Summary: The last command given by Jesus Christ. Still the marching orders for the Church.
A. The Great Commission
1. It’s the last command given by Jesus Christ.
2. It is given to all believers.
3. It hasn’t been completed or finished.
4. It is still the marching orders of the church.
B. The First Giving – John 20:19-23
When: On Sunday evening of Resurrection Day. “That evening, on the first day of the week” (20:19).
Where: In the Upper Room. “The disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders” (20:19).
Who: 10 disciples. “One of the disciples, Thomas, was not with the others when Jesus came” (20:24).
What to do: Go for Me. He didn’t tell them where to go, nor what to do. “As the Father sent Me, so I send you” (20:21).
How to do it: Inner assurance: “Peace be unto you” (20:21).
His help: “He breathed on them . . . receive the Holy Spirit” (20:22).
When: One week later. “Eight days later the disciples were together . . . the doors were locked” (John 20:26).
Where: The Upper Room: “As they were eating together” (Mk. 16:19).
Who: Eleven disciples. “This time Thomas was with them” (John 20:26).
What to do: Tell all lost people. “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone, everywhere” (Mk. 6:15).
How to do it: Believe. “Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!” (John 20:27).
His help. Signs. “These signs will accompany . . . cast out demons . . . speak new languages . . . be able to handle snakes . . . heal” (Mark 16:17-18).
D. The Third Giving – Matthew 28:16-20
When: 3-4 weeks. “The disciples left for Galilee” (Matt. 28:16).
Where: On mountain. “Going to the mountain where Jesus told them to go” (Matt. 28:16).
Who: Perhaps 500. “He was seen by more than five hundred followers at one time” (1 Cor. 15:6).
What to do: Get followers from every ethnic group. “As you are going make disciples of all people groups” (Matt. 28:19, ELT).
How to do it: Plant new churches. “Baptizing them” (Matt. 28:19).
His help: Christ present with you. “I am with you always” (Matt. 28:20).
E. The Fourth Giving – Luke 24:36-49
When: Sunday. “The forty days after His crucifixion” (Acts 1:3).
Where: In Jerusalem – Upper Room. They returned from Galilee to Jerusalem, “Jesus Himself was suddenly standing there . . . He ate” (Luke 24:36, 41, 43).
Who: The 11 disciples plus others. “You are witnesses” (Luke 24:28).
What to do: Preach the content of the gospel, i.e., the death, burial and resurrection. “He opened their minds to understand . . . that the Messiah must suffer, and die and rise again from the dead on the third day . . . take this message of repentance to all ethnic groups . . . forgiveness of sins for all who turn to Me” (Luke 24:45-48).
His help: Pray for power from the Holy Spirit. “Stay in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you” (Luke 24:49).
F. The Fifth Giving – Acts 1:8
When: A short time later. “He led them out (from the Upper Room) as far as Bethany (Mount of Olives)” (Luke 24:50).
Where: Mount of Olives. “The disciples were at the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12).
Who: The 11 disciples. “The apostles were with Jesus” (Acts 1:6).
What to do: All geographical command. “You shall be My witness in Jerusalem, throughout all Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
What to do: Be witnesses involving life and lips. “Be witnesses for Me” (Acts 1:8).
His help: The Holy Spirit. “In just a few days you will be baptized in the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5).
G. What Must We Do About the Great Commission?
1. We must yield to its demands.
2. We must focus all our spiritual energy.
3. We must go by sending messengers with prayers, and support and money.
4. The promise. “When this gospel is preached to every ethnic group, then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14).
5. Let’s pray to reach the lost ethnic groups (Omega man) so Jesus will come back.
Finishing the Great Commission in our generation
If you have never really accepted Jesus as your personal Savior, would you do it right now? Do not delay or put it off. If you would like to receive Christ by faith, pray this simple prayer in your heart:
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that I am a sinner. I believe Jesus died for my sins on the cross, and rose again the third day. I repent of my sins. By faith I receive the Lord Jesus as my Savior. You promised to save me, and I believe You, because You are God and cannot lie. I believe right now that the Lord Jesus is my personal Savior, and that all my sins are forgiven through His precious blood. I thank You, dear Lord, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.