Trusting and Turning

After His death and resurrection, and just before His ascension back to heaven, Jesus gave His last command. It is often refer to as the Great Commission, and it is found five times in the New Testament. A version of it is given in Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15-16, Luke 24:46-49, John 20:21 and Acts 1:8. The mandate to go into all the world is apparent in each version. The Lord’s purpose in this age is to call out of the world a people for His name from every tribe, tongue, people and nation (Acts 15:14, Rev.5:9). He commanded us to go into all the world that He might use us to accomplish that purpose by preaching the gospel.
Luke’s version of the church’s mission adds an important component to the message we must preach to the world. We must not only bring the gospel to the world but urge them to repent of their sins. Jesus said “…repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (see Luke 24:47). Repentance is often absent from much of our contemporary preaching and evangelism. It indicates a change of mind concerning sin, and a turning from it. Those who are genuinely converted to Christ not only trust Him as their Savior from sin, but forsake it in their lives. Faith in Christ and repentance of sin are two sides of the same coin. J.I. Packer said, “Where there is no real turning, there is no real trusting.”