The Great Commission Is Not in Quarantine
by Jorge Aguero
From the moment the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic, we began to experience a global crisis. Some parts of the world were in lockdown and quarantined. Phrases like “stay at home,” “wear masks” and “social distance” were and still are our new normal. For a period of four months, churches were closed, and some will not reopen for the rest of the year. But the focus is on the reopening of business, malls and restaurants, with the message: “Come in. We are open.”
Jesus gave us the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18–20, a charge not affected by a pandemic, for the Great Commission is not in quarantine. We must preach and share the good news of salvation “in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2, NIV).
In the reopening of churches, we have the risk of focusing on the buildings and regulations and forgetting about the mission to reach the world. The church cannot be like a restaurant: “Come in. We are open.” We have a mandate from God: “Go, therefore.” The mission is not to stay or go into temples; it is to preach the everlasting gospel to those who dwell on the earth—“to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Rev. 14:6, NKJV.)
“As a people we greatly need to humble our hearts before God, pleading His forgiveness for our neglect to fulfill the gospel commission. ... Let us now take up the work appointed to us, and proclaim the message that is to arouse men and women to a sense of their danger. If every Seventh-day Adventist had done the work laid upon him, the number of believers would now be much larger than it is” (Ellen White, Testimonies for the Church, vol. 9, p. 25).
God’s mission is not in quarantine. It is always open. “Therefore, go!”