The Great Commission, like the Great Commandment, is usually not a part of Scripture to which we race when we want to feel good, be comforted, or be reassured. In fact, we often overlook the Great Commission entirely. The passages in Scripture we love to read breathe acceptance, forgiveness, and the blessings of the new life in Christ. But we have a way of neutralizing the demand of Jesus to: "Go 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." (Mt. 28:19,20)
Despite our reticence, the Great Commission won't go away. The 1988 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops from around the world said: "evangelism is the primary task given to the church." The Conference called for a renewed emphasis on evangelism throughout the Communion.
Nevertheless, we Anglicans on the whole have been very lazy evangelists. Furthermore, when preachers preach on the Great Commission, I find that it creates more guilt than enthusiasm. Exhortations to "Share your faith with your neighbor; witness to the guys you work with; bring a friend to hear the Gospel; mention Christ at the AA meeting you attend" generally go unheeded. In response people say to themselves: I'm willing to support those who go abroad or who come here as missionaries, but do I really have to evangelize my friends and neighbors? To read more, click here.
Friday, January 20, 2012
The Great Commission: the believer's mandate
Posted by Robin G. Jordan at 1:30 PM