“Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance,
the whole earth as your possession.” – Psalm 2:8
The Bible gives us the mandate for world evangelisation. Religious pluralism encourages the opposite tendency.
Whenever the spirit of religious fanaticism or of its opposite, religious indifferentism, prevails, world evangelization is bitterly resented. The Christian evangelist is regarded as making an unwarrantable intrusion into other people’s private affairs.
In face of this opposition we need to be clear about the mandate the Bible gives us. It is not just the Great Commission, but the entire biblical revelation.
There is but one living and true God, the Creator of the universe, the Lord of the nations and the God of the spirits of all flesh. Some 4,000 years ago he called Abraham and made a covenant with him, promising not only to bless him but also through his posterity to bless all the families of the earth. The Old Testament prophets foretold how God would make His Christ the heir and the light of the nations.
When Jesus came, He endorsed these promises. True, during His own earthly ministry he was restricted “to the lost sheep of the house of Israel,” but He prophesied that many would “come from east and west, and from north and south,” and would “sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.” Further, after his resurrection and in anticipation of His ascension He made the tremendous claim that “all authority in heaven and on earth” had been given to Him. It was in consequence of His universal authority that He commanded His followers to make all nations His disciples, baptizing them into His new community and teaching them all His teaching.
And this, when the Holy Spirit of truth and power had come upon them, the early Christians proceeded to do. They became the witnesses of Jesus, even to the ends of the earth. Moreover, they did it “for the sake of His name.” They knew that God had superexalted Jesus, enthroning Him at His right hand bestowed upon Him at His right hand and bestowing upon Him the highest rank, in order that every tongue should confess His lordship. Not till the gospel had reached the ends of the world, He said, would the end of history come.
Our mandate for world evangelization, therefore, is the whole Bible. It is to be found in the creation of God, in the character of God, in the promises of God, in the Christ of God, in the Spirit of God and in the Church of God.
This global dimension of the Christian mission is irresistible. The biblical mandate for world evangelization cannot be escaped.
- Redemptive Program (evanlaarmission.wordpress.com)
- Is the “great commission” a mandate for “Bible Preaching”? (thewholelogos.wordpress.com)