What is the Great Commission? January 28, 2022

What is the Great Commission?, the great commission, when was the great commission used? where is the great commission in the Bible?

What is the Great Commission?

All of my life I have heard preachers speak of “the great commission.” The term is a reference to the final command that Christ gave to His disciples and to the New Testament church. It is great both because it is given by the authority of the Lord Jesus and because it impacts the eternal souls of men. Scripture records Christ’s great commission for us 5 times (Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15, Luke 24:46-48, John 20:21, and Acts 1:8).

If our Lord says something once it demands our attention. When the same command is repeated throughout Scripture it is a Holy Spirit inspired emphasis. It is a reminder that must not be forgotten! Each of the four gospel writers records the great commission in his own unique way. (Luke records it twice!) Each account is given in a varied setting but all agree on the one thing Christ has given us to do – get the gospel out and bring people in.

One Command, Five Places in Scripture

  • Matthew 28:18-20. The first gospel record reveals Christ as the King of the Jews. It is full of Old Testament references and fulfilled prophecies of the Messiah. It is significant then that Matthew is the first to tell us that the heart of God and the message of Christ is for “all nations…unto the end of the earth.” As Paul would later write: “to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16).
  • Mark 16:15. The gospel of action gives the most succinct statement of Christ’s command. So simple. So profound. “Go…preach.” It is important to recognize that this plain imperative is found in the record that reveals Christ as the perfect, obedient Servant. As surely as He obeyed the Father we are to obey Him.
  • Luke 24:46-48. We know that the gospel is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and all of the implications of His work (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Luke’s primary emphasis is on the witness to the resurrection. God chose a physician to emphasize the supernatural – Christ did what even medicine could not do: He rose from the dead!
  • John 20:21. The final gospel record provides an interpretation of the other accounts. It is fitting that John’s statement then emphasizes the peace that Christ brings and the charge that we have been given to share that peace with others. Our message is not just history; it is a present-tense salvation.
  • Acts 1:8. Often called “the fifth gospel record,” Acts tells us of the continuing work of Christ through the Holy Spirit in His church. In this last great commission record, we have the progress of the gospel. We find its beginning in Jerusalem and continuing to “the uttermost part of the earth.”

Our Response to the Great Commission

If the commission is so great then so will our accountability be when we stand before Jesus someday! First-century believers took the commission seriously and personally. They literally carried the gospel to the known world in a generation (Colossians 1:6, 23). Last day Christians will have much to answer for at the judgment seat; we have wasted so much energy on things that did not matter.

Yes, the great commission is given to the church. But the church is made up of individuals. The only way the great commission will ever be carried out is for individuals to obey it. The great commission has to become personal. How many times does God have to say it and how many times do we have to hear it before we begin to obey?

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  1. Raymond Ricard on January 28, 2022 at 11:37 AM

    Thank you dear brother Pauley for this reminder.
    We forget fast the clear command of our dear Lord, often because I let the old flesh respond and not the Spirit prompting.

    • scottpauley on February 1, 2022 at 11:43 PM

      Me too! We all need reminders.

  2. Rebecca on February 3, 2022 at 1:11 PM

    I don’t often comment, but I truly appreciate you taking the time out of your day to give us these studies, the one today really helped my heart.
    I had a rough night last night, I don’t know what was happening (I kept waking up like something was wrong.)
    I know every time I woke up I prayed… it was a really rough night.
    That could’ve been a small storm the Lord was just telling me just trust Him!
    I really appreciate the message the Lord put on your heart today it really helped me!!!

    • Rebecca on February 3, 2022 at 1:12 PM

      Sorry don’t know how I posted on this particular one but it was meant for then join the journey today’s post

      • scottpauley on February 4, 2022 at 12:10 PM

        No trouble. Thanks!

    • scottpauley on February 4, 2022 at 12:10 PM

      Grateful for how the Lord is helping you. Thanks for taking time to let us know!

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