“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20).
Did you know that the so-called “great commission” (the verses above) was completed a long time ago?
In Matthew 24:14 Jesus told the disciples that the Gospel would be preached as a testimony to “all nations” (the same phrase as in the great commission) in all the oikoumenē, which means “the inhabited earth,” that is the portion of the earth inhabited by the Greeks. Jesus wasn’t referring to the whole world, all of planet earth (which there was a different Greek word for, namely kosmos). And indeed, the apostles did preach the good news throughout all of the oikoumenē.
Also consider that this command was never given to us; it was only given to the original eleven (minus Judas) disciples. Yes, we are also disciples. But we are not those disciples that received the command. Just because the command they received was written down doesn’t mean it applies to us also. Just because Jesus gives a command to someone doesn’t mean he gives it to everyone. So why assume we have the same mission the apostles did in their day and age?
My point is not to try and get you to stop spreading the Gospel. Rather, it is to point out that, if you need an abstract and indirect command to be motivated enough to tell people the good news, is what you believe is the good news really that good? If it is really that good, shouldn’t that and the love you have for others be good enough reason to share it? Further, have you personally talked with Jesus about the direction and aim of your life, or have you merely wrapped it up in a command that Jesus gave not to you but to some dudes you don’t even know personally?
An in-depth look at scriptures related to this topic