Great Commission is not complete: Part 1

Hi All! As most of you know at One Eight Catalyst, we exist to create resources and deliver training that is a catalyst enabling every Christians to find Great Commission fulfillment. Because of our emphasis on the Great Commission, we talk about it a lot. A LOT. During a recent development appointment, a friend of the ministry told us about an article that had been passed along to him that stated that the Great Commission had already been fulfilled, which was a surprise to use given our understanding of Scripture that the Great Commission will not be finished until all ethnic groups (pas ethnos, or πᾶς ἔθνος in Greek) have heard the Gospel and since there are still 7400 people groups that are unreached, there’s still a lot of work to do.

The article that was sent to us was long, so we won’t recount every detail here, but I would encourage you to read it to get the full context of this series of posts, of which this is the first of three posts addressing this article. In summary, here are the highlights. In contending that the Great Commission is already finished, the author does so by stating that:

  1. Many evangelical Christians falsely believe that we can speed up when Jesus returns by reaching all unreached people groups.
  2. In Matthew 24:14, a passage that we often use in our ministry, when Jesus states that as the ‘gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come,’ is not an indication that we must first reach all ethnic groups (pas ethnos, or πᾶς ἔθνος in Greek) before Jesus returns.
  3. In fact, the end that Jesus is talking about here is the end of the age as indicated by the destruction of the temple in AD 70.
  4. He uses a couple of passages from the letters of Paul to state that the Gospel has already been proclaimed throughout the whole world. The most poignant passage comes from Colossians 1:23, where Paul encourages us to remain firm in ‘the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation[g] under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.’

Again, I would encourage you to read the entire article. In this series of posts, I’d like to contend with the conclusions made in this article (which I’ll call the GCIC article, for Great Commission is Complete) and offer an encouragement as we look deeply into Scripture. In the next post in this series, we’ll take a look at the Scripture used in the GCIC article and break down in fine detail what we’re actually looking at here.

mike

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