Jesus Christ said this:
The most important law of all is: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:28-31)
Jesus himself declared this to be the Great Commandment.
Later, to his disciples, Jesus also said this:
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:16-20)
Christians, not Jesus, declared this to be the Great Commission.
The Great Commission has always been the driving force behind Christian evangelization.
When Jesus spoke the words of the “Great Commission,” he was known by almost no one. So it was vitally important that his disciples get busy spreading his message at that time.
So they did. And it worked. And in America today you can barely throw a rock without it bouncing off a church.Commission accomplished!
The message of Jesus’ Great Commandment boils down to this:
God loves you. I love you. You are worthy of unqualified, absolute love.
The message of the Great Commission boils down to this:
If you’re not a Christian, you should be.
When you combine those two messages—as every evangelizing Christian must—what you get is this:
You are super lovable. But you should totally change.
Which is an absurd message. It’s like saying, “Today is Tuesday, so yesterday was Friday,” or, “I love my legs, I wish they were gone.” One half cancels out the other.
If half your message negates the other half, and you wish to continue appearing sane, then half your message needs to go.
Christians who feel the need to evangelize should limit their message to, “God loves you; I love you; you are worthy of unqualified, absolute love.” If they feel the need to continue “witnessing,” then they must remember that the whole point of a witness is to answer questions when asked.