April 2020 Viewpoint
In the 1960s, a Christian mother took her children to Sunday school and church in Roseburg, Oregon. In time, one of those children was saved, and when she became a teen and attended Roseburg High School, she invited my sister to an Apostolic Faith church service. My sister, in turn, invited me, and I was saved.
That mother, her daughter, and my sister each did their part to fulfil the Great Commission. In a similar way, Sylvia Nees (read her testimony here) relates how she was saved as a result of her mother’s conversion, which had been partially the result of her own upbringing. In fact, it is striking that all the authors of the articles in this magazine are the product of personal evangelism—a parent or grandparent, a friend, teacher, or colleague extended an invitation, and the author ended up being saved.
Seldom does anyone independently walk into a church service or experience salvation. Most of us came to God because someone we knew invited us. The spread of the Gospel worked in the same manner in John chapter 1. John the Baptist pointed his disciple Andrew to Jesus. Andrew in turn witnessed to his brother, Simon Peter. Then Jesus called Philip, who was already acquainted with Andrew and Peter, and Philip found Nathanael, declaring to him that “we have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write . . .” (John 1:45). Though he at first doubted, Nathanael joined the others in forming the foundation of the Early Church.
Individually, that is physically impossible to accomplish. Collectively, it can be done. When each of us focuses on the people we meet wherever our day carries us, our witness for Christ spans the globe.
Jesus’ parting instruction to His disciples, to “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), has come to be known as “The Great Commission.” In a personal sense, each of us can view our commission to evangelize as something great for two reasons. First, our charge is to act on behalf of the Son of God. Second, the eternal souls of men and women, and boys and girls, are at stake. The task itself is also great because it commands that we go into “all the world.” Individually, that is physically impossible to accomplish. Collectively, it can be done. When each of us focuses on the people we meet wherever our day carries us, our witness for Christ spans the globe.
Though my role as Superintendent General takes Debbie and me throughout the world, it is the dedicated Christians in each location, rather than the two of us, who are fulfilling the Great Commission in the places we visit. The charge before us is much more personal than The Great Commission; it is a great commission entrusted by God to each of us, to share the good news of salvation wherever we go. We pray this issue of The Apostolic Faith challenges you to do just that.