POINTS FOR FULFILLING THE PRIESTHOOD OF THE GOSPEL
Not Needing to Wait for Others
I have the burden to stir us up to go out to preach the gospel, but in order to preach the gospel effectively we need to practice certain practical points for fulfilling the priesthood of the gospel. Some may say that they do not know how to preach the gospel. If we have this feeling, we should still go and preach the gospel. We should not wait! A good number of us may have been stirred up. If we have seen the need for us to preach the gospel, and we are burdened, we should pray and fellowship with some who are close to us. They may also have the same burden. Then we can go. There is nothing wrong with our going. There is no need for us to wait for the elders to do something. Furthermore, the elders do not need to wait for someone else to do something. Anyone who is burdened should just go to preach the gospel.
A brother gave a testimony concerning how his grandfather labored to visit people for Christ. His grandfather worked in a bakery in Germany. His work began early in the morning at four o’clock, and he worked there over ten hours a day. Upon returning home, he washed and dressed, took his Bible, and went to visit people. He did this nearly every day. He went to the unbelievers and to the believers. This was his habit. Through his going to visit people, he helped a large number of saints each year. I believe some surely were saved through his contact with them.
If you could gain one person within a year, that would be wonderful! In preaching the gospel, we need to be like farmers. All the farmers know how to trust in God. Farmers have to labor patiently and persistently, but regardless of how much they labor, without God’s blessing, a single storm can destroy all their work. We should go out to visit people as farmers. We should labor with patience and put all our trust in God.
We do not need to wait for anyone. We should just go. Some saints may say, “To preach the gospel is good, but I don’t feel I should go.” They may not say this openly, but deep within them they may have such a feeling. Therefore, we should not wait on others. If we decide to wait for others, heaven and earth may pass away before they pick up the burden to preach the gospel. We should not wait; instead, we should gather one or two who are close to us. We may want to get one younger one and one older one to go with us.
Where shall we go? We can go anywhere! We should go to visit people by knocking on their doors. This “door-knocking” is our going by faith. If we gain one within a year, that is very good. Throughout history it is difficult to find a church that has grown by thirty percent yearly. But if we all gain only one within three years, the church where we are will have a thirty-three percent yearly increase. If we continue to go to people’s doors for three years, I believe we will gain at least one person. Instead of reasoning, we should simply go to preach the gospel.
It is good if we can give the Lord either two afternoons or two evenings weekly. There is the way to do this, especially in this country. Many of us are off from work on Saturday and the Lord’s Day. We can give part of these two days to the Lord. Also, on the other days of the week we may work only eight hours a day, which gives us time in the evenings. If we give the Lord two of our evenings each week for visiting people, we will still have five evenings for other matters. We should go out regularly and consistently every week. Our going out is not for our pleasure but for His pleasure. It may be a suffering to us, but it will be a pleasure to Him. If we have a desperation to live in this way, we will gain some for the Lord. We may not gain one the first week, but in the following weeks at least one will be gained for Him.
We do not need to try to get too many. It is best not to try to baptize more than you can care for in a good way. We all know God’s principle in nature. It takes nine months to conceive one child. A mother can only have one delivery within a year. Therefore, we should give the best care to one whom we have baptized. This is more profitable than to have a large number of baptisms if we do not have the way to care for them.
Within a certain period of time, perhaps two or three weeks or even two months, we will see two or three baptized. Then we need to spend time with them, caring for them as our babes. We need to feed them, nourish them, and cherish them. Our cherishing will make them happy. We may need one or two years to take care of them. Then they will grow. We will bring forth fruit, and our fruit will remain. Bearing remaining fruit is a long-range labor. It does not depend on luck, but upon our diligence, patience, persistence, faith, prayer, and labor. If we love the Lord and desire to live for His kingdom, we will go persistently and regularly to preach the gospel and care for the new ones that we gain.
From the very beginning of the Lord’s recovery in mainland China, Brother Nee did much preaching of the gospel. He was a student in a small college of about five hundred students. After he began to see the recovery, the first thing he did was to preach the gospel. He preached to everyone, and his preaching reached all the students. Then when I came to the recovery, we used to go out to the streets to preach during the evening. Many people were brought in. At the beginning of the recovery, the preaching was very high and very prevailing.
When we went to Taipei, we printed enough tracts for every citizen in Taipei. Then we printed gospel posters with big characters and posted them at the railway station, the bus stops, the crossways, and all the crucial places. The posters said things like “God loves the world” and “Believe in Christ.” We formed gospel teams. Every Lord’s Day afternoon, we went to a park in Taipei that had an area with about three thousand seats. Every Lord’s Day afternoon, we filled that place and collected more than four hundred names. The next day, Monday evening, the saints came together, and we classified the records of the names according to their streets. Then we distributed their names to the saints so they could care for them. Hundreds were saved through this effort, and many of them are now elders in the churches. Some of them even have grandchildren in the church life now. In recent years we have been too silent. In those early times in the church life, we stirred up the whole city with the gospel. Eventually, everyone in Taipei knew there was a group of people preaching the gospel.
(The Exercise and Practice of the God-Ordained Way, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)