Our Great Commission
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Summary: Since 1844, we've been given the task to preach the Three Angels' Messages into all the world so as to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus. "Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12).

Our Great Commission

by Roy Davies

Since 1844, we've been given the task to preach the Three Angels' Messages into all the world so as to prepare the world for the Second Coming of Jesus. "Here is the patience of the saints, here are they that keep the commandments of God and have the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12). This is an awesome task and responsibility. God gave to the parents of John the Baptist a great commission to prepare for the first coming of Jesus. Luke records the fact that they were "righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the LORD blameless" (Luke 1:6). They are a type of the people of the Advent movement who will be walking in all the commandments of God blameless. God will have a people on the earth when He returns who will live blameless lives. (See 1 Corinthians 1:8.) He will have a church that is holy, without blemish. (See Ephesians 5:27.)

The parents of John the Baptist were living such lives as is required of this last generation. The last message of Malachi is present truth for God's people: "And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse" (Malachi 4:6). These words of the holy prophet Malachi are a solemn warning to our generation that God means business and will not be trifled with when He comes to judge His people.

In Volume 6 of the Testimonies the servant of the Lord wrote one powerful chapter entitled "Teaching Home Religion." She concludes this chapter with this wonderful promise: "Religion in the home is our great hope, and makes the prospect bright for the conversion of the whole family to the truth of God" (6T 119). What godly parents would like to see the fulfillment of this wonderful promise? In the same chapter she gives counsel to ministers to do their part in making this happen in the church by precept and example. Then again, she observed in her day that genuine conversions were a rare experience. What would she say today? We serve a very patient God who desires His saints to be patient with one another.  (See Revelation 14:12.) It is a well-known saying, "As goes the home, so goes the church." I teach a class of Juniors at our local church. I asked the class of twelve students, "How many of you have morning and evening worship?" Only one member raised their hand. l was surprised, seeing that we attend a conservative church. And to make matters worse even in our large church of over a thousand members only a very small number attend the mid-week prayer meetings. Do we really believe that "prayer is the key in the hand of faith that opens heaven's storehouse where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence"? (SC 94)

Pentecost came as a result of earnest prayer, when they put away all their differences and desire for supremacy and position in the church. Someone has said that the Christian army only advances upon their knees. Our revival of primitive godliness will only come as an answer to prayer. The victory gained by Jesus on the cross, when He cried out, "It is finished!" came as a result of the hours spent in earnest prayer in dark Gethsemane. We cannot complete our great commission without recognizing that the source of our power with God is at the throne of grace. We are not only to exalt the law of God, especially the Sabbath truth, by our preaching, but by directing the people to the Lord of the Sabbath who died for us as the worst of criminals, as shown by His placement between the two criminals. The triumphant words of Christ, "It is finished!" was a death knell to Satan and was heard by the watching universe. We are told by the Spirit of Prophecy in Desire of Ages that He could have destroyed Satan at that time, but he was spared for our benefit. This is the quote: "Yet Satan was not then destroyed. The angels did not even then understand all that was involved in the great controversy. The principles at stake were to be more fully revealed. And for the sake of man, Satan's existence must be continued. Man as well as angels must see the contrast between the Prince of light and the prince of darkness. He must choose whom he will serve" (DA 761). The sealing of the 144,000 will forever determine the destiny of the devil. (See TM 445-446 and COL 69.) We must strive with God through prayer, as did Jacob, that He will empower us to be among the 144, 000 who will be sealed with the seal of the living God. (See 7BC 970 and Rev. 7:1-3.)

Before Jesus can return again to earth, mankind must make a decision. Will they follow the Lamb of God or will they follow the beast and receive his mark on their forehead? They must hear the Three Angels' Messages so that they can make an intelligent decision as to the issues at stake in the great controversy. We serve a wonderful God, who is not willing that any should perish without being warned. Jonah and Nineveh are a classic example of God's mercy. While the four angels are holding back the winds of strife, we should not be like the reluctant prophet and delay to proclaim the most solemn warning ever committed to mortals. We don't want anyone to say to us as a church and as individuals, "Why did you not give us warning?" when the plagues are being poured out upon the wicked. 

Jesus and His Great Commission 

Jesus had great faith in the twelve humble disciples that He chose to proclaim the tidings of the Gospel to the then-known world. He was not disappointed, as the disciples were willing to lay down their lives to fulfill their mission. It was especially true of the apostle Paul who labored more than all the apostles in proclaiming the Gospel to Jew and to Gentile. He wrote most of the New Testament to encourage the saints to persevere in their mission. Should we be less diligent in completing our great commission? In order to accomplish that goal, we must exercise the faith of Jesus. He exercised an invincible faith in his Father's care for thirty-three years and left us a perfect example to follow. God's benediction and blessing is on His end-time church. "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come" (Matthew 24:14). "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus" (Revelation 14:12). We must never forget that the One who gave us the great commission has the power to fulfill His words through us. "And Jesus came and spoke unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:18-19).  

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