Jesus did not say, "Go if you can." He just said, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel" (Mk. 16:15}. One who believes in the power and the wisdom of God will necessarily believe that Christ gave commands that God's people could obey. Yes, we can, if we will!
As we begin this eighth decade of the twentieth century, being the undeserving beneficiaries of the most abundantly luxurious physical privileges the world has ever known, we must try to become aware of the responsibilities that such affluence imposes upon us. To people much less prosperous than we Paul wrote, "Now therefore perform the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to will, there may be a performance also out of that which ye have. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath and not according to that he hath not" (2 Cor. 8: 11, 12). If they were expected to use their relatively meager means in proportion to what they had, what of us today, in view of the amazing abundance which we possess?
Are we fulfilling our duty in using what we have? Pertinent to our duty to preach the gospel to the whole world, we have so very much.
1. We have thousands of highly trained and fully qualified men--young and old--who are able to teach others also (2 Tim. 2:2)
2. We have hundreds of thousands of devoted Christians who are fully capable of giving adequate encouragement and support to all who will go out preaching the Word (Gal. 6:6).
3. We have hundreds of thousands of dollars in church treasuries, lying in bank accounts where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves do indeed break through and steal (The saving truth is being "stolen" from souls that hunger for salvation--stolen by every dollar that is ostensibly saved--but that is actually hoarded in unnecessary "reserves" in church treasuries.)
4. We have millions of dollars in the pocketbooks and bank accounts of God's faithful people--money that is over and above that which we need to "keep up with the Joneses." It is the money our worldly neighbors spend for liquor, gambling, revelling, etc. And loyal disciples would gladly give it if somebody would just ask them for it -- for the sake of lost souls!
5. We have facilities that were formerly beyond man's imagination. We have planes to carry us haft way around the world in time to preach the gospel tonight! We have radio and TV to carry the gospel far beyond our own physical presence. We have the printed message that can be distributed with very little expenditure of time, talent and energy.
6. We have billions of people in our world, all of whom need the gospel which we can give to them. Thousands of them are eagerly awaiting someone to bring to them the good news. Some statistician has estimated that of all human beings that have ever lived from Adam till now--one-fourth are still living. Think of it! One man out of every four that has ever lived is living right now! And it is so wonderfully providential that this has occurred in this time of plenty, this decade of abundance, this generation of enlightenment.
Now remember, our responsibility is determined by our ability. And we are indeed able! If all the faithful Christians in America were lumped together -- the rich and the ones we call poor--those who live in a mansion on a hill and those who live in a shack by the road--those who hardly know how much property they own and those who do not own a square foot of property--if we are all considered and compared to the people of the whole earth, we would be in the top ten percent, financially! And then remember, our might is not measured in money alone. The kingdom of Christ in America today is also very Wealthy in manpower l Indeed, what God expects of his people, we, with his help can do. And let us not forget: there is nobody else to do God's work -- and there is not one else who will try l There is no other time of which we can be sure -- there is not a moment to waste. No one can do it alone, but each can do his own share. Together we can! (Next week: "Obstacles We Must Overcome").
TRUTH MAGAZINE XIV: 19, pp. 2-3
March 19, 1970