Updated: Nov 21, 2022
It was Paul Harvey who commented that Jesus did not come into the world to get people out of the slums, but he came to get the slums out of the people. Jesus came into the world to save the lost. Prior to his birth, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph and said, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for He shall save His people from their sins.” In Luke 19:10 we are told, “For the Son of man is come to seek and save that which was lost.” No man will ever be like Jesus Christ unless we follow His example. (1 Peter 2:21) Therefore, as members of his body, we must “seek” and “save” those who are lost. This is our mission.
We need to recapture the zeal that characterized the early church in soul winning. From a study of the book of Acts, we learn that the early church was a growing church. For instance, look at the continual, daily progress the church made.
“And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47).
“Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand” (Acts 4:4).
“And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women” (Acts 5:14).
“And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly…” (Acts 6:7).
Have you ever wondered why the church in Jerusalem grew so rapidly? It wasn’t because they had a beautiful, air-conditioned building in which to meet. Nor was it because they had hired a good preacher to work with them. The key to the success of the early church is summed up in Acts 5:42. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” They were working every day to convert men to Christ, the hope of the world. (John 14:6)
There are only two kinds of evangelism in the Bible. Both are mentioned in Acts 5:42. (1) Mass evangelism. (“Daily in the temple”) This corresponds to pulpit preaching. (2) Personal evangelism (“in every house”). Personal Evangelism is one person talking to another person about his need for Christ, with the view of bringing him to a decision. To be truly evangelistic, we must be for both, for mass evangelism and personal evangelism.
After his triumphant resurrection, Jesus gave the worldwide commission to His disciples. He said, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20) This has been called the Great Commission. It is truly a Great Commission because its scope includes the whole world. It is great because of the planning behind it. It was in God’s eternal purpose. (Ephesians 3:8-11) This commission is great because of the message it heralds. In obeying this commission, we must preach Christ and Him crucified. (1 Corinthians 5:1-4)
Yes, this is a “Great Commission.” This commission, according to Marks’s gospel is, “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” (Mark 16:15-16) We are very strong on verse 16, which teaches the necessity of baptism. But what about verse 15? This verse teaches the necessity of teaching and preaching the gospel to others.
The early church carried out the Great Commission in less than thirty years. Jesus gave the marching order to “go teach all nations” in A.D. 33. Paul wrote in A.D. 62 that the gospel “was preached to every creature, which is under heaven.” (Colossians 1:23)
May the Lord bless you and keep you!
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