The Great Commission
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Was the Great Commission given by Jesus Christ only for certain people in the church or was it a command to every believer? In the text, Jesus Christ is speaking directly to the eleven disciples after His resurrection and before His ascension. Given the context, the question is, Does the command given by Christ to the eleven apply to us? The answer is found in the command “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” “All that I have commanded you” includes this command to make disciples, baptize and teach others. In order for the work of making disciples to continue beyond the disciples’ generation, it is obvious that God’s plan for this command was for it to extend beyond the eleven and their generation.
The next question is, Is this command only for pastors, missionaries, teachers and evangelists in the church? Although God calls and gifts certain men within the body to lead, pastor and teach (James 3:1; Titus 1:9; 1 Tim. 3:2), the entire body is called to the work of the ministry and to build itself up (Eph. 4:11-16). Timothy was trained in the Scriptures as a child by his mom and grandma, Eunice and Lois. Titus 2 commands the whole body to the work of ministry. First Peter 3:15 tells all believers that we must be ready to make a defense of the gospel.
Evangelism and disciple-making is the call from God to all in His church. I want to encourage you to spend time praying, modeling, preparing and then speaking the Gospel to those who are unbelieving. One practical way is to actually plan for it. It is often difficult to adequately present the Gospel in a passing conversation. Plan a time and place. Ask others if you can share God’s truth with them and what He has accomplished in your life. Plan another time to meet with them. Be faithful to share the Gospel and leave the results to God.