“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:18-20).
The command of our Lord is to go to all the nations and to preach the gospel to every “people group.” It is tragic to have to say that after nearly 2,000 years since that commission was given, there are still 4,000 languages with no Bible, over 3,000 people groups with no missionary, and about one million villages with no church. On top of that, only a few have gone to take the gospel message to the 3.5 billion people of the world’s population that are difficult to reach: mainly Muslims, Buddhists, and Hindus. At the same time, the church in America is spending over 99% of its resources on building and maintaining itself where it already is and less than 1% on extending its reach into places where it has not gone.
This was certainly not the apostle Paul’s strategy. Rather, he wrote to the believers at Rome these words: “Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand” (Romans 15:20).
The great missionary statesman Oswald J. Smith once said, “Why should anyone hear the gospel twice before everyone has heard it once?” And yet, there are many Christians today who are seemingly unconcerned about foreign missions. But when those who have received God’s forgiveness have the opportunity to give the message to millions, but don’t — that’s injustice!
In his excellent little book, Autopsy of a Deceased Church, which I have read and heartily recommend, author Thom S. Rainer writes, “Thriving churches have the Great Commission as the centerpiece of their vision, while dying churches have forgotten the clear command of Christ.”
The Great Commission is not the “great suggestion.” It is the marching orders of the church, given by our Commander-in-Chief. We are to “go.” And as we go, we are to make disciples. We are to baptize. We are to teach. Anything less is disobedience to our Lord Jesus Christ.
Would you be willing to make the following prayer commitment to the Lord?
“Dear God, help me to remember that I am to be a Great Commission Christian in a Great Commission church. Remind me that, in Your strength and by Your grace, I am to do whatever it takes to reach the lost both at home and around the world with the transforming power of the gospel of Christ. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Beloved, let’s not allow the Great Commission to become the Great Omission!