Great Commission - To Whom

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by rlvaughn, Apr 7, 2002.

  1. rlvaughn

    rlvaughn
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    To Whom Was the Great Commission Given?

    In this I refer to the command of Jesus recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 (et. al):
    Here are some of the ideas I have heard:

    1. Given to the apostles, as apostles (therefore only for apostolic times).
    2. Given to the apostles, as preachers (therefore incumbent upon preachers through the ages).
    3. Given to the apostles, as representatives of the church (therefore incumbent upon the church through the ages).
    4. Given to the apostles, as individual Christians (therefore incumbent on Christian individuals through the ages).

    What do you believe, and why?
     
  2. SaggyWoman

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    I was told once recently that the Great Commission was given only to the Apostles, or, at best, male church leaders, for them to propogate the gospel.

    WHATEVER!!

    I don't hold to this.
     
  3. donnA

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    I've always heard it was for christian individuals.

    Saggy
    I like your attitude.
     
  4. HankD

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    The Great Commission was given to the Apostles and eye-witness disciples.

    The Holy Spirit moved many of them to include that message in the NT Scripture.

    We simply share their message with others.

    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
     
  5. Carly33

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    Is someone looking for a loophole???? :eek:

    If this commission is given only to the apostles....then weren't they also told to teach these things to others....pass it on if you will?

    If this was only for the apostles....how many of us today would be saved???
     
  6. HankD

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    >>If this was only for the apostles....how many of us today would be saved??? >>

    It was only for the Apostles, and though they are dead (physically) yet they speak through the Scriptures. This is how we all get saved, by someone relaying the apostolic message of the Scripture to us.

    HankD
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    Most would probably agree that only the apostles were present when Jesus gave this commission (e.g.: v. 16 - "Then the eleven disciples went...), though some in harmonizing the gospels may dispute this.

    I tend to discount this "apostles only" position for the following reasons:

    1. The scope of the commission is broader than might be fulfilled by eleven (or 12) men - "teach all nations."
    2. The time of the commission is broader than might be fulfilled by eleven (or 12) men - "alway...until the end of the world."
    3. The act of baptizing herein commissioned is broader than might be fulfilled by these eleven men (and in the New Testament we read of men who were not apostles who baptized).
    4. The act of teaching herein commissioned is broader than might be fulfilled by these eleven men.
    5. A similar method of interpretation applied to the institution of the Lord's supper would limit it to "apostles only."
     
  8. Speedpass

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    "He that winneth souls is wise."

    So I guess that the Great Commission was given to all believers.
     
  9. rlvaughn

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    A number of people believe that the Commission is given to Christians as individuals, and perhaps the majority who have posted here so far so believe.

    I tend to discount the "Christian individuals" position for the following reasons:

    1. If in the Great Commission Jesus directly commissions Christians as individuals, then ALL Christians may go independently and without regard to the churches.
    2. If in the Great Commission Jesus directly commissions Christians as individuals, then ALL Christians may baptize converts indiscriminately.
    3. If in the Great Commission Jesus directly commissions Christians as individuals, then ALL Christians may teach and instruct regardless of their status in church or recognition by the churches.
     
  10. Monergist

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    rlvaughn,

    Let me guess. Are you going with option #3?

    Interesting discussion. :cool:
     
  11. tyndale1946

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    Brother Robert I have to go with number one because there is another scripture that goes with that one and what will you do with it? The Great Commission had to be only to the eleven Apostles according to:

    Mark 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

    19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

    20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

    This has to be in harmony with the scriptures or else we have two Great Commissions. Are you going to get any Baptist to believe 17 & 18 or is there a break in the Great Commission? If we believe this then the term Gina mentioned is true then we are a cross between Baptist/Pentecostal or Bapticostal.

    Everything spoken of in the 17th & 18th verses followed the Apostles and ended with Paul as one born out of due time. The Great Commission was given only to the Apostles! That is also the way the Old Line Primitive Baptist believe and teach it... Brother Glen [​IMG]

    [ April 09, 2002, 01:16 AM: Message edited by: tyndale1946 ]
     
  12. Aaron

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    The Gospel of Luke does not contain the Great Commission as it is worded in Matthew and Mark. Luke 24:33 specifically mentions the Eleven gathered with others, and not command to go into all the world and baptize is given.

    There is the general statement that "ye are witnesses of these things" (vs 48)

    [ April 09, 2002, 12:09 AM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
     
  13. Sularis

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    I go with 4

    Mainly because all of us are being made into priests.

    As many of you know the priests had several jobs - one of which was teaching the law.

    We priests - we teach the new law
     
  14. Carly33

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    Mark 16:20" And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and CONFIRMING the word with signs following. Amen."

    ......signs were to confirm that the words they spoke were on behalf of God(God's word), we no longer need signs---we have the WRITTEN word.

    Now back on topic. What is the great commission exactly? If you want to argue literally, this commission was given "directly" to the eleven apostles that were present.

    That of course, did not include us or Paul.

    Are we to preach the gospel or witness about Jesus???? YES (unless of course one is calvanist). [​IMG]

    1Thessalonians1:7" So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to Godward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing."


    ???Was Paul rebuking the Thessalonians for usurping his role in the great commission or was he commending them for spreading the gospel???

    I KNOW WHAT I BELIEVE..... :D
     
  15. Pastor Larry

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    The Great Commission is about planting churches (cf. the command to baptize). It is probably given to the disciples as representatives of the church to further the mission of the church by the planting of local churches where disciples will be made. Individual Christians thus carry out their great commission responsibility within the framework of the local church.

    "He that winneth souls is wise" is not about soul winning.

    And Calvinists preach Jesus as fervently, if not more fervently, than do non-Calvinists. If you doubt this, just read some of the old preachers, like George Whitefield whose biography I have been reading.
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    Carly33 said:
    It did not include us but to say it didn't include Paul as one born out of due time is missing the point. I believe the scriptures state that a viper latched on to Paul and he just shook it off. I believe if it would have been someone else they would have been dead! He was also part of the eleven but calls himself the least of all seeing that he persecuted the church of God and was not worthy to wear the title Apostle!... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  17. pinoybaptist

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    Carlye33 asked:
    All whom the Father had chosen unto salvation and given to the Son.
     
  18. rlvaughn

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    Bro. Glen brought up Mark 16 and Aaron brought up Luke 24. Though I have quoted Matthew 28 and focused on it, I am aware that a full study of the Great Commission must include four parallel passages - Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:46-49; and Acts 1:8. Glen's concerns are valid, as most of us probably don't think that we are still under the type of miracles mentioned in Mark 16:17,18. But I would contend that these gifts, though for the apostolic age, were not for the apostles only, for the New Testament makes it clear that others spoke in tongues, for example. My interpretation of this is that it was fulfilled in the apostolic age, as stated in verse 20, as they preached the word and the Lord confirmed it with signs.

    I also believe that the Luke and Acts passages militate against the "apostles only" position because:

    1. The Luke passage (v. 49) says they will be endued with power from on high, and the Acts passage (v. 8) states that they will be witnesses after the Holy Ghost comes upon them.
    2. The fulfillment of this as recorded in Acts chapter 2 is fairly clear that this baptism of the Holy Ghost came not only upon the apostles, but upon the entire church (cf. Acts 1:15; 2:1-4 they were all filled).

    I believe the Holy Ghost came upon the assembled church and empowered them as witnesses to fulfill the given commission. The apostles (representing the church) were given the commission, and the church (as a church, not as individuals) were baptized in the power of the Holy Ghost. It is also my opinion (though slightly off topic) that many people fail to recognize the uniqueness of the Pentecostal experience, duplicated even in apostolic times only on one other occasion (see Acts 11:15, the bringing in of the Gentiles).
     
  19. Bartimaeus

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    Amen, Amen, Amen, Bro rlvaughn.

    The Lord Jesus Christ was testifying of His power and was delegating authority to the church. The church now has the authority to Preach, teach, baptise and desciple.
     
  20. Carly33

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    Ok brother Glen, I think you missed my point: if one is arguing who was literally there to receive the great commission in person.....of course we weren't and neither was Paul....

    I didn't say I believed that, I was pointing out the obvious flaw in the theory.

    I would say we agree with each other.

    Maybe I need to be a bit more direct with my comments. Sorry.

    Simply put.....I believe we all have received the great commission.

    My point about who would be saved if we didn't all receive the great commission, is that there would be noone to teach, preach, baptise or disciple once the apostles passed away, assuming the commission was only given to them.

    Thus I don't believe it was. It is a commission for all believers.

    Hope this clears up confusion.

    I need to be more direct.
     

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