The Great Commission: 4 Truths Every Christian Must Know

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The Great Commission is in Matthew 28:19-20. It is Christ’s last command before He ascends to Heaven. This commission is vital to Christianity. Therefore, Christians need to know the fundamental truths about it.

First, Christ’s Great Commission to the church is to preach the gospel to the world. Secondly, to teach the commands of the Lord Jesus Christ to those who responded to the gospel. Therefore, the great commission is both evangelism and discipleship.

Christ gave the Great Commission to the church.

Some say Christ gave the Great Commission to the disciples or believers. There’s nothing wrong with this idea. However, a closer look at the scriptures shows that Christ gave the Great Commission specifically to the church.

Christ mentions that He will build His church in Matthew 16:18. He talks about this in the future tense. For this reason, we know that the Lord Jesus intends to establish the church personally. I don’t believe that the apostles established the church as others believe.

Notice also that Christ teaches the disciples about church discipline in Matthew 18. Why would Christ teach about church discipline if there was no church yet? So it’s my personal belief that Jesus had already established the church between the events of Matthew 16 and 18.

And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

Matthew 18:17

The disciples and the believers who were with Christ before He ascended to Heaven were church members. Therefore, the Lord Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission to the church.

Consequently, it is the church’s job to fulfill the Great Commission.

The first half of the Great Commission is evangelism.

And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:15

Evangelism is the preaching of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. And the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven as taught by the Bible (1 Corinthians 15:1-4.)

Since Jesus Christ gave the Great Commission to the church, it’s the church’s job to evangelize the whole world. That’s why the church must go out and confront people with the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must understand that a church that does not go out and reach people with the gospel is not doing the job Christ entrusted them.

If we understand the gravity of our obligation, we will be ready to preach the gospel to others. And we will not be ashamed to declare the gospel of Christ.

15So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. 16For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Romans 1:15-16

We must understand that Christ saved us because someone reached out to us with the gospel. Therefore, we must also reach out to others who have not heard the gospel yet.

The second half of the Great Commission is discipleship.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

After evangelizing people, it is also the church’s job to teach these people about the commands of Christ. This is discipleship. The Great Commission does not end in evangelism. The church must also disciple the new converts.

Moreover, the best way to disciple new converts is to bring them to church. The church is where the preaching of God’s Word teaches believers to live holy. And the church also trains believers to serve God.

11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:11-12

God gave pastors and teachers to the churches to teach the people the Word of God. The goal of teaching new converts is spiritual maturity. New converts must be spiritually mature so that they can do the work of God effectively. As a result, they contribute to edifying the body of Christ.

Therefore, the church should not stop in evangelism. Instead, the church must strive to disciple the fruits of evangelism.

Christ’s promise for those who fulfill the Great Commission.

19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19-20

Fulfilling the Great Commission is a difficult task. However, it is possible since God’s grace and power sustain those who do the work of the Lord. But let us not forget that doing the will of God involves persecution, problems, and perils.

The Apostles, Stephen, the early church, and the faithful men and women who fulfilled the Great Commission experienced problems, persecutions, and perils. But they continued to do the work of the Lord even at the cost of their life.

If they experienced all those difficulties, we could expect the same difficulties when we obey Christ’s command to fulfill the Great Commission.

However, Jesus Christ promised His presence would be with those fulfilling the Great Commission. This must give us the comfort of God’s presence. And the realization that Christ is working with us.

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Mark 16:20

We can never fulfill the Great Commission on our own. But since the presence of Christ is with us, and He’s working with us, we’ll be able to fulfill the great commission.

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