Right before His ascension and return to Heaven, our Lord Jesus Christ gave a command to His disciples, concerning the job they were to do in His physical absence. They were to take up and continue from where He stopped in His ministry on earth.
Apparently, without such a command, all the followers that Jesus had would had dispersed after His ascension. Even the closest of His disciples would have all gone back to their different secular jobs and peasantries.
But the Lord gave them something bigger to work on; something that would occupy their minds and ignite in their hearts the same passion He had for souls. That very thing was the Great Commission.
John 20:21 KJVThen said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.
The Great Commission as a ministry assignment, wasn't just given to the 12 disciples of Jesus Christ alone. It is an assignment that is binding on everyone who is the Lord's disciple. Since every genuine Christian is a disciple of Jesus Christ, this automatically means that the Great Commission is also our business today.
Where Is The Great Commission Found In The Bible?
The Bible makes us understand that just as the Father had sent the Son [and He obeyed], the same way, the Son has also sent us:
Matthew 28:18-20 ESVAnd Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.”
According to scriptures, every true child of God is by default a friend of God. Jesus calls us His friends:
John 15:14 KJVYe are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Who then is that friend of God who doesn't obey what the Lord commands them to do? Go through the scriptures, you'll find out that there is none. Those who are friends of God always obey what God commands them. It is therefore our responsibility (as Believers in Jesus Christ) to carryout and fulfil the assignment of the Great Commission exactly the way God wants it.
What Is The Great Commission?
There's a popular belief that the Great Commission is all about evangelism. But that is far from it. How can something so great be limited to just evangelism?
The Great Commission is a multifaceted service to God in His kingdom. It touches on evangelism, discipleship and every other ministry work that is purposed towards edifying the body of Christ. Most of the services to be rendered (as integral part of the Great Commission) are encapsulated in and assigned to different individuals via the five-fold office gifts, viz:
Ephesians 4:7-8 KJVBut unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
While He walked the earth, Jesus Christ was the embodiment of both the Great Commission and the fivefold ministries. He was literally the “restraining force” that had to first of all “go away” so that the Holy Spirit could come down to endue and enable every Believer in Jesus to take over from where He stopped:
John 16:7 KJVNevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
The Bible makes us understand that when the Lord ascended on high, He passed on the mantle of His ministry to men; and this came in form of the fivefold ministry and every spiritual gift and calling the Believer possesses. What we saw afterwards was that the disciples were changed from mere followers of Jesus to Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and the list goes on.
Ephesians 4:11-12 KJVAnd he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
When the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, He came down to crown this transference of mantle; He came to activate and empower the Apostles to rise and walk in the same shoes the Master walked while He was on earth.
Acts 1:8 KJVBut ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Why Is The Great Commission Important
Why is the Great Commission important? I've come to the understanding that the Great Commission is more important to God than it is to man. Only Jesus knows how much pain He had to endure in the course of laying down His life for humanity. Man is still unable to grasp (in its fullness) how important the Great Commission is to God. You can literally see that in the way many professing Christians handle God's work today.
Nonetheless, let's take a look at very specific reasons why the Great Commission is important below:
The Harvest Is Great, But Labourers Are Few
It might interest you to know that there are many genuine Christians on earth today, yet the kingdom of God still surfers lack when it comes to its available workforce. Many are saved but not many are willing to work for God, hence the labourers are still few.
Matthew 9:37-38 KJVThen saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;  Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
It's evident in today's Christendom that some just want to get saved in order to escape Hell. After getting saved, a good number of Christians only want to continue living their life and making money—without considering whether or not there are things God wants them to do for Him.
But relationship with God wasn't meant to be that selfish; it wasn't suppose to end at a man escaping Hell and moving on with his life. I've come to accept the painful fact that not every Christian has a heart burning passionately for souls.
It is needful we get reminded (from time to time) that every true Christian is called to be a labourer alongside Christ in His vineyard:
Matthew 20:1-4 KJVFor the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard.  And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.  And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace,  And said unto them; Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you. And they went their way.
In the world today, there are still tons of unsaved souls out there. Many elects are out there who haven't yet received the gift of salvation. How will they hear the true Gospel and get saved if there is no one to preach to them? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” (Romans 10:15).
Evangelism is the heartbeat of Jesus Christ. No Christian has any reason to not win souls—especially in these days and times that technology has made almost everything easier. We are honestly without excuse!
The Saved Must Be Brought To Maturity In Christ
After getting people saved through evangelism, we cannot just let them be that way. They need to be taught, trained and equipped to also function as effective disciples of Christ; proficient in their individual callings and ministries.
Ephesians 4:13 KJVTill we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
The kingdom of God cannot advance by getting people saved and not passing them through any form of discipleship.
Packing people in a building like sardines (in the name of a church) and milking them dry of their substance is not discipleship either. There has to be a strategic plan and curriculum set aside to teach and bring new converts to maturity in Christ. That's the only way more labourers can be recruited and launched into the marketplace.
The Church Must Be Continually Edified
The Body of Christ as a living organism risks undergoing deterioration if she is not continually edified. When a living thing isn't well fed, it begins to deteriorate and eventually dies off.
Because Jesus says that we are the salt of the earth (Matthew 5:13), be reminded also that salt preserves. Every mature Christian is expected to take up the responsibility of getting involved in preserving the Body of Christ till His imminent return. This is part and parcel of the Great Commission.
Here is where the ministry of genuine pastors come into play:
Jeremiah 3:15 KJVAnd I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Every pastor who believes they are called and sent from God must ensure that they are truly feeding the sheep (and not feeding off the sheep and harming them instead). This was the Lord's command to Peter in John 21:15-17.
Why Is It Called The Great Commission
Since this assignment from the Lord encapsulates every ministry work that possibly exists, I believe that alone makes it great.
The Great Commission is vast; it is not one man's business. No matter how gifted a preacher is, he cannot carryout the Great Commission all by himself.
2 Corinthians 5:20 KJVNow then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
The assignment of the Great Commission must be collectively fulfilled by every true child of God on earth. It is for this purpose that we were called and sent as ambassadors of Christ on earth.
To me, there's no noble profession on earth greater than serving God.
How Did The Disciples Carry Out The Great Commission
When you go through scriptures (especially the book of Acts) you'll notice that the disciples were careful to observe and replicate the works of Jesus Christ on earth. Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, casted out devils and preached the truth to the world. The disciples did the same.
John 14:12 KJVVerily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
The Apostles did nothing outside of what Jesus taught and instructed them to do. There was a laid out plan (delivered to Paul) on the manner in which the early Church was to be established, structured and run; and the Apostles made sure they followed and executed every bit of it exactly the way Jesus wanted.
The strange acts, practices and doctrines that have been injected into the end time Church today has nothing to do with the original plan of God. We must be careful to ensure that we are building on the right foundation and building accurately, knowing that repercussions await anyone who is doing the contrary!
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 KJVFor other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
Who Is The Great Commission For
Is the Great Commission for everyone? It's definitely for every Christian.
John 1:12 KJVBut as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
The Great Commission is not for just anyone but for “as many as received Him”. It is for the saved; for every individual who believes in and has welcomed the Lord Jesus Christ into their hearts as their personal Lord and Saviour. If you haven't done so yet, go alead and pray this salvation prayer.
Final Words On The Great Commission
Beloved, I trust that at this point you have a vivid understanding on what the Great Commission is all about.
The Great Commission is not given to just a select few in the Body of Christ, but it is a command and an assignment that every genuine Christian must carryout.
Have you been actively involved in fulfilling the Great Commission? If no, take this as a wake up call. Time is short. The harvest is great but the labourers are still few. God never calls anyone into the vineyard to labour for nothing. There are rewards for partnering with Jesus Christ to fulfil the Great Commission.
God bless you.
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