Yet, there seems to be much confusion over what it means to fulfill the Great Commission. Some say its discipleship while others say it’s about feeding the poor and clothing the naked. I think a simple look at the actual passage can clarify the issue.
Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation
GoWhat is God’s will for the Christian’s life? Well it begins here with Jesus commanding us to go.
Into all the worldAnd where has He commanded us to go? Not just into our own neighborhoods and communities but into all the world.
What is it we are to do when we go into the world...we are to proclaim. This means we must open our mouths. Many Christians have obeyed the command to go but are instead going and feeding, picketing, etc. This is all done under the veil of outreach, missions, evangelism, etc.
The gospelWhat are we proclaiming? Jesus tells us it is the gospel. Some are going out and preaching but they are not preaching Christ and Him crucified (1 Corinthians 2:2).
To the whole creation
Who is it we are to proclaim it to? Our family? Friends? Neighbors? Jesus commands us to proclaim the gospel to all creation. We are to be indiscriminate and not pick and choose who we share it with.
In light of this passage, we can clearly see what true evangelism is and we can address some of the popular forms of evangelisn't in the church today.
It is not political activism
It is not social activism
It is not apologetics
It is not praying for souls
It is not church invitation
It is not discipleship
It is not telling people, "Jesus loves you."
It is not about results or decision
“To evangelize is to declare on the authority of God what he has done to save sinners, to warn men of their lost condition, to direct them to repent, and to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ."
So whether we feed the hungry or clothe the naked, we must open our mouths and declare the message that God has entrusted to us and fulfill the call to go into the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
It is the gospel alone that can take a wretched and dead sinner and give him life. It is the gospel alone that can gives sight to the blind and unstops the ears of the deaf. It is the gospel alone that sets the captives free from their bondage to sin and Satan. And it is the gospel alone that can take a sin-loving, God-hating, rebellious sinner that longs to glorify himself and make him a sin-hating, God-loving Christ follower that longs to obey and glorify God.
All these other methods do not have the power to save sinners but that is precisely how Christ will be exalted and God will be glorified!
So if you’re a Christian and you are concerned about God’s glory and the salvation of sinners, will you go out and declare the good news to all of creation? Or have you been duped into thinking that you have the gift of evangelisn’t?