The Great Commission Fulfilled
The end will not come until the entire world has been given the opportunity to hear the Gospel. Then, and only then, will God end this age and bring in the new. His Gospel will deliver those who embrace it but will be a testimony against those who reject it. They were given their opportunity, but refused it, either through apathy or antipathy. Either way, their doom is sealed, for no one comes to God except through His only begotten Son, and through His work of exceptional grace on the Cross.
Unfortunately, Christians have not been fully engaged in the fulfillment of Christ’s last command. At least in America, the allure of material comfort and prosperity, and the hurdles many denominations place in their paths regarding the raising and maintaining of financial support, have kept many would be missionaries home bound. For sure, the new emphasis on short term missions have been more successful, but the gravity of the Great Commission demands a greater commitment from the Church and her members. Short term missionaries have their place, but not in replacing those willing to serve long term. The work of discipling others in foreign lands requires time, and we must make those willing to take on that commitment a higher priority in our churches!
But sadly, we too often turn our missionaries into itinerant beggars who go from church to church requesting financial support and being offered minimal support but expected to win the world! Is it any wonder the Great Commission has not been fulfilled all these centuries? We who are members of affluent churches should be ashamed of our self-indulgence, spending generously on our clergys' salaries and programs while millions of people worldwide die without the hope of eternal life! God will judge us harshly for our misplaced priorities!
But where churches in many affluent countries have been slow to heed God’s call for long term missions, Christians in less wealthy nations have been willing to take up God’s standard. He is raising up an army of committed evangelists from many non-Western nations to go to unreached lands. This world will be reached with the Gospel, and God will use anyone and everyone who will yield themselves to His Spirit and trust Him for His power and abilities.
Being involved in fulfilling the Great Commission is the one thing we as Christians can do to hasten Christ’s return. And really, this is only thing we can do this side of heaven! Some have suggested that the Great Commission has already been fulfilled with the advent of new technologies such as radio, television, film, tracts, etc., but until the Lord of the harvest declares it to be so, we’d best keep sowing and reaping till the final trumpet sounds, signaling the end of our toil and the coming of our Lord. And if the end of the age is near, what can be more important than spreading the word that God’s Salvation in Jesus Christ is only a prayer away!