As Matthew records it, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you:and lo, I am with you always even until the end of the age. Amen. (Matt. 28:19-20).
Also recorded in Luke and Mark, as well as in the opening chapter of Acts, Jesus' words speak to the eternal mission of the church as well as to the eternal aim of His Heavenly Father.
The Great Commission is great because it was not a "hatched overnight" plan of Jesus. Rather, as Ephesians 3 shows, it was a divine part of the eternal purpose of God. Peter mentions this element of Christ's purpose in dying on the cross in the first gospel sermon in Acts 2 and notes in 1 Peter 1:19, 20 that Christ was "...truly foreordained before the foundation of the world..." to die, be buried and rise from the dead and that this was and is to be the message of the gospel.
With Christ as the seat of its authority and being a universal mission in scope, the Great Commission is clearly to be lived out in the day-to-day lives of believers. In fact the phrasing is not so much "Go" but rather "As you are going." This opens us as believers to the idea that wherever we find ourselves in life we are truly on the mission field. As we go from work to recreation, family to friends, we are to carry the word of Christ to all.
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