Gospel is to be BAPTISED in WATER. It is obvious that Jesus is talking here about BELIEVER’S BAPTISM, not Infant Baptism. Moreover, by the very meaning of the word ‘BAPTISM’, He means IMMERSION in water, not just a sprinkling. Thus, after sharing the Gospel, we are to teach new believers that they must declare their faith by being baptised by full immersion in water.

 

Mark also promises the supernatural anointing of the Holy Spirit which will confirm our Message:

 

Mark 16:17-18: “And these Signs will follow those who believe: In My Name they will cast out demons they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

 

Mark 16:19-20: “So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into Heaven, and sat down at the Right Hand of God. And they went out and PREACHED everywhere, the LORD WORKING WITH them and confirming the Word (of the Gospel) through the Signs following (the Word).” 

 

*4. The Great Commission in MATTHEW

Matthew 28:18-20: “Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All AUTHORITY has been given to Me in Heaven and on Earth. GO therefore (in My authority, Name - SENT, authorised) and make DISCIPLES of ALL the nations (baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you) and lo, I am with you always, even to the End of the Age.”

 

Again we see that Jesus has AUTHORISED us to GO with His Message. Of all the 4 passages on the Great Commission, this states our our authorisation most strongly. Jesus has received ALL Authority from God, and now using that authority, He delegates to us the authority we need to fulfil His Mission. This is the Great Commission! He is sending us to GO to all people and make them into Disciples of Jesus.

 

how Billy Graham's Ministry Began:

 

It all started with a visit- a Sunday School teacher named Mr. Kimball in 1858 led a Boston shoe clerk to give his life to Jesus.

 

The clerk, Dwight L. Moody, became an evangelist.

In England in 1879, he awakened evangelistic zeal in the heart of F.B. Meyer, Pastor of a small Church.

 

F.B. Meyer, preaching to an American college campus, brought to Christ a student named J. Wilbur Chapman.

 

Chapman engaged in YMCA work. He employed a former baseball player, Billy Sunday, to do evangelistic work.

 

Billy Sunday held a revival in Charlotte, North Carolina. A group of local men were so enthusiastic afterward that they planned another evangelistic campaign, bringing Mordecai Hamm to town.During Hamm's Revival a young man named Billy Graham heard the Gospel and gave his life to Christ.

 

* Only eternity will reveal the tremendous impact of that one Sunday School teacher who invested his life in the lives of others.Billy Graham went on to lead hundreds of thousands to Christ and through those converts, untold millions more! All because Mr. Kimball was faithful in the first place to visit an ordinary man and lead him to Christ! 

 

You see, everything we do has a ripple effect into the future. 

For every act of love, every time you sow a seed: by witnessing to Christ, or encouraging and teaching God’s Word to a new believer, there is an eternal harvest. When you sow God’s Word into someone’s life, they will then sow into other lives, and so on. In that way, the Word is multiplied. When you lead someone to Christ, or even just have a part in it (normally people need a number of witnesses before they respond and give their lives to Christ), you will also have a part in everything they do for the Lord from then on! So, for example, if they bring 5 people to the Lord, and then each of those 5 bring another 5 to the Lord and so on..., then simply by witnessing to that one person you will have set into motion a chain of events that will lead to MANY other people coming to the Lord. So you don’t have to be a great preacher to have a big impact. You just have to be a faithful witness.

*Will you invest your life in the lives of others?

 

God has revealed His priorities in 1Timothy 2:3,4: 

 

“This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, Who (1) desires ALL men to be SAVED, 

and (2) to come to the knowledge of the Truth (of the Word).”

 

(1) God’s first Priority is that He wants all men to be saved, and since they are saved through the preaching of the Gospel, His first priority for us is that we witness and share the Gospel of Christ.

 

(2) His 2nd Priority is that once they are saved, they come to the knowledge of His Truth, that is His Word. Jesus said:

 

John 8:31,32,36: “If you abide in My WORD, you are My DISCIPLES indeed, and you shall know the TRUTH 

(of the Word), and the TRUTH shall make you free.... 

Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

 

Therefore His 2nd Priority for us is that we disciple new believers, leading them into the knowledge of the Truth of God’s Word.

 

These 2 Priorities are perfectly confirmed by the Great Commission which consists of the final and therefore the most important Words of the RESURRECTED Lord Jesus Christ before He ascended. 

 

*It is the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion, 

so it should not be the Great Omission!

*The Great Commission is recorded in all 4 Gospels: 

 

*1. The Great Commission in JOHN

John 20:20-22: “He showed them His hands and His side. 

Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. 

So Jesus said to them again, “PEACE to you! 

As the Father has SENT Me, I also SEND you.” 

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, 

and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

 

First, Jesus said: “PEACE to you!” First, of course, we must receive the PEACE with God that Jesus offers us through His Death. Then we can share the Good-News of that Peace with others.

 

Second, He said: “As the Father has SENT Me, I also SEND you.” Jesus is our Pioneer and Example. In the same way that He was sent by His Father, so likewise He is now sending us. 

 

Jesus was SENT by the Father. This means He was appointed and commissioned and authorised by the WORD of the FATHER. Likewise we are commissioned and authorised by the WORD of Christ (the Great Commission) to fulfil a Mission in the earth. 

 

Moreover, Christ is sending us to continue the same Mission that God sent Him to do. He was SENT to seek and save the lost: 

Luke 19:10: “The Son of man is come to SEEK and SAVE that which was LOST.” 

 

1Timothy 1:15: “Christ Jesus came into the world to SAVE sinners.” 

 

Therefore Jesus is sending us to SEEK and SAVE lost sinners! This means we are not to wait for them to come to us and ask: “What can I do to be saved?”, but we are to SEEK and SAVE the lost, we are to be proactive and SEEK them out and SAVE them. We must initiate, by going to them and reaching out to them.

 

Thirdly, Jesus is sending us with the same Anointing and Power of the Holy Spirit that He was anointed with by God! That’s why immediately after He said: “As the Father has SENT Me, I also SEND you”...He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” 

 

He was anointed and empowered to PREACH the Gospel to the spiritually poor (those who need salvation), and to HEAL the sick and hurting, and PROCLAIM release to the captives.

 

Luke 4:18,19: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has ANOINTED Me to PREACH the GOSPEL to the poor (needy). He has SENT Me to HEAL the brokenhearted, 

to PROCLAIM liberty to the captives, and recovery of sight 

to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; 

to proclaim the Acceptable (Jubilee-Grace) Year of the Lord.”

*2. The Great Commission in LUKE

 

Luke 24:46-49: “Thus it is written, and thus it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead the 3rd day, and that repentance and remission of sins should be PREACHED in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. 

And you are witnesses of these things. Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the City of Jerusalem until you are endued with Power from on High.” 

 

*First of all, Jesus said it was necessary for Him to suffer and die for our sins, in order to purchase our Salvation, and then to rise from the dead on the 3rd Day. In doing this, He fulfilled Prophecy.

 

*But then He said, it was also prophesied and necessary that: “REPENTANCE and REMISSION (FORGIVENESS) of sins should be PREACHED in His Name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” It is necessary that the Gospel be preached in order for people to believe in Christ and receive the Salvation He offers them through His Death on the Cross. We are to preach REPENTANCE, that is: Change your thinking and turn around and TRUST in Christ alone for your Salvation, rather than in yourself. We are also to preach the FORGIVENESS of sins through Christ. 

 

Putting this all together, we are to tell them that Christ has paid in full for their sins through His Death and that He has risen from the dead on the 3rd Day (showing that God has accepted His Sacrifice). 

He did all of this in fulfilment of the Old Testament Prophecies. 

On the basis of His finished work, He now freely offers them the Gift of Forgiveness. All they have to do is turn around from going their own way of trusting in themselves and coming to Christ and put all their trust in Him and receive His Free-Gift of Forgiveness. 

 

*Then, He made it clear that He was sending His Disciples to preach this Message: “And YOU are witnesses of these things.”

In other words, “You are My WITNESSES.” He was SENDING (authorising) to preach the Gospel of Christ, and call men to repentance so that they might receive the forgiveness of their sins.

 

*Finally, He promised to give them the Power of the Holy-Sprit to help them accomplish this task: “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the City of Jerusalem until you are endued with Power from on High.”

 

He confirmed this in Acts 1 (the continuation of Luke’s Gospel):

 

Acts 1:8: “You shall receive POWER when the HOLY SPIRIT has come upon you; and you shall be WITNESSES to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Again, we see that Jesus APPOINTS and ANOINTS us to be His witnesses. He SENDS us to all the people of the earth, authorising us to witness to Him, and empowering us by His Spirit. We see a common theme of all 4 Gospels: 

(1) He SENDS (AUTHORISES) US 

to speak the saving WORDS of the Gospel and 

(2) He ANOINTS us with the POWER of the Holy-Spirit.

 

*3. The Great Commission in MARK

Mark 16:15-18: “He said to them, “GO into ALL the world and PREACH the Gospel to EVERY Creature.” 

 

“GO into ALL the world.” The 1st 2 letters of GOD are ‘GO’! This means that we are to GO to them (not to wait for them to come to you, saying: “How can I be saved?”)! We are to take the initiative and be pro-active, and reach-out to them.

 

To whom are we to GO? We have been authorised here by the words of Jesus to go to ALL the world and preach the Gospel to EVERY creature. Those are our standing orders from our Lord. We don’t need any additional authorisation or spiritual confirmation before we should witness to someone. It is not for us to judge if they are open or ready to recive our witness. Our responsibility is to go and preach and to leave the result to God. He promises to work with us and with our words as we go and preach His Message. We are not to assume that we should not witness to someone unless the Lord tells us to. Rather, we must assume that it is His will to witness to them, unless He tells us otherwise.

 

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