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Reaching His World: Go and Make Disciples
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The Great Commission is a modern term applied to the final words of Jesus in Matthew’s Gospel. Although the terminology itself is recent, the application is ancient in that God is a missionary God who has long called upon His people to evangelize the world on His behalf. Originally delivered to the eleven remaining disciples, the Great Commission did not expire in the first century, nor is it the task of full-time missionaries only; rather, it is the special privilege of all Christians as they share with others the same gospel they themselves have received. Participation in the Great Commission thus begins with a recognition of the universal authority of Jesus; is based upon the person and work of Jesus; includes a call for total commitment to Jesus; and requires patient trust in Jesus to accomplish His purposes. Our commitment to loving God and loving one another is deepened and strengthened as we reach the world for Christ.
01. Reaching the world for Christ is based on loving God with all our heart and mind, soul, and strength. As such, we are not to be ashamed of the gospel or guilted into missions.
02. Reaching the world for Christ is best accomplished by loving our neighbor as ourselves. As such, we do not force decisions or persecute unbelievers.
03. Reaching the world for Christ is beyond the capacity of a single congregation. As such, we should pray for laborers to enter the harvest and support those who serve on the mission field.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. How is the Great Commission related to the resurrection of Jesus? Put another way, would there be a Great Commission if Jesus did not rise from the dead? Why did some of the disciples doubt in verse 17? Do you have any doubts or reservations about the Great Commission or the resurrection of Jesus?
2. What obstacles to missions does the church face today? How would you respond to someone who asserts that missions are a dangerous form of modern-day colonialism or an unwelcome imposition of power on other cultures? In what ways is the gospel an international gospel, thus applicable to every tribe and nation?
3. What is the difference between Jesus saying, “Go and make disciples” and “As you go, make disciples.” Is there any practical distinction between these two translations of verse 19? Who are you praying for that has gone forth as a missionary? Who are you praying for as they share the gospel at home and the workplace?
4. What does Jesus mean when He says that we are to teach disciples to observe all that He has commanded (verse 20)? What essential truths must a person believe in order to become a Christian? What are your thoughts about people who claim to be Christians but do not follow His commands?
5. How can we share the gospel as good news while helping people understand that if they receive Christ as Savior, they will face difficulties directly related to their allegiance to Christ? In what ways do you find comfort from Jesus’ final words in verse 20 as it relates to experiencing persecution?
For Further Reading: Daniel Akin, Benjamin Merkle, and George Robinson. 40 Questions About the Great Commission (Kregel, 2020).