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He Said "Go" (1)

He Said "Go" (1)

After Jesus had died to purchase our redemption, and after his body had been resurrected from the grave in complete victory over death, but before he ascended to the throne in heaven, he gave orders to his disciples to “Go into all the word and preach the gospel” (Mk 16:15). His orders, as recorded by Matthew (28:19, 20), also include the requirement that those who would be converted should be commissioned also to “Go.” The first disciples were to teach the saved to observe the same things the first disciples had receive of Jesus. So it is that it can be concluded that Christians today are ordered by the Lord, “Go preach the gospel.”

Two Fields

The command is “Go” and this then requires us to go far and to go near. It demands that Christians be busy teaching and preaching the gospel at home and abroad. It sends us into homes, streets, offices, schools, factories, and fields that are in our own community. Likewise, it sends us into deserts, swamps, mansions, huts, and everywhere men live, even 10,000 miles from home. Jesus’ word “Go” forbids that we withhold truth from our next-door neighbor, and it also forbids that we deprive the people of Asia, Africa, Europe, and other far away places of the knowledge of the gospel.

In keeping with the command of Christ, the gospel must be taken to the lands of peace and to those lands where war and turmoil prevail. Friendly lands and congenial people must be given opportunity to know the truth that can free them from bondage to sin, and the people in ignorance, darkness and superstition, dominated by unfriendly and anti-Christian powers, must hear if we can possibly reach them.

The disciples who work diligently to reach souls in their own community certainly are to be commended, but if they make no effort to reach those far away, they fail to obey the word of Jesus. Likewise those who expend every effort to teach the heathen of another land but do not utilize opportunities to evangelize their own vicinity, fail just as significantly to do God’s bidding. Responsibilities with regard to going are limited only by our abilities! Each Christian must face God at last to give account of the deeds done in the body – not only to give account of the evil done, but also to be tested with regard to how we have used our time, our talent and our opportunities. Each church is being measured today by the Lord, not only with regard to how well it opposes false doctrine and sinful living, but also with regard to how it keeps its “first love” and whether or not it is “cold” or “hot” (see Revelation 2 and 3).

This article by Leslie Diestelkamp was written in 1958