What is the Great Commission to us today?
The Barna Group recently wrote an article detailing a study that showed that a large portion of the church could not answer the question “What is the Great Commission?” This is a huge challenge for modern-day Christianity.
Check out the Barna Group’s great commission survey.
The Great Commission refers to the instructions that the resurrected Jesus left to the church in how they (we) should commit our lives to the world in which we live. He says in Matt 28:18-20
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus instructed the early church to continue to spread the Gospel beyond His ascension to heaven (Acts 1) and to make disciples of all nations. The word nations here is “ethnos” which means tribes or multitudes of people.
Jesus ushered in a new covenant between man and God in which all people, regardless of race, gender, or stature had the opportunity to accept the gift of salvation. It was up to the church to deliver the news to the nations.
This was not accomplished without trials and tribulations. The early church went through a ton of adversity.
Today in America, we have it pretty easy. Sure, we deal with some pushback, but it’s nothing like the first century. Actually, we have gotten pretty comfortable, which is perhaps why over half the church can’t answer the question “What is the Great Commission?”
What is the Great Commission? | Evangelism and Discipleship
Great Commission Step 1: The Work of an Evangelist
The Great Commission is a command from Jesus to spread the good news that God loves them. Believers should ready to tell anyone and everyone that with Jesus that they can have eternal life.
Eternal life isn’t a free pass to all of humanity, it is a gift. It is a gift that we need to share and also one that needs to be accepted by those who hear about it.
Eternal life cannot be earned by good deeds. It is by God’s Grace alone, through belief in His Son, that we can overcome physical death and live forever with God.
Like the early church, it is our duty to share this truth with the world. It is an amazing feeling to share the Gospel with someone and to witness them accept the gift of salvation.
But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry. 2 Timothy 4:5
This is not, however, where the Great Commission ends. In fact, it is only the beginning of the journey.
Great Commission Step 2: A Call to Discipleship
The next step is to make disciples. Discipleship is the process in which a person learns what it means to be a Christian. A Christian is defined as a believer in Jesus Christ and His teachings. As believers in Christ, we also strive to live our lives as He did. This takes work, commitment, and sacrifice. Often what we want to do is contrary to what Jesus commanded. We are to commit to our own discipleship so that we may remain true to the calling of a Christian.
By this we can be sure that we have come to know Him: if we keep His commandments. 1 John 2:3
As the church, we are here to encourage one another on our journey to be more like Jesus.
Find someone who you trust and who is also on a journey to understand the Word of God. Study with them. Learn from them. Let them learn from you.
Scripture tells us that we sharpen one another when we come together. (Proverbs 27:17) Be accountable to one another.
Next, be willing to share what you learn with others. You will encounter people that are ready to accept Christ and embark on the journey of getting to know him. Once that happens, commit to walking that journey of faith with them.
A person that commits to discipleship lives a rewarding life. It is exactly what the early church did by duplicating themselves through a commitment to one another.
At Sound of Heaven, we have a system for discipleship. Christians come together for one to one study of the foundational principles of Christianity.
We have seen some amazing testimonies where Christians of all experience levels have benefitted from working together to draw closer to God.
The Great Commission turned the world upside down in the first century and is just as relevant today. Every day a new generation is born that needs to know the love of God. We the church will always be here to share the Good News.
Did we answer the question “What is the great commission?” for you? Let us know!