David M. Green
Here we read of our Lord’s command to his church to go into the world, teach, baptize, and teach the saved. It is a command, and we read here of why He gave us this commandment. In verse 18, He says “ All power is given unto me in heaven and earth.” In the original Greek, the word “power” could be translated “authority” His authority reaches everywhere! (Dan 4:35) We as God’s people should desire to go simply because He told us to!
Notice a couple of things about this commandment: (1) It was given to the 11 disciples as representatives of His church. This means Baptists are the only people who have the authority from God to preach and baptize. While there may be many other groups and organizations preaching, they so not have the authority to do so. (2) It was not given to those it disciples as individuals, but as a church. Had it been to the II only, the command would have died w/ them and Christ gives us the order. We must not change it.
So why go? First of all because our Lord commands it. Acts 1:8
Paul, the apostle had a vision of a man in another place saying “Come over into Macedonia and help us.” It says that Paul immediately endeavored to go there. He didn’t wait to double-check his expenses, bank accounts; he didn’t ask to see what Luke thought about it. They went to help.
Now, by helping the people of Macedonia Paul didn’t bring them canned food, money, or clothes. He preached to them the gospel. That’s the help they-needed-Not handouts from the missionary.
Philip sent to desert, Euich baptized into Jerusalem church.
God could have chosen any other method He wanted to use to save His people, but He chose preaching. We believe in a sovereign God who saves all of His elect. We believe that they will all come to Christ and none will ever get to fell, but way too often we forget how they will be saved. It is by the foolishness of preaching.
We as Baptists will emphatically say “amen” to the fact that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” But when someone asks, “how shall they preach except they be sent.” There is an order to everything.
The fact that most would prefer to preach in the church building 3 times a week does not change this passage! This building is not the mission field. Our work does not stop at the door- It’s just begun. You and I have the responsibility of preaching the gospel to a lost and dying world!
“Woe is unto me if I preach not the gospel!” Can everyone here say that? Is the desire to tell others about Christ burning in your soul? It should be. Your coworkers, friends, family members, and the people you pass on the street are dying and you know the cure. Preach the gospel and do it willingly.
Go and preach the gospel because it is the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” There’s no other way to be saved. The so-called “gospel tracts” won’t do it, radio programs aren’t enough, sending money to foreign missions does not take away our duty.
In our country, we have probably the most neglected mission field of the world. I’ve seen it time and time again…many want to go to other countries to serve. Most churches will not support a “home missionary” when they can support a foreign one. Lift up your eyes, the field is white unto harvest, but the laborers are few. The heathen is America need to hear the gospel just as much as the heathen in Papua New Guinea or South America. We may not be able to go to another country, but let’s not neglect our own.
We have a great duty- May we be willing and ready to do it.