Jesus commissioned His disciples to be His witnesses. He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19,20).
The disciples knew Jesus to be the Messiah of prophecy and the Redeemer of mankind for they witnessed all His works. Therefore, they could speak of Him with all boldness. The personal eye-witness testimony of the disciples greatly enabled them to influence others to believe in Jesus as the Messiah (John 1:12). And John affirmed this truth, “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you” (1 John 1:3).
Christians today are, likewise, commissioned to give a personal witness to the works and teachings of Jesus. They are to reveal the purpose of God to save humanity through His Son. They are called to show the success of the gospel in their own lives. There is no greater substantial testimony than that. Without personal experience there can be no true Christian witness.
Jesus instructed His disciples saying, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
Take the gospel to the lost sheep of Israel
It was God’s plan that the chosen people of Israel should have the first opportunity to be blessed by the gospel through the apostles’ ministry (Luke 14:21–24). And as a result, in a short time, many Jews did accept Jesus as the Messiah (Acts 2:41, 47). But when the rest of the Jews rejected this privilege and stoned Stephen (Acts ch. 7), the gospel truth was carried into another field.
Take the gospel to Samaria
Philip took the gospel commission to Samaria and later Peter and John went there to continue the work (Acts 6:5; 8:5, 14). Although, the Samaritans were a mixed race ever at enmity with the Jews (John 4:9), they accepted the truth through the testimony of these disciples. And among them, there was a great harvest of souls.
Take the gospel to all the world
Afterwards, the gospel commission spread “into all the world” (Mark 16:15), “unto all nations” (Matt. 24:14). The worldwide ministry was begun by the scattered Christians who preached to Jews in Phoenicia, Cyprus, Syria, Antioch (Acts 8:4; 11:19), and Cilicia (Acts 9:15, 30; 11:25; Gal. 1:21, 23).
Also, the gospel was dynamically spread by Paul’s great missionary journeys (Acts 13 to 28). His effect was widespread to the known world. And Paul confirmed that when he said, the gospel “was preached to every creature which is under heaven” (Col. 1:23; Titus 2:11).
Evangelism will lead to the second coming
In contrast with the commission given when Christ first sent out the twelve disciples before His death (Matt. 10:5, 6), the great gospel commission given at His ascension was to be spread in a universal scope. The beginning of this global mission to take the gospel “unto the uttermost part of the earth” (ch. 1:8) started in the book of Acts. And it will continue till the end of time when Jesus comes again to take His children home (Matt. 24:14).
In His service,