Christ’s Last Words, Our First Concern

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Over the next few weeks, I intend to post excerpts from a booklet I recently wrote for our church, a publication I subtitled “a little booklet about a big deal.” The big deal? Christ’s last words.

Of course, we commonly know those last words as the Great Commission. But before I get into those excerpts, I’d like to offer a 30,000 foot view of why I believe the Great Commission should occupy our attention. Or, to put it another way, I’d like to provide a subterranean view of its foundation, a deep support system that fuels our uncompromised commitment to the Great Commission. No matter how you say it, the following flow of biblical truth is vital to his final words regarding our biblical task.

Because I believe the Bible teaches that…

  • God’s heart and promise, as so passionately evidenced throughout the Scriptures from beginning to end, has always been to redeem unto himself a people from every nation for his own glory [theological] (Genesis 12:1-3, Ps. 67:1-2, Rev. 7:9- 10), and
  • Jesus is the manifestation of his heart and culmination of those promises, the ‘good news’ of God to all mankind [Christological] (2 Cor. 1:20, Matthew 1:21-23, Luke 2:11- 14), and
  • this good news of God, the gospel, is fundamentally the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus and necessary for salvation [soteriological] (Romans 3:21-26, 1 Cor. 15:1-4), and
  • this gospel was proclaimed to all known nations without distinction in the book of Acts, clearing the way for the end, (i.e., the return of Jesus) [historical] (Luke 24:44-49, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:5-11, Romans 1:5, Romans 16:26) and
  • this is precisely why we also make disciples of all nations without distinction—because we’re near the end, not to bring about the end [practical] (Matthew 24:14, Mark 13:9-10, Acts 2:14-21)—and
  • the end ultimately means God’s kingdom gloriously and fully present in the new heaven and new earth [eschatological] (Rev. 21:1-22:5), and
  • a genuine longing for God’s glory is the truest motivation for us to do all we can to see the gospel spread to the ends of the earth [missional] (Habakkuk 2:14, Isaiah 66:18, Matthew 5:16, Romans 11:36, 1 Cor. 10:31, Phil. 1:9,11, Rev. 22:23),

…I joyfully surrender my life to magnify God’s passion—his glory known among the nations—and urge every follower of Jesus to do the same, embracing their role and investing their resources in the mission of making disciples of all nations who make disciples of all nations (ad infinitum).

Now the question of the day: What are your thoughts about this missiological flowchart of sorts? Agree? Disagree? Why? What aspects surprised you?

I enjoy hearing from readers, so feel free to reply below. And look for more excerpts in the coming weeks.

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