This mandate—to the ends of the earth—still presides over the church today and is inherent in every outpouring of the Spirit throughout history. I believe God will withhold measures of revival and outpouring until we align with His plan and purposes for the nations of the earth.
We want revival for our meetings to be better. God wants revival to anoint laborers to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth. Why is it the "Great" Commission?
It's important to understand that the Great Commission was given to the church, not just to individuals. It is a corporate mandate for the church. Therefore, the Great Commission is the plumb line for every other kingdom assignment. Just as every believer's first calling is the Great Commandment, to "love the Lord [their] God with all [their] heart, and with all [their] soul, and with all [their] mind" (Matt 22:37), every believer's first assignment is the Great Commission. It is first because it is the preeminent mandate of Jesus' church. As Hudson Taylor famously said, "The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed."
Though all have various gifts, assignments and desires that God has given, we are bound together in a common cause: to make the name of Jesus known and the gospel proclaimed in every nation of the earth. I am afraid that we have become so enthralled with our individual "callings" that we've lost sight of the church's preeminent mission. American individualism and a celebrity-driven culture have given rise to this relentless pursuit of one's personal calling to the point that we have lost sense of God's grand plan to give His Son the worship of all nations.
Louie Giglio once said, "Christians are not at their leisure ... We are not at our leisure. Rather, we are under the mandate of the grace of God—grace that found us, restored us, redeemed us, breathed life back into our dormant lungs and brought us back from the grave for a purpose. And that purpose is that we would, with everything in us, become an amplifier of the beauty of Jesus among all peoples. This mission is crystal clear."
We have all but forgotten the command of Jesus to His church. This is not speculative. It is the cold-hard fact that we must stare at. In 2018, the Barna Group published a study called Translating the Great Commission in which they asked churchgoers in America a series of questions concerning the Great Commission. When asked if they had previously "heard of the Great Commission," half of U.S. churchgoers (51%) said they do not know this term. Only 1 in 4 (25%) thought that the term sounded familiar, though they couldn't remember exactly what it was. Six percent (6%) of churchgoers in America were not sure whether they have heard the term "the Great Commission" before. All in all, eighty-two percent (82%) of those sitting in the pews of our modern churches could not identify what the Great Commission is.
Listen to the MAPS Global podcast on the Charisma Podcast Network and click here for more information on the Great Commission.
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