The Great Commission

Matthew 28:19­20 (NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of (1)all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and (2)teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Mark 16:15­16 (NIV) He said to them, "Go into all the world and (3)preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

The scope of the great commission is worldwide

We may not be able to go into all the world to preach but we can pray for every nation. Praying for nations as a whole is important because Satan has deployed his demons over specific nations to keep them from believing. These demons are what we call territorial spirits.

2 Kings 17:30­31 (NIV) The men from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the men from Cuthah made Nergal, and the men from Hamath made Ashima; 31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their children in the fire as sacrifices to Adrammelech and Anammelech, the gods of Sepharvaim.

Jeremiah 50:2 (NIV) "Announce and proclaim among the nations, lift up a banner and proclaim it; keep nothing back, but say, 'Babylon will be captured; Bel will be put to shame, Marduk filled with terror. Her images will be put to shame and her idols filled with terror.'

Daniel 10:2­13 (NIV) At that time I, Daniel, mourned for three weeks. 3 I ate no choice food; no meat or wine touched my lips; and I used no lotions at all until the three weeks were over. 4 On the twenty­fourth day of the first month, as I was standing on the bank of the great river, the Tigris, 5 I looked up and there before me was a man dressed in linen, with a belt of the finest gold around his waist. 6 His body was like chrysolite, his face like lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and his voice like the sound of a multitude. 7 I, Daniel, was the only one who saw the vision; the men with me did not see it, but such terror overwhelmed them that they fled and hid themselves. 8 So I was left alone, gazing at this great vision; I had no strength left, my face turned deathly pale and I was helpless. 9 Then I heard him speaking, and as I listened to him, I fell into a deep sleep, my face to the ground. 10 A hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said, "Daniel, you who are highly esteemed, consider carefully the words I am about to speak to you, and stand up, for I have now been sent to you." And when he said this to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he continued, "Do not be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day that you set your mind to gain understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to them. 13 But the prince of the Persian kingdom resisted me twenty one days. Then Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, because I was detained there with the king of Persia.

Because Satan has designated certain spirits over certain nations, it is useful to pray for nations specifically that God will release them from bondage.

Not just evangelism, but also discipleship

...teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

Many people see the great commission as merely witnessing. But it also includes the element of making disciples and teaching them how to observe God's ways.

The great commission is about good news

John 3:16 (NIV) "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

Ephesians 2:8­9 (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith­­and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God­­ 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

While some people teach that we can go to heaven only if we make Jesus the Lord of every area of our life, this can hardly be called good news. It is good news only because salvation is free and simply by believing. Be careful not to add works into the good news.