“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…” – Matthew 28:19
The above text points out a number of things. One of them is that the Gospel is for the whole world regardless of race, ethnicity and culture and it is to preached by every believer in Christ Jesus.
The book of Acts codified the efforts of the early church to evangelise the whole world as it was known then. But those efforts did not surface all of a sudden.
Before Acts 8, we see a church that was conveniently coasting in their familiar quarters. It looked like the Apostles and disciples had forgotten that the Gospel was for both Jews and Gentiles (the rest of the world).
By Acts 8, when “great persecution arose against the church which was at Jerusalem and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria” (Acts 8:1), we began to see the Gospel spread to people of a different descent from the Jews.
An African, the Ethiopian Eunuch, received the Gospel through Phillip (Acts 8:26-39). A Roman, Cornelius, received the Gospel through Peter (Acts 10). In fact, Cornelius’ story is quite sensational because through it, God was able to show the Jewish believers that He wants all men to be saved.
In Acts 13, Paul and Barnabas got commissioned to preach to the Gentile world. Through them and their travelling companions, the Greeks, the Corinthians, the Thessalonians, the Ephesians, the Galatians, the Phillipians, the Romans and so on, got to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even history has it that Thomas, preached to the Indians.
The Gospel has travelled around the world till this day, it has reached you and I because it got preached. And more so because some people realized that the Gospel is indeed for the whole world.
No wonder Paul said that God is not the God of the Jews only, He is also the God of the Gentiles (Romans 3:29).
The significance of this morning’s devotion is to remind us that our Gospel is not just for those around us but for the world at large.
When we think of preaching, we should not just think small, we should think millions, races, different languages, different cultures and so on.
It should influence our evangelistic strategies. Just like Paul, we should be aware of cultural sensitivities in order to win many to the knowledge of Christ (1 Corinthians 9:19 -23).
Always have this at the back of your mind when you think about the Gospel: it is for the whole world!