Ecclesiastes 11:6: "Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well."
"The church is God's appointed agency for the salvation of men. It was organized for service, and in mission is to carry the gospel to the world. From the beginning it has been God's plan that through His church shall be reflected to the world His fullness and His sufficiency. The members of the church, those whom He has called out of darkness into His marvelous light, are to show forth His glory. The church is the repository of the riches of the grace of Christ; and through the church will eventually be made manifest, even to 'the principalities and powers in heavenly places,' the final and full display of the love of God. Ephesians 3:10"— Acts of the Apostles, p. 9.
A. The great commission
Just before His ascension what commission did Jesus give to His disciples? Matt. 28:19, 20 and Mark 16:15
How extensively did He say that the gospel should be preached? Matt. 24:14 and Matt. 28:18-20. "Not that all are called to be ministers or missionaries in the ordinary sense of the term; but all may be workers with Him in giving the 'glad tidings' to their fellowman. To all, great or small, learned or ignorant, old or young, the commission is given." — Education, p. 246.
What Gospel have we been ordained to preach? — Rom. 1:16.
How are we reconciled to God? — 2 Cor. 5:18,19. Christ was the instrument through which He could bestove His infinite love on a fallen world, "God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ." — Steps to Christ, p. 13.
2 Cor. 5:19. God suffered with His Son.
B. Heaven's ambassadors
How are those who accept the responsibility called? — 2 Cor. 5:20.
Definition of the word ambassador. "The highest level of a representative in the diplomatic corps from one State to another or anybody having to do with public or private mission, emissary" (Portuguese Aurelio Dictionary).
What the genuine Christians are to this world. — Matt 5:13, 14.
C. Needed preparation
Why did He tell His disciples to wait in Jerusalem? — Luke 24:45, 49 and John 20:22.
What followed the outpouring of this power on the believers? — Acts 2:47; 4:4; 6:7.
D. The responsibility of the church
1. Preach the Gospel to every creature. "I have been shown that the disciples of Christ are His representatives upon the earth; and God designs that they shall be lights in the moral darkness of this world, dotted all over the country, in the towns, villages, and cities."— Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 631.
2. Redeem those who are in error. Gal. 6:1 and James 5:19, 20. "If one of these little ones shall be overcome, and commit a wrong against you, then it is your work to seek his restoration. Do not put him to shame by exposing his fault to others. In treating the wounds of the soul, there is need of the most delicate touch, the finest sensibility." — Desire of Ages, p. 440.
3. Elevate the norms of the reform. "He calls upon the church to take up their appointed duty, holding up the standard of true reform in their own territory, leaving the trained and experienced workers to press on into new fields." — Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 292 (in preparation).
4. Take care of the new converts. "After individuals have been converted to the truth, they need to be looked after. These should not be left alone, to Satan's most powerful temptations; they need to be educated in regard to their duties, to be kindly dealt with, to be led along, and to be visited and prayed with." — Testimonies, vol. 4, p. 68.
"A working church in travail for souls will be a praying church, a believing church, and a receiving church." — Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 205.
"The true character of the church is not measured by its high profession of faith, nor by names found in the church register, but what she's truly doing for the Master, by the number of persevering and faithful workers." — Gospel Workers, p. 200.
Before each of us, members of the church of Christ, is the challenge: to raise the church's standards before the world, by its testimony. Preach the gospel to the outsiders and lovingly care for the sheep that are joining us as well as those that are wounded or are separated From the Lord's flock.
Abstracted from Apoio, journal of West Sao Paulo Conference, Brazil. Translated by Antonio A. Rios.