Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
As I’ve done a lot of traveling lately, I’ve gotten to see a lot of people in many different places. And I see a lot of people who do not know Christ. Or what’s worse, a lot of people who are not disciples of Christ. The Great Commission commands us to go and make disciples of all nations. It does not say go and make sure a lot of people know about Jesus and are capable of praying the “sinner’s prayer”. Nor does it say go and make a bunch of disciples in each nation. It says to make disciples of the actual nations themselves–whole nations as disciples of Christ.
Many Christians today believe that the return and judgement of Christ is imminent. Maybe it is, but if Christ made His final judgement of the world today the results would be devastating, would they not? Most people on the planet do not know Christ. Yet, so many Christians have an “escapist” view of their faith: “Just rapture us out of here Jesus! To hell with everyone else!”
If Jesus does not return until the fulfillment of the Great Commission (if that is indeed His plan), then it would seem that He won’t return until all nations are His disciples–meaning all the Earth’s nations are predominately Christian. Would not that be a more accurate view of the fulfillment of the Great Commission–rather than a view that states: “The Great Commission will be fulfilled when all people have heard the Gospel and are able to accept Christ, but they probably won’t.”?
Does it not seem more in line with a verse like John 3:17 to say that the world will indeed be won for Christ before His final judgement? If so, then we have a lot of work to do, and we are not allowed to have an escapist mentality.