In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) the Lord Jesus Christ tells us to “make disciples of all nations.” That is the mission of the church.
So does that sound like a “Mission Impossible” to you? Sound too big? Too difficult? If so, you catch on fast! It is too big for us; it is too difficult for us; it is impossible for us if we are left to ourselves.
But we are not left to ourselves. The risen and ascended Lord Jesus Christ has given us power by the Holy Spirit to be His witnesses to the ends of the earth. The Spirit’s presence and power is the way that the Lord is both present and powerfully at work in the church. It is the way that He is with us always, even to the end of the age. And it is the way that He is with us in the work of making disciples of all the nations.
When the Lord Jesus Christ tells us that He will be with us unto the end of the age (Matthew 28:20), He is not just telling us that we will not be alone when the going gets tough. He is not just telling us that He will be watching us as we seek to make disciples of all the nations in obedience to the Great Commission. He is telling us that disciples will be made because He is with us.
The Great Commission, humanly-speaking, is a mission impossible. But in our faithful witness to Jesus Christ in preaching the gospel, the Lord Jesus is the One making disciples. He does that by His Spirit working through the Word.
In his book, The Gospel Commission, Michael Horton writes,
Christ’s ascension to the right hand of the Father creates the confidence that our going will not be in vain, whether we are sent to China or to our next-door neighbor. (p.31)
The Great Commission is not a mission impossible; it is not even a mission possible – it is also an absolute certainty. Disciples will be made. And our part in that is to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6-9,
I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
Our job is to plant the seed by spreading the Word of Christ. God is the One who makes that testimony bear fruit in the salvation of sinners.
He has given us His Spirit and His gospel. He has chosen to work through us as we are faithful to testify to Jesus Christ to those around us. Do we want to know the power of the Holy Spirit? Then let us be His witnesses, and then we will truly see the power of Jesus at work in us!