It seems strange that at that time the gospel had been preached among all the nations, but if we consider the earnest character of the Christians, who gloried in persecution and death for Christ’s sake, it will not seem so strange. The greatest hindrance to the gospel in our day is the lukewarm and indifferent character of professed Christians. Personal consecration and devotion are the great needs to spread the gospel abroad (page 265, emp. added).
Do you want to be a soul winner for Jesus? Every Christian’s answer should be a resounding “yes!” We know that the Lord has commanded us to go into all the world and teach the gospel to all nations (Mat. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). Too, Jesus said that we should not call Him our Lord if we are not willing to obey all of His commands (Luke 6:46; Mat. 7:21). As a Christian, it is my privilege to take the grace-filled message of God’s salvation to people who would otherwise be lost.
We have already noted in previous posts that it is not enough to be satisfied with the “status quo” when it comes to soul winning. Pushing my responsibility of evangelism onto someone else (an elder, the preacher, an older Christian, or even a younger Christian) really jeopardizes my own salvation. Instead, we need the antidote about which Brother Andrew Connally used to preach: we must have the courage to care for the lost and the dare to dream that the lost might be won to the gospel. However, it’s not just about concern and vision. Brother Connally concluded his sermon with this point: we must have the willingness to work!
It seems as though our society believes that religion should not require hard work. It’s as though spirituality should come naturally rather than as a result of diligent study of God’s Word. Unfortunately, many Christians are buying into this idea. They could not be more wrong. The Bible teaches that work is at the very core of Christianity. Jesus said that one must consider the cost of discipleship before deciding to follow Him (Luke 14:28-33). There will be difficult decisions to make and hard work to accomplish as a disciple of the Lord, but the life of a “living sacrifice” (Rom. 12:1-2) is well worth it. We are privileged to work for the Lord! We do this by choice, realizing the honor that it is to be involved in His work, and even to suffer for His cause. The inspired apostle Paul taught that the church has been designed to work: “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2:10).
A good, spiritual work ethic is not just required of elders and preachers. The entire body is expected to work for the Lord. Brother Connally put it as follows. The Lord’s work needs mighty ministers who will distance themselves from the false teachers (cf. 1 John 2:19), declaring the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:26-27; 2 Tim. 4:1-5). We need enlightened elders, who will take heed to themselves and to all the flock which they oversee (Acts 20:28). We need dedicated deacons who will be great examples of Christ and wonderful leaders for all of us as we work together (cf. 1 Tim. 3:8-13). Last, but certainly not least, the Lord’s work needs faithful followers of Christ, who are always ready to give an answer (1 Pet. 3:15), devoted in their worship and encouragement of their fellow saints (Heb. 10:25), and faithful even to the point of death (Rev. 2:10).
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.” Is this even possible? It absolutely is! Our first century brethren did it in an age that did not enjoy our technological blessings to reach masses through media (Col. 1:23). In the ninth volume of the Gospel Advocate Commentary Series, David Lipscomb wrote the following thought provoking words:
We can fulfill the command in the great commission if we will have the courage to care, the dare to dream, and the willingness to work.