Great Commission

The Great Commissions  

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).

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