In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread his teachings to all the nations of the world. The most famous version of the Great Commission is in Matthew 28:16–20, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
The Great Commission is similar to the episodes of the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles found in the other Synoptic Gospels, though with significant differences. Luke also has Jesus dispatching disciples during his ministry, sending them to all the nations and giving them power over demons, including the Seventy disciples. The dispersion of the Apostles in the traditional ending of Mark is thought to be a 2nd-century summary based on Matthew and Luke.
It has become a tenet in Christian theology emphasizing ministry, missionary work, evangelism, and baptism. The apostles are said to have dispersed from Jerusalem and founded the apostolic sees. Preterists believe that the Great Commission and other Bible prophecies were fulfilled in the 1st century while futurists believe Bible prophecy is yet to be fulfilled at the Second Coming.
Some researchers of the historical Jesus see the Great Commission as reflecting not Jesus' words but rather the Christian community in which each gospel was written. (See Sayings of Jesus.) Some scholars, such as John Dominic Crossan, assert that Jesus did commission the apostles during his lifetime, as reported in the Gospels. Others, however, see even these lesser commissions as representing Christian invention rather than history.
The most familiar version of the Great Commission is depicted in Matthew 28:16–20,
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 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.”
According to Matthew 10, Jesus commanded His disciples to proclaim the arrival of the kingdom of God and to "heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, and cast out demons..." Mark 6 and Luke 9 also record this instruction. The Great Commission is the commandment to proclaim good news - the kingdom has come and it has come with demonstration of power. Later, Paul prophesied that one of the signs of the last days would be that mention of the power of God would be silenced. He warned Timothy to not associate with those who have a form of godliness but do not speak of the power (2 Timothy 3:5). To the Corinthians, he said he did not come with eloquence or wisdom but with "demonstration of the power of the Spirit so that faith would rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God." (1 Corinthians 2:4)
Other versions of the Great Commission are found in Mark 16:14–18, Luke 24:44–49, Acts 1:4–8, and John 20:19–23. In Luke, Jesus tells the disciples to preach repentance and forgiveness, and promises that they will have divine power. In John, Jesus says the disciples will have the Holy Spirit and the authority to forgive sins and to withhold forgiveness. In Acts, Jesus promises the disciples that the Holy Spirit will inspire them. All these passages are composed as words of Christ spoken after his resurrection.
The call to go into the world in Matthew 28 is prefaced a mere four chapters earlier when Jesus states that the Gospel message will be heard by representatives of all nations, at which time the end will come.
The commission from Jesus has been interpreted by evangelical Christians as meaning that his followers have the duty to go, make disciples, teach, and baptize. Although the command was initially given directly only to Christ's eleven Apostles, evangelical Christian theology has typically interpreted the commission as a directive to all Christians of every time and place, particularly because it seems to be a restatement or moving forward of the last part of God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:3. Some Christians, like members of the Bruderhof Communities, see their life of church community as taught in Acts 2 and 4, as their part of proclaiming the gospel to all men.
Commentators often contrast the Great Commission with the earlier Limited Commission of Matthew 10:5–42, in which they were to restrict their mission to their fellow Jews, who Jesus referred to as "the lost sheep of the house of Israel". (Matthew 15:24)
Preterists believe that the Great Commission was already fulfilled based on the New Testament passages "And they went out and preached everywhere" (Mark 16:20), "the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven" (Colossians 1:23), and "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations" (Romans 16:25–26).
R. Emden (יעב"ץ), in a remarkable apology for Christianity contained in his appendix to "Seder 'Olam" (pp. 32b–34b, Hamburg, 1752), gives it as his opinion that the original intention of Jesus, and especially of Paul, was to convert only the Gentiles to the seven moral laws of Noah and to let the Jews follow the Mosaic law — which explains the apparent contradictions in the New Testament regarding the laws of Moses and the Sabbath.
The arrest of Jesus was a pivotal event in Christianity recorded in the canonical gospels. Jesus, a preacher whom Christians believe to be the Son of God, was arrested by the Temple guards of the Sanhedrin in the Garden of Gethsemane. It occurred shortly after the Last Supper (during which Jesus gave his final sermon), and immediately after the kiss of Judas, which is traditionally said to have been an act of betrayal since Judas made a deal with the chief priests to arrest Jesus. The event ultimately led, in the Gospel accounts, to Jesus' crucifixion.The arrest led immediately to his trial before the Sanhedrin, during which they condemned him to death and handed him to Pilate the following morning. In Christian theology, the events from the Last Supper until the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus are referred to as the Passion.
In the New Testament, all four Gospels conclude with an extended narrative of Jesus' arrest, trial, crucifixion, burial, and resurrection. In each Gospel, these five events in the life of Jesus are treated with more intense detail than any other portion of that Gospel's narrative. Scholars note that the reader receives an almost hour-by-hour account of what is happening.Biola University
Biola University () is a private, evangelical Christian university located approximately 16 miles (26 km) from downtown Los Angeles, in La Mirada, California. Founded in 1908, the university has over 150 programs of study in nine schools.Christian ministry
In Christianity, ministry is an activity carried out by Christians to express or spread their faith, the prototype being the Great Commission. The Encyclopedia of Christianity defines it as "carrying forth Christ's mission in the world", indicating that it is "conferred on each Christian in baptism." It is performed by all Christians. This is distinguished from the "office of minister", to which specific individuals who feel a certain vocation. It can signify this activity as a whole, or specific activities, or organizations within a church dedicated to specific activities. Some ministries are identified formally as such, and some are not; some ministry is directed towards members of the church, and some towards non-members. See also Apostolates.Church history
Church history or ecclesiastical history as an academic discipline studies the history of Christianity and the way the Christian Church has developed since its inception.
Henry Melvill Gwatkin defined church history as "the spiritual side of the history of civilized people ever since our Master's coming". A. M. Renwick, however, defines it as an account of the Church's success and failure in carrying out Christ's Great Commission. Renwick suggests a fourfold division of church history into missionary activity, church organization, doctrine and "the effect on human life".
Church history is often, but not always, studied from a Christian perspective. Writers from different Christian traditions will often highlight people and events particularly relevant to their own denominational history. Catholic and Orthodox writers often highlight the achievements of the ecumenical councils, while evangelical historians may focus on the Protestant Reformation and the Great Awakenings.Commissioning of the Twelve Apostles
The commissioning of the Twelve Apostles is an episode in the ministry of Jesus that appears in all three Synoptic Gospels: Matthew 10:1–4, Mark 3:13–19 and Luke 6:12–16. It relates the initial selection of the Twelve Apostles among the disciples of Jesus.According to Luke:
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
In the Gospel of Matthew, this episode takes place shortly before the miracle of the man with a withered hand. In the Gospel of Mark and Gospel of Luke it appears shortly after that miracle.This commissioning of the apostles takes place before the crucifixion of Jesus, while the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 takes place after his resurrection.Daniel L. Akin
Daniel Lowell "Danny" Akin (born January 2, 1957) is the sixth president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the College at Southeastern in Wake Forest, North Carolina. A leader in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), he has authored and edited numerous books and journal articles and is best known for his commitment to expository preaching and to the Great Commission.Disciple (Christianity)
In Christianity, disciple primarily refers to a dedicated follower of Jesus. This term is found in the New Testament only in the Gospels and Acts. In the ancient world a disciple is a follower or adherent of a teacher. It is not the same as being a student in the modern sense. A disciple in the ancient biblical world actively imitated both the life and teaching of the master. It was a deliberate apprenticeship which made the fully formed disciple a living copy of the master.The New Testament records many followers of Jesus during his ministry. Some disciples were given a mission, such as the Little Commission, the commission of the seventy in Luke's Gospel, the Great Commission after the resurrection of Jesus, or the conversion of Paul, making them apostles, charged with proclaiming the gospel (the Good News) to the world. Jesus emphasised that being his disciples would be costly.Gifts of healing
In Christian theology, the Gifts of healing are among the spiritual gifts listed in 1 Corinthians 12. As an extraordinary charism, gifts of healing are supernatural enablements given to a believer to minister various kinds of healing and restoration to individuals through the power of the Holy Spirit. In the Greek of the New Testament, both the words gift and healing are plural.In the Gospel of Mark's account of the Great Commission, Jesus stated that one of the signs to follow believers in him would be healing after the laying on of hands. In the fifth chapter of the Epistle of James, anointing with oil is involved with the laying on of hands and prayer over the sick. These symbolize that believers were channels of divine power and that the healing was the work of the Holy Spirit. Healing is also connected with the forgiveness of sins.Pentecostal and charismatic Christians believe "that God has made provision that physical healing would be a ministry of His church and that gifts of healings would operate along with faith". However, they also believe that no minister of healing will heal all that come to them. Faith on the part of the one who prays is essential for healing, but many times faith on the part of one being prayed for is important as well. All Pentecostals and charismatics are encouraged to pray for the healing of the sick even if they do not claim possession of the supernatural gift.Great Commission church movement
Great Commission Churches (GCC) is a fellowship of independent evangelical Christian churches. The Great Commission church movement began in the United States in 1970. Other associated organizations include Great Commission Ministries (GCM), Great Commission Latin America (GCLA), and Great Commission Europe (GCE). The movement has grown in size and scope through its focus on church planting in the United States and abroad. GCC is a member of the National Association of Evangelicals, and one or more organizations within the movement has continuously been a part of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability since 1992.Kentucky Christian University
Kentucky Christian University (KCU) is a Christian university in Grayson, Kentucky. It was founded on December 1, 1919, as Christian Normal Institute, by J. W. Lusby and J. O. Snodgrass. As a "normal school" its programs included a high school, a junior college, and a training program for public school teachers. During the early 1920s its emphasis shifted to educating students for the Christian ministry. Degree programs are offered in six schools within the university: the Sack School of Bible and Ministry, the School of Business, the Keeran School of Education, the School of Distance and General Education, the Yancey School of Nursing, and the School of Social Work and Human Services.
KCU is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and is authorized to award bachelor's and master's degrees. All programs requiring professional licensure (i.e. Nursing, Social Work, and Teacher Education) are professionally accredited.
Every graduate of KCU takes a 12-hour core in Biblical Studies, in addition to the liberal arts core and the student's major area of study (social work, education, ministry, etc.) This combination of biblical studies, liberal arts, and professional studies is a feature unique to Kentucky Christian University. It is the rationale for KCU's self-designation as "The Great Commission University."
Twice weekly mandatory chapel services are an important part of the KCU experience and contribute to a sense of community on campus. The university is also well known for the magnitude of their worship leaders, their Christian nursing program, and athletic programs (football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball, archery, softball, baseball, cheerleading, men's and women's golf, bass fishing, and cross country/track and field.)Matthew 10
Matthew 10 is the tenth chapter in the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament section of the Christian Bible. Matthew 10 comes after Jesus had called some of his disciples and before the meeting with the disciples of John the Baptist. This section is also known as the Mission Discourse or the Little Commission, in contrast to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18–20). The Little Commission is directed specifically to the Jewish believers of the early church, while the Great Commission is to all nationalities. The Pulpit Commentary suggests that Jesus' message in this discourse "was hardly likely to have been remembered outside Jewish Christian circles".Matthew names the twelve apostles, or "twelve disciples", in verses 1 to 4 and the remainder of the chapter consists almost entirely of sayings attributed to Jesus. In this chapter, Jesus sends out the apostles to heal and preach throughout the region and gives them careful instruction. Many of the sayings found in Matthew 10 are also found in Luke 10 and the Gospel of Thomas, which is not found in the accepted canon of the New Testament.Matthew 28
Matthew 28 is the twenty-eighth and final chapter of the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. This chapter covers the events around the Resurrection of Jesus and ends with the Great Commission.Mission to the World
Mission to the World (MTW) is the mission-sending agency for the Presbyterian Church in America. This evangelical Christian organization advances the Great Commission by promoting Reformed and covenantal church planting movements using word and deed in strategic areas worldwide.Mission to the World has missionaries serving in 95 countries around the world. This includes 630 career missionaries, 88 two-year missionaries, 98 interns, and 2279 short-term missionaries.Dr. Paul Kooistra served as the coordinator from 1994 to 2014.On July 24, 2014 Dr. Lloyd Kim was appointed as the new coordinator.Paul R. Martin
Paul R. Martin was a psychotherapist, licensed clinical psychologist, author, pastor, and director of the Wellspring Retreat and Resource Center in Ohio. He also worked in private practice in Athens, Ohio. Martin taught psychology, psychopharmacology, and the Biblical basis of behavior for five years at Geneva College, where he was a member of the department of psychology.In his 1994 book Cult-Proofing Your Kids, Martin wrote about his former membership and leadership in the Great Commission International (currently called Great Commission Association of Churches). In 1971, he dropped out of graduate school to join the group, when it was known as "The Blitz". He later explained that he left the group when he did not receive an adequate response, after questioning its more controversial methods and tactics.Post-Resurrection appearances of Jesus
The post-resurrection appearances of Jesus are the earthly appearances of Jesus to his followers after his death and burial. Believers point to them as proof of his resurrection and identity as Messiah, seated in heaven on the right hand of God (the doctrine of the Exaltation of Christ).Postmillennialism
In Christian end-times theology (eschatology), postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after (Latin post-) the "Millennium", a Golden Age in which Christian ethics prosper. The term subsumes several similar views of the end times, and it stands in contrast to premillennialism and, to a lesser extent, amillennialism (see Summary of Christian eschatological differences). For the most Christians this question was solved by the Council of Ephesus.
Postmillennialism holds that Jesus Christ establishes his kingdom on earth through his preaching and redemptive work in the first century and that he equips his church with the gospel, empowers her by the Spirit, and charges her with the Great Commission (Matt 28:19) to disciple all nations. Postmillennialism expects that eventually the vast majority of people living will be saved. Increasing gospel success will gradually produce a time in history prior to Christ's return in which faith, righteousness, peace, and prosperity will prevail in the affairs of men and of nations. After an extensive era of such conditions Jesus Christ will return visibly, bodily, and gloriously, to end history with the general resurrection and the final judgment after which the eternal order follows.
Postmillenialism was a dominant theological belief among American Protestants who promoted reform movements in the 19th and 20th century such as abolitionism and the Social Gospel. Postmillennialism has become one of the key tenets of a movement known as Christian Reconstructionism. It has been criticized by 20th century religious conservatives as an attempt to immanentize the eschaton.Southern Baptist Convention
The Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) is a Christian denomination based in the United States. With more than 15 million members as of 2018, it is the world's largest Baptist denomination, the largest Protestant denomination in the United States, and the second-largest Christian denomination in the United States, smaller only than the Catholic Church according to self reported membership statistics (see Christianity in the United States).
The word Southern in Southern Baptist Convention stems from it having been organized in 1845 at Augusta, Georgia, by Baptists in the Southern United States who split with northern Baptists over the issue of slavery, specifically whether Southern slave owners could serve as missionaries. After the American Civil War, another split occurred when most freedmen set up independent black congregations, regional associations, and state and national conventions, such as the National Baptist Convention, which became the second-largest Baptist convention by the end of the 19th century. Others joined new African-American denominations, chiefly the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was established in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the early 19th century, as the first independent black denomination in the United States.
Since the 1940s, the Southern Baptist Convention has shifted from some of its regional and historical identification. Especially since the late 20th century, the SBC has sought new members among minority groups and to become much more diverse. In addition, while still heavily concentrated in the Southern United States, the Southern Baptist Convention has member churches across the United States and 41 affiliated state conventions. Southern Baptist churches are evangelical in doctrine and practice. As they emphasize the significance of the individual conversion experience, which is affirmed by the person having complete immersion in water for a believer's baptism, they reject the practice of infant baptism. Other specific beliefs based on biblical interpretation can vary somewhat due to their congregational polity, which allows local autonomy.The average weekly attendance was 5,320,488 in 2018.The Great Commission (band)
The Great Commission is an American Christian hardcore from Riverside, California. The band started making music in 2007. Their membership is Justin Singh, Angela Razo, Derek, Christian, Nelson, and Solomon. The band released an independently made extended play, The Great Commission, in 2008. They signed to Strike First Records, where they released, And Every Knee Shall Bow, a studio album, in 2009. Their subsequent studio album, Heavy Worship, was released by Ain't No Grave Records, in 2011. The latest recording, Firework, an extended play, was released by Ain't No Grave Recordings, in 2012.Tom Short
Tom Short (born March 23, 1957) is an American traveling campus evangelist affiliated with Great Commission Churches. His beliefs are largely Evangelical, based on the Bible, including salvation from sin through faith in Jesus Christ, and that all Christians should publicly profess their faith, be baptized, and make other disciples. As of 2007, Short claims to have visited over 100 campuses nationwide. Short's stated goal is to see everyone he speaks to on campus turn to Christ. Though he often travels, he lives in Columbus, Ohio. He is a husband and the father of five children.