Go Ye . . .
The Bible software program I use most frequently has nine different versions of the Scripture, including the King James. A Web site I use has an additional twenty versions. It’s interesting that if you search for Mark 16:15 in all of them, regardless of the modified phrasing, the one word common to all of them is the inescapable “go.” It is the same for Matthew 28:19. That two-letter word is ever present.
It is among the last words of Jesus to his disciples recorded by Matthew and Mark, and we cannot overlook the very specific instruction. “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations” (Matthew 28:19) or “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). Whichever you choose, the meaning is clear. We have been given a mandate to carry the Gospel to all nations, to every creature.
While Luke did not mention these specific words in his gospel, we find a third recording of these final words of Jesus in Acts 1:8. The specific “go” is not there, but the meaning is equally clear: “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.” What Jesus expects of every one of us is unmistakably clear. We are to go—and it is to all nations. We are to teach, we are to preach, and it is to be the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It should be to every creature. It leaves no one out. As He came to seek and save, so must we go forth and do the same.
By the example set forth in the Book of Acts, we learn that evangelism starts with the power of the Holy Ghost. “Ye shall receive power. . .ye shall be witnesses.” With that power comes an unmistakable and unquenchable desire to be His witnesses. While techniques and personalities may vary, the bottom line of “go” and “preach” remains the same. What part of “go” don’t we understand?
If you want to personalize this verse, try this: “I am called by Jesus Christ to be a witness for him in Jerusalem (substitute the name of your city), and in all Judea (your state), and in Samaria (the United States), and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” That, my friend, is the task that YOU have been given.
Obviously, we cannot all pack our bags and take off for “the uttermost.” The command “go” could possibly mean going next door. For someone reading this article, it could mean going to sit at a different table in your high school lunch room. For someone else it may mean visiting a home missions church in your state. For someone else, it may mean a missions trip to a metropolitan area of our country. For yet another, it could be that you are really supposed to pack your bags and take off for “the regions beyond.” No one but you and God know that for sure, but He has called you to go.
I have heard the statement, “The finger of God does not point where the hand of God cannot provide.” In this commandment to go comes the provision for not just physical needs like money for food and transportation for an overseas trip, but it also includes the promise that “you shall receive power after the Holy Ghost is come upon you” Acts 1:8. When you combine Holy Ghost power with God’s provision, you are in for the trip of a lifetime, whether it is a journey of less than a block or literally around the world.
This is all great, but what if you are a teenager? What if your call to go is really to go into the regions beyond and bring the Gospel message to the lost? How can you do it?
Decades ago, T. F. Tenney, as national Youth President, addressed the possibility of getting young people involved in world evangelism. He wanted young people to have “hands-on” experience on mission fields around the world. The program would benefit missionaries on the field by providing unique special assistance to them for crusades, personal evangelism, and other aspects of their work. It would benefit the young people involved by giving them the opportunity to participate in on-site missions work. The Apostolic Youth Corps was born and a program that has continued to grow and develop became one of the focal points of the General Youth Division.
Apostolic Youth Corps (AYC) will facilitate the pairing of ministry-minded Pentecostal youth and North American and international sites which need and/or desire evangelism assistance. AYC will provide evangelism opportunities within North America or international sites of various durations. AYC candidates will assist Foreign Missionaries, Home Missionaries, Campus Ministry International, Global Campus Ministries, Metro Evangelism, and/or Multi-Cultural ministry.”
The Apostolic Youth Corps offers you a unique opportunity during the summer of 2009 to be a part of any one of nine mission trips. Whether your burden is for Europe, Central America, Africa, North America, or the Far East, we have a long or short-term mission trip designed with you in mind. Visit the Web site www.apostolicyouthcorps.com. Pray about where the Lord would have you go. Complete the application. Raise your money. Pack your bags. You. Go.