Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He appeared to His disciples in Galilee and gave them 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).
Jesus declared that once more He had all authority as before He came to this earth (Phil. 2:6–8). With that authority, Jesus commissioned His disciples to go to all the world. This commission is also referred to as the “charter of foreign missions.” Christianity was the first religion to assume a truly international character. Pagan religions were largely devoid of missionary zeal and activity. They were primarily national in character and did not set out to make converts of other national groups.
The gospel commission effectively eliminates national boundaries and men of all nations find themselves members of one great brotherhood in which “there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female,” for all are “one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3:28; Col. 3:11). Christianity effectively destroys all walls of race, nationality, society, economics, and social custom.
Here are presented two requirements—teaching and baptizing. It is fully as important to teach men to observe the things Christ has commanded as it is to baptize. The first requirement is to produce the inward acceptance of all what the Lord taught and His death on man’s behalf (John 1:12); the second is the outward token of an inward change of life (Rom. 6:3-6).
Jesus was about to ascend to heaven and be parted, bodily, from His disciples until the day of His return in power and glory. However, by virtue of the gift of the Holy Spirit, Jesus would be closer to the believers throughout the earth than would be possible had He remained bodily present (John 16:7).
Today, Christ’s church is promised all provisions through the gift of the Holy Spirit to fulfill Jesus’ great commission “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20,21).
In His service,
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