Main Arguments

Matt. 28:18-20 says:

Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen."

Ask the group: "What are the major parts of that verse? What jumps out at you?"

List and describe the major parts:

- All authority. Not just some. All authority. Jesus is over all. Rev. 19:16 says "King of kings and Lord of lords."

- in heaven and on earth. It's not limited. Jesus doesn't have authority in this place but lose it in another. He doesn't have authority some of the time. Jesus has all authority in every place and every time. We obey Him in every place, every time. Home, work, church, in court, in jail, or even on your death bead. Jesus still has all authority over our lives.

- Make disciples. Baptize them. Teach them. The process is that they hear the Gospel, believe, and are baptized. Then, the person Jesus is sending will help them get to know Jesus and God's Word better. And live in obedience to it. That's discipleship.

If that's the Great Commission, who did Jesus commission? Some people will tell you this command was just for the apostles. Then, they passed it onto specific people, like pastors and missionaries. Is it just their responsibility to do the Great Commission? Or is it everyone's?

Read 2 Cor. 5:17-21:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

Ask the group: "What are the major parts of that verse? What jumps out to you?"

Highlights include: new creation; God drives it; reconciles us to Himself; through Jesus Christ; ministry of reconciliation; the word of reconciliation; ambassadors on behalf of Christ; "we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God;" Christ who had no sin was made to be sin so we might in Him become the righteousness of God.

Let's step through this passage.

God gave "us" the ministry of reconciliation. Who is us? Who is Paul writing to in 2 Cor. 1:1? (Answer: all the saints in Achaia. Every believer in that church.)

What does he say we are? What is our title or role? (Answer: ambassadors.)

An ambassador of a country is sent as their representative. They carry messages that come with their full authority. They deliver these messages to accomplish some goal. They might speak or negotiate on behalf of the country that sent them. Accepting or rejecting their message is equivalent to doing the same with that country.

We are ambassadors for Christ. God sends us as His representatives. What is the goal He is trying to achieve? (Answer: reconciling people to Himself.)

What are we carrying to accomplish that? (Answer: word of reconciliation, or the Gospel)

Can we be casual about this? Or is it mandatory and urgent? Does Paul describe the attitude in which we approach the lost? (Answer: we beg them to be reconciled with God. Beg. You must really want to obey Christ and love them to be moved to beg them to accept Christ.)

What is the result of them receiving the message? (Answer: their sins are forgiven and become righteous by what Christ did.)

Romans 10:14 says:

"How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in him whom they have not heard? How will they hear without a preacher?"

Romans 10:17 says:

"So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."

They can't put their faith in Jesus unless we tell them who He is. We must give them the Gospel.

That's your core training. You can reproduce just that if you want. Here's some extra verses for you, though.

More Confirmation

1 Pet. 2:9 says:

"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellence of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

A priesthood? In the Old Testament, the priests delivered God's Word. Through their work, people could receive forgiveness of sins. Next word: "Proclaim." We need to tell people about Jesus. We're all priests now who proclaim the Gospel. If they believe it, God forgives people's sins, they have direct access to Him, they also become priests, and they can do the same work. The church multiplies this way.

Are there any examples of this in the Gospel?

Jesus tells the Demoniac to stay and tell everyone what Jesus did for him. To share who Jesus is. The Samaritan woman told a whole town about Jesus. They invited him to spend days with them. That Jesus is Lord and changed their lives is all they knew about Him. All they have is the Gospel and their story. We'll get to those later.

In Luke 24, the women "remember his words," saw that Jesus had risen, and they went to testify about that to the Apostles.

Does Jesus send anyone out in the Gospels? In Luke 9:1-6, Jesus sends out the 12 to go door to door sharing the Gospel. In Luke 10:1-12, Jesus sends out the 72 to do the same things. We don't know who those people were. With 72 of them, that might be everyone following Jesus at that point. What we can be sure of is that these aren't hand-picked, seminary-educated elders: they're just ordinary people Jesus sent to tell people who He is.

So far, it looks like Jesus expects everyone to tell people about Him. 

We can know by the numbers, too. Two passages give us the size of the problem.

Mark 16:15 says to preach the Gospel "to the whole creation." That's a figure of speech for who we're trying to reach. Ask the group: "Who are we trying to reach?"

In Matthew 24:14, Jesus says:

This Good News of the Kingdom will be preached in the whole world for a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come."

He'll return once the Gospel has reached all peoples. Probably people groups. There are almost ten thousand people groups in the world. We still need to reach several thousand of them with the Gospel. Those people groups contain over 3 billion people who don't know Jesus Christ. If they die tonight, they'd be judged for their sins and all 3 billion of them will burn in hell forever. Their suffering will never end. They will have never had a chance.

We have to reach billions of people across thousands of people groups. People are being born and dying every day. What if the churches send a lot of missionaries? Think they can do it? (Answer: No.)

Even with a million missionaries, each missionary would have to each reach several, thousand people on their own. With those numbers, what will the Great Commission take to accomplish? A few pastors and missionaries here and there? Or every believer in every part of the world? (Answer: everyone.)

All together, these passages show the Great Commission is for everyone. We're all ambassadors and priests who work through God's Word. We do it all the time in all places. We do it to reach everyone with the Gospel to hasten the return of Christ. Is everyone on board? Are you ready to do this?

Where do we even start?

Next: Who?