June 22, 2018

These Are Your Marching Orders Too!

By James W. Boyd

Just before our Lord ascended into heaven to assume his position on the throne of the universe, he left a
command which was both a charge and a challenge to all who would walk under his banner. That charge has
become the marching orders of the church of Christ. Jesus said, "All authority hath been given unto me in
heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them unto the name of
the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded
you: and lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (Matt. 28:18-20). This command was the
impelling power which sent the early Christians "about preaching the word," and it must once again become
an imminent impulsion with every child of God until this generation can also say that the gospel has been
"preached in all creation under heaven. "

These marching orders issued by the Great Commander-in-Chief resulted in action which would today be
termed fanatical. Many men sold their houses and their land; others deserted their homes instead of their Savior
and so were scattered abroad. Some changed both their religion and their occupation. Some were imprisoned,
some banished from society. A goodly number made the supreme sacrifice. But before these sainted souls are
stigmatized as fanciful fanatics, let the world take note of the terrific impact which they had upon a decaying
civilization. These devoted disciples of the first century accepted their marching orders, and in keeping with
their Master's wishes, quite literally "turned the world upside down." (Acts 17:6).

The marching orders have riot changed. Neither has the condition of the world, for in this age it is still
wrong side up. How then can we allow the Lord's charge to have a different effect upon our lives? We, too
must be willing to leave our "father's house" and our "kindred" and go into the places where the lost are
calling. Preachers, instead of seeking to be cushioned with the comforts of a "life-time contract" in one
community, must open their ears to the Macedonian call which is so loudly echoing from countless cities
destitute of spiritual truth. Every evangelist should make it his aim, at least once during his life, to preach the
gospel where Christ has not been named. (See Rom. 15:20). The challenge of Christ and the condition of the
cosmos make this imperative. But the marching orders reach deeper than this. Brethren everywhere need to be
awakened to the fertile fields which await the hay-vest sickle. Savable souls abound in areas of the globe that
we have hardly thought about, and they are plentiful in sections of the country not remotely removed from our
"strongholds." Christian people, with faith in their hearts and God's word in their hands, need to go into the
highways and byways seeking those who have fallen by the wayside, The Lord's work must be supported by
the personal efforts of every Christian. The preaching of the gospel must extend beyond the confines of our
"meeting-houses" to the very boundaries of the human race. When brethren's fervor for furthering the cause
of Christ reaches the stage which critics term fanatical then perhaps the world will both largely note and long
remember what we have done here.

May we profit by the mistake of a defeated king of the ancient world. The army of Sparta was once
invading the country of Thrace, and as they crossed the Hellespont, the king sent to the people of the different
regions asking whether he should march through their country as a friend or as a foe. Most of the regions
replied, "By all means as a friend." But the king of Macedonia said, "I will take time to consider it. " The king
of Sparta quickly answered this indecision. "Then let him consider it, but meantime we march, we march." And
brethren, it is just so with the spiritual hosts of wickedness. While congregations are considering the possibility
of helping in mission work, the army of Satan is marching. While gospel preachers hesitate in their decision
to go into ALL the world, the army of Satan is marching. During the lingering lull of our indecision and
inactivity, souls are trampled under by the truding feet of time. Let us not linger lest we lose the precious souls
for which the Lord died. Remember, these are your marching orders too.

Truth Magazine I:4, pp. 10-11
January, 1957