Like many catastrophes, the Fall came without warning, but unlike many catastrophes it came with deceptive subtlety. In the midst of the Garden, Satan in the form of a serpent deceived Eve, who sinned by eating the forbidden fruit and shared the temptation with Adam, who ate too. And so fell our ancestors, and the human race, “from their original righteousness and communion with God,” and as a result they “became dead in sin, and wholly defiled in all parts and faculties of soul and body,” as our Confession of Faith puts it. In the history of human tragedies, the first was the worst.
The Great Commission then is only understood in the context of the church, for it is the church who mobilizes missions, making disciples, administering the sacraments, teaching the Word, and enjoying Christ’s on-going presence in our very existence. Therefore, do not heed those who would lead you to see the lost as your adversary, and do not run from the Great Commission by retreating into your holy huddle. Through the church we are to live out the Great Commission. The world is before us, so let us be going, making, sealing, and teaching, as we are ultimately one body worshiping one Lord who is with us always, to the end of the age.