Study 9 GOD’S PLAN FOR WORLD EVANGELISATION
What Every Christian Should Know
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portions: Matthew 28: 16-20; Mark 16: 15-20)
Every Christian ought to be thoroughly familiar with the great missionary command that runs through both the Old and New Testaments - a command that clearly outlines God’s plan for world evangelisation. Basing our study on Mark 16:15, it is important to notice that: (1) these words were spoken by our Lord Himself and constitute the divine plan for getting the gospel out to every creature; (2) this was His parting command to His followers; (3) it related to the present dispensation of grace in which we are living; and (4) it is therefore just as binding upon us today as it was upon the first Christians. But how slow God’s people have been to obey this command! Indeed, generations of souls have lived and died without ever hearing the gospel because Christians have failed to take the gospel to them. We need the vision of ‘all the world… ’ and ‘… all creation’, and of our responsibility to do something to bring the gospel to the millions for whom Christ died. Thus, our Lord’s command to every Christian is to engage in a programme of world evangelism. We are not to civilise the world, primarily, or to confine ourselves to a programme of education or social betterment - though all these will follow if we preach the gospel, the good news - look up Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 15:1-3.
1.THE PLAN FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE IS THE LORD’S.
God’s love extends to the whole of mankind - look up John 3:16; the Lord came for ‘all the people’ - look up Luke 2:10; the gospel is to ‘whoever’ - look up Romans 10:12-13; the Lord Jesus died for ‘the world’- look up John 1:29; 1 John 2:2. Study the following statement carefully:
“The Church of every generation is commissioned by Christ to evangelise the world in its generation. To evangelise the world is to present Christ as the only Saviour and divine Lord, that every human being will have a fair opportunity intelligently to accept or reject Him.”
God’s appeal to mankind is still an appeal to ‘all the world’ - look up Isaiah 45:22.
2. THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE IS UPON EVERY CHRISTIAN.
The marching orders of Mark 16:15 are just as binding upon every Christian today as they were at first upon the apostles - see what Paul says about it in 2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 10:13-17. Immediately we are born into God’s family we are responsible for taking our share in the evangelisation of the world. Are you discharging your responsibility? Are you obeying Mark 16:15?
3. THE NEED FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE IS VERY GREAT.
It was great when our Lord initiated this wonderful programme, for at that time there was only a handful of Christians; but the need is far greater today, for the world population is so much greater and there are more people who need to hear the gospel and be saved. In addition to this, there are very many more religions and false cults (2 Corinthians 4:4) in the world today, than there were 2000 years ago; but there is still only one gospel - look up Galatians 1:6-9, and only one Saviour - look up John 14:6; Acts 4:12. There are millions of people in the world today who have never heard of Christ.
4. THE PERIOD FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE IS LIMITED.
The Lord Jesus once said - John 4:35, and He also said - John 9:4. The time is short - look up 1 Corinthians 7:29; it is short dispensationally, ‘… because the Lord’s coming is near’ (James 5:8); it is short politically, for doors of opportunity for missionary enterprise are fast closing in many lands; and it is short spiritually, for hundreds of thousands of souls die daily without a knowledge of the Lord - look up Ephesians 2:12. How urgent is the need for preaching the gospel throughout the whole world!
5. THE METHODS FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE ARE VARIED.
With the increase of literacy, the rapid advance of technology and the speed of air travel, evangelism is a much speedier business than when the first disciples began the task. There are three methods by which God’s people can discharge their missionary responsibilities:
- The first way is by PRAYER. In Matthew 9:36-38, we are told that only ‘the Lord of the harvest’ can call labourers out into His harvest fields - but we must pray them out.
- The second way is by GIVING. Every Christian should regularly, systematically and sacrificially give of his substance so that the work of foreign missions may be sustained and extended - look up Acts 11:27-30.
- The third way is by being willing to GO YOURSELF. All cannot go in person, but if you love the Lord Jesus, perhaps you can go, and you should be willing to go if He calls you. Have you told Him of your willingness? - look up Isaiah 6:8.
6. THE REWARD FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE IS VERY GREAT.
The immediate reward is the special consciousness of the presence of the Lord Jesus - look up Matthew 28:19-20; and the joy of soul-winning - look up Psalm 126:6. There are also future rewards - look up Daniel 12:3, and compare Matthew 16:25 with Matthew 19:29.
7. THE EQUIPMENT FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL TO EVERY CREATURE IS PROMISED.
The power of the Holy Spirit is the one essential enabling for all missionary enterprise – Acts 1:8.
Are you willing to BE what the Lord wants you to be; to DO what He wants you to do; and to GO where He wants you to go, cost what it may, by His grace? If so, will you tell Him so?