Every Christian To Every Creature
By Clara Jarvis
Christ’s command to evangelize the world is binding upon His followers everywhere and for all time. It is said of the first Christians in Jerusalem that “they were all scattered abroad... except the apostles… therefore they… went everywhere preaching the Word” (Acts 8:1, 4).
Of the Thessalonian converts it is said that from them “sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place” so that the apostles needed “not to speak any thing” (1 Thes. 1:8). There were few full-time professional missionaries in the modern sense of the word, but every Christian went everywhere preaching the Gospel to everybody.
The success of world evangelization cannot depend on officially appointed missionaries, however dedicated and well-trained they may be. The only hope lies in the realization of and response to the fact that every Christian must be involved.
Each of us can begin at our “Jerusalem” to obey Christ’s command: our own families, our neighbors, the children on our street, the postman, the delivery men, those with whom we work, etc. God is counting on us to reach the people with whom we come in contact. We should be daily faithful in our witness for Christ both by our lives and by our lips.
But let us not stop with our “Jerusalem.” Let us go on to “Judea, Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8). First, we can get a good world map and acquaint ourselves with the names and locations of countries around the world.
Second, we should acquaint ourselves with missions working overseas and try to meet missionaries on furlough.
Third, we can subscribe to missionary magazines or request missionary prayer letters to further familiarize us with the needs and challenges of the mission fields.
Fourth, we can pray specifically for missionaries and for their ministries, and ask the Lord of the harvest “to thrust forth laborers into the harvest” (Matt. 9:37-38).
Fifth, we can become even more intimately involved, by sharing financially in a specific missionary project or missionary support.
Sixth, we can help in other practical ways, such as making quilts for mission hospitals or orphanages, making bandages for mission hospitals, sending to missionaries personal gifts of which they might otherwise be deprived, or sharing tangibly in their mission work.
Seventh, some have found great joy in giving a few weeks, months or even a year in sharing their time and talent on a mission field. Secretaries, builders, plumbers, bookkeepers, etc. can bring much needed relief and afford great blessing to overworked missionaries with limited staff.
Eighth, missions can be included in our will or through an annuity so that even after death we can share in getting the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
“Every Christian to every creature” should be the motto of every believer. The Apostle Paul declared, “I am pure from the blood of all men” (Acts 20:26). He said further that “by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).
The priority task of the child of God is to obey the command of Christ to “go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). It is distressing that so few Christians have a clear-cut Scriptural conception of personal missionary responsibility. To be a true child of God and to confess Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord, is to be vitally related to His plan of world evangelization and to have some specific share in carrying it out.
Will you ask Him what you can do to help fulfill the Great Commission – and then do it?