“And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42)

The Great Commission was given to every Christian and implied a daily ministry of witness by life and word. The early Christians took it seriously, as our text implies. Even when they began to be persecuted for it, this merely led to a wider proclamation of the gospel. “Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word” (Acts 8:4).

The command of Christ was to “preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), and this required every Christian to be involved every day. The “gospel” includes the entire scope of the person and work and teachings of Jesus Christ, so both preaching and teaching are involved. Furthermore, Christ did not say “send,” but “go!” Although it is vital that missionaries be sent and supported as they go to “the regions beyond,” each believer must go to those he can reach, as ability and opportunity allow. “Jerusalem . . . Judaea . . . Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8) were all to be reached not consecutively, but simultaneously, and this would require both personal and financial participation by every Christian.

The message was to “teach and preach Jesus Christ,” in all His fullness. Their witnessing was to be “unto me” (Acts 1:8). It was to be both in public and in private–“in the temple, and in every house.” They were to pray to “the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest” (Luke 10:2), and also to train “faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2).

And the result of this intense first-century dedication to the Great Commission was that “the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly” (Acts 6:7). However, the work has never been completed, and the command is still in effect. HMM

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