Few words ever spoken have had a more far-reaching impact on the world than Jesus’ last message to His disciples before He ascended into heaven. For three and a half years they had watched and listened as Jesus healed the sick, raised the dead, unlocked the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, and lived and preached the love of God. Then, the Bible tells us, Jesus spent forty more days with His followers after He rose from the dead, further preparing them to carry on what He had begun.1 Before He ascended to heaven, Jesus gave them what has come to be known as the Great Commission: “Go into all the world and preach the Good News”—the message of God’s love and salvation in Jesus—”to everyone, everywhere.”2
Their response? “They went out and preached every- where, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs.”3 With His resurrection, His disciples had finally grasped what Jesus had been trying to teach them all along: that He and the truth He taught could set all men free.4
Jesus offers that same commission to His followers today, and He continues to work just as wonderfully through those who say yes. Would you like to show others how they can be part of God’s kingdom and partake of His love and life? Would you like to do what Jesus asked His disciples to do—to bring His answers to a lost and lonely world? You can.
You don’t have to be a theologian, preacher, priest, or one of Jesus’ original twelve disciples to preach the Gospel. In fact, you don’t even have to have much special training or know a whole lot about the Bible. What you are about to read on these few pages is enough to get you started, and Jesus Himself will teach you the rest as you study His Word and from experience. What really matters is that you have found Jesus and experienced His life-changing love, and that you want to share His love and salvation with others. All you need is love—love for the Lord, and love for others.5
David Brandt Berg wrote: “The primary requisite for [Christian service] is the same driving passion that motivated the apostle Paul and all the apostles and all the martyrs and every great man or woman of God—in fact, that irresistible compassion which should motivate every child of God in everything he does, everything he says, everywhere he goes, with everybody—and which that great apostle summed up in these few famous and ringing words that have cried out from the hearts of true Christians in every good deed they have ever done: ‘The love of Christ compels us.‘“6
If you feel you don’t have that kind of love but would like to, why not ask Him for it right now? His Word promises, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it,”7 and, “Whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.”8
Every Christian’s duty
If the whole purpose of our existence is to receive Jesus as our Savior, then why doesn’t the Lord just take us home to heaven the minute we do?—Because once we’re saved, we have a job to do; we have a responsibility. There are lots of other people who need to know Jesus, and we are the means by which He has chosen to make Himself known.
Jesus alone saves, but He doesn’t want to save us alone. He wants to save the whole world, but in order to do that He needs us to tell others about His love, to give His love and message of salvation to the whole world.
Jesus told His closest followers, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”9 He says this still to His followers of today, calling them to give their lives daily in loving concern and care for others, to share His heart and love with those who are seeking for “the way, the truth, and the life.”10 He came to love the world, and He calls us to do likewise. Will you answer His call? Will you do what you can to win others to Him? Will you spread the Word, spread the message, spread His love?—D.B.B.
You can be an apostle!
An apostle is “one sent with a message.” If you’ve answered God’s call to share the message of His love in salvation in Jesus with a lost and lonely world, then you’re one of His apostles and tops in His book! God puts apostles at the top of His list—”first apostles”!11 You’re also His ambassador, representing the King of kings, the One who runs the universe. There’s no calling in life that’s greater than that!—D.B.B.
“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”12 How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”13—The apostle Paul14
Jesus has no hands but your hands, and He has no lips but yours, and He has no eyes but your eyes, for you are His body for whom He died, that you might live and love others as He loved you.—D.B.B.