A Few Thoughts on the Great Commission

Last night, my pastor offered a few arguments against the idea that the Great Commission was given only to the apostles, or to their generation:

  1. How could that generation reach “all nations” (Matt 28) when the Western Hemisphere was yet undiscovered?
  2. Why would Jesus add that His presence was with the apostles until the end of the age (Matt 28:20) if He meant for the Great Commission to be accomplished in one generation?

(I’ve also heard interpreters suggest that the Great Commission has abiding validity because every generation has to do it again with a new generation that hasn’t heard.)

It was a stirring yet exegetically careful message. My pastor urged us to note that, call or no call (and calls are important), there is still a command every Christian must deal with. I commend the message to you.

Mark Ward

PhD in NT; theological writer for Faithlife; former high school Bible textbook author for BJU Press; husband; father; ultimate frisbee player; member of the body of Christ.

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