What is The Great Commission?
by Karen Bejjani
Have you heard the term, The Great Commission? It’s a term that has been used fairly recently in Church history, and it’s often equated to missions. If you are like most U.S. churchgoers, you may not know the term or be able to recall what it means. (Barna Research). That’s okay, I’ve got your back. Here are the verses that contain what’s referred to as The Great Commission.
“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.” Matthew [28:19]-20 ESV
As you read these verses, what is your impression about what Jesus meant when He said, “go make disciples of all nations?” I thought these verses were a special calling for super-Christian missionaries who went overseas to share the gospel. I didn’t think it meant I should share my faith here. That idea fastened into my subconscious like super-glue well into adulthood.
What About The Great Commission?
As the world changed, I didn’t notice the mosques, gurdwaras, stupas, and temples multiplying in small towns and big cities across North America. The mainstream churches I attended never talked about reaching these new neighbors of other faiths and nations for Jesus here. There were no classes on how to share my faith with people from other nations. We weren’t thinking about fulfilling The Great Commission here.
Life in my suburban Christian bubble was filled to the brim with raising a family, growing my career, volunteering. I never noticed the growing number of people from other faiths and cultures around me. And it never occurred to me to intentionally seek them out or to share the good news of Jesus. The Lord might have been wooing people to himself all around us, and my friends and I never noticed. We were focused on raising our families, keeping safe, and pursuing the great American dream. How about you?
It crushes me now to realize this: In my generation, the percentage of Americans who identify as Christian has slid dramatically from ninety-three percent to sixty-five percent. (Pew Research). Where I live now in the buckle of America’s Bible-belt, there are eight nations represented in my cul-de-sac alone. Does it trouble you as much as it does me that Christianity’s rapid decline has happened here in our lifetime?
It’s ironic. We are free to share our faith here, yet most Christians aren’t, and Christianity is declining fast. Meanwhile, in parts of the world where you can be killed for sharing your faith, such as China and Iran, Christianity is growing fast.
A Kairos Moment
This is a wake-up call for our generation. If the trajectory of Christianity’s decline and Islam’s growth continues unchecked, Muslims are projected to outnumber Christians within just a few generations in Europe, Canada, and even here in America. This is a problem. Christians and Muslims alike who live in modern-day Islamic-ruled nations lack religious freedoms and face extreme difficulties. I don’t want this kind of life for my children’s children. Do you?
Look, Jesus called us to be His witnesses and tell non-believers in our suburbs, our nations, and the world the Good News (see Acts 1:8). If we believe what the Bible plainly declares—that our sovereign God is calling a great multitude of people to be His own—we must also embrace the wonderful, breathtaking privilege to proclaim the hope of Jesus so that “all the earth will be filled with the glory of the Lord” (Numbers [14:21], AMP).
What Holds You Back?
So, what holds you back? Distractions kept Paige from telling others the Good News of Jesus. She grew up in the Church yet struggled to understand the heart of God. She knew she should love her new neighbors from other faiths and cultures yet wrestled with insecurities. Then she discovered two simple things that put everything into place. Now she’s experiencing joy and adventure she never imagined. Paige’s story will inspire and embolden you to see yourself in God’s Great Commission story. Listen to her podcast HERE.
Tags: The Great Commission, Share the Gospel, Evangelism