The Great Commission – What is it?

Categories: Bible Lessons

Memory Verse                                                                                                                                                  “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15

Bible Passage                                                                                                                                              Matthew 28: 19-20, Mark 16:15-20


A commission is a duty or task that has been committed to a person or group to be done by a higher authority. It is backed up with the power from such leader to act as an agent. It is compulsory that the person delegated to do the task carries it out. Failure to do so will carry disastrous or bad repercussions/effects. Important and compelling as a commission is in the world, it is more serious in spiritual life.

Jesus gave all believers an important duty before He ascended into Heaven. We have to carry it out because He is the King of Kings. If a King or president of a nation or governor commissions someone to do a certain task, it is obligatory to perform the task. How much more when the Lord of Hosts, the Owner of Heaven and earth commands us to do certain work for Him. We have to do it no matter what comes our way.

So, in this series, we shall look into Christ’s great commission and how we should carry it out. It is our prayer that as you study this lesson, the Holy Spirit will minister to you and give you the strength to obey this great command.

What Is The Great Commission?

The great commission of our Lord Jesus Christ is to preach the gospel to the whole world – Mk.16:15. The command is “go and preach.” This is the only assignment which our Lord gave to all believers at the time of His ascension and the instruction is valid till His second coming. Obedience to this command is not voluntary. It is not a matter of choice. It is absolutely compulsory. Failure to do it will attract consequences.

In the plan of God, every believer is supposed to be a soul winner. In Mark1:17, Jesus command, “…Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.” We are commanded to go and preach to every creature, irrespective of race, colour or nationality – Acts 1:8. We are asked to be witnesses of Jesus in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and into the entire world. This is a call to witness around us. That is, our immediate neighbourhood, in our village, town or district (which may mean Judea): in our states and nation (which symbolizes Samaria) and finally throughout the world. This is a call for world evangelism. Wherever God directs, we should be able to go without questioning Him on why we should be sent there. So, if there is any command binding on us as should be sent there. So, if there is any command binding on us believers and very dear to the heart of the Saviour, it is the salvation of the lost which could be guaranteed by obeying this divine commission.

What Are The Various Aspects Of The Great Commission?

There are three dimensions to the Great Commission:

a) Personal Evangelism: This calls for each believer to bring and lead a sinner or someone who is ignorant of the saving grace of our Lord to make him know and accept Jesus Christ as his own Saviour and Lord and follow Him faithfully – John 10:11; Romans 5:8; Gal 1:4

This involves an individual believer testifying about Christ to people, face-to-face or heart-to heart talk, house-to-house in the locality or anywhere he finds himself. This is great responsibility that calls for urgent action on all born again Christians. This is the most effective method of winning souls for Christ.

b) Mass Evangelism:  This could be in form of open-air crusade, radio or television programme, seminar, newspaper publication, Christian literature and Christian magazine to make the gospel reach many people both near and far. Jesus Christ used many methods to make sure that many people heard His message – Mark 2:1-12; 3:1-5, Lk. 9:11. This was also practiced in the early church – Acts 2:14, 41; 17:22-33; 7:1-2.

c) Follow-Up: This is a form of evangelism in which a believer gives the newly converted Christian necessary spiritual guidance to make him understand the steps that he will take to reach spiritual maturity in Christ – Mat.28:19-20, Prov. 27:23, Acts 20:28. We shall treat this in the third part of this series.


Are you obeying this Great Commission every day? Do you find time for personal evangelism? Know that you will be rewarded for the number of people you have brought to the Lord. When you witness to others, you are making your faith firmly established. Pray to God to make you faithful to the great commission. God reckons on you to do the work. The main reason our Lord has not returned is that the gospel has not been preached to everybody – Matthew 24:14. If you are lazy in preaching the gospel, you are delaying the second coming of Jesus Christ. Pray the Lord now to make you obedient at all times to this main task. If you have not known the Lord as your Saviour, you cannot be a soul winner. Pray for the conversion of your soul now.

 Pastor E. A. Adeboye

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