The When and Where of the Great Commission

It is not fair for millions of Americans to hear the gospel thousands of times when more than two billion people have not heard the gospel even one time.

Bill Bright

The Great Commission is our Lord's idea, and only He in His sovereignty and omniscience knows when and how it will be fulfilled. However, since He gave us the command and has promised to equip us to do His will, we must assume that He intends us to fulfill the Great Commission in each generation.

Today every nation in the world is receiving the gospel either through trained disciples, radio, television or literature. But even though there is a witness for Christ in every nation, the Great Commission is not fulfilled, and it will remain unfulfilled until there are sufficient numbers of disciples in every nation to saturate their country, and all the diverse ethnic and people groupings in it, with the gospel. We must become as interested in making disciples as we are in conversions, more interested in spiritual multiplication than we are in spiritual addition.

Every Person Needs to Hear the Gospel

Fulfilling the Great Commission does not mean that every person will respond to the gospel in our generation. Some, because of spiritual hardness of heart, will even refuse to hear the gospel; others are mentally or physically incapable of responding, but it does mean that we should seek to make a prayerful, intelligent, aggressive presentation of the gospel to every living person and leave the results to God.

It does not mean that the majority who hear the gospel will become Christians, but it does mean that they will at least have a chance to hear and believe. We believe that every man, woman and child on earth should have the chance to say “yes” to Christ after hearing a clear, culturally relevant presentation of the gospel. It is not fair for millions of Americans to hear the gospel thousands of times when more than two billion people have not heard the gospel even one time.

If the Great Commission is to be fulfilled in our generation, now is the time for action. We must begin now and dedicate ourselves daily – as a way of life – to communicate God's love and forgiveness to everyone we meet. From the time we awaken in the morning until we go to bed at night, our number one priority should be sharing “the most joyful news ever announced.”

Where Must We Go

We must go to the whole world. However, Jesus Himself gave us a strategy to follow. Just before He ascended into heaven, He told the disciples:

“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

The original meaning of this command suggests that we are to be involved in helping to reach each area at the same time, from Jerusalem to the ends of the world. I encourage you to begin sharing Christ as a way of life in your Jerusalem – your home, your neighbor hood, your campus or classroom, your office or factory. Seek ways to present Christ in your community, your state, your nation, which is your Judea, and to the rest of the world.

God wants you to help spread His good news to the entire world through your prayers, your financial investments and your personal involvement, or through all three.

Adapted from the Transferable Concept: How You Can Help Fulfill The Great Commission, by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Cru. All rights reserved.

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