Fulfilling the Commission to Go Preach
“I’M STILL rejoicing in the full-time ministry. This is my ninth year in it and I am seventy-three years old. My desire is to continue right on, no matter if the years do pile up.”
The dear old sister who recently wrote that letter to the Society appreciated her obligation to fulfill her commission to preach. She had not been coerced but had volunteered, as have all other witnesses of Jehovah, saying: “Here am I; send me.”—Isa. 6:8, 9, AS.*
To help us to get a better view of our commission to preach God’s Word states it in various ways. You are my witnesses; this good news of the Kingdom must be preached; let your light shine; feed my sheep, etc. God is keenly interested in these commands being obeyed and so will we be if we love him, want to share in the vindication of his name and gain life in his new world. In obeying we are not doing God a favor but rather are showing appreciation for his undeserved kindness.—2 Cor. 6:1.
Time is involved but, as the saying goes, one can always find time for what he really wants to do. If we truly appreciate the importance of our commission we will buy out the opportune time. We will eagerly look forward to evenings and weekends, not to “take it easy,” but to fulfill our commission to go preach.—Eph. 5:15, 16.
The fact is that by reason of our dedication we owe God all our time and should therefore be serving him full time. Doing so is the most enjoyable, satisfying and rewarding way in which to fulfill our commission to preach. True, it requires sacrificing many things; but appreciation, faith and love will make us glad to do that. If Scriptural obligations prevent us from serving full time, surely we can “vacation pioneer,” do full-time preaching for a few weeks or a few months each year, can we not?
Jesus and his apostles in fulfilling their commission to go preach went from house to house, and so must we. And we must keep calling again and again. Conditions change, people’s minds or dispositions change; or they move away and others take their place. Territory is therefore ever new. So we must continue going over it until the “cities be waste without inhabitant.”—Isa. 6:11, AS.
To help us fulfill our commission to preach as effectively as possible five weekly meetings have been provided and we should all know what they are. By attending them regularly, preparing for them and taking part as opportunity affords we will keep abreast of the light that gets ever brighter, as well as becoming ever better equipped for every good work.—Prov. 4:18; 2 Tim. 3:15-17.
Then we will never be at a loss for what to say but will have a number of sermons well in mind, both for initial calls and for making return visits. Yes, fulfilling our commission to go preach also includes making return visits and in particular conducting Bible studies. Only by regular and systematic feeding on God’s Word do men of good will become strong enough in faith and love to take their stand for Jehovah. If you are not conducting a home Bible study, why not? Is it due to lack of opportunity, lack of qualifications, or not wanting to accept the responsibility? Whatever it is, overcome it and enjoy the most delightful part of our preaching commission, helping others to grow to maturity. And that includes sharing in the training program. Truly, our commission to go preach is filled with many privileges, responsibilities and blessings!
For details see The Watchtower, February 15, 1957.