“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
– Matthew 28:19-20
As part of our study this week, we’ve been camping out in Acts 15:40-18:11 in order to better grasp this second missionary journey of Paul’s. It was on this journey that he went to Thessalonica, shared the gospel with them, and was useful in God’s work to establish the church of believers there.
Along the way, however, he made other stops. He even thought about going to two specific places but knew the Holy Spirit was not permitting him to go to those. Out of obedience he continued on his way to plant churches.
Everywhere he went on this journey beginning in Syria and concluding in Athens he encountered those who believed the gospel and those who did not. He also encountered mobs who stirred up others against him and those who assisted him. He found some who were willing to dig deep into the Word and others who had no desire.
Paul is a fascinating man. A persecutor of Christ and His followers became a staunch disciple of Jesus when he saw the light.
As passionate as he was to put believers to death, he was just as passionate to please God in spreading His gospel wherever God led him after his conversion. Beatings did not slow him down. Jail sentences were just more opportunities to present the gospel. Have an idol to an unknown god in your pagan temple? No problem. Paul would explain that the One you do not know is the Maker of all things.
You have to love him. He wasted no opportunities to teach, to pray, and to minister to others. Was Paul an evangelist? Yes. Was he an evangelist for pay? No.
He was a tent maker. He had a trade that he used in order to support himself while on his journeys.
You see, I think we lay people think that winning the lost to Christ is the “job” of ministers and evangelists. Yes, that is part of their calling. But, the last time I read the “great commission” it’s a command of Jesus to all of us who have a relationship with Him.
Who will you share the good news with today?