We know it as ‘the Great Commission’…the final words at the end of Matthew’s gospel of Jesus to the eleven disciples gathered on the mountain in/near Galilee. The scholars/translators didn’t give Matthew 28:16-20 the sub-heading ‘the Great Command’. It wasn’t referred to as ‘the Great Request’ or ‘the Sublime Suggestion’. No, it was ‘the Great Commission’ and rightly so!
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’ I – Jesus Christ…the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world…the only begotten Son of God…the eternal King of kings and Lord of lords – I have all authority, given to me by my Father. ALL! So, ‘Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Now that’s a commissioning with nothing left out! And that was the message preached from our pulpit yesterday by our brother Noel from Kenya. Do you think Noel has some idea of what warfare is? earthly..physical and heavenly..spiritual? Yes, I believe he does. We heard his testimony of what they have been facing, what they have endured and perhaps, what is yet to come.
Commissioned. Isaac Watts wrote the hymn we know as ‘Am I a Soldier of the Cross?’. He wrote this hymn as he prepared a sermon from 1Corinthians 16:13, ‘Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.’
Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own His cause,
Or blush to speak His Name?
Must I be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?
Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vile world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?
Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by Thy Word.
Thy saints in all this glorious war
Shall conquer, though they die;
They see the triumph from afar,
By faith’s discerning eye.
When that illustrious day shall rise,
And all Thy armies shine
In robes of victory through the skies,
The glory shall be Thine.
Perhaps you have forgotten, perhaps you do not yet know…that we are in a battle between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of man. If you would like to consider this battle further please go to the Holy Bible…the Word of God, and first and above all look to the glory of the Captain who would fight for you…who would lovingly grant you this commission. Receive His sovereign grace and believe with saving faith that the battle truly belongs to the LORD…and He has won it!
PRAY for the investment of the Gospel in Africa.