If you follow the last days of Jesus’ ministry on earth, no matter which Biblical source you look at, He is always pointing his followers to others. In Matthew, He tells them to “go and make disciples of all nations.” In Mark, He tells them to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” In Luke, He says that “repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations.” In John, He tells Peter to “feed my lambs…take care of my sheep…feed my sheep.” In Acts, He says to those gathered on the Mount of Olives that they “shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” The last instructions that Jesus gave to his followers on earth were to reach others. His desire was that they would be more than disciples, but disciple-makers.
The old saying goes that if you catch a man a fish, he will eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, he will eat for a lifetime. If you teach someone to be a disciple, you may save a soul; but if you teach someone to be a disciple-maker, who knows how many will be saved!
So how do you and I go about living the Great Commission? How do we go about fulfilling God’s call to reach the ends of the earth?
Great Commission living is about a vision. God’s vision from the creation of the world was that man would love Him. God’s vision is still, despite our rebellion, that “no one should perish, but that everyone would come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). God’s vision is that at the end of time, people from every tribe, tongue, and nation would worship around His throne. We must share God’s vision for a lost and dying world.
Great Commission living is about a partnership. In Eph. 4:11, Paul indicates that some are called some to be apostles, while others are called to be prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. He told the Corinthians that the church is to be one body with many parts – partners in fulfilling God’s purposes. If the world is going to be reached with the Gospel, some of us must go. Some of us must be prayer warriors, fighting spiritual battles on our knees. Some of us must give, supporting God’s work with our finances.
Great Commission living is about living the Greatest Commandment. We must love the Lord our God with all our hearts and with all our souls and with all our minds, and we must love others as much as we love ourselves – everything comes from this! If we do not selflessly represent the heart of God to the world, they will never come to Him.
With these thoughts in mind, we must ask ourselves: am I living the Great Commission? Some of us need to get on our knees and put our faces to the floor and tell the Lord that we are not moving until we catch a glimpse of His vision for a lost and dying world. Some of us need to ask the Lord to show us how and where He would have us serve. Some of us need to ask the Lord to teach us what it means to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. We all must find our place in God’s Great Commission.
~ Matt Kinnell
NHIM Board Chairman