The Utmost Importance of the Great Commission
Jesus commanded all His disciples to go into the world, to all nations, to share the good news of the repentance and forgiveness of sins, to baptize those who believe, in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them everything Jesus has commanded [Mark 16:15-16, Matthew 28:19-20, Luke 24:47-49]. This is not an exaltation but a COMMAND.
This was Jesus’ final word on earth. So this must be of utmost importance to Jesus. This is so important that Jesus used all authority in heaven and on earth vested upon Him to back His command. Citizens of any government know to obey the orders given by the authority vested in the court. So we must understand its importance in Jesus’ Kingdom. This is so important that Jesus promised His disciples that as we live out the Great Commission, He personally will be with us always, to the very end of the age [Matthew 28:20].
Motivated by LOVE
Jesus never intends His disciples to carry out His command of the Great Commission out of a sense of responsibility and duty mechanically.
The Great Commandment goes before the Great Commission. Only the two kinds of love in the Great Commandment (Mark 12:28-31) carry enough weight to accomplish the Great Commission.
The Great Commission is firstly motivated by our love for the Lord. To love the Lord our God with all our heart and with all our soul and with all our mind and with all our strength is to take it upon ourselves to care what He cares deeply about, to the extent that His heart becomes ours, what breaks His heart breaks ours.
The Great Commission is also motivated by loving the people whom our Lord loves. Our Lord loves the people of this world, of all nations, to the extent that He willingly sacrifice His life for them. So to love God is to love our neighbor as ourselves, to see people covered by the Grace of God.
Jesus Prescribed the HOW
As Jesus commanded the Great Commission, He has also prescribed the HOW.
By The HOLY SPIRIT
Jesus never intended the Great Commission to be a program or a campaign that His disciples run with on their own independently. Jesus prescribed that the Great Commission has to be put on halt until His disciples are clothed with power from on high. Jesus instructed His disciples to wait in Jerusalem, and not to start until they receive the Holy Spirit [Luke 24:49, Acts 1:4]. Signs of being clothed with power from on high includes: driving out demons; speaking in tongues; not being harmed even when picking up snakes and drinking deadly poison; healing the sick by the laying of hands [Mark 16:17, 18]; all done in Jesus name.
In other words, Jesus intended us to be first clothed by the Holy Spirit in order to live a lifestyle of the Great Commission of making disciples, demonstrating power and signs and wonders wherever we go.
By TESTIMONIES as Jesus’ Witness
Jesus also prescribed giving our testimonies as His witness [Acts 1:8] as how the Great Commission is to be done. Testimonies of signs and wonders; healing; captives set free; will draw many suffering in darkness and in hiding, to the light and to the glory of God.
Letting This SINK IN
Making Disciples Is a SPIRIT-DIRECTED Lifestyle of the KINGDOM
Making Disciples is NOT a Church Program
What Does This MEAN?
To think of the Great Commission as local church programs is earthly small thinking. Kingdom thinking thinks kingdom beyond the metric measurements of local churches.
Far too many churches limit the power of the Body of Christ in the Great Commission by over-extending in programs after programs under the umbrella of the Great Commission, failing to realize that Kingdom ministry is beyond the four walls of the church.
The Great Commission can only flourish when the Holy Spirit is honored and given the center role to direct. Local churches must relinquish all means of control through church programs back to the Holy Spirit because the bulk of the Great Commission does not happen within the four walls of the churches. It is all about the KINGDOM, not about the local churches.
Let this sink in deeply: Jesus intended His disciples to be filled with the Holy Spirit in order to live out a divine partnership in living out the great commission.
Local Churches’ Critical ROLE is to build up and mature Christ’s disciples in Christ who are trained in the sensitivity and obedience to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit grounded in the WORD. These spiritually mature disciples, individually and collectively, will carry out their divine appointments as in Ephesians 2:10, embracing the Great Commission as a lifestyle of the Kingdom. When the Church SENDS OUT Disciples trained in the Spirit and the Word and the Love of the Father, to the world, according to the paths of life God has prepared for them, strategically placed for Kingdom purpose, the Church will become an awaken Roaring Lions in the WORLD, ready to bring Heaven on Earth!
Therefore, when believers gathered in Christ’s name, it is far more critical to learn to hear the voice and prompting of the Holy Spirit, how to experience His Word in our life, how to pray in the Spirit, how to let iron sharpen iron, how to let Christ grow deep in our inner being. Then, ‘naturally in the Spirit’, the Spirit will guide us into divine opportunities and connections, supernatural encounters and many creative surprises to bring the lost home. These encounters are in everyday life situations in most unexpected circumstances: at a coffee shop, on a plane, in the hospital, at the mall, at the workplaces etc etc. We have to let the Spirit to lead and guide, trained to tune in! The reach of the Great Commission under such divine partnership goes way beyond any humanly planned programs!
Only the Holy Spirit can open the eyes of our heart to connect with the Father’s heart and His love for people. Only the Holy Spirit can transform our heart to love like Jesus. No more knowledge or information given can accomplish that. But in the Holy Spirit, He will reveal souls who are ready for harvest; He will show us keys to set the captives free that would otherwise be hidden; He will show us the Father’s heart for individuals; divine connections and encounters happen when Holy Spirit connects the dots for us. These are not things that a program, no matter how well organized, can even anticipate; let alone to plan for.
Making Disciples Is to Model Living by the Spirit
The ministry for lost souls is far beyond human effort in the natural. Jesus modeled how to teach His disciples to live beyond the natural when making disciples:
- Firstly, Jesus modeled compassion [Mark 6:34].
- Then, Jesus challenged His disciples to minister at a new height of faith beyond the natural constraints. When the mass had nothing to eat, Jesus asked the disciples “You give them something to eat [Mark 6:37]!”
- While the disciples could not conceive beyond their constraints in the natural, Jesus showed them how to walk in faith. He asked them to take an account of what they have [Mark 6:38].
- Then Jesus demonstrated His relationship with the Father by asking His Father to bless and glorify Himself with the little that they have.
- Jesus demonstrated kingdom expectation as lifestyle in His Kingdom: in total trust, food was miraculously multiplied and everyone was fed, in a “as a matter of fact” manner.
- The disciples experienced the unlimited kingdom power in Jesus ministry way beyond their own natural limits [Mark 6:41].
When people encounter God in the new spiritual dimensions of the kingdom, they want to come home to our Father; they can’t help themselves to tell others what they have experienced; they don’t ever want to leave the Father’s house again. Intellectual knowledge, reasoning and information retained in the HEAD may be “in” in one season but “out” in another. But a supernatural encounter and a reconciled relationship with the Father from the HEART can produce fruit that last in eternity.
Making Disciples is About Demonstrating Spirit Power that Transformed Lives
The Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power [1 Corinthians 4:20]. What is more powerful than to hear someone whom everyone knew was blind, to give a testimony saying, “One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” [John 9:25]
Be His Witness Not His Lawyer
I have not seen one person agree to seek a relationship with our Heavenly Father through Jesus because he or she lost an intellectual argument about Christianity as a religion. There is infinite wisdom when Jesus prescribed His disciples to be His Witness and not His lawyer. The root of conviction of sins is in the heart not in the mind. So stop debating and arguing. We tell what we experience from the Lord and let His magnificent deeds speak for Himself. Lost souls come home to our heavenly Father because of divine encounters. When they come to the end of themselves, such encounters will lead them to come to their senses. No one come home to our Father as an outcome of theological religious debates.
May the Spirit transform our heart to love God more. May we ask the Spirit to open the eyes of our heart and see the kingdom harvest opportunities in all aspects of our life. May God do the impossible that only He can do so our life in and through Him bring glory to the Father and draw many in darkness to our heavenly home.