The Great Commission should be seen and viewed and acted upon in the context of God’s Restoration of all things and Rooted in Love of God and Neighbor because God is Love. If it is not, we forget that what Christ has done and is doing is not merely (although it certainly includes it) about the restoration and reconciliation of humanity to God, for that is far too small of a gospel and is only a part of it. God is up to something so much bigger! God is reconciling and restoring ALL of Creation. To be a part of God’s kingdom is to partake in the acts and plans of God in bringing the Kingdom to Earth. The Mission of the church is not merely to evangelize (although it does include that) but to participate with God in making all things new! If we merely “share” the gospel then we don’t really understand it. We need a much bigger understanding of what it means to share the gospel. For if it is merely words to convince people that their is a God and God’s Son has saved us so we can “go to church” and read our bibles and think the right things then we have reduced what it means to be a Christian to a Gnostic withdrawal from the world waiting to die so we can go to heaven and let this earth be destroyed. The Christian life incorporates all aspects of life into what it means to follow Jesus. People aren’t suppose to meet Jesus to then just know Jesus, but to actually do the things he did. We don’t share the gospel so people can be converted and sit around and do nothing. But we invite people into the kingdom to bring the kingdom, which is not merely spiritual but physical as well.
When we are so concerned about a particular thing and are told over and over and over not to do that particular thing we end up thinking about that particular thing more than we would if we hadn’t been so concerned about it in the first place in this way we end up doing the thing we’re actually not supposed to do and are told we’re not supposed to do.
Many Christians, especially those from the protestant tradition, are so scared of salvation by works that they focus so much of their time and energy into not having a works based salvation that they actually end up making salvation about works because they’re so worried about it and always thinking about it. And it up actually living a works based salvation. “Do this! Don’t do that! Did you “share” the gospel 20 times this week?! Did you “go to church?!” Did you read you’re bible?!” So ironically although we are always worried and emphatic about not having a works based salvation we end up doing the very thing we supposedly preach against! And then in the name of grace based salvation we exclude everything we think would endanger our “salvation by grace alone.” And forsake doing the many activities that God is doing in order to make all things new! We should have practiced the latter without neglecting the former. If we don’t then we’re not actually following in the footsteps of Jesus as He brings the kingdom.
And Every time we feed the poor we bring the kingdom. Every time we stand up for the marginalized and oppressed we bring the kingdom. Every time we say no to our own racism and that of others we bring the kingdom. Every time we adopt a child who would otherwise be parent less we bring the kingdom of God. Every time we stand in solidarity with those who have experienced abuse, evil, suffering, and tragedy and work to bring healing into their lives we bring the kingdom. Every time we recycle and fight against the extinction of a species and the general care of creation we bring the kingdom! The Gospel is about bringing ALL of Creation into restoration and healing with God! It’s so much bigger than we have made it out to be. The culture at large has rejected, and rightfully so, our small and reduced gospel which is really no gospel at all. So let’s reclaim the full gospel and follow Jesus to bring His Kingdom to earth as it is in heaven. Lets not only Proclaim the Gospel as Invitation into what God is doing. Lets actually actively accept the invitation and participate in all the activities that God is doing in restoring all of creation.
G.N. Gordon