And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. So then, after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. Mark 16:15 &19
What is the difference between GO and COME? During His ministry on the earth and after the resurrection Jesus commanded His disciples to GO into the world and preach, and teach, and make disciples. As He went into the world teaching and preaching that the kingdom of heaven was at hand and to repent, He asked all the tired, weary, and heavy laden to COME to Him.
Today many Christians and churches do not GO. We have grown fearful, tired, and forgetful, and somehow expect the lost and dying world to COME to us. We plan and discuss and prepare for the non-Christian to COME to us, but we do not GO out into the world. The disciples and early Christians did not turn the world upside down, by staying at home and planning strategies of what to do when the world came to them. Nay, but they risked their reputation and their lives for the truth of the gospel confirmed in the resurrection of Jesus the Christ.
Consider the consequences of the resurrection. Life and hope, and joy and peace most assuredly. But not without cost. Reread the last chapters of the gospels and the book of Acts and notice how quickly and dramatically the Resurrection changed the world. The disciples were lied on. They were thrown in prison, beaten, thrown out of the synagogue, scorned by families, criticized, and persecuted. Why? Because they were not afraid to GO into the world. They did not wait for the adulterous and evil generation to COME to them; nor do I think they expected them to. Why do we? What makes us think the enemies of the cross; the sons and daughters of Satan are going to willingly decide to fellowship with One they hate? So desperate our condition, God have to leave heaven to GO to the earth to seek and save the lost. Can we think we are to do less? The disciples feared death, persecution and prison and we mock and scold them for their fear. Yet we are more fearful of hurting someone's feelings, losing our job or a promotion. We fear offending people, making them mad, or having a door slammed in our face. We are careful of the bumper stickers we have on our car, the clothes we wear, and try to be as politically correct as possible because we are afraid of what the world will say and do to us. Like the disciples of old, we are hiding in our church buildings safely discussing and agreeing to all that Jesus said and died for, and yet, we are afraid. We are afraid the world will COME to us and tell us to GO away. We have believed the lie of Satan that the world does not want us to COME and so we do not GO. We are prepared to make the lost, adulterous, wicked, sinner very comfortable in our pews when they COME, and yet we are too uncomfortable to GO into their world. We have to ask ourselves, do we really believe what we say we believe? If we really and truly believed with all of our heart, mind, and soul, the power of the Cross and the truth of eternal life because of the Resurrection, we would GO. We must believe that Jesus will draw all men unto Himself if we do. It should bring shame upon us to know that many others will die, sacrifice their children, or humiliate themselves for a LIE. Consider suicide bombers.
But nay, we are not true soldiers of the LORD. His servants follow the command of their Captain. And Jesus said, no COMMANDED us to GO into all the world. We send money. We send others. We may remember to pray for those who do GO, but if we are really honest with ourselves before God, we do not GO because we are afraid, and because we are not truly convinced that if we GO they will COME.
Again, reread the gospels. Even after the resurrection some still doubted. Not just Thomas. Many others. Do you? Do you doubt that if you GO, people will come to the Savior? Do you doubt that you can turn your world upside down by sharing the truth to the enemies of God? Do you doubt that Jesus will never leave you or forsake you if your best friend, mother, father or granddaughter does, because you told them that they are responsible for the blood of Jesus?
This is exactly what Peter and the apostles did. They confronted those who screamed crucify Him, crucify Him!! They were not afraid to call sinners murderers! Yet shall we admit we are afraid to call someone a liar when that is the truth?
COME AND GO knowing that Jesus has gone before us, and if we suffer shame for His name’s sake, may we like the disciples glorify God that we are counted worthy to suffer for Him.
Will you obey the command of Jesus to GO?