I hear all the time ministries that make the claim “We are following The Great Commission”. What is this command? Who was Jesus giving this command to? More importantly, are people today really following the “Great Commission”?
The “Great Commission” was a Divine Order from a resurrected Christ unto His chosen eleven disciples. Keep in mind that He personally trained these men for three years prior to this command;
Matthew 28: 16-20 ESV
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Pay attention to whom Jesus was speaking to and what He was commanding them to do. The three commands were:
1). Make disciples of all nations
2). Baptize in the name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit
3). Teach the nations to observe His commandments
Remember, it took Christ THREE years to disciple these eleven men. If it took Him that long, how long do you think it would take someone like you or me?
Now I’d like to direct you to the Gospel of Mark 16: 15-18;
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Now we get an even closer look at who He appointed for this commission. Notice what He told them they’d be able to do in His Name;
1). whoever believed and were baptized would be saved
2). they would be able to cast out demons
3). they would speak new tongues
4). they would be able to pick up serpents with their hands
5). deadly poison wouldn’t hurt them
6). they would be able to lay hands on the sick and the sick would recover
Have you ever witnessed in a language you’ve never learned? Ever drank a deadly poison and lived without receiving an antidote? Ever picked up a serpent? Cast out any demons recently? If you are truly “called” to follow the “Great Commission” then where are the results? Why aren’t hospitals full of sick people being healed? The ones that Jesus chose for this mission did all of that and more.
So, are we to take this commission literally? After all, the words are in red, right? For those who answer yes, tell me something? Have you sold all you have and given it to the poor (Matthew 19:21)? That command is also in red. If it’s that important to follow one command, then shouldn’t it be equally as important to follow all of the commands?
What each of us is called to do is disciple others and to teach them the meaning of living a Christian life. Have you discipled each member of your family? Friends? Co-workers? Neighbors? If the answer is no, then this is probably your missionary field. You have a mission field right in your own backyard and all that’s required is your time and knowledge of the Word of God (2Timothy 2:15).
Jesus told His Disciples that the harvest is plenty but the workers are few (Matthew 9:37-38). I suggest that your harvest field is right outside your front door, if it’s even that far away.
There are countless ministries that claim to be following the “Great Commission that clearly aren’t. Whether they are confused or just don’t care is something I don’t have the answer to. Some motives are more clear then others and it’s up to you to determine whether the ministry you’re funding is on the up and up or not.