“Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue
as they were from the beginning of the creation....But beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that
one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack
concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing
that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pt.3-4, 8-9).
2. The Lord’s supreme reign over all the universe is assured.
“But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass
away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works
that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner
of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the
coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements
shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a
new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pt.3:10-13).
“Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under
him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him. But
we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with
glory and honor; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him,
for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the
captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings” (Heb.2:8-10).
“Then cometh the end, when he [Christ] shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the
Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he
hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put
all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is ex-
cepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then
shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in
all” (1 Cor.15:24-28).
(28:19-20) Commission, Great—Disciples, Making: Jesus commissioned His followers. He commissioned not only the
eleven apostles, but all who were present, more than five hundred disciples. However, note something of crucial impor-
tance: it was impossible for that generation to reach the whole world in its lifetime. Therefore, the commission given to the
first generation of believers extends beyond to all generations of believers. The very same charge given to them is given to
us. Our Lord charges us with the very same words, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations....”
The Lord’s commission was threefold.
1. He commissions us to “go ye...and make disciples of all nations.” This is one of the crucial verses in the Bible. No
verse is more important for genuine believers.
Teaching and baptizing are not enough to reach the world for Christ. Both are important, and Christ commissions both;
but He says something else must precede both: discipleship. “Go ye therefore and ‘metheteusate’ all nations” (Mt.28:19).
“Metheteusate” means to make disciples. Thus the verse accurately reads, “Go ye therefore and ‘make disciples’ of all na-
tions....” Most messages that are preached on this passage stress the objective of our Lord, the reaching of all nations, as
though this is what our Lord had in mind. There is no question, the great commission is what Christ had in mind. He has in-
structed us to go to all nations and evangelize them. But there is the strong conviction that He had more than that objective in
mind, more than just an overriding purpose—much more.
Our Lord was not only telling us “to go and evangelize,” He was telling us how to go and how to evangelize. He was not
only giving His ultimate objective and overriding purpose, He was giving the method to use in evangelizing the world.
Think about the word “metheteusate” (make disciples). What does our Lord mean by “make disciples”? Does it not mean
that we are to do what He did: make disciples and do things with them as He did. Is He not telling us to do exactly as He did?
What did He do? Christ “came to seek and save that which was lost” (Lk.19:10). He sought the lost, those who were will-
ing to commit their lives to Him. And when He found such a person, He saved that person. When Christ found a person who
was willing to commit his life, Christ attached Himself to that person. Christ began to mold and make that person into His
image. The word attach is the key word. It is probably the word that best describes discipleship. Christ made disciples of
men by attaching Himself to them; and through that personal attachment, they were able to observe His life and conversation;
and in seeing and hearing, they began to absorb and assimilate His very character and behavior. They began to follow Him
and to serve Him more closely. In simple terms, this is what our Lord did. This is the way He made disciples. This was His
mission and His method, His obsession: to attach Himself to willing believers.
There is another way to describe what Christ did. Christ envisioned something beyond Himself and beyond His day and
time. He envisioned an extension of Himself, an extension of His very being, and an extension of His mission and method.
The way He chose to extend Himself was discipleship, attaching Himself to committed persons; and through attachment, the
persons absorbed and assimilated the Lord’s very character and mission. They in turn attached themselves to others and dis-
cipled them. They, too, expected their disciples to make disciples of others who were willing to commit their lives to Christ.
Thus was the glorious message of Christ to march down through the centuries (2 Tim.2:2).
There is no question what our Lord’s commission is: we are to go; but more than that, we are to make disciples, to attach
ourselves to those persons who will follow our Lord until they in turn can make disciples (2 Tim.2:2).
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