What Is the Great Commission

Does the Great Commission Apply to All Believers?

To answer the question, “Does the Great Commission apply to all believers?” we must understand what the Great Commission actually means. Jesus’ command in Matthew 28 calls up images of missionary work, but people have contradicting ideas about where missions occur.

Some say missions only occur when a person has crossed a great geographical distance to reach a place outside of Christendom. This notion primarily comes from a time when everyone inside the borders of Europe was considered a Christian because they had been baptized into the state church, so mission work involved leaving those borders to reach the non-believers outside. Others say that missions only occur cross-culturally. They use the biblical examples of Joseph in Egypt, Jonah in Nineveh or Jesus with Gentiles. While this is an improvement over the first belief, a person can work cross-culturally and still be among Christians.[1]

Holding either one of these stances on missions leads to the conclusion that the Great Commission is not for every believer. We are not all called to leave our country’s borders or go into a new culture. Indeed, these things are not even possible for many people. However, we do know that the Great Commission is a command to make disciples of all nations,[2]beginning at Jerusalem.[3] The disciples were from Israel, so their making disciples in Jerusalem was neither crossing borders nor cultures. Thus, missions must be at the boundary of belief, whenever and wherever faith meets non-faith,[4]and all believers are called to have a defense for our beliefs.[5]

That means that believers who cannot travel to a foreign country to share the gospel are not off the hook for the Great Commission. It does not just apply to missionaries but to all Christians. Being part of missions can be as simple as sharing the good news with an unbelieving neighbor, coworker or friend. Believers should care about reaching those around the world who have never heard of Jesus, and taking part in missions can also be done by supporting missions organizations like GFA World, which are bringing the gospel to places with the least access to it.

Consider partnering with GFA in our mission to take missions to places where the name of Jesus has not yet been heard. You can sponsor a national missionary who already knows the people and the culture, making them effective in reaching these places.

Also, don’t forget to answer, “What is the Great Commission?” in your own circle; you know the culture, making you effective in your area too.

Learn more about what is the great commission

[1] Little, Chris. “To whom does the Great Commission apply?” Columbia International University. Accessed July 12, 2023. https://www.ciu.edu/content/whom-does-great-commission-apply-0.
[2] Matthew 28:19
[3] Luke 24:47
[4] Little, Chris. “To whom does the Great Commission apply?” Columbia International University. Accessed July 12, 2023. https://www.ciu.edu/content/whom-does-great-commission-apply-0
[5] 1 Peter 3:15