Great Commission

At the end of Jesus’ ministry, he summed up his teachings in
two Great Commissions, “Go ye therefore, and teach all
nations…teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have

commanded you.” (Matt. 28:19).

And “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom
prepared for you…for I was hungered, and ye gave me meat: I
was
thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me
in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I
was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matt. 25:31-46).

Together these depict the will of God as described in the
Gospels. As stated in Matt. 22:36-40, God’s teaching to man is
contained in two commandments, to love God with all one’s
heart
and mind, and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self.

In the Old Testament, people were admonished to love the
stranger. Jesus told people to love their enemies.

Insofar as the final Great Commission was concerned, the
disciples and St. Paul were very active, and the gospel was
spread through the known world. As for the second Great
Commission, the early church apparently practiced an early
form
of communal living, and did indeed love one another, as St. Paul
relates in , “See how the Christians love one
another.”

However, even with the very success of the church in
converting Europe to Christianity, the structure of Christian
societies was little different from societies generally, with
kings and noblemen dictatorially ruling the masses of people
and
serfs, under the blessings of the church.

This sharp division between the haves and the have-nots
continued until the rise of the labor movement in Europe and
the
United States in the late 1890’s, and since then until the
present great progress has been made in improving the lot of
the
common man through laws and the state.

However, today the hearts of the haves still do not seem to
have been touched by a love of their fellowman, and in nearly all
fields the haves actively try to reverse laws in order to give
the people as little as possible.

In a broader sense, the conversion of Europe to Christianity
was a total failure insofar as following the second Great
Commission is concerned. A nearly 100% Christian society pro-
duced a society lacking in love and good deeds towards
each
other, and instead produced class conflict, poverty of most of
the people, and almost continuous wars. In the 1500’s they
exported their selfish systems to the colonies they established
in Africa, Asia, and the Americas, often decimating the native
population in the process, sometimes turning the people into
slaves, and nearly always exporting their system of a rich,
privileged class dominating abjectly poor masses.

The consequences of the rejection of Christ’s commission to
love others as oneself have been disastrous for mankind in
the
20th century. World War I, with its 10 million dead, was a
direct consequence of Britain’s and France’s desire to continue

to dominate the world economically and politically, and to brook
no sharing with the late arising Germans.

The rejection by Britain and France of Wilson’s more humane
“14 points,” and their insistence on punitive (onerous
economic
and political) terms on Germany set the stage for the rise of
Hitler and World War II.

As a reaction to the faults of heartless laissez-faire
capitalism, Marxist communism engulfed Russia in 1917 with a
resultant 40 million dead, and by 1987 had enslaved, in a God-
less dictatorship of the proletariat, eastern Europe, China, and
a number of Asian, African, and Central American countries, with
another 50 million people killed in the struggle.

So what is the current state of Christ’s church in the
waning years of the 20th century?

Insofar as the Great Commission to preach the gospel,
thousands of Christians are tirelessly doing so through
personal
witness, churches, radio, television and print throughout the
world.

Insofar as the Great Commission to practice the gospel, to
love one’s neighbor as oneself; to feed the hungry, heal the
sick, and nurture the stranger, although 70% of the American
people state that they are Christians, 86% also state that they
live only for themselves and their own self-interest.

Thus Christ challenges us as he did in his day when he said,
“I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
(Matt.7:23).

Millions of people in the United States live below the
official poverty line, millions are in need of health and nursing
care, millions are in need of jobs. Overseas the needs are
greater.

The fields are indeed “white unto the harvest.” Are we
going to fulfill the terms of the second Great Commission? Or
are we deliberately going to reject his teaching, and be
prepared
to hear him say to us on Judgement Day, “Depart from me, ye
cursed, into everlasting fire . . . for I was hungered, and ye
gave me no meat . . . .” (Matt. 25:41-46).
Hi Lynn, I mailed you a course approval form yesterday for a course that starts on Monday.  I realize it is short notice, but I had been waiting to hear whether or not Wilkes would accept transfer credits from a course I took a few years ago.  I just received word from them that they would not accept the credit, so I had to quickly pick a course to take.  Please let me know if it is too short notice.

Thanks,
Jamie

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