In the first three gospels, namely Matthew, Mark and Luke, we have what is called The Great Commission.
It is the command of the Lord Jesus to the believer to preach the gospel to the entire world.
We also find this command in the first chapter of the Book of the Acts.
In Acts chapter one, the Jesus says to his disciples, “And ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”
After Jesus spoke those words, he ascended to heaven.
Jesus left the disciples with a responsibility that is still being carried out nearly 2,000 years after it was originally given to his own.
Of course, this command is not something that is done in one’s own strength, so we read in Mark 16:20 that the Lord was working with his own.
Sometime later, we come to Acts chapter 13, in which Barnabas and Saul are sent by the Holy Spirit to take the gospel message into new territory.
The two preachers went to Seleucia and then to the Island of Cyprus, preaching the gospel everywhere they went.
They left Paphos in Cyprus and came to Perga in Pamphylia.
They then left Perga and came to Antioch in Pisidia and found a Jewish synagogue, where they had an opportunity to preach the gospel.
Saul, who was now known as Paul, stood and told the people gathered about how God had sent his son, Jesus, to be the Saviour.
Paul spoke of John the Baptist and how he was sent ahead of Jesus to prepare the way for him.
Paul spoke of how Jesus died on the cross and was buried, then Paul explained, “But God raised him from the dead.”
Paul then said there were many witnesses who saw Jesus alive from the dead.
Paul quoted from Psalm 2:7 to show those who were listening that it was prophesied that God’s son would be raised up from the dead.
This prophecy was written about 1,000 years before the death of the Jesus.
Paul then quoted from the Bible in Isaiah 55:3 and Psalm 16:10, with both passages from the Old Testament telling of the work of Christ on the cross and his resurrection.
The two passages from the Psalms were written by King David, but David was not raised from the dead, so Paul shows these two passages were written concerning Jesus.
Paul then appeals to the people who were listening and said, “Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses (Acts 13:38-39).”
Paul then warned the people of the consequences of rejecting the message of the gospel.
Some of those who heard Paul that day wanted to hear more and some trusted the Saviour right then.
There was joy in the lives of the new believers and, the next Saturday, they came together in the synagogue, but this time practically the whole city came together to hear Paul preach.
The Jews were full of envy and stirred up the chief men of the city to go against Paul and Barnabas and ran the preachers out of the town.
This is just one example of how things went for those early preachers of the gospel.
This still happens in our time. There is still a price to pay for the telling out of the Gospel.
Going into the world with the message of the cross is not a popular activity, but it is still being told to those who will respond in faith.
John Eggers is an elder in the assembly that meets in Westsyde Gospel Hall in Kamloops. KTW welcomes submissions to its Faith page. Columns should
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