PICKING UP THE BURDEN TO PREACH THE GOSPEL BY GOING OUT TO VISIT PEOPLE
Our first burden in this training is that every trainee would be burdened to go to visit people in order to preach the gospel to them. We must pick up this burden. We have no way to excuse ourselves. The Lord sent Himself first; then He sent the twelve and the seventy; and now He has sent all the disciples. The book of Acts records that a great number were saved in Jerusalem through the preaching of the gospel. On the day of Pentecost, three thousand were saved (Acts 2:41). Then Acts 4:4 says that “the number of the men came to about five thousand.” There were thousands of saved ones in Jerusalem, yet they would not go out. They all had become stuck in that city. Then the persecution came, and this forced them to go out (Acts 8:1). Acts 8:4 tells us that those who were scattered went about preaching the glad tidings of the word. Because of the persecution, they went out and the gospel was spread. As a result of their going out, the kingdom was spreading to many places and the church was being built up (Acts 9:31).
We must be the ones going out. If we cannot go out every day, we should go out at least once a week. Everyone can do this. At least one evening or one afternoon each week, we have to go out. We should go first to our “Jerusalem,” which means we have to go to our close relatives—our parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, in-laws, etc. Then we must go to Judea, to Samaria, and eventually to the remotest part of the earth (Acts 1:8).
We do not know who the chosen ones are. The Lord has chosen people “out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation” (Rev. 5:9). Only the Lord knows who is chosen. Luke 14 says we should “go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city” (v. 21), and then “go out into the roads and hedges” (v. 23). This means that we should go everywhere. We should not discern who is high or who is low. As long as they are people, we should bring them to the Lord. The Lord said to go out and bring in “the poor and crippled and blind and lame” (v. 21).
Some debating ones may say that we force people to believe and to be baptized, but the Lord charges us in Luke 14 to “compel” people to receive His salvation (v. 23). Before we were saved, we were not willing to seek after the Lord; we had to be compelled, forced, to receive His salvation. If we compel people to receive the Lord, we may wonder whether some of them are genuine believers. But only the Lord knows who the tares and the wheat are (Matt. 13:29-30), and the Lord did not tell us to try to discern the difference between them. The Lord told us to go to disciple the nations and baptize them into the name of the Triune God (Matt. 28:19). As members of the church, our first responsibility is to rise up and exercise to go out and preach the gospel in the new way.
THE ELDERS NEEDING TO TAKE THE LEAD IN THE PREACHING OF THE GOSPEL
I would like to say a word to the elders. If you are a gospel preaching elder, the church in which you bear the responsibility will be a gospel preaching church. Therefore, the elders must take the lead to exercise in, to practice, and even to promote the preaching of the gospel. Every believer must go out to preach the gospel. I would beg every church to stand up and to rise up in the preaching of the gospel. The gospel preaching needs to be promoted in every locality.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 2, by Witness Lee)