Was the Great Commission Meant For Us?
Bible Text: Matthew 28:18-20 | Speaker: Dr. Harold J. Sala | Series: Guidelines For Living | Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
The current population of our world is approximately 7.24 billion people, and every second four babies come into the world. This means there are two births for every death in the world. The greatest increase in the world’s population comes in areas where they can least be adequately fed, educated, and clothed.
Question: Is every person important to God, or is He indifferent to those who bow down to images of stone and pray to a pagan deity? Of one thing you can be certain, Jesus was not indifferent to individuals. In fact there are many accounts of Jesus talking to only one individual and often that person was not very important to society as the world views important—the woman at the well of Sychar, a woman who was an outcast because of her past, the woman seized in the acts of adultery, blind Bartimaeus, the little child that Jesus held in His arms and said, “Of such is the kingdom of God.”
You can disdain the truth that every person is important to our Heavenly Father, yet the reality is that our viewpoint is radically affected by the culture in which we live that affirms that people with education, money, prestige, and power are far more valuable than the cripple who sits by the side of the road and begs, or the infant tossed on a garbage dump in Kenya, left to die, that was rescued by Sammy Hammork, who is giving her life to make a difference in outcast children.
Following the resurrection Jesus met with His disciples—now just 11 of them after Judas hanged himself—and told them plainly, “Go into all the world and proclaim the Good News to every person.” Only days before He sat on the Mount of Olives, looking across the brook Kedron, and told His followers, “This Gospel of the Kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14).
At the time Jesus spoke those words the world’s population was 250 million. It took 1500 years, from the time of Christ on earth to the days of Martin Luther for the world’s population to double, reaching 500 million. Three hundred years later, 1830, the population doubled reaching 1 billion. Then a hundred years later, 1930, it doubled again reaching 2 billion. Then within 30 years another billion were added to the population on planet earth. In 1976 the population reached 4 billion. In 1986 it climbed to 5 billion. And on and on.
Great Commission statisticians say that as many as two to three billion are classified as “unreached” with the Good news that Jesus Christ died for the sins of the whole world—not simply for those who speak English, have access to good schools and medical facilities, and have a dusty Bible in their homes, one that belonged to grandfather.
My question to you is very simple: Did Jesus mean that we, not only the eleven with him in the Upper Room, are responsible to share the Good News with every person who lives on planet earth? If so, then who is responsible to do this? And finally what is the best means of proclaiming that Jesus Christ not only forgives our sins, but heals the brokenness of our lives, and gives us hope that no matter what happens in our world, He will be with us, driving back the darkness, and giving the promise of heaven.
This week thousands of churches and groups are focusing on reaching the unreached, but at Guidelines every day we focus on reaching the unreached. That’s Jesus’ intention for every believer.
Resource reading: Matthew 28:16-20