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Global Outreach International

Don't "Myth-Understand" The Great Commission

by Walter Aiken, missionary in Brazil
If we don't read the text closely, we forget that the Great Commission is for all believers, not just those who cross oceans.

Editor's note: the following is taken, with permission, from Walter Aiken's regular email newsletter, the E-Quipper. Learn more about Walter's ministry here.

Jesus said, “You do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God" (Matt.22:29). Mistakes are made when we have “miss takes” on factual evidence. Beginning with an erroneous premise leads to false conclusions. Sadly, when flimsy “think-ology” replaces Biblical theology, people are “tossed to and fro, carried about by every wind of doctrine” (Eph.4:14). Our roots MUST keep going deep and deeper into God’s Word if we’re to have any expectation of growing deep and deeper in knowing Him.

How many believe that we’re saved by faith? (Please don’t stop reading just yet.) Yes, we are saved in Christ! And, indeed, “without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God” (Heb.11:6). Good works don’t bring us to faith, yet faith must result in good works. (James 2) The Bible’s clear. We’re saved by GRACE (Eph. 2:8). Saved by Jesus’ gracious sacrifice on the Cross. When we emphasize we’re saved by faith, then that faith waivers, some imagine that we can lose our salvation. But we have an incorruptible inheritance, undefiled, never fading, reserved in Heaven, KEPT by the power of God. (I Peter 1:4,5) Let us not “myth” the truth that our salvation is thru God’s love!

...Sometimes we meet folks who “myth-understand” the Great Commission, thinking that Jesus’ words, “Go ye, therefore” are akin to a drill sergeant barking, “A-ten-hut! Forward! March!” The verbs “going, baptizing, teaching” are present, active, indicative. To “make disciples” is the imperative. “Therefore” refers to the “before” (in 28:18): “All authority is mine, both in Heaven and on earth." We understand better when we hear Jesus saying, “Therefore, going...” We’re called to evangelize along the way, wherever we might be.

Our CO-mission is the mission of making disciples. Crossing foreign borders doesn’t turn a Christian into a missionary.  The commission is NOT just for some, not even for most, it’s for ALL of the redeemed.

When “tradition” is met by “Truth” we find ourselves in a dilemma of (1) rethink our traditions or (2) rewrite the truth. The latter option leads only to more “myth-understandings." Thus my encouragement is re-read, re-think, re-consider these things.

Walter Aiken serves the Lord through evangelism, discipleship, youth camps, conference and special event speaking engagements in and around Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.