In Your Bible Read This Out Loud:
Memorise This Verse: Mark 16:15
‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’.
Afterwards Talk About This:
The references that Jesus made towards the Great Commission and their
implications for the church.
Something To Do Before Next Time:
Pray for a group of people who have never heard the gospel.
Written Diploma Work: List
all the scriptures where Jesus referred to the Great Commission.
Meditate Word By Word On This Verse:
Having established an Old Testament basis
for the Great Commission and the relevant scriptures which looked
forward to the New Testament fulfilment, this section will look at this
New Testament realisation of the Old Testament promise. Primarily, the
Great Commission was started in the person of Jesus when he preached
first of all in Israel however, the preaching of the gospel was never
meant just for Israel and the Jews but for the whole world. Ultimately,
it is Jesus who issues the Great Commission to his disciples, and not
only to them, but to all who follow him, the Great Commission is the
master plan of God that his church should be working towards.
In Matthew 24:1-35 Jesus responds to a
question about the end times and outlines some of the traumatic events
that will happen before he returns again. However in the midst of his
description of the end times, in verse 14 he states that something very
definite must happen before he can return – namely, the whole world
will hear the gospel ‘And this gospel of the Kingdom will be preached
in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will
come’. Consequently, Jesus has bound himself by his word and he cannot
and will not return to the earth until his church have taken his gospel
to every ethnic people group in the world. Christians will often say
that, ‘Jesus could return tonight’ this simply is not true as there
are many people groups in the earth today who have never heard the name
of Jesus and do not have a bible. Until they are reached with the
gospel, Jesus will not be able to return to the earth.
Between his resurrection and his
ascension into heaven, Jesus issues his final command to his disciples
these words are described in 3 of the 4 gospels and these have come to
be known as the Great Commission. Certainly, Jesus would ensure that the
last words he spoke whilst on the earth, to the disciples that he was
leaving behind, would be about the subject closest to his heart. He
issues the irrevocable, eternal commission to his disciples, (and all
his subsequent disciples), to take the gospel to those who have never
heard his name – as can be seen by the scriptures below. As his
disciples watched Jesus ascend into heaven, it would have been these
last words that would be foremost in the minds of the disciples.
- Matthew 28:19
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations’
- Mark 16:15 ‘Go
into all the world and preach the good news to all creation’
- Luke 24:47
‘Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name
to all nations’.
As we turn from the gospels onto the Book
of Acts we see how seriously the early church took it’s command to
take the gospel into the whole world. In Acts 1:8 we see how the early
church waited for the promised Holy Spirit in order to commence the
Great Commission, and this scripture actually quotes the words of Jesus
when he says, ‘You will receive power when the
Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and
in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth’.
Once again, we can see in the words of
Jesus the great emphasis he has placed on his disciples taking the
gospel to the uttermost parts of the earth. The Holy Spirit has
consequently been sent forth to enable the followers of Jesus to
complete the Great Commission those who are walking in step with the
Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:25) will be those who are passionate about the
As you read through the Book of Acts you
find that initially the disciples preached in all of Jerusalem in Acts
5:28 the Apostles are accused by the High Priest, ‘You
have filled Jerusalem with your teaching’. However, as you read
through Acts the disciples don’t stay in Jerusalem but go preaching
into the then known world. For example, when the disciples eventually go
as far as Thessalonica, the Jews who opposed them say in Acts 17:6
‘These men who have caused trouble all over the world have now come
Moreover, Acts 19:10 makes the incredible
statement that the whole of the Province of Asia had heard the gospel!
This represents a fantastic evangelistic effort that was spreading ever
further in it’s outreach. The Book of Acts starts with the disciples
in Jerusalem but ends with Paul preaching the gospel as far away as Rome
the gospel was being taken forever onwards towards the ends of the
Having referred to Paul reaching Rome
with the gospel, what can we say about his views on the Great
Commission? the letters that Paul wrote reveal how the Great Commission
was his thirst and his great ambition. The book of Romans is Paul’s
theological masterpiece and quoted below is one of the most profound
verses in the whole bible that reveals Paul motivation and thinking
towards preaching the gospel. Paul’s great ambition for his life and
ministry was that he could take the gospel to those who had never heard
the name of Jesus. (Notice how he theologically justifies this statement
by quoting Isaiah 52:15 which is one of the scriptures we looked at
previously regarding the Old Testament promise of the Great Commission).
Every Christian surely needs a dream, a plan, a burning ambition for
their Christian lives Paul, this awesome man of God made it his ambition
to take the gospel to those who had never heard it.
‘It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ
was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s
foundation. Rather, as it is written, ‘Those who were not told about
him will see, and those who have not heard will understand’.
(A further indication of Paul’s desire
to take the gospel ever onwards to those who have never heard it can be
found in 2 Corinthians 10:16 ‘…So that we can preach the gospel in
the regions beyond’). Moreover, the worldwide spread and application
of the gospel is spoken of by Paul in Colossians 1:6 when he says,
‘All over the world this gospel is producing fruit and growing’.
Furthermore, as we study the brilliant book of Romans we can see much
further Paul’s great ambition and concern for the Great Commission as
he both opens and closes the book of Romans with references to the Great
Commission. The scriptures below show Paul’s belief and confidence in
the eventual world wide spread and triumph of the gospel.
Romans 1:5 ‘We
received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the
‘…But now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings
by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe
and obey him’.
Finally, in the book of Revelation we can
see how eventually the Great Commission will be completed and one day
there will be people in heaven from every ethnic people grouping as the
gospel will reach to the ends of the earth. Jesus will truly be the
saviour of the world as the knowledge and gospel of his love and
salvation will be preached to the whole world and there will be no
people group that will not bear fruit for the gospel. There must be no
argument therefore that any people group is to hard to reach and too
resistant to the gospel the gospel will win converts to the uttermost
parts of the earth.
Revelation 5:9 ‘You are
worthy to take the scroll and open it’s seals, because you were slain,
and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and
language and people and nation’
‘After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no
one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing
before the throne and in front of the lamb’.
This should encourage us in our giving
that we are investing our money in God’s master plan and heart’s
desire to reach the world with the gospel – there is simply no better
place to invest your money. We are not investing our money into a church
that will be a weak and pitiful remnant that will have to be rescued
from the clutches of the anti-Christ by Jesus when he returns. Our money
is being invested in the world wide eternal Kingdom of God that will one
day rule the world this is why giving to reach the last people groups
who have never heard the gospel is so important. Through our giving we
can ourselves can touch people from every language, tribe and tongue who
will one day stand before the throne of King Jesus.
A House of
Prayer for the Poorer Nations
Pray for Kuwait
1,971,634 people, 87%
Large influx of foreign workers can take the gospel to the people.