But grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever. Amen.
2 Peter 3:18
THE GREAT COMMISSION
And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20) (Emphasis mine)
Jesus the Messiah has given marching orders to his followers. His first Church in Jerusalem received the Great Commission. This Commission tells HOW they, and all true Churches since then, are to be His Witnesses.
TEACH (MAKE DISCIPLES)
The main verb in the Great Commission is TEACH (evangelize = make disciples of) all nations. The other verbs -- GO (going or as ye go) BAPTIZING and TEACHING are all participles in the Greek New Testament, built around the main command -- EVANGELIZE.
Therefore, true Christianity is evangelistic. It has the Glad Tidings (Gospel) of Jesus Christ. ... the Gospel is not good advice, but good news. It does not tell us what we are to do to earn salvation, but proclaims to us what Christ has done to save us. (Loraine Boettner)
Jesus the Messiah died for sinners, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. Whosoever will may come to the water of life and drink freely. All of His elect will come. They will repent of sin and call upon the name of the Lord.
They shall be SAVED. Saved from what? Saved from the pleasure of sin. Saved from the power of sin. Saved from the penalty of sin. And someday, saved from the presence of sin.
Think of it! No more sorrow, pain, sickness, worries, hunger or thirst. No more trials, nor temptations. We’ll experience pure love, joy and peace in the presence of our resurrected Lord Jesus, who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.
A new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness. Life at its best -- in the glorious liberty of the sons of God -- forever!!!
AS YE GO
True Churches are missionary Churches. They seek to spread the Gospel. They seek to win people to the Lord Jesus Christ.
They preach the Doctrines of Grace -- Total Inability, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace and Perseverance of the Saints (T-U-L-I-P). They trust God for the results.
They GO. They go to their relatives, neighbors, friends, and acquaintances, even to their enemies, with the Gospel. They go to strangers. In obedience to the Great Commission, they send Missionaries to language schools, then to foreign lands.
They use all lawful means to reach others. They hand out Bibles, New Testaments, Gospel Tracts and Videos. They preach in the Churches, in (home, school and workplace) Bible studies, on the Radio, TV, and on the Internet. Christians are GOING (as it says in Greek).
WHY A GREEK NEW TESTAMENT?
From the time of Alexander the Great, the official language of government, military and trade was Greek -- in Asia Minor, Syria, Israel, and Egypt -- as well as Greece. Two of Alexander's generals founded Greek-speaking dynasties -- in Syria and Egypt (Israel sits between them).
When Rome conquered Greece, Greece conquered Rome. The Greek language, religion and culture were taught to young Roman boys of patrician families. Therefore, at the time of Christ, the international language of the eastern Mediterranean was more Greek than Latin.
This is why the inscription on the Cross of Christ was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin (John 19:19-20). This is also why the New Testament was first written in Greek, and only later translated into Latin. The Apostles from Israel were more familiar with Greek than Latin.
Missionary Churches BAPTIZE new converts -- those who repent and believe in Christ. Calvin (though not a Baptist) correctly says, Yet the word "baptize" means to immerse, and it is clear that the rite of immersion was observed in the ancient church.
The Greek word baptizo in all Greek lexicons means, I dip, I submerge, I immerse. Greek writers (pagan and Christian) all say this. In Greece and Russia, immersion is the unbroken, universal practice -- the Greeks acting consistently with their own language.
Immersion bests shows union with Christ in His Death, Burial and Resurrection. The new convert goes under the water (burial) and comes up out of the water (resurrection) according to Romans 6:3,4. It also best symbolizes the washing away of sins (Acts 22:16).
The ancient Churches did not consider infant baptism valid. Therefore they baptized all who came over to their fellowship. This practice earned them the nickname Anabaptists (Re-baptizers) by their enemies.
After the Reformation, the name was shortened to Baptists. Many who claim the name Baptist today do not preach the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Most preach a decisional regeneration, where man's faith precedes the new birth. But there are still some Baptists who faithfully preach the Doctrines of Grace (T-U-L-I-P).
The participle teaching is a different word from the main verb TEACH (EVANGELIZE) in the koine (common) Greek of the New Testament. The participle teaching in the Great Commission implies instruction in all Biblical truth.
Upon adequate instruction in the Faith, new converts are to be baptized and to commit themselves to a New Testament Church. True Churches continue to teach believers ALL THINGS, WHATSOEVER CHRIST COMMANDED. This is an ongoing duty. Why?
Believers are at different stages of growth in the Lord. New believers join the Church from time to time. More mature believers still need to be reminded of certain commands and be encouraged and built up in the Faith.
Children of believers often need evangelism. Doctrine, reproof, correction, and more instruction is the divine pattern (2 Timothy 3:16-17). Churches also need to commit truth to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also (2 Timothy 2:2).
Thus, Churches should serve as training schools for Pastors and Missionaries. These Missionaries are not just preachers. They are Church-planters. They do not just evangelize.
As they go and make disciples, they baptize those new disciples, and teach them all things, whatsoever Messiah commanded. To do this, they establish new Churches.
Making disciples of all nations also involves teaching them "all things, whatsover I have commanded you." This means the entire Law-Word of God from Genesis to Revelation. The Law of God, as summarized in the Ten Commandments and explained in Biblical Case Law by Moses, cannot save a soul from sin and hell.
But the Law can restrain evil on earth, when properly enforced by the civil magistrate. The Law can also show a sinner his need of forgiveness through our Saviour. It is summed by our Lord Jesus in two commands, in the New Testament, as applicable to all men, at all times (not just for Jews in the Old Testament):
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40
I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, EVEN TO THE END OF THE WORLD. AMEN
Messiah is with true Churches, from the time of His first Church in Jerusalem, until the end of the world -- or age as we know it. This promise implies that Christ has always had some true Churches in existence, somewhere in the world, in every generation.
They were branded as heretics, schismatics, re-baptizers and puritans by their foes. Sometimes they were called by the name of a leader (Montanists, Novatians, Donatists, Paulicians, Lollards, Hussites) or a location (Albigenses, Vaudois, Navarri, Waldenses. Note: Peter Waldo of Lyons took his name from the Waldenses and not vice versa, as is commonly, and incorrectly ,reported).
They called themselves Brethren. It can be shown that they were (with few exceptions) Bible-believing Christians. Cardinal Hosius, a member of the Council of Trent (1546-63) said that the Anabaptists had been suffering cheerfully for the their faith FOR 1200 YEARS.
He also said, The Anabaptists are a pernicious sect, of which kind the Waldensian brethren seem to have been. Nor is this heresy a modern thing, for it existed in the time of Austin. Austin was born 354 A.D. That was the same 4th century that Constantine wedded Church and State.
By 395 A.D. Catholicism was the ONLY RELIGION ALLOWED in the Roman Empire. Pagan priests and multitudes became instant Catholics. True Christians, already persecuted, were now ILLEGAL. C.H. Spurgeon, in his Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, says:
... the Baptists are the original Christians. We did not commence our existence at the Reformation, we were reformers before Luther or Calvin ... we never came from the Church of Rome, for we were never in it, but we have an unbroken line up to the Apostles....
Sir Isaac Newton wrote, The modern Baptists, formerly called Anabaptists, are the only people that never symbolized with the papacy.
Thus, those who obey the Great Commission are part of a long train of witnesses. They have Messiah's authority to do what they do. And they have His blessing, guidance, provision and divine presence with them -- even unto the end of the world. Amen.
We are in general agreement with the London Baptist Confession of 1689. But we do not believe in a universal, invisible, church consisting of all true believers. Rather, we believe that all true believers belong to the family of God and are therefore in the kingdom of God.
Within that kingdom exists local, visible churches. These local, visible churches assemble regularly to preach the Word and administer the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Table. When we all get to heaven, we will be one universal, visible, church.
Directly below are links to some Missionaries who are fulfilling the Great Commission:
 John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (Westminster Press: Philadelphia, PA, 1960, 1975) p. 1320.
 Erroll Hulse, Baptism and Church Membership (Carey Publications Ltd.: Leeds, England, 1972, 1989) p. 10.
 W.R. Downing, The New Testament Church -- Nature, Characteristics, Perpetuity (Fairview Baptist Church: Salinas, California, 1981) p. 200.
 Erroll Hulse, An Introduction to the Baptists (Carey Publications, Ltd.: Sussex, England rev. ed. 1976) p. 5.
 W.A. Jarrel, Baptist Church Perpetuity: Or the Continuous Existence of Baptist Churches from the Apostolic to the Present Day (Baptist History) (Calvary Baptist Church Bookstore: Ashland, Kentucky, n.d. -- originally published by author, 1894 in Dallas) p. 308.
 Quoted by W.R. Downing, The New Testament Church -- Nature, Characteristics, Perpetuity (Fairview Baptist Church: Salinas, California, 1981) p. 150.
 W.A. Jarrel, Baptist Church Perpetuity: Or the Continuous Existence of Baptist Churches from the Apostolic to the Present Day (Baptist History) (Calvary Baptist Church Bookstore: Ashland, Kentucky, n.d.)
George Theiss is a combat veteran of Vietnam who now follows Lamb of God. He and his wife, Christy, have been married 42 years (in 2019). They have 8 grown children. You can contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2002 through 2019 by George Theiss