Is The Great Commission Possible?

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by
Milton Martin

A KEY TO FULFILL THE GREAT COMMISSION

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every
creature."
  Mark 16:15

   God has given a command to present the Gospel
to every living person on planet Earth.   It is a literal
command.   God means exactly what He said.   The Great
Commission has not been rescinded or canceled.   It still
stands as the marching orders to His Churches.

   This command has not been fulfilled.   Today, 47%
of the population of the world has not even one time heard
the message of salvation.   There are entire countries where
there is not one single believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.
At least 3,480 languages and tribes have not one single
verse of Scripture in their tongue or a single preacher of
the Gospel.   Missiologists have also presently identified
hidden pockets of people around the world where there is
not a Church of any kind.   There exists at least 12,500
different people groups who now fall into this category.

   The Great Commission was not given by God as a
mere suggestion or something to consider if there was
nothing else to do.   It is possible to complete the last
command of the Lord.   He does not give impossible
commands.   He would not mock us by giving us something
that cannot be done.   God is not teasing us or "playing a
game of cat and mouse."
  With every command that God
gives, He provides everything necessary for the fulfilling or
the carrying to completion that command.

   In the New Testament, the message was given out
in the synagogue, by the side of a well, in houses, in the
temple, under trees, by the side of the road, from boats, on
the seashore, in the market, at a sick bed, during a meal, by
a river -- wherever anybody was to be found.   Evangelism
is sharing Christ whenever you can, wherever your are,
whomever you are with.   Lost sheep are not in the habit of
hunting the shepherd.   Sheaves have to be brought in; they
do not harvest themselves.   Fisherman do not expect to
catch fish on dry ground; they throw the hook into the
water.   Christ's Great Commission to the [local] Church was not
to tell the World: "Come ye into the church building."   The
Great Commission could better be called the Great

Omission.   Granted, instruction was given in Luke 14:23,
"Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to
come in, that my house may be filled."
  However, even here
there must first be a "going" before they can be a "come".
"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters[.]"   Isaiah 32:20.
"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after
many days."
  Ecclesiastes 11:1.   "He that goeth forth and
weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again
with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him."
  Psalm 126:6.
"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it
shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that
which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I
sent it."
  Isaiah 55:11.

   There are many methods of evangelism.   There is
not one so-called blanket method for every place and the
entire world.   Door to door evangelism may be the means
for some places and peoples -- but not all, everywhere.
All means and methods must be considered.   We must be
careful and guard ourselves from limiting God by our own
closed minds and lack of being teachable.   If anyone should
be innovative and creative, it should be those indwelt by
the Holy Spirit of God.   One means may work in one place
or with one people and not work in the next town or with
another people.

   God has a key to presenting the Gospel to every
village, town, city, tribe, language, or people's group.
There is not one universal method for every place or
people in the entire world.   There may be a method for
one place and an entirely different one for another place.

   In studying the New Testament, one finds that the
Gospel was never presented twice exactly the same way.
Always the message was taken directly to the people or
target audience.   Seldom was the message given in a
monologue; it was more often in a dialogue fashion --
hence, a talking together.   There was no memorized or
rigid 5 or 6 point quotation of Scripture.   We are
commanded to "be ready always to give an answer to every
man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you
with meekness and fear:"
I Peter 3:15.   The entire message
or Gospel must be presented.   It must not be "watered
down"
or made palatable to be more easily accepted.

   God convicted my heart of the reality of Mark
16:15 in 1960 and that He had a key to "every creature"
getting the Gospel.   I began to pray for that tool early on
our arrival in Mexico as missionaries in 1961.   God showed
me the printed page as the key to fulfilling that verse in
Mexico.   I was a very typical American Christian prejudiced
against Gospel tracts.   It was necessary for the Holy Spirit
to do a work on me, which He did.   We found an
illustrated tract there in existence which we changed.   We
began to use that tract and to experiment with many
methods of distribution.   Also, we began to insert coupons
and post cards in the tracts offering free Bible courses by
mail.   We were amazed and aghast at the responses that
began to arrive in the post office box.   We eventually
established a distribution center that made Gospel
literature available at no cost nationwide.   Many means of
distribution were used.

   Tracts were thrown out of vehicles to people on
the streets and roads.   Entire towns and cities, up to a
million population, were covered door to door and a
printed message was placed in every home.   Anywhere
great crowds gathered -- parades, fairs, market-days,
special events -- were taken advantage of to the utmost.
For example, when the Pope came to Mexico in 1980, 550
thousand tracts were distributed.   An airplane was used to
drop tracts to ranches, isolated towns and villages, any
place under 20 thousand population.

   For many years, one written response was received
in the mail for every 120 tracts distributed.   The response
grew to 14,000 returned coupons or cards a year.   This plan
has now been used in other countries.   In Central America,
one letter or card is received for every 70 tracts distributed.
This was tried in Indonesia with one response for every 30
tracts.   In 1993, in one distribution campaign in Chile, the
response was one in 26 tracts.

   When the post card or coupon is received, the
interested person is sent a Gospel of John and a 12 lesson
correspondence course
based on the Gospel of John, which
they may study in their own home.   When the exams are
returned, they are graded and returned, along with a New
Testament and a course on the Gospel of Mark.   The
person can progress through 17 courses at their own rate of

study.

   Many trust Christ as their personal Saviour while
studying the courses.   In fact, at one time in Mexico, there
was an average of 10 a day writing, saying they had trusted
Christ as a result of the tracts and the courses.   The next
thing that follows is a burden for souls and a desire for a
place that teaches the Word of God in their city or town.

   I have had as many as 30 - 35 letters at a time in
my file inviting us to go and start a mission or church.   It
makes for a very different and healthy situation when a
work is started in a place by invitation.   From the very
start, the new congregation is responsible and feels it is
their mission, rather than some missionary's.   It sets things
up for a nationwide ministry and the manner in which an
impact may be made on a nation.   The traditional
missionary starts a church in some town or subdivision that
he feels impressed about -- and not necessarily with any
seed families and seldom by invitation.   He usually is
responsible for a place to meet, provides the pews or
chairs, leads singing, teaches Sunday School, and does the
preaching.   From the very onset, it is his work -- and not
the people's.   As a foreigner, he is a threat to the local
people and has many obstacles for a long time.   The
missionary, starting one church at a time and being
responsible for everything, will not set up a process for the
multiplication of Churches in a country.   He will have to
stay many years at the same place working in the
traditional manner.   New Testament Christianity and
Church planting was very different.   Note the testimony
and outreach from some Churches in the New Testament,
Romans 1:8; Acts 19:8-10; I Thessalonians 1:5-10.

"First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."   (Romans 1:8)
"(8)And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God.   (9)But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus.   (10)And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks."   (Acts 19:8-10)
"(5)For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.   (6)And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: (7)So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.   (8)For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.   (9)For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; (10)And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come."   (I Thessalonians 1:5-10)

   The future of the expansion of Gospel work in a
country depends on national laborers.   Through a
Correspondence School Ministry, men are found to be
trained for the ministry.   It is no unusual to have men
from a representative cross-section of an entire country, to
inquire about means of preparation.   Through a plan and
working through that plan, a ministry can thus have a
nationwide ministry.

   The work of a missionary is three-fold: "every
creature"
evangelism, the training of national leaders, and

the establishment of something that will remain until Christ
returns; hence, a New Testament Church.   Mass
distribution of Gospel literature, with a plan of follow-up,
can be used by the missionary to do most of his work
correctly -- as stated.

   The printed page is now the key to accomplishing
Mark 16:15 in many countries of the world.   In fact, in
some countries 80% of those presently coming to Christ is
through the printed page.   Shipments have been sent to the
Dominican Republic, Panama, and Central America and
presently 15 tons is being prepared for Chile, 13 tons for
Mexico, 2 tons for Guatemala, and another ton for
Panama.

   WE NEED SPECIAL PRAYER!   Spiritual attack
always comes when one becomes involved with the printed
message.   WE NEED FINANCIAL HELP!   These printed
materials are gathered up at a number of printing
ministries scattered over the U.S. and are hauled to Texas
for preparation for shipment usually by ship.   Please
designate your special gift to:

Printing Projects
Central Baptist Church
P.O. Box 448
Bowie, Texas 76230

Personal mail or information to:

Milton Martin
P.O. Box 3565
Temple, Texas 76505-3565
Phone: (817) 939-0355

The Printed Page
is a Missionary

   The gospel in print is a "missionary".   It
neither flinches nor shows cowardice.   It is
never tempted to compromise.   It neither
tires, nor grows discouraged.
   It travels cheaply and requires no hired
hall.   It works while others sleep.   It never
loses its temple.   It continues to minister long
after the present generation has passed on.
   The gospel in print is effective.   It gains
entrance to both the lowly hut and the lofty
palace.
   It speaks to a man at the right time, only
when he is reading it.   It sticks to what it
says and never answers back.
   It reaches those who otherwise might
never be reached.   It carries the only
authoritative answers.   It points the way to
eternal life through Jesus Christ.
   The gospel in print is far-reaching.
Through reading a tract, Russell H. Conwell
was led to Christ.
   A pamphlet . . . fell
into the hands of John Bunyan, and by this
means he was converted.   Pilgrim's Progress
came from his pen, and through that
excellent work thousands were saved.
   This missionary - the gospel in print -
should have the prayerful support of every
Christian.   Those who make it possible
become Missionaries of the Printed Page.

- Author Unknown

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