2001-01-13 - God's Command to His Church
Messiah: His Final Call to Israel Series, Part 18
Having examined in our last few devotionals in this series, the principal passages in the Old Testament in which God commands believers to proclaim the message of truth to Israel, we now turn to the New Testament and investigate this passage of Scripture which many know as the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:18-20 "And Jesus came to them and spake unto them, saying, all authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: 20 teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."
By appointment the risen, glorified Lord Jesus met the eleven disciples on a mountain in Galilee. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him, but some of them were in doubt. Events had taken a turn unexpected by the Apostles. Therefore, some of them were bewildered. Knowing that the misgivings of those who were in doubt would soon be dissolved, the Lord spoke to the group, saying, "All authority hath been given unto me in Heaven and on Earth." Everything on Heaven and on the Earth was turned over to the Lord Jesus as the God-man, who had conquered Satan and all the forces of evil. As the Lord of all Creation, therefore, He commanded the Apostles, saying, "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you. And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." According to verse 19, Jesus instructed the Apostles to make disciples of "all the nations." Israel, of course, is included in the expression "all the nations." They were, of course, to teach those who accept Christ as Lord and to baptize them into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
At the last appearance of Jesus to the Apostles, He urged them to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit, who would bring new spiritual power to them:
Acts 1:8 "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth."
According to this verse, the twelve Apostles were given instructions as to how they should proceed on their worldwide mission. They were to be witnesses of that which had occurred, and that which they had seen concerning Jesus, first in Jerusalem. Then they were to fan out into all Judea. Next they were to go northward and preach the truth in Samaria. This work having been accomplished, they were to go forth into all the world. The Apostles followed the Lord's instructions literally. In the Book of Acts, we have a very terse history of the beginnings of Christianity, as it spread from Jerusalem to the uttermost part of the earth. Echoes of this worldwide ministry are heard in these Biblical references.
Romans 10:18 "But I say, did they not hear? Yea, verily, their sound went out into all the earth and their words unto the ends of the world."
As soon as the Apostle Paul was convinced that Jesus was the Hebrew Messiah and Saviour of the world, he accepted Him, while he was still in Damascus. Immediately he proclaimed in the synagogues that Jesus was and is the Son of God.
Acts 9:20 "And straightway in the synagogues he proclaimed Jesus, that he is the Son of God."
The passages below (too long for this e-mailed devotional) make it clear that the inspired Apostle Paul put the Jew first on his program of preaching the Gospel. Carefully read them when you have time. It is therefore, by the authority of the glorified, risen Lord that the Gospel should be preached to all Israel. I urge you to join a growing number of believers everywhere in praying for and getting involved with this work that brings true light and real hope for peace, to the end that Gods program of peace will unfold in the Middle East. Thank you.
Acts 18: 1-11 *After Jews violently rejected the message, Paul turned to the Gentiles.
Acts 28 * When Paul reached Rome, he preached to the Jews of that city first. When they rejected the message there, he turned to the Gentiles.
In His Service,