God has given some great charges to various men through the ages. He commissioned Noah to build the ark and Moses to lead Israel out of Egyptian bondage.
One commission excels all others, however, to such an extent that we rightly speak of it as “The Greatest Commission.” While it appears in each of the Gospel accounts in varying degrees of detail, Matthew and Mark give us the fullest accounts.
Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world (Mat. 28:19–20).
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that disbelieveth shall be condemned (Mark 16:15–16; cf. Luke 24:46–47; John 20:21–23). Why is this the greatest commission ever given to men?
The authority behind it: Jesus prefaced the commission by stating that God the Father had given Him all authority in both Heaven and Earth (Mat. 28:18). No army ever received its marching orders on such awesome authority.
The responsibility it embraces: The responsibilities of God’s people are many (e.g., doing good unto all men [Gal. 6:10], living sober, righteous, and Godly lives [Tit. 2:12], providing for our families [1 Tim. 5:8], et al.). However, Jesus’ commission involves the greatest responsibility. The salvation of the world depends upon our fulfilling it. He has no mouths but our mouths to get the Gospel to the lost world.
The scope it encompasses: Other God-given charges involved limited people or times. However, Jesus’ commission involves all mankind from the time of His death until His return. It includes all the world, the whole creation, and every nation, “even unto the end of the world.”
The news it bears: The Gospel bears the sublime news that salvation is available for all men through Jesus’ sin offering of His own blood. The apostles first declared this message on Pentecost, telling believing sinners they could be saved if they would repent and be baptized (Acts 2:22–41; cf. Mark 16:16a). Tragically, most who welcome the good news of salvation reject the Savior’s conditions for receiving it. As the Gospel is preached and as men obey it, the Lord still saves them and adds them to His church (v. 47). No other commission equals the implications and consequences of this one.
Adair Church of Christ is located on Highway 69 (3 blocks south of the main traffic light) in Adair. Morning service is at 11 a.m. For FREE Bible course, call 918.253.4897 or e-mail AdairChurchofChrist@Yahoo.com