Is the Great Commission Over?
One of the things I am thankful for in the education I received at Highland Park Baptist Church and Tennessee Temple in the 1970s was the emphasis on Christ’s Great Commission of “go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” That large church gave half of its income to world missions. The annual missions conferences were glorious and powerful. As many as 100 missionaries would challenge the hearts of the students. Hundreds and hundreds went out from there to the ends of the earth with a fire in their souls for gospel preaching and church planting. The old Highland Park and Tennessee Temple are gone, but world missions remains God’s heartbeat today. That is what this age is all about. When Jesus rose from the dead, He emphasized this, and we have that emphasis in Scripture with a five-fold repetition (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:44-48; John 20:21; Acts 1:8). The language Christ used is simple and forceful. What is there not to understand about this? It is every church’s marching orders “to the end of the world,” but most Bible-believing churches pay only scant attention. What they do in evangelism and world missions represents the scraps of their resources and endeavors rather than the firstfruits. In a conversation with a friend from Switzerland recently, he told me that some churches there are saying that the time of world missions is over. I would say to them that they have no Scriptural authority for that, and the reality is that probably most people in the world today have not heard a clear presentation of the gospel. There are hundreds of millions in that condition in South Asia alone. And there are people being born every minute. World missions won’t be over until Christ catches away the saints, and even then the baton will be picked up by Jewish evangelists and a multitude that cannot be numbered will be converted during the Tribulation (Revelation 7). God loves to redeem.
(Friday Church News Notes, January 23, 2015, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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