Category Archives: Great Commission

THE GREAT COMMISSION: A POSTMILLENNIAL ENTERPRISE (4)

PMW 2021-020 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

The Great Commission truly sets forth a Great commission. It institutes a program of immense proportions, a program calling for world transformation. Christ s the discipling of all nations in all things He has taught. He lays upon His people the task of bringing all men and their cultural endeavors under the redemptive Lordship of the Triune God.

How can such a program be accomplished? Surely He did not expect it to occur over night. Millions of evangelicals teach that Christ’s coming to end history as we know it has been imminent ever since He ascended into heaven. They live by the standard of pop-theologian Hal Lindsey: “We should be living like people who don’t expect to be a round much longer.” Who would set themselves to the long, expensive, difficult, time consuming task of world transformation if he believed the world as he knows it could end at any moment? Continue reading

THE GREAT COMMISSION: A POSTMILLENNIAL ENTERPRISE (3)

PMW 2021-019 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my previous studies I have been analyzing the Great Commission as a foundational text for postmillennialism. In those studies I noted that the Commission revolves around four “all’s.” The first two all’s highlighted Christ’s authority as “all authority” and his directive to disciple “all nations.” In this study we will look at the third all: “all things.”

All Things

Christ commands us to disciple all nations. But what does he mean? The discipleship idea involves training in the Christian faith. The Greek word is matheteuo, which involves authority over another person so as to train them for service. In the Great Commission it is definitely redemptive in orientation, for it includes baptism in the Name of the Triune God. It is no simple humanitarianism; it is no social gospel. Continue reading

THE GREAT COMMISSION: A POSTMILLENNIAL ENTERPRISE (2)

PMW 2021-018 by by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In my last article I began to consider the Great Commission and its implications for postmillennialism. I am highlighting the greatness of the Great Commission as a key component of the postmillennial system. My study will focus on each of the four appearances of the word “all” in the Lord’s truly Great Commission. In this study I will focus on “all authority.”

All nations

As with “all authority,” it is important that we grasp the significance of “all nations.” The word “nations” is the Greek word ethnos. It is based on the Greek word ethos, which indicates habits or customs of people; cultural relations. Thus, ethnos speaks of collected masses of men, considered as bound together by social bonds, forming a culture. Continue reading

THE GREAT COMMISSION: A POSTMILLENNIAL ENTERPRISE (1)

PMW 2021-017 by by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

One of the most beloved passages of Scripture is the Lord’s Great Commission. Most Christians know it quite well, are able to find it in the Bible, and can cite it by heart. They also instinctively love it as the command of the resurrected Lord. Unfortunately, though it is well-known, it is poorly understood. It is loved as a foundational command for Christ’s church, giving her the marching orders of the exalted Christ. But it is seldom recognized as a strong witness to the postmillennial hope which provides an optimistic outlook on history. Continue reading

THE FOUR ALLs OF THE GREAT COMMISSION

PMW 2020-045 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

In any study of the Christian worldview there are two passages that cannot escape one’s research: Genesis 1:26-30, called the Cultural Mandate, and Matthew 28:18-20, the Evangelistic Mandate, better known as the Great Commission. We will focus on the second, emphasizing the four appearances of the word “all” in these verses. Understanding each of these four aspects will help us better undertake the task of evangelism in the business world. And this will help establish the postmillennial argument.

All Authority
It is extremely important to remember that the Great Commission is given after the resurrection. Prior to the resurrection, a frequent refrain of Christ was: “I can do nothing of Myself” (John 5:19; 8:28; 12:49; etc). But now after the resurrection, Christ says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18). This grant of “all authority in heaven and on earth” is given by the Father, who according to similar terminology in Matthew 11:25, Acts 17:24, and elsewhere, is called “Lord of heaven and earth.” Continue reading

THE NATIONS AND THE GREAT COMMISSION

PMW 2018-078 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

Introduction

An interested reader sent me a question regarding the Great Commission. The question was two pages long, but I will edit it down to a manageable size. He wrote:

I have a question about a certain verse that I believe you use in a certain way…. The Verse is Matthew 28:19…. My question is this: In what sense do you understand Jesus telling His disciples to “make disciples of all nations?” Can you break that down for me and clarify? I know in the KJV it says to “teach” and that has been discovered by many to be wrong and it seems the better translation is “to make disciples of all nations” I always thought that you believed it meant each particular nation would be through the “preaching of the gospel” would be Christianized. Each nation in a universal but limited sense. Not all but the majority of the people of each nation would be made disciples of Christ through the “things that Jesus taught the disciples”….

[The reader cites a scholarly article he has read on the matter. He notes:] The Aorist Imperative form of this verb lends itself to the expression of a simple activity, like the calling to the commitment to follow Jesus, which each one of the disciples who was listening to this commission had previously done. “Baptizing them” would also be understood by these same disciples as being similar to the individual commitment each of them had to make before they were baptized by John the Baptist (cp. Mark 1:5)….

There is another issue in Matt 28:19-20, and that is how to take the participles – “baptizing and teaching” in relation to the main verb “make disciples”. The commentary you quoted interpreted them as participles of means… “Make disciples of all nations BY baptism and BY instruction.” But the word “by” is added for interpretation and is not in the text.

I hope I have saved the relevant portions of his extended question. And I believe I have. So now, to work! Continue reading

GREAT COMMISSION AND CULTURAL MANDATE (2)

PMW 2018-075 by Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

This is the second in a two-part series looking into the relationship between the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate (Gen 1:26–28). Both mandates feed the postmillennial hope.

There are a few evangelicals who disassociate the Creation (or Cultural) Mandate from the Great Commission, which has also been called the New Creation (or Evangelistic) Mandate. This is an unfortunate mistake that detracts from the greatness of the Great Commission and a proper engagement of the Christian calling in the world. Nevertheless, the two mandates are intimately related. This may be seen from several considerations. Continue reading