Theme: All the Days
In this week’s lessons on the Great Commission, we are promised that Jesus is with us to the very end as we obey his command to go into all the world to make other disciples.
Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20
Over the past two days we listed six subjects that faithful teaching needs to include: a high view of Scripture, the sovereignty of God, the depravity of man, grace, work to do, and the security of the believer in Christ.
Today’s Christians need to articulate these great biblical doctrines afresh, not just adopt the theology of our culture. We need to speak of the depravity of man, of man in rebellion against God, so much so that there is no hope for him apart from God’s grace. We need to speak of God’s electing love, showing that God enters the life of the individual in grace by His Holy Spirit to quicken understanding and draw the rebellious will to Himself. We must speak of perseverance, that God is able to keep and does keep those whom He so draws.
All these doctrines and the supporting doctrines that go with them need to be proclaimed. We have to say, “This is where we stand. We do not adopt the world’s theology or even the theology of the liberal church.” Unless we do this we cannot consider ourselves to be faithful and obedient disciples of Jesus—or even followers at all. Without this our churches will not prosper and our preaching and teaching will not be fully blessed.
The final universal of Matthew 28:18-20 is “always” or, as the Greek literally says, “all the days, even to the consummation of the age.” It is a great promise. In the first chapter of Matthew Jesus was introduced as ‘‘‘Immanuel’—which means, ‘God with us’’’ (Matt. 1:23). Here in the very last verse that promise is repeated and confirmed. John Stott writes:
This was not the first time Christ had promised them His risen presence.
Earlier in this Gospel (18:20) he had undertaken to be in their midst when
only two or three disciples were gathered in His name. Now, as He repeats
the promise of His presence, He attached it rather to their witness than to
their worship. It is not only when we meet in His name, but when we go in
His name, that He promises to be with us. The emphatic “I,” who pledges
his presence, is the one who has universal authority and who sends forth
His people. It remains questionable, therefore, whether a stay-at-home
Church—disobedient to the Great Commission, and indifferent to the need
of the nations—is in any position to claim or inherit the fullness of Christ’s
It is not easy to follow Jesus Christ. He never suggested it would be. But it is far better than not following Him, for not only do we have the promise of a sure hope beyond the grave and rewards in heaven; we have the promise of the Lord’s presence with us now as we seek to serve Him. His presence is to be desired above rubies. To know Him is of greater value than gold.
In reviewing the six major doctrines that need to be covered, Dr. Boice also refers to the “supporting doctrines” that go along with them. What other doctrines would you include in your own teaching of Christian truth?
Rather than standing firm in one’s theological convictions that are solidly grounded in Scripture, in what areas do you observe the church failing to do this?
Reflection: Ideas of discipleship, cross-bearing, and obedience do not appear to be talked about as much as they were in previous generations of church history. Have you observed any effects of this in how Christian people think and behave today?
For Further Study: Dr. Boice’s studies on discipleship are also available in paperback, entitled Christ’s Call to Discipleship, from the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals.
4Stott, op. cit., p. 49.