Building on this growing interest in missions, a major conference was held in 1910 in Edinburgh, bringing missionary delegates together representing missions work around the globe. 1 This conference focused on “unoccupied fields” which would need to be targeted in order to finish the job of world evangelization. 2 The conference resulted in a fresh effort among missions agencies to establish a Christian presence in lands and territories that currently had none. 3
πάντα τὰ ἔθνη
In the years between the Edinburgh 1910 conference and what would be another landmark conference in Lausanne Switzerland in 1974, many missions agencies advanced into territories formerly unreached with the primary goal of evangelization. 4 However, as would be pointed out by Ralph Winter in Lausanne, the Greek root translated “nations” (ἔθνη) in both Matthew 24:14 and 28:18-20 means much more than the individuals living within geo-political boundaries: “[ἔθνη] points to the ethnicities, the languages and the extended families which constitute the peoples of the earth.” 5 Geo-political territories often contain many of these people groups, each of which must be able to receive the Gospel in a linguistically and culturally meaningful way.
Ever since Winter brought this ethno-linguistic, relationally-based “people group” concept to the fore of evangelical missiology, much time and research has gone into the process of charting the number of those people groups who are yet unreached. 6 Organizations like the Joshua Project have provided the world with an up-to-date listing of known people groups along with noting which are engaged with the Gospel, which have been ‘reached’ with the Gospel, and which remain without a known Gospel witness. 7 These are all helpful developments which bring clarity to the cultural and ethnic realities present in the world in which we live. The Joshua Project sheds light on the peoples of the world—wherever they are, and whoever may surround them—who are yet in need of the Gospel and the opportunity to become disciples of Christ.
Matthew 24:14 and the Missionary Task
Despite this appropriate enthusiasm for the idea that the ends of the earth could soon hear the Gospel, there remains a troubling conflation of promise and command in some of the literature. This conflation can lead to an overemphasis on rapidly reaching the unreached with the Gospel, often at the expense of full obedience to the command to make disciples and to teach them to obey all that Christ commands. 8 The missionary task becomes reaching, with robust teaching being jettisoned as of secondary priority. In part, this may be due to missions strategies that root themselves in Matthew 24:14, seeing in it a command to evangelize all the earth’s peoples.
Perhaps this conflation is most visible as Winter puts it: “What matters most is not that the peoples can be counted, but that God has given us a task that can be completed.” 9 Again, he states, “Matthew 24:14 makes it clear that we must make it our first priority to see that every people has a living testimony of the gospel of the kingdom. … [the irreducible, essential mission task] is in fact the only task given to his people that actually has a completable dimension to it.” 10 Here, in a discussion of Matthew 24:14, Winter refers to the task left to the church to complete: evangelization of the world’s peoples. As this essay intends to demonstrate, however, world evangelization is but a partial aspect of the missions task given in the Great Commission.
This survey has shown that the trend toward using Matthew 24:14 as a chair text for evangelical missions began long ago. As David Bosch records, “During the second half of the nineteenth century several missionary leaders and the mission organizations they founded … began to use Matthew 24:14 as the major “missionary text”. Christ’s return was now understood as being dependent upon the successful completion of the missionary task.” 11 One sees this trend, then, in the progression from the SVM and dispensational premillennialism through Edinburgh and to Lausanne. Still today, a global network of missions agencies called “Student Volunteer Movement 2” (SVM2) exhibits this tendency clearly claiming that, “The fulfillment of the Great Commission centers primarily around Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24:14.” 12
Surely evangelism is a first-step toward discipleship, church planting, and teaching believers to obey all that Christ commanded. Likewise, it is right that Christians should be motivated to go anywhere to bring the saving Gospel of Jesus to all who are perishing without it. It is fitting that urgency to proclaim God’s goodness to everyone should undergird strategy. However, if, in an attempt to hasten the promise made, one’s strategy or method drifts abroad of robust obedience to the full command given in Christ’s commission, readjustment is required.
Exegesis: Matthew 24:14 and Matthew 28:18-20
For evangelicals committed to a high view of biblical authority, it is of utmost importance that one looks closely at the texts employed to set one’s missiological strategy. The following exegetical summary will investigate the two pertinent passages in Matthew referenced in this discussion in order to determine what each might have to offer to missions strategy.
The Promise of Matthew 24:14
καὶ κηρυχθήσεται τοῦτο τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ εἰς μαρτύριον πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν, καὶ τότε ἥξει τὸ τέλος. 13
This passage is one that rightly evokes excitement and gratitude in a Christian reader. God is not willing that the end might come prior to the Gospel of the kingdom being proclaimed throughout the whole world and to its people. In the midst of the dark picture of the future which Jesus paints surrounding this passage, there is yet this ray of hope demonstrating that He is sovereign. For anyone moved with compassion over the plight of those who are without a chance to hear, this message gives solace.
It is no wonder that this passage finds a place in missiological writings and missions text books. However, what is seen here is a promise of what will be, not a command. Likewise, this verse gives one of the larger pericope’s nine necessary conditions which will precede the return of the Lord, but it does not necessarily exhaust the sufficient conditions, nor does it require the immediate return of the Lord upon its completion. 14 A brief discussion of the passage will reveal that it is not intended to bear the weight of the missions mandate left to the church by Jesus.
Here in Matthew 24:3-14, Matthew records Jesus’ answer to his disciples’ question, “What will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”(Matthew 24:3b). Jesus proceeds to list nine types of events that will mark the period before Jesus’ return. Eight of these signs are negative, ranging from “wars and rumors of wars” to false teachers and even to individual persecution and martyrdom of believers (Matthew 24:4-14). However, ending this list of negative signs, Jesus includes the bright hope that the gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world. It is important to note that the word κηρυχθήσεται is a future passive verb meaning, “will be proclaimed.” 15As a passive verb, this indicates a condition which will attain while not focusing on the causal agent.
In Matthew, one can see a progression from Jesus’ own preaching of the gospel of the kingdom to the preaching that will occur within the “ … post-resurrection ministry of the disciples.” 16 Although this is true, the disciples are not given their commission to preach the Gospel to all nations, nor the instructions as to how they are to go about making disciples until Matthew 28:18-20. 17That responsibility, and the means by which it is to be carried out, is yet to come in Jesus’ final instructions given in the Great Commission.
The Kingdom, The Testimony & The Nations
Another issue for consideration in this passage is the content which will be proclaimed. Jesus says that the gospel of the kingdom (τὸ εὐαγγέλιον τῆς βασιλείας) will be preached as a testimony to/against the whole world (ἐν ὅλῃ τῇ οἰκουμένῃ εἰς μαρτύριον πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν). 18 Much ink has been spilled in an attempt to explain what exactly the kingdom is. However, it will suffice to say that the gospel of the kingdom contains much more than evangelism often includes. 19
Around the time of Lausanne, the idea of the kingdom was much debated as to whether it was primarily concerned with the spiritual condition of mankind or the physical and social conditions. 20
Although much more needs to be said regarding this point, it seems best to recognize that the gospel of the kingdom as demonstrated and proclaimed by Jesus will not permit such a division and requires, “a full-orbed gospel of the irrupting reign of God not only in individual lives but also in society.” 21
Thus, even if this passage were to be construed as a missions mandate, the content of gospel of the kingdom must be such that it starts with, but goes far beyond, personal salvation and begins to speak to all areas of life, private and public, forming churches that serve as kingdom communities where disciples are made and equipped to be disciple makers and kingdom citizens. 22 The proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom is thus all-encompassing. Missions methods and strategies that would strip away non-essential elements in order to increase speed and spread must wrestle with this reality as they seek to discover an irreducible definition of missions.
Additionally, Jesus’ promise may not be as wholly positive as it is sometimes portrayed. The construction of the phrase, “As a testimony to all nations” (εἰς μαρτύριον πᾶσιν τοῖς ἔθνεσιν) contains a dative preposition (εἰς) which can be rendered “to” or “against.” 23
While there is likely a dual sense to this idea of witnessing to and against the nations, it must be noted that Jesus’ promise does not here give any indication as to how the nations will receive the proclamation. This proclamation to the whole inhabited world may be effective in winning the nations over, yet it could be seen to justify the condemnation of the guilty. 24
Through all of this analysis, it remains clear that Jesus’ message is one of promise. Amidst the trials and tribulations which are to be expected, God’s justice will be upheld and his goodness will be proclaimed throughout the world by way of the gospel of the kingdom. While there will be tasks given to Jesus’ disciples which may play a role in God’s orchestration of these events, they are not given here in Matthew 24:14.
And Then the End Will Come
Finally, one may yet wonder if the phrase, “and then the end will come” (καὶ τότε ἥξει τὸ τέλος) means that Christ’s return will immediately follow the evangelization of the final people group. Does Matthew 24:14, then, give the church a mandate for world evangelization as a way as to “Bring back the King?” Or, as Hesselgrave quips, “If we go in force, will He come in haste?” 25
Several commentators claim that it is not necessary to see this statement as indicating an immediate sequence of events following some final evangelistic encounter. As Nolland writes of this phrase, “Clearly there is nothing here that is intended to have predictive power … The concern is rather to assert the Matthean understanding that the significance of the period between the resurrection and the Parousia is a period defined by universal mission.” 26
In other words, Jesus is not telling the disciples about a sequence of events that will cause a chain reaction. Much less can he be seen to be instructing them as to how to effect his return. Instead Jesus’ intent is to reveal that the “end of the ages” is to be a time that will be marked both by tribulation and by universal mission: “This does not mean that all the nations will be converted before the end can come but rather that the universal proclamation will continue until the end.” 27
Agreeing with this, several authors see the events predicted by Jesus as having already occurred in history. Eckhard Schnabel observes, “The church today is not waiting for these signs to begin to appear. They began in the first century, already observed by Jesus’ disciples.” 28
Craig Blomberg states, “All nine of these preliminary events in fact occurred before A.D. 70, though most if not all have recurred many times since then as well.” 29Schnabel sees the evangelism of the known world at the time as the Gospel of the kingdom had reached Spain in the west, Scythia in the north, India in the west, and Ethiopia in the south. 30Blomberg cites Paul’s claim in Romans 10:18 that the gospel had already reached the whole inhabited world as being sufficient to meet the criteria of Christ’s promise in Matthew 24:14. 31 Jesus, then, could return at any time.
Ultimately, even if one were to read this verse as a key to “Bringing back the King,” the point remains that Jesus has not here instructed his disciples to pursue or effect his return. Much more clearly, Jesus has spoken of the mysterious timing of the Parousia. 32Much more clearly has he spoken of the command and commission he intends for his disciples to obey (Matthew 28:18-20). Preaching the Gospel to all nations is a part of that which is eventually commanded at the end of Matthew’s Gospel. It is the first stage in the more extensive, on-going task of making disciples of all nations and teaching them to obey all that Jesus commands. As a part of a larger command, then, its completion does not exhaust the task to which the church has been called.
Matthew 24:14 is a promise, not a command. As a promise, it gives strategists and missionaries sure knowledge that disciple-making labor among the nations is not in vain. Yet it behooves the missionary, missiologist, and pastor to consider this passage as it stands and for what it is prior to building strategies thereupon. The command given to the disciples—and the means by which the promise of Matthew 24:14 might be realized—comes after Jesus’ resurrection, four chapters later in Matthew 28:18-20. To that command this paper now turns.
The Command of Matthew 28:18-20
18 καὶ προσελθὼν ὁ Ἰησοῦς ἐλάλησεν αὐτοῖς λέγων· Ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς· 19 πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη, βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος, 20 διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν· καὶ ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ μεθ’ ὑμῶν εἰμι πάσας τὰς ἡμέρας ἕως τῆς συντελείας τοῦ αἰῶνος. 33
Long considered to be a key text in evangelical missiology, the so-called Great Commission as stated in Matthew is often cited as the chair text for missions work, though it is certainly more than a proof-text. 34 As noted by David Mathis, Matthew 28:18-20 “ … is part of a biblical symphony spanning the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. From creation, God has been concerned with ‘all the nations.’” 35
While the Great Commission may not exhaust the mission for which the church remains on earth, her mission is certainly not less than what is contained therein. To that end it this paper will investigate the passage in order to illumine something of a minimum definition of the church’s role in order to determine whether or not the missions motto, “Finish the Mission” is appropriate in light of Matthew 28:18-20.
The central verb in this famous verse can at times get lost in the English translations. Where the English versions tend to place the aorist participle “go” (πορευθέντες) prior to the imperative “make disciples” (μαθητεύσατε), the command to “make disciples” is in fact the main verb. 36
As disciple-making is the task given here, Weber explains, “At the heart of our mission is the reproduction in others of what Jesus has produced in us: faith, obedience, growth, authority, compassion, love, and a bold, truthful message as his witnesses.” 37
On this grammatical basis, some argue that the English verb should be ‘going’ as a reference to one’s everyday activities as the context for one’s obedience to the main verb, “make disciples.” 38 However, as explained by Köstenberger and O’Brien, “ … the aorist participle ‘go’ (poreuthentes) modifies the aorist imperative ‘make disciples’ (matheteusate) as an auxiliary reinforcing the action of the main verb … ” and in so doing, it contains a “ … mild imperatival force.” 39Likewise, Osborne notes Matthew’s habit of pairing a participial “ … ‘go’ as an introductory circumstantial participle that is rightly translated as coordinate to the main verb.” 40 Thus, “Jesus was commanding his followers to go as well as to make disciples, though the emphasis falls on the making of disciples.” 41 Indeed, as this passage includes the phrase “all nations” (πάντα τὰ ἔθνη), “going,” at least for some, will be a necessary aspect of obedience.
The command to make disciples is clearly given, though its implementation is no simple thing. 42 Qualifying this main verb is another participial phrase, “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you.” 43 Köstenberger unpacks this, saying, “ … mission entails the nurturing of converts into the full obedience of faith, not merely the proclamation of the Gospel.” 44 Where some missiologists would separate the task of “discipling” from the process of “perfecting,” this passage will not admit of this distinction. 45 As disciples themselves are ever-growing, so might the task of making disciples be seen as a process that will not end until Jesus returns.
While this command, then, certainly includes both ‘go’ and ‘proclaim’ elements, it is not limited only to these, but it insists on the making of disciples, church planting, and the teaching of obedience to all that Jesus has commanded. This teaching includes Jesus’ central teaching on the kingdom of God, which cannot simply be understood as the message of how one might find personal salvation. 46 An investigation of the rest of the passage will bear this out.
As noted above, Jesus’ command to “Go and make disciples” is not a bare command given devoid of content. Matthew 28:18-20 includes two additional participial clauses that shed further light on how one is to make disciples: baptizing (βαπτίζοντες) and teaching (διδάσκοντες). Clearly, as those discipled by Jesus themselves, the eleven disciples understood something of what making disciples might entail. While an investigation of the narratives of the disciples’ personal experiences of being discipled by Jesus might prove fruitful, this study will limit itself to the implications of these two participles and the phrases of which they are part.
Baptism and Ecclesiological Implications
The first participial clause that sheds light on how the eleven disciples are instructed to “Go and make disciples of all nations” is “baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit” (βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος). The Trinitarian formula identifies clearly the fact that this is explicitly Christian baptism, a symbol of entrance into the people of God by way of God’s own tri-personal name. 47
As a sign or sacrament symbolizing the entrance into God’s family, baptism implies an intimate relationship with the community of God’s People. Indeed, many see this command to baptize disciples as being directly tied to churches into which the new disciples are baptized and integrated. 48 With this understanding in mind, then, Russel Moore can claim that, “A theology of the Great Commission is inextricably tied up with a theology of the church.” 49 Likewise, Köstenberger and O’Brien emphasize that in the New Testament, “Conversion to Christ meant incorporation into a Christian community.” 50 The command to baptize, here, as an ordinance of the church, can be understood to assume church formation and planting as a part of the Great Commission itself. The second participle gives even further instructions on disciple-making.
Teaching Total Obedience
The addition of the phrase, “ … teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (διδάσκοντες αὐτοὺς τηρεῖν πάντα ὅσα ἐνετειλάμην ὑμῖν) sets the disciple-making and church planting standard. Jesus does not give his disciples permission to set aside aspects of his teaching in order to streamline their task or to speed its spread. Instead, as Jesus himself claimed that his own ministry would not allow a jot or a tittle of the law to fall away, he holds his disciples as disciple-makers to the same standard of upholding his commands. (Matthew 5:18).
This is not always reflected in missions strategies. Often, between the difficulty of inter- cultural communication and the desire for reproducible models that rapidly multiply, aspects of Jesus’ teaching go unaddressed. 51 For example, in Donald McGavran’s influential early work, The Bridges of God, he puts off much of Jesus’ ethical teaching by distinguishing between ‘discipling’ and ‘perfecting’. He describes this division by saying, “In discipling, the full understanding of Christ is not the all-important factor, which is simply that He be recognized by the community as their sole spiritual Sovereign.” 52
In so doing, McGavran—and many who follow in his stead—declares the discipleship stage to be finished (and thus “finishable”) once Jesus is seen as a community’s leader. The assumption, then, is that the work of the Great Commission is done among this people, and sanctification (or “perfecting” in McGavran’s terminology) will continue either with or without the missionary’s teaching.
There is, however, no textual warrant for redefining discipleship or for the bifurcation of discipling and perfecting. This is not a tenable position when considering the command of Matthew 28:18-20, particularly in light of the second clause which requires teaching total obedience. 53 Contra McGavran’s definition of discipling, David Mathis writes, “ … ‘disciple’ refers not merely to conversion and personal spiritual maturity but to the personal investment of the discipler’s life in others” 54 Likewise, Chan and Beuving explain that, “ teaching people to obey Jesus’s commands is an enormous task. … We are never really ‘done.’ … We never finish the discipleship process.” 55 Despite the grand scope of the process of making disciples, Matthew 28:18-20 insists that this is the task to which the church has been commissioned.
David Sills summarizes well what has been seen in this study, saying, “The Great Commission is not just about evangelism or church planting. Jesus said to make disciples of all the ethnic groups of the world and to do that by teaching them to observe all that He commanded us (Matthew 28:19-20).” 56 Evangelism, church planting, discipleship, and teaching total obedience are bound up together in the command left to the church in the Great Commission. It might be noted that there is more that can be said biblically regarding the mission of the church. However, as she strategizes about how to make disciples of all the peoples of the world, she will do well to remember that her task is not less than full obedience to the Great Commission.
Read part 1 here.
Republished with permission from the Southeastern Theological Review 9.2 (Fall 2018) and Matthew Bennett.
- Zane G. Pratt, Michael David Sills, and Jeffrey Kirk Walters, Introduction to Global Missions (Nashville, Tenn.: B&H, 2014), 127. ↩
- Zane G. Pratt, Michael David Sills, and Jeffrey Kirk Walters, Introduction to Global Missions (Nashville, Tenn.: B&H, 2014), 127. ↩
- Ibid., 127. ↩
- David Bosch, Transforming Mission : Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission, (20th Anniversary Ed; Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2011), 396. ↩
- Winter and Koch, “Finishing the Task: The Unreached Peoples Challenge,” 533. ↩
- Harold Fickett, “A Genius for God: Ralph Winter’s Recasting of World Evangelization,” Pages 85–88 in Int. J. Front. Missiology 31, no. 2 (2014): 85; David J. Hesselgrave, Paradigms in Conflict : 10 Key Questions in Christian Missions Today (Kregel Publications, 2005), 188-92. ↩
- Accessed 1/8/2016. https://joshuaproject.net. At the time of access, the headline for the home page reads, “Bringing definition to the unfinished task.” ↩
- Cf. Sills, Reaching and Teaching, 15; Bosch, Transforming Mission, 397; Craig Ott and Gene Wilson, Global Church Planting : Biblical Principles and Best Practices for Multiplication (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2011), 78. Contra Garrison, Ott & Wilson prioritize healthy over merely rapid reproduction of churches. ↩
- Winter and Koch, “Finishing the Task: The Unreached Peoples Challenge.”, 533. ↩
- Winter and Koch, “Finishing the Task,” 534, 539. It should be noted that Winter is here speaking of a desire that a people movement to Christ (a forerunner idea to CPMs) within a people group. Elsewhere Winter is more robust in his understanding of the missionary task, but in this article he draws it, troublingly, from Matt 24:14. ↩
- David Bosch, Transforming Mission : Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission (Maryknoll, N.Y.: Maryknoll, N.Y. : Orbis, 2011), 316. ↩
- “Student Volunteer Movement 2,” SVM2.com. [Accessed 2/4/2016] http://www.svm2.net/about- us/what-is-the-great-commission/. ↩
- Michael W. Holmes, The Greek New Testament: SBL Edition (Lexham Press; Society of Biblical Literature, 2011–2013), Mt 24:14. ↩
- Craig Blomberg, Matthew (vol. 22; The New American Commentary; Nashville: B&H, 1992), 356. Blomberg claims that in fact, all nine of the “signs of the times” had occurred by A.D. 70. ↩
- 29 Grant R. Osborne, Matthew, vol. 1 Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2010), 855. ↩
- John Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew: A Commentary on the Greek Text, vol. 1 New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 2005), 966. ↩
- In fact, in Matt 10:5ff, as Jesus sends the disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of heaven, they are Here in Jesus’ pre-crucifixion answer to his disciples, his answer is given as a foretelling of what will happen, not yet as a command that his disciples obey. In fact, in his commentary on Matthew 24:14, John Nolland shows that, “ … the emphasis falls on the place of the preaching in the unfolding of the destined future rather than on the responsibility of the disciples for the preaching (contrast 28:19-20).” 57Nolland, The Gospel of Matthew, 966. ↩
- Stuart K. Weber, Matthew (vol. 1; Holman New Testament Commentary; Nashville, TN: B&H, 2000), 399. “The testimony served two purposes simultaneously: (1) it could win the listener over, and (2) it could condemn the guilty.” ↩
- Cf. McKnight, Scott, The King Jesus Gospel (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2011); N. T. Wright, How God Became King: The Forgotten Story of the Gospels (New York: HarperOne, 2010). ↩
- Bosch, Transforming Mission, 400. ↩
- Ibid., 400. ↩
- Bruce Riley Ashford, “The Church in the Mission of God,” Pages 237–66 in The Community of Jesus : A Theology of the Church, ed. Kendell H. Easley and Christopher W. Morgan (Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2013), 260. Ashford uses the analogy of a wheel wherein the hub of the wheel is evangelism and the rim is social engagement. Both are necessary for the church’s holistic, “gospel of the kingdom” mission. ↩
- Osborne, Matthew, 877. ↩
- Weber, Matthew, 399. ↩
- Hesselgrave, Paradigms, 279 ↩
- Nolland, Matthew, 967. ↩
- Osborne, Matthew, 877. ↩
- Eckhard J. Schnabel, 40 Questions about the End Times (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Kregel, 2011), 47. ↩
- Craig Blomberg, Matthew (vol. 22; The New American Commentary; Nashville: B&H, 1992), 356. ↩
- Schnabel, 40 Questions, 38. ↩
- Blomberg, Matthew, 356. While contemporary understandings of “people groups” would likely considerPaul’s statement to be hyperbole, Blomberg does well to call the reader’s attention to Matthew 24:34, where Jesus says that these things will happen before this generation passes away, saying, “It is crucial to observe the fulfillment of all these preliminary events prior to A.D. 70. This fulfillment will explain how 24:34 can be true.” ↩
- Cf. Matt 24:36, 44; 25:13. ↩
- Holmes, The Greek New Testament, Mt 28:18–20. ↩
- David Bosch, “The Structure of Mission: An Exposition of Matthew 28:16-20,” Pages 218–48 in Exploring Church Growth, ed. Wilbert R. Shenk (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1983), 218-20. ↩
- Piper and Mathis, Finish the Mission, 18. ↩
- Blomberg, Matthew, 431. ↩
- Weber, Matthew, 484. ↩
- Morris, Matthew, 746 fn. 30. ↩
- Andreas J. Köstenberger and Peter Thomas O’Brien, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth : A Biblical Theology of Mission, (Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity, 2001), 103-4. ↩
- Blomberg, Matthew, 431. ↩
- Morris, Matthew, 746 fn. 30. ↩
- Paul Borthwick, Western Christians in Global Mission (Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP, 2012), 50. ↩
- Köstenberger and O’Brien, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, 105. ↩
- Ibid., 104. ↩
- Donald A. McGavran, The Bridges of God : A Study in the Strategy of Missions (New York: Friendship Press, 1981), 15. McGavran divides these concepts; Bosch demonstrates the division to be untenable in “The Structure of Mission”, 221. ↩
- David J. Bosch, “The Structure of Mission”, 246. 13 ↩
- McGrath, Christian Theology, 230. McGrath shows that this formula itself was cited in the formulation of the Trinity by Athenasius and others. ↩
- Cf. Jonathan Leeman and Mark E. Dever, eds., Baptist Foundations: Church Government for an Anti- Institutional Age (Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2015), 192. ↩
- Russel D. Moore, “Theology Bleeds: Why Theological Vision Matters for the Great Commission and Vice Versa,” Pages 103-20 in The Great Commission Resurgence : Fulfilling God’s Mandate in Our Time, ed. Charles E. Lawless and Adam Wade Greenway (Nashville, Tenn.: B & H Academic, 2010, 117). ↩
- Köstenberger and O’Brien, Salvation to the Ends of the Earth, 268. ↩
- Sills, Reaching and Teaching, 32. ↩
- Donald A. McGavran, The Bridges of God : A Study in the Strategy of Missions (New York: Friendship Press, 1981), 15. ↩
- David J. Bosch, “The Structure of Mission: An Exposition of Matthew 28:16-20,” Pages 218–48 in Exploring Church Growth, ed. Wilbert R. Shenk (Grand Rapids, Mich. : W.B. Eerdmans, c1983., 1983), 46. ↩
- John Piper and David Mathis, eds., Finish the Mission : Bringing the Gospel to the Unreached and Unengaged (Wheaton, Ill.: Crossway, 2012), 18, 20. ↩
- Francis Chan and Mark Beuving, Multiply : Disciples Making Disciples (Colorado Springs, CO : David C Cook, 2012), 32. ↩
- Sills, Reaching and Teaching: A Call to Great Commission Obedience, 18. ↩