The Ministry of Evangelism

We consider the last words of an individual to be of utmost importance.  Family members will crowd around a dying man’s bed to catch his last words and then recall them again and again for years to come. Similarly, the last words of Jesus Christ before He ascended to heaven were of utmost importance. He gives them to us in all four gospel accounts and in the book of Acts.

Matthew 28:18-20 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Mark 16:15-16 “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.”
Luke 24:46-49 “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and rise again from the dead the third day; and that repentance for forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witness of these things. And behold I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
John 20:21 “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.”
Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Notice that in every case Jesus emphasizes the responsibility of the apostles to extend His kingdom. They are to make disciples of all the nations, preach the gospel to all creation, proclaim repentance for forgiveness of sins to all the nations, be sent by Jesus Christ just as He was sent by His Father, and be witnesses to the remotest part of the earth. Jesus gives the same basic message in five different ways in order that the apostles would have no doubt as to what their job was after He left. He left these words ringing in their ears. He had one thing He wanted to impress indelibly on their minds. It was as if He was saying, “If you forget everything else I’ve taught you, you must never forget this!” These texts form the marching orders for the Church until Christ returns.

Where Did The Early Church Evangelize?