In Acts 8:4, when the Lord’s church in Jerusalem was scattered, the disciples went everywhere preaching the word. They didn’t say that the apostles could do it, nor did they go to some new settlement and quietly worship with their family. They went about “preaching the word.” They had an obligation, and thus were concerned with the lost condition of their fellowman. They couldn’t fulfill this obligation while “resting in Zion,” so they got busy and spread the gospel; not to those coming to them, but they “went.”
In 2 Thess. 1:7-9, speaking of the return of Christ, Paul tells us He has promised vengeance on those “that know not God, and to them that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” One doesn’t necessarily have to go overseas to find those who have not yet obeyed the gospel of Christ. True, there are millions there, but we have them right here too. In fact, you don’t even have to go out of your own community. Our next door neighbors are the beginning, right at home. Many of our neighbors don’t even know we are Christians because our light isn’t shining bright enough to show them the path to Christ (Matt. 5:16).
Preaching the gospel is an individual obligation, one that we can’t shirk. If the Lord made the only condition of salvation that we brought one other person to Christ, thousands of so-called Christians would be lost for eternity. Yet, you cannot get to heaven without doing so. It is our obligation to bring forth fruit and this simply means we are converting sinners into saints. Turning to Ezekiel 3:18 we find a principle laid down by Jehovah that ought to make all Christians stop and think. Here, He says: “When I say unto the wicked, You shall surely die; and you give him not warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but HIS blood will I require at your hand.”
The question for you and I is, ow much blood is on your hands? Paul was free from the blood of all men for he neglected not to declare the whole counsel of God unto all men (Acts 20,26,27). God is not so concerned about what the others are doing on a mass scale as He is about what you, an individual, are doing. We will stand before him as individuals, and as individuals, we will answer for our part in the spread of His kingdom. Our neighbors and friends are going to be there, our relatives and loved ones will be there. We will see them as they receive the recompense for their actions “Whether good or bad”. Suppose they are lost; will you have to answer for it? Yes, it’s time we got concerned, not only for the salvation of others, but for ourselves. Indeed, if you, as a professed follower of Christ, have hid your light under a bushel (Matt 5:14-16), what right have YOU to the riches and blessings He’s promised to the faithful?
If you have neglected to teach the same gospel of Christ which was preached and obeyed by early day Christians (Gal 1:6-9); If you have not taught the exact same doctrine of Christ and his beloved apostles (Acts 2:42 f; 2 Jn 9); If you have not contended for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 3); If you have not done your part, what part of heaven do YOU have the right to inherit?