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 (Manna 76: Commission)
Be An Evangelist—Our Mission to Take Up the Ministry
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Joshua Phoong—Malaysia

Our Lord Jesus came into this world with a clear purpose, which was to save souls. To this end, He proclaimed the gospel of salvation and died on the cross for our sins. His mission was set out in the prophetic words of Isaiah which He read in the temple at the beginning of His ministry:

The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,

Because He has anointed Me

To preach the gospel to the poor;

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,

To proclaim liberty to the captives

And recovery of sight to the blind,

To set at liberty those who are oppressed;

To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Lk 4:18–19; cf. Isa 61:1–2)

Jesus’ Faithfulness to His Mission

During His time on earth, the Lord Jesus conducted Himself with purpose and determination. He declared, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work” (Jn 4:34); and “for this purpose I have been sent” (Lk 4:43b). Travelling far and wide, He reached out to the masses, imploring them with the words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt 4:17).

Jesus manifested God’s desire to save souls, admonishing the people to turn away from their evil ways in order to live (Ezek 33:11). “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn 3:16). Jesus emphasized that the purpose for His coming was so that man could not only have life, but an abundant life through Him (Jn 10:10).

In Romans 10:13–15, it is written that in order for man to have life, they must call upon the Lord. But how can they call on Him if they do not believe? And how can they believe if they have not heard the truth? And how can they hear if no one preaches it?

Taking Up the Mission

The ministry of reconciliation starts when one resolves to walk the beautiful path of an evangelist to proclaim the gospel of salvation (2 Cor 5:18–20). When we do this, we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, taking up the work that He began.

After Jesus completed His work of salvation on earth, and before He ascended to heaven, He commissioned His disciples to take up the ministry of the gospel, saying, “As the Father sent Me, I also send you” (Jn 20:21b). Jesus breathed on them and promised that they would receive the Holy Spirit and be empowered. His words were duly fulfilled at Pentecost. From that day, the disciples committed themselves to witnessing for Jesus, the risen Lord and Savior, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the end of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Jesus prophesied that, in the end days, the “gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come” (Mt 24:14). This calling to preach is for those who have received the grace of God and have been chosen as disciples of Christ. As 2 Timothy 1:9 reminds us, we have been called according to God’s purpose, which is to take up the mantle of the gospel ministry. The question is, are we willing to “[g]o into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mk 16:15)?

Stewards of the Gospel

After Apostle Paul received the grace of God and the commission to propagate the gospel (Acts 9:15), he fully embraced his calling. He wrote:

For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship. (1 Cor 9:16–17)

Paul was able to humbly and faithfully do his duty, seeing himself as an unprofitable servant (Lk 17:10). If today, we do not fulfil the stewardship of the gospel, are we not disobeying the Lord’s calling? 

Paul wrote: “For if I do this willingly, I have a reward” (1 Cor 9:17). If we share the glad tidings with others with a willing heart, we will be rewarded. Indeed, when others receive salvation, we will have a part in their joy and blessings, and this is a reward in itself. A willing heart will also help us when we face trials, temptations, and persecution—all of which will certainly come our way. We will be able to work with joy, knowing that our labors are not in vain, and continue steadfastly in the path of an evangelist.

Ministering with compassion

As we have freely received the gospel from God, so we should freely share it with others, regardless of their race, culture or background. We should learn from the compassion of the Lord Jesus when He saw the multitudes, who “were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd” (Mt 9:36). Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Mt 9:37–38).

Today, when we see that the people of the world are living without purpose, living for the wrong reasons and dying without hope, how can we stand by and do nothing? Do we turn a blind eye, like the priest and the Levite who walked past the wounded man in the parable of the good Samaritan (Lk 10:25–37)? When will we respond to the Lord’s calling to preach the gospel of salvation?

We should not be like the wayward prophet Jonah, who refused to preach to the Ninevites because he judged them to be unworthy of salvation. For this, God rebuked him and asked, “[S]hould I not pity Nineveh…?” (Jon 4:11a). We must not judge the people of the world as being unworthy of God’s salvation. Indeed, Jesus said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mt 9:13b). Humankind is in desperate need of salvation and must be called to repentance.

As Christians, we have freely received the gospel of salvation, which is the grace of God. We have also received the commission to share this grace with others. Therefore, let us take up the mission with the same commitment as Jesus and Paul, walking the path of an evangelist to bring the mercy of God to the world.

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Author: Joshua Phoong