Journal of Applied Missiology, Volume 6, Number 1



Ed Mathews

The missionary program of the church is outlined in the final words of Jesus:

"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age," Matthew 28:18-20.
The congregation which follows this mandate will be a mighty instrument in world evangelism. Satan knows this better than we do; consequently, he has rewritten the marching orders of the master.

Many in the church are taken in by his scheme. The results are disastrous.

  1. Satan reduces the requirement. He suggests "going" to the neglect of "making, baptizing, and teaching disciples." When we do this, he wins a major victory. In effect, we follow the instruc- tions of the destroyer. The lost are not prepared for eternity. We alleviate physical need but ignore spiritual necessity. The master is dishonored. His mission is turned into a mere philanthropic gesture.

  2. The devil limits the scope. The goal of the Lord is "all nations." The evil one advocates doing mission at home. It is cheaper. It is easier. It is convenient. Obviously, satan has a point. It is cheaper, easier, and more convenient. Yet the home field must not be neglected for the same reason the foreign field must not be neglected. God said "all nations." His instructions must not be rewritten.

  3. The adversary emphasizes the danger. We all know there is war, violence, and instability in the world. The great deceiver intends for us to rivet our attention on the vulnerability of going abroad. He edits out the reassuring promise in the great commission: "surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

How dare he do such a thing! How dare we fall for such a ploy! No one can add to or subtract from the word of God without incurring the wrath of God. Whose commission are we reading? Whose instructions are we following?


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