Theology of World Missions - Lesson 8

The Great Commission

In the Great Commission, Jesus is given all authority, his disciples are to go to all nations, and Jesus will be with His followers all the days until the end of the age. Scripture is historically accurate, which indicates a strong connection between apologetics and missions. The message of the Gospel is based on historical events. God calls us to proclaim the Gospel and also to live (incarnate) it.

Peter Kuzmič
Theology of World Missions
Lesson 8
Watching Now
The Great Commission

The Great Commission


1. Matthew chapter 28: the Great Commission

2. The Gospel of Mark chapter 16

3. Gospel of Luke

4. 1 Corinthians chapter 15

5. Acts chapter 17

6. Book of Acts

7. Gospel of John

  • Dr. Kuzmic provides a framework for the class based on 6 specific statements about a theology of missions. Our theology determines our worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. We need a theologically grounded missiology and a missiological focused theology.

  • Dr. Kuzmic talks about how God saved him and about his cultural background in Eastern Europe.

  • Developing your spirituality and practicing prayer are important elements in achieving a well-balanced theology. The Creator of heaven and earth is Lord of the nations. God promised to bless the whole world through Abraham. Throughout history, different people have applied that promise as a right of privilege for themselves rather than a call to service to others. God calls people, then sends them.

  • The book of Psalms is one of the greatest missionary books in the world. Isaiah's description of Messianic fulfillment at the end of history is a reminder of the role of Messianic people within history, similar to the "already but not yet" of the "kingdom of God" in the New Testament. Quiz questions are included at the end to clarify what Dr. Kuzmic thinks are the important points and because he includes some commentary on central issues of missions.

  • Professor Doug Birdsall first discusses the work of the Church in Asia. He then talks about 3 aspects of missions work: 1. Forming partnerships, 2. Sending churches, 3. Funding. One of the fastest growing groups of the Church in China is composed of urban intellectuals. In India, Mongolia, Nepal and Cambodia, in addition to China, there are great opportunities as well as challenges.

  • Doug Birdsall continues by describing how to establish cross-cultural partnerships. Some of the most important considerations are determining what the needs are, selecting national leaders wisely, and planning for the national leaders to take complete control at some point.

  • 80-2000 project The scope of the Great Commission includes both the nation of Israel and the whole world. Matthew chapters 9 and 10 describe people as lost (sheep without a shepherd) and valuable (the harvest is plentiful). Jesus saw and had compassion. The heart of missions is seeing people the way Jesus sees them and loving them the way Jesus loves them.

  • Discussion of the meaning and application of this key passage of Scripture.

  • Joanne Harding about the AIDs crisis in Africa. It is a tragedy and a major challenge for world missions. A panel of experienced missionaries discusses the calling to be a missionary and practical ways to prepare to be a missionary.

  • Dr David Hilborn, Head of Theology Evangelical Alliance in the UK, discusses the theological framework of universalism, its historical development and the impact that it has on missions.

  • The political and religious climate in Yugoslavia creates unique challenges for people who are preaching the gospel there.

  • Dr. Timothy Tennent points out that the spread of vibrant Christianity in areas of the world besides the west, and the clash of Christianity with major world religions outline the framework for the focus of world missions.

  • Dr. Timothy Tennent shows how Christianity compares to other world religions by citing case studies of discussions with individuals of Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam. Evangelicals must engage more seriously and more profoundly in the thought world of other religions.

  • What does Christ have to do with culture and what does the Church have to do with the world? Isolationists separate themselves and cannot have a significant impact on the world around them. Secularists identify with the world by compromising core beliefs to match the culture and don't have an impact because they are no different from the people around them. The Church often evangelizes from a distance instead of entering into the lives of people.

  • People will often respond more positively to the Gospel if you first find common ground in practical areas and use culture as a bridge for the Gospel into the world. The Gospel has to be forwarded to a new address for every generation.

  • Chuck Davis from Africa Inland Mission describes mission work in Africa and his personal experiences in Congo, Chad and other African countries.

  • The Gospel is a message that addresses sin in the lives of individuals and transforms society in areas like justice and charity.

  • World missions is a fundamental theme throughout the Bible. The book "Christ and Culture" proposes four models to explain the relationship between the Church and the world. Some people emphasize scriptures that focus on evangelism and others emphasize scriptures that teach the importance of meeting peoples' physical needs.

    Note: The David Bosch Grid and Hans Kung Paradigm chart may be posted in the future but are not available at this time.

  • The Lausanne Conference on World Evangelism provided a forum for Christian leaders from different countries and denominations to establish some common goals and principles for communicating the Gospel and caring for people all over the world.

    Note: The David Bosch Grid and Hans Kung Paradigm chart may be posted in the future but is not available at this time.

Dr. Kuzmič provides a framework for a theology of world missions based on a biblical worldview. We must live as citizens of two kingdoms. Our missiology needs to be theologically grounded, and our theology, missiologically focused. The documents that were written by delegates at the Lausanne Conference on World Missions have had a significant influence in defining and encouraging the practical application of a biblical view of world missions.

Theology of World Missions

Dr. Peter Kuzmič


The Great Commission

Lesson Transcript


Of course, the most important mission passage in the Gospel of Matthew comes at the very end. Most of you have been able to identify that one in that little diagnostic test, the Great Commission. You will notice John Scott's differentiation between the great commandment of loving our neighbor and the Great Commission to witness our neighbor. This is one way to put it. Jesus after his resurrection. And one must always start reading from verse 16 in Matthew 28. Says, Well, let me put it in a context. Then the 11 disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him. But some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples. I'm reading from the Navy. The literal translation or a better translation would be therefore, as you go. Make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and 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. Or a better translation would be every day or all the days to the very end of history. Okay, this is the Great Commission that is memorized most frequently as encapsulating the mandate Jesus gave to His disciples to evangelize the world. Unfortunately, I hear it quoted very often, beginning with verse 19. Go and make disciples. And as I have think, I think I've mentioned once already in this class, the goal here is not even an imperative. The only imperative in this passage is make disciples matter. They all sat there. Here is how we must view the Great Commission to properly understand it.


Make disciples. Of all nations baptizing. And what else are they to do? And teaching. That's the task. That's verse 19 and 20. This is what we call the Great Commission. But as I said, verse 18 is foundational. All authority. In heaven, and that is given to me. And I would like to suggest. That this is the great foundation for the Great Commission. A powerful theological statement. Remember, this is the reason, Lord speaking. All authority and in heaven and on alert has been given to me. Now if you hear anybody anywhere. Make such or a similar statement. Call FBI. Call KGB. Call CIA. Phone John Ashcroft, whoever. We have had too many in human history. We've had in the last century quite a few. Remember Adolf? Adolf Hitler? I mean, I remember Josef. Joseph besides all of its styling, I mean, not to mention Mao Tse-Tung or Pol Pot and so many others who claim all power to all authority is translated very often as old power. It's actually very difficult how to translate the ecstasy of which could mean dominion rule. All power in heaven and or not is given to me. Power and abuse of power is at the very road to the very core of the painful human history of wars atrocities. All the victims that we hear about daily are due to the abuse of power. This one is different. The one who makes this statement. Claims of power. Because first of all, he didn't grab it. It was given to him. You could study if he had the time, which we don't. A parallel to Philippians two. The cannabis passage he has humbled himself. He was obedient, obedient to the point of dying on the cross. And then you have the crowning of that.


Following the incarnation comes resurrection. And therefore, God has given him God. The Father gave him the name above all names that add the name of Jesus. Every initial vow and every time confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The famous Christological passage in Philippians do the name above all other names speaks of this absolute power or absolute authority. He is different and he is the only one that can make the legitimate claim to all power for two reasons. And I'm simplifying the Christology here. As foundational to salvation. He is the only one that walked this planet Earth and never lied. The only one whose hands never stole. In his heart. There was never an evil motive in whose mind there was never an erroneous thought. The God men was fully men, and yet also fully God. If you have not had Christology, don't ask the question now about this mystery. Who did not send the only one who walked the planet Earth and never sinned, never lied? Or maybe we have in this class somebody who never lied. Come on, be brave enough and lie for the first time in life. And I will get you to the counseling department tomorrow morning. First thing. We all live. We all sin. We all came short of glory. But he did not. And so he the sinless one. Second Corinthians five put it in those words that God made him sin. Who knew? No sin for us. For us. He the sin loves ones, takes the sins of humanity and has them nailed in his body on the cross. And when his enemies thought that the story was finished, you know what happened on the third day? Okay? And so he arose. And he. He's given all the power in heaven.


And on that absolute power saving power, eternal power, the Lord of the universe. And so he makes this extraordinary claim because it points to the resurrection and it points to the story, it points to the cross and the resurrection as the most crucial Christ events. Actually, they are one event, and that is the foundation for the mission. There is no mission without the saving work and the resurrection power manifested in Christ, our Lord, who died for our sins and rose for our justification to use the language that the Apostle Paul uses in Romans. That's the great foundation, of course. This reminds you. And we don't have time to go back into the Old Testament. Just read of the great vision in Daniel, the great vision of the Son of Man, and you will see that the son of men is the son of God is the Savior, too, has been given all authority for redemptive purpose. So therefore, is the most important connective here. Therefore, meaning based on what he has done and his authority, his rightful claim, we are commissioned to go and make disciples of all nations. And then, of course, there is a third part. There are three segments to the Great Commission, and this is what I call the great promise. Okay. Teaching them to obey. Of course, that is making disciples baptizing incorporation into the body, instructing. Okay, the full council, all that he taught. And then in the last verse here, verse 20, the 20 be and surely I am with you always. I will be with you always to the end. Okay. That's a promise. It's a Christological promise. When you compare this with other scriptures related to the Great Commission, you will see in Luke, you will see in the Book of Acts, it's the promise of the spirit we have, again, the whole Trinitarian force here.


God, who throws him from the dead, the God the Father gives him the name above all other names, gives him the authority, gives him the power, and his disciples are the ones who believing that, rooted in that great foundation. Now, you know, in obedience to him, take that message that which happened the Christ event, Crystal said Agnes. And they take it to the nations and they instruct them and they baptize them, and then they are given a promise that he will be with them to the very end. And as you do the parallel study, you will see that that's the promise of the spirit. So the foundation in verse 18 is the guarantee. It's the guarantee. It is the legitimation of their mission of the task. And the promise is the promise of his presence. To the end. Now, notice another little thing and yet significant in this passage. And that's the word. All. All. All authority. Okay. What is the next of all nations? What is the next goal? Teaching them. Some parts that I have commended you. Right. Teaching them all. Let's put it this way. All teaching. And then I will be with you all ways, all the time. All the days. This is a very comprehensive text, all encompassing, nothing fragmentary or relative or relative ized here at the end of the Gospel of Matthew, for the sake of the economy of time, we will not go through the book of Mark except to go to the end mark. Chapter 16, where you have the mark conversion of the Great Commission. For those of you who have had advanced Greek or exegesis of the Gospel of Mark or textual criticism, you know that there is some debate about this text and it is safe to conclude.


And even if you have the same version of NIV in front of you that I have in front of me before verse nine, you have this little footnote dividing verse eight and nine saying The most reliable early manuscripts and other ancient witnesses do not have Mark 16 9 to 20. Let's not go into the technical discussion. What happened here? I did write them master's thesis many years ago in the area of textual criticism. And I know that this is one of those case studies where you can learn so much about the earliest manuscripts and then know intelligent guesswork, how it was included before the canon was completed, or how and why it was added to the gospel of Mark, whatever the origin. One thing is sure, it describes the ethos of Jesus and the practice of the early church. And here the Great Commission reads Go into all the world. Now notice there you have all nations encompassing all the peoples of the earth. Here you have a geographical. Extension. Covering all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And then you have the promise in terms of supernatural confirmation of the word. And these signs will accompany those who believe in my name. They will drive out demons. They will speak in new tongues. They will pick up snakes with their hands. And when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all. They will place their hands on sick people and they will get well. You can just see why the Pentecostal and charismatic folks would emphasize this form of the Great Commission more than the Matthew form of the Great Commission, which is the most popular evangelical version and the most reliable and comprehensive text.


Now, after the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was taken into heaven and he sat that the right hand of God. This is obvious that this is an addition here. Then the disciples went out. And this is how this gospel concludes. This is the last verse. Verse 20 The disciples went out and preached everywhere. Okay, pointing to their obedience. And the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by signs that accompanied it. Now we move on again because of the time into the Gospel of Luke. I wish we didn't have to rush because you will find missions already in the Matisse Magnificat and you will find a holistic mission there and in so many other places. But we have to go to chapter 24. Keep in mind now. That look, the gospel is volume one or the first part of what acts. The book that follows is volume two or second part. Scholars will debate whether they were meant to be the same book. The emphasis here on the Spirit provides balance, and that's why we need to look at the Gospels together. That's what the word synoptic means, at least for the first three Gospels where you have so many similarities. But when you study the Great Commission, you will see the complementarity of the texts, while Matthew will emphasize teaching. Baptizing and has a Trinitarian basis in Mark. You have the signs, the supernatural confirmation, and then a commentary on the obedience of the disciples, and that God did follow and confirmed they are preaching in look, both the Gospels and the acts. Look who is a converted non-Jew, a Greek, a physician, obviously a man with a historical mind, a man who has mastered historical methodology. When you look at the opening before of I'm going back to chapter one again, and then we'll come to chapter 24, just watch his introduction.


And it's written in almost classical Greek in this otherwise Koine Greek text. Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, the motif of on film. And here, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the world. Therefore, since I myself have carefully investigated. Everything from the beginning. So very important to understand that look goes as a very. Careful historian, and he will provide us something that the German scholarship calls Lukas Zonder Good to Lukas Zonder good means looks outrageous. That only look brings. That's the Zonder code. That's the special material that only the Gospel of Luke records. Not only some of the teaching, not only some of the social aspects that are not as much emphasized in the first two gospels. But very interestingly, part of his historical research is obviously interviewing people who are still around. Including Marion. And others. And that's why you find these treasures in look that we do not find in other gospels. And also some of the stories, including the ones that I told you earlier, the lost coin, the prodigal or lost son, the lost sheep and so on. This is all part of Lucas is under God. Okay, he says. I have carefully investigated for everything from the beginning. It seemed good also to me to write an orderly account. A careful exegesis would help us here, understanding this historian who also has a theological mind. I, Howard Marshall, wrote a classic some 25 years ago. Look. Dog historian and theologian. Okay. He's a historian with a theological mind. Remember, he is a travel and missionary companion, a member of the team of the Apostle Paul. So that's why he in the Book of Acts, he gives us the three journeys and so many other things that we would not have recorded in canonical scriptures otherwise.


But he also goes back to the first part of the story, because there is no story of the church acts without the story of Jesus. The Gospel. Okay. Keep that always in mind. As you look. As you look at look. Okay. And he says, I've done this all for apologetic purposes so that you may know this trophyless, which would mean beloved by God, may have been a real person or may have been just a name standing for all the people who are loved by God and who need to hear the good news. And they need to know now that He is part of the missionary team that is taking the Gospel out of the Jewish cradle into the Graeco-roman world. We are the fulfillment of the messianic promises does not make much sense. Neither does the reference to Abraham with which we started our class. So what he is doing is saying, I have looked at the evidence. How about the reliability of this good news about the kingdom? That we are preaching. I have carefully researched. I have interviewed the eyewitnesses. I have checked the sources, one against the other. Keep in mind, there is the human side of the scriptures. Our Holy Bible, including the New Testament, is not like the Book of Mormon. There are no golden plates here or the book of. Well, we could go back to Islamic scriptures and other scriptures. It's the word of God given in human words in history. This is not my definition. If I recall well, from my studies, this goes back to great George Allen led the Bible is the word of God given in human words in history. And so this human words, this careful research, this history is especially emphasized in the Gospel of Luke when you come to John and we will only briefly be able to stop it.


John, you see that you have a theological interpretation. You really have a profound theological reflection. Of course you have history. You have references to the calendar and to real historical events. But you had already, in the early centuries of the Christian history, John is called a theologian. Okay. Because there is a theological reflection on the life and works and the teaching of Jesus. And look, you have theology by the emphasis is on history as she shows in this introduction. Now. For those of you who are first year here, the time will come when you will study the scriptures much more carefully than we are able to do in this panoramic survey looking at missions. I am mentioning this look as historian and his careful method of recording and the way he pays attention to details and to chronology, simply because when we talk about world missions, this becomes very important. The historical reliability that we are not bringing just another religion, another series of fables, that we are not dealing with fiction, that we are not dealing with projection, as Sigmund Freud accused us and Firebug did before him. The two container illusion, The future of an illusion. That's the title of the book Sigmund Freud wrote about Christianity. It's not an illusion. It's not a projection of unfulfilled human desires and frustrations. Espoir back theologian turned secular philosopher claimed in his work that influenced young Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels and others, who later then became the founders of the first totally materialistic, atheistic philosophy, an ideology called Marxism or Marxist Leninism in the Russian version of it. So the emphasis there on historical reliability is important. Even today, as we take the gospel, either not only to the nations out there, but as you take it to if you go to evangelize and witness down at MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Or at Harvard University. These are Ivy League and secular institutions of higher learning. But there is so much prejudice. Against Christianity. And so much skepticism and so much denial of all truth, including the gospel truth that is very important, that we are able to build the case for the historical reliability of this message that we proclaim as the only saving message, namely the gospel gospel of Jesus Christ. Okay, look. Performs that splendidly. And he's not the only one, remember? Peter will say, We have not followed clever fables. Okay. But the reliable word, John, was say, how does John say in the very opening of his first epistle, I have to read it because if I quote from my memory, I have to translate it in my head and then it comes out. There's odd wooden English. Okay. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard. Which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched this we proclaim concerning the word of life. He says it's historically grounded, tangible reality. This is what the Incarnation is all about. That's why without Jesus of Nazareth, without the Jesus of history, we don't have the crisis of proclamation. We don't have the charisma. As some of the liberal friends like Rudolf Bullmann and others would claim, because they would provide this adaptation of the gospel to the modern age, neurotically preoccupied with relevance. But not believing the supernatural because their worldview was closed in the cause and effect thinking and therefore materialistic. So they said, Well, it's not really important whether Jesus lived and dead and thought what we read. And it's not important that he heroes because resurrection don't take place. People don't come back from that.


What's important is that he has a reason within you. It's a psychological, modern interpretation that takes away from the truth. And when you take away from the truth, you take away from credibility and you take away what's most important, you take away from the power. Because the gospel is the life transforming message. We don't have the life transforming message. If Christ did not become human, if Christ did not die on the cross, if Christ did not rise from the dead on the third day, the Apostle Paul makes a similar. I'm trying to show you here the connection between what we would call apologetics and missions. In First Corinthians 15, the Apostle Paul makes a similar case because there are those in Corinth who are saying, Well, it's not really important whether Christ is risen or not. The important thing is he lives in us. He says, Wait a minute, this is nonsense. He cannot live within you if he's not present in history. And so he makes those famous series of arguments. In case you are not familiar. Let me just remind you. Or he speaks about the resurrection. He says Christ has raised from the dead. Okay, by this gospel, you are saved. Christ died for our students according to the Scriptures that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter appearance. Tangible, visible event after his resurrection. And then to the 12th. And after that he appeared to more than 500 of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, as if he's making a point. If you don't believe me, there are some addresses where you can go and check of those who met. And so the risen Lord and then he says up here to James, to all the apostles, and he says, Then he appeared to me.


And he puts that at the end because this appearance on the road to Damascus does not have convincing persuasive power if all the other appearances didn't take place before. So he emphasizes again, again, that Christ has been raised from the dead. And he says in verse 14, And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith, and we are found to be false witnesses. If in fact Christ is not risen from the dead, then the dead do not rise. And he goes on and says, Your faith is then futile. You are still in your sins. And he goes on to further develop this strong argument that our faith is the faith in the one who in history provided the foundation by his death and resurrection, the foundation for the Great Commission. And so the mission in which he is involved is not based on a lie, not on a fiction, but that this Christ, whom we preach, whom he preaches, whom we preach, is alive because it has to do with facts of history. It happened in time and space. Okay, Now you may say, well, this doesn't need much emphasis for me. I believe that sometimes it takes a lot of emphasis for those to whom you witness. You go through acts and encounter Paul witnessing to the philosophers there in Athens on I or Pangloss. And when he comes to resurrection, he starts from the general revelation. He says, Well, there is a statue to the unknown God, and he builds a bridge and says, Well, the unknown one has been made known and I am the messenger. I am bringing you the message about the one you don't know. And he goes from creation on, then builds the case, and then when he comes to the resurrection, then we read that some ridiculed and some doubted and a few did believe.


But notice that strong apologetic missionary sermon in in. Very skeptic philosophical environment. Now, I have made here a little excursion showing how look does this in service of missions. Now, look then concludes his gospel with Jesus appearing after his resurrection to the disciples. There is, of course, an appearance before, just prior to that, to the to on the road of Emmaus and the appearance to the women. But what is important here for our purpose is the ending. He exposes the scripture to them. He says everything must be fulfilled That is written about me in the Law of Moses, the prophets in the Psalms, verse 44, we go to 46. He told them, This is what is written. The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations. Beginning in Jerusalem. Okay. So you have the look on version of the Great Commission. Look. 2447. And it's very interesting. This is almost like connect linking it to the very beginning where he explains his historical method. You are witness and the reliability of what they are proclaiming. You are witnesses of these things. Verse 49 I am going to send you what my father has promised, but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high. That is again, the look and perspective. The spirit is brought in here. The promise in Matthew, I will be with you to always to the very end is in mark the signs, the wonders, the supernatural confirmation by the spirit is in look the explicit promise. You stay in Jerusalem. But after that, he said the mission was stopped in Jerusalem. And you will receive the promise, the power from on high.


Now ignore for a moment. Then there is the book of John in between. Because if we want to read it. As it is meant to be read. We go from here from Luke 24 into Acts chapter one. Okay. And in Acts one. Look, the physician turned. A member of the apostolic team. Turned into historian theologian. Addresses. The Theophilus refers to his earlier volume. In my former book I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach until the day he was taken up to heaven. After giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the Apostles he had chosen. Immediately you see the numerological connection. The promise of the spirit in 20 in look 2449 and here linkage to that. After his suffering spirit to the apostles, he chosen verse three after his suffering. He showed himself to these men and gave many convincing, proves that he was alive again. The apologetic Missionary Link. He appeared to them over a period of 40 days and spoke about the kingdom of God. What else? What he was teaching while in this peripatetic seminary is they worked with him for three years. He's continuing to teach for this brief period of time after the resurrection about the kingdom of God. And on one occasion, what he was eating with them. He tells them, Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my father promised. Which you have heard me speak about for John, baptized with the water. But in a few days you will be baptized by the Holy Spirit. This is the further explication of Luke 24. And then we go on. They now have questions because they do not understand what he's planning to do yet. They think this is you know, this is the end.


He's coming to restore the kingdom. And all they want to know like many modern day. Evangelicals. When? When. And he's saying, wait a moment, don't ask the question when. The question is what? What you want to do. I'm not asking you to go on a speculative journey. I'm asking you to go on a mission journey. And he says it is not for you to know the times and dates of the father as said by his own authority. So do not speculate. But and this is the crucial text here, but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. Okay, that's look 2449. Linkage. Okay, look, 2449 is repeated in Acts one eight. You will receive power and then you have the Great Commission reinstated by Jesus in the very opening of the Book of Acts, which is the book of missionary history of the early church. And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and then in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth. You have noticed these expressions now repeated many times. All nations and ends of the earth. And then the rest of the book of Acts is really unfolding of this really a commentary, even geographically. You could see it, but we will not be able to do that, obviously, tonight as we need to conclude here. In conclusion, what about the book of John? And I really don't need to dwell on that because you have all read Jon Stewart's book on Christian mission. Right. And you will reread it because it's such a wonderful reading. See. John, stop. Has done a great service to the evangelical world. By pointing out and providing a balance, therefore, that the Great Commission cannot be reduced fully. We do not have a full fledged understanding of Jesus's mission and great Commission.


If we just quote Matthew 28. We even with these additions of Mark 16 and look 24 that we have just looked at. And so he has helped evangelical world, especially since the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in 1974. Discover the incarnation all dimension of the Great Commission by pointing out the Johan Nine version of the Great Commission. I remember hearing that there is no Great Commission in the Gospel of John. There is a very profound statement of the Great Commission. Now, John Stott has been accused by some people, by the more ultra conservative evangelicals who put proclamation first or proclamation alone even, and did not touch the incarnation all element of world mission because the Liberals have overemphasized the incarnation very often. You know, evangelicals are unfortunately, very often reactionaries. This is how the liberal fundamentalists controversy at the beginning of the 20th century. So whatever the Liberals emphasized, like I mentioned last time, the Kingdom of God. The fundamentalist threw out discarded because that language for them was misleading. While you don't throw the baby out with the water, with the dirty water. And so it has taken us a long time to recover some crucial biblical teaching, including the teaching on the kingdom, to provide a balanced, full fledged biblical understanding and theology. John Stewart has been accused for dethroning evangelism. Harter Johnston in his book, The Battle for World Evangelization, accuses John Stott and this emphasis on the incarnation of and on the Johannine version of the Great Commission, and for for some other reasons, of course, putting an emphasis on the sociopolitical engagement and dialog as you have seen in your reading. For dethroning evangelism, he's not dethroning evangelism, he is just giving evangelism a proper place within a broader understanding of mission, which is then defined as all that God intends to do and does in history.


So that it is not just proclamation because humans have not only ears to hear what we preach. It's not just saving souls for heaven. You know, registering sales as if we were only ears and souls. What about the bodies? What about empty stomachs? What about the eyes that watch how we live? One of the Lausanne gatherings in Pattaya, Thailand. I was one of the signatories of an evangelical concern because the emphasis was so much on methodology. Methodology. How do we reach urban city dwellers? How do we reach Hindus? How do we reach university population? How do we reach? And everything was haole. If you read Samuel Escobar, he accuses this he calls this is a managerial mycology all concerned with methods. Missions. The great M being defined with under the rubric of methods, the right methods and the management. And what's the to them? Money, of course. You'll hear some mission strategists who don't have. Biblical grounding and only have a well-developed theology of missions, as if missions dependent on if we just had the right method and the managed managing skills and enough money, we could evangelize the world in our generation. And this is a secular heresy. Sam I religious this is this is when the corporate secular thinking takes over. The work of God and the work of God is reduced to a work of human hands. Human means. And that's why we are emphasizing. Miss. You are their mission of God. It's not our mission. It's God's mission and Christ as the missionary par excellence. And so the Incarnation all becomes very important here. And where do we have the Great Commission in the Gospel of John? This necessary balance. I need to go back to Pattaya, Thailand, right when we signed that statement of concern against this kind of mission at a press conference.


Some of us were responding to questions. I was even quoted in a in a BBC reporters were to other colleagues because I said the how how shall they hear? Which was one of the slogans, is a biblical question because it's taken out of Roman STEM. But if you plug it out of context as so many other things, it can become a heresy, can be a reduced version and therefore incomplete presentation of the mission. Because I said in many parts of the world and at the time I lived under a communist regime, I said in my part of the world and in so many other parts of the world, what shall they hear? The answer to the question? What shall they hear? Depends on the answer to the question. What shall they see becomes the question of credibility, of believing credible communities. And people do watch us how we live, whether we practice, what we proclaim. Those accusations against strong start, although coming from some evangelicals that he has dethroned evangelism are false accusations, he himself, in addition to everything else he is he is a practicing evangelist. Here there is an Lord who appears to his disciples, says, and we don't have time now for the whole passage. Verse 21. That's it. Peace be with you as the father has sent me. I am sending you in the same way, in the same manner. He says that the father has sent me. I am sending you. He makes a similar statement in the high priestly prayer in 1718, as you have sent me into the world. I send them in to the world. Jesus is the model missionary. He's not only the great commissioner who sends us. He gives us the model. And I think I did mention last time here he did not come proclaiming salvation from a safe distance.


He did not broadcast it from afar. He entered our human history. He entered human flesh. And that's where his credibility lies. And so he sends us in the same way to incarnate his gospel, his message in different cultures, where he is sending us the way the father has sent him to us. And of course, John does link because John has a strong no mythology. Remember the promise In chapter 14, he links the Great Commission with the reception of the Holy Spirit, which you see then in verse 22, and with that with that commission, he breathed on them and said, Receive the Holy Spirit. And then you see the authority there. And if you forgive the sins, that will be forgiven and so on. Okay. Lord, go with us as we go. And help us all to understand your world and your world. Maybe see the world, the humanity. The way you see them and maybe love them the way you love them. In plural, as well as single of the individuals we meet every day. So that they too may come to know you as Savior and Lord as life and light and as the only hope for eternity. Or we pray in your name and for your glory. Amen. And good night.