The great commission was a command to send forth the gospel to 'teach and baptize' ALL nations. Here's the verse:
Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Christ's command was very specific. All nations were to be taught and baptized. Now, if we believe the nations of the world are the ones in view, and then look at church history we can only conclude that this task was not fulfilled and it really turned out to be a miserable failure. The history is clear: all the world's nations were not taught. And all the world's nations were not baptized. Some would say, but the gospel accomplished a great deal. Many nations became Christian and many were taught and baptized. Yes, however, many is not all. The command was to teach and baptize all nations. Was the great commission then a miserable failure? Absolutely not! Christ's command was carried out perfectly. All nations were taught:
Hebrews 8:11 And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
And all nations were baptized with the baptism of the Spirit of God through the hearing of the Word of God. How can that be? Never in the history of the world have ALL the nations been taught and baptized by God's Spirit. Remember, we always have to look to the Bible for God to define His own terms. The word 'nations' is no exception to that rule. The below verses help us to understand: The unsaved. Called the nations of the world in this Scripture:
Luke 12:30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after:
And "The nations of them which are saved".
Who are God's elect people.
Revelation 21:22 And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it.
23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.
24 And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: There have always been two kinds of people in this world. God told Rebekah this when she wondered why the children in her womb were struggling with one another:
Genesis 25:22 And the children struggled together within her; and she said, If it be so, why am I thus? And she went to inquire of the LORD.
23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger. Jacob represented the elect nation. Esau represented the unsaved nation. Two nations.
Jesus' command to 'teach' and 'baptize' ALL nations was a command to reach the "nations of them which are saved". The elect of God. Christ said earlier in His ministry that He was not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as the Father sent Him into the world to minister to the lost sheep/elect; so too did Christ send His people into the world to the nations of the saved/the elect.
Since God reached and saved the last one of His elect by the date of May 21, 2011, the task of the great commission has been finished. It has been successfully completed. All nations were indeed taught and spiritually baptized. This is why Hebrews 8:11 speaks of a time wherein there will no longer be any need to teach his neighbor about Christ because all will already know Him (that is all will already be saved). This is the reason that Christ instituted a new great commission in John chapter 21 AFTER the great catch of fish (picturing the great multitude coming out of Great Tribulation) were brought in. The new great commission for God's elect people is to "feed My sheep".
John 21:10 Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught.
11 Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: and for all there were so many, yet was not the net broken.
15 So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
16 He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
17 He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Reaching out with the Word of God to the great multitude saved out of the Great Tribulation is the sole task of God’s elect in these days after the tribulation. Anyone seeking to send forth a gospel message encouraging people that God might still save them today, is in violation of Christ’s command to feed the sheep. They have become out of sync with God’s program of times and seasons. To feed the sheep is defined by one of the Greek words used in John 21. The word feed is the same word translated as ‘rule’ in this very significant verse:
Revelation 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
As we read the above verse we can miss the truth its teaching. Its teaching us about the outpouring of God’s wrath upon the nations of the world. And yet it says, “He should smite the nations: and He shall FEED them with a rod of iron”. The very same Greek word translation one time as ‘feed’ in John 21 is found in this verse as ‘rule’. This greatly assists us to understand the message we are to bring in which God’s elect sheep will be fed. It is the message that we are living on the earth in the Day of Judgment. It is the message that Judgment Day began on May 21, 2011 and is continuing for a period of years while Christ punishes the unsaved nations of the world. This message simultaneously serves to punish the wicked and to spiritual nourish or feed the saved. If we are not bringing this message today, we can be certain we are not doing the will
of God and we are not doing that which pleases Him.