Great Commission

A Famous Farewell

And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Mat. 28:18-20, NASU

These words close the Gospel of Matthew and stand as a challenge for every Christian to fulfill this great charge of our King until His return.


This command is generic, thereby making the means of fulfilling the imperative a matter of one’s own choosing. For instance, one can go physically such as by foot, by car, by plane; one can go through media such as by newsprint, by radio, by television, by internet; one can even go by mail, through canvass mail-outs, invitations, correspondence Bible-study, etc. The methods are limitless, but the imperative is still to go in some fashion. The one type of “ministry” this command does not describe is “presence evangelism.” In this Commission, “if you build it, they will come” is not a workable philosophy.

“All the nations”

This phrase describes the area of impact. The area described for evangelism can simply be seen as any place where men and women are – the entire world. This phrase includes foreign nations as well as domestic areas of work, lavish rich neighbors as well as slums. This phrase does also not discriminate by race, “creed”, culture, or nationality. It is curious this phrase was seemingly ignored during the controversy over allowing Gentiles into the body of Christ – Jesus obviously always had Gentiles in mind. The same is true today – there is no place where the Gospel should be unwelcome.


This describes the first of two modifiers describing what it means to “make disciples.” The ultimate goal of evangelism should be baptism (e.g. conversion). While the necessary components of belief, confession, and repentance are included, the focus upon baptism places the emphasis on the completed conversion. Any work which does not have conversion in mind does not provide spiritual life, and is therefore a waste of time!


This describes the second of two modifiers describing what it means to “make disciples.” Ironically, this is the most oft ignored part of the Great Commission. The evangelist many times believes their work to be complete when a baptism takes place. However, one must teach a convert how to live as a Christian after they become one. Otherwise there is grave danger of relapse into the world.

A Great Challenge

The Great Commission is as challenging a call as it was in the first century. The great power of the Commission also remains the same. If Christians follow its call, we will always make disciples.

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