Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 30, 1967
NUMBER 30, PAGE 9-10a

The Must Of Evangelism

George Welch Tyler

"And the gospel MUST first be preached unto all nations" (Mk. 13:10). Again, Jesus speaking, "But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8.)

The primary work of the church is to take the gospel of Christ to all peoples and nations of the earth. Till the end of the age the command is to "Go". "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you: and lo. I am with you always, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28:19, 20.)

You will please note that Jesus used the word "must" in the imperative sense in Mk. 13:10 and the word "Go" in the same manner in Matt. 28:19. We have no choice in the matter. The Son of God said, "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear" (Matt. 11:15.)

The little child soon learns that he "MUST" not touch the hot stove and "MUST" not run out into the street in front of approaching cars. We "MUST" eat or the body will die of starvation. The human body "MUST" have rest or it will soon become completely exhausted. The laws of the universe cannot be detoured or circumvented. Even the human mind is confronted with imperatives. Studying, thinking and deep meditation are imperative if the mind is to be properly developed.

Spiritual imperatives have their place. The religious "liberals" do not like imperatives. To them a religion abounding in "MUSTS" is VERY MUSTY'. The very nature of things demands imperatives. The nature of fire cannot be changed; the composition of the human body cannot be changed without disastrous results; a strong well educated mind cannot be developed without long arduous study. There is positively no way of substituting man's ways and ideas for the imperative commands of God or His Son.

Christ bound himself with necessities. He said, "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so MUST the Son of Man be lifted up" (Jno. 3:14). Again, "We MUST work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work" (Jno. 9:4). To Joseph and Mary the child Jesus said, after they had reprimanded Him, "Know ye not that I MUST be about my Father's business" (Lk. 2:49). "He said unto them. I MUST preach the good tidings of the kingdom of God to the other cities also: for therefore was I sent" (Lk. 4:43.)

The salvation of man is conditioned upon his belief of and obedience to the gospel message conceived and delivered in divine love. It is revealed in positive statements such as, "And in none other is there salvation: for neither is any other name under heaven, that is given among men, wherein we MUST be saved" (Acts 4:12.) Another statement from Jesus, "Marvel not that I say unto thee ye must be born anew" (Jno. 3:7.) When Jesus says the Gospel "Must be preached" all Christians will do well to take notice that Jesus speaks with all of the authority of heaven back of Him and that His commandments MUST be obeyed.

Evangelism at home and abroad. Some have asked, "Why must the gospel be preached to all nations? Why was such a heavy task laid upon Christians? I know of no better reason than that Christ commanded it. Twice God's voice was heard to say, "This is my beloved Son: hear ye him" Matt. 17:5 and Mk. 9:7. Jesus was given full authority to speak and command. Christianity centers in the right for Christ to speak out with authority. He said, "ALL authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth" Christ is the message to be preached — Christ and Him crucified. Paul wrote, "We preach Christ crucified" I Cor. 1:23. Phillip preached "Jesus" to the Ethiopian eunuch Acts 8:35. Again, "Every day, in the temple and at home, they ceased not to teach and to preach Jesus as the Christ" Acts 5:42. Paul instructed Timothy to "Preach the word" 11 Tim. 4:2. The Galatians heard, "He that once persecuted us now preacheth the faith of which he once made havoc" Gal. 1:23. Why was Paul preaching "the faith"? Because faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of Christ" Rom. 10:17. Man MUST use every scriptural method to spread the gospel at home and abroad and leave the results in God's hands because "God giveth the increase."

God made Christ head of the church and sole ruler and lawmaker of it. He raised Christ "from the dead and made him to sit at his right hand in heavenly places and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body" Eph. 1:20,22,23. He is the only "head over all things to the church" its worship, its work, its ruler and law maker, and its plan of salvation and its moral standards. As the head directs the body of a man so does Christ direct the church which is His body. God gave Him "all authority" and no provision was given by which a pope, bishop, church council, convention, synod, organization, man or any group of men could add to, subtract from or change in any way the Word given to man by the Holy Spirit guided apostles of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He is the head of the body, the church; who is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" Col. 1:18. If human beings will permit the church to function as it should and every Christian will do his part in teaching and preaching in private and in public, at home and abroad, good results will accrue because God will not let His word return to Him void. He said, "It shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it" Isa. 55: 11.

Another reason why the gospel must again be preached to all nations is their present condition. Distrust, discontent, frustration, selfishness, debauchery, wars, poverty, hunger and human misery pretty well cover the earth. One word, SIN, describes the whole catalogue of its troubles. There is only one remedy — Christ. Lengthy political discussions and diplomatic maneuvering and bickering only cloud the issue and do not touch the real need of mankind. The gospel of Christ is the world's only hope. It is the only panacea for the ills of all men and nations.

Urgency is another reason for hastening the spread of the gospel at home as well as abroad. The sands of time are rapidly running out. Jesus said, "The night cometh when no man can work' Jno. 9:4. On every hand we see the almost total lack of trust in God, in human nature, the complete failure of the wisdom and philosophy of man to solve the difficulties besetting nations and man, disrespect for treaties among nations and violations of contracts and agreements between men cause me to shudder and wonder what is in store for us during the coming years. Again, we say that one word, sin, completely describes the catalogue of man's maladies from the fall of man in the garden of Eden until time shall be no more. The only prescription is Christ and Him crucified, administered as prescribed by our Heavenly Father.

It is high time for all Christians to obey our Saviour's imperative command to "GO". He set the example and it is for us to follow in His footsteps. Down at Jerusalem. at the age of twelve, when reprimanded by Joseph and Mary because His absence from the family group caused them great anxiety Jesus replied, "Know ye not that I must be about my Father's business" Lk. 2:49.

When Jesus says, "The gospel MUST be preached" mere man had better sit up and take notice.

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