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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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IS THE GOSPEL FOR ALL

A man commented about a preacher he knew: "He speaks very well, if he just had something to say." Two thousand years ago Jesus made it clear His church has something to say when He gave the Great Commission. Mark 16:15-16 lays it down: "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned." The question is not does the church have something to say. The question is will we say it? 

In an article entitled, "Jonah — An Unwilling Missionary" (Gospel Advocate magazine, 10/89, pp 48-51), Don Humphrey wrote, "Someone has observed that the average member of the church of Christ has heard 4,000 sermons, sung 20,000 songs, participated in 8,000 public prayers and saved zero sinners. How close to average are you?" Whether these numbers are right or wrong, many members of the church don't talk the gospel much outside of worship assemblies, and some don't talk it at all. But we ought to, for the Great Commission makes clear Jesus wants the whole church involved in telling the whole gospel to the whole world. All and every are the words that summarize the awesome scope of the Great Commission. Roy Deaver wrote these thought-provoking words about Jesus' plan to evangelize the world: "Think what is involved in the phrase, `to every creature.' If the Lord had said, `Preach the gospel in every continent' — this would have been a task. But, the Lord said far more. If the Lord had said, `Preach the gospel in every nation' this would have been a greater task. But, the Lord said far more. If the Lord had said, `Preach the gospel in every city' the task would have been far greater. But, the Lord said more. If the Lord had said, `Preach the gospel in every house,' the burden would have been tremendous, but the Lord said even more. The Gospel of Christ must be preached to every person in every house on every street, lane, road and trail, of every city, village, and district, of every nation of the whole world. May God help us to come to a greater appreciation of the scope of the scope of the Great Commission" (The Spiritual Sword, vol.l, No. 1, January, 1958: "The Great Commission: Its Scope"). As John M. McCaleb recorded in a simple but profound gospel song in 1921: "Where sin has gone must go His grace, the gospel is for all." You will not meet anyone today, this week, this year, or in your lifetime whom Jesus does not want to hear the gospel. Whether across the room, across the street, across town, across the state, across the county, or across the ocean — Jesus wants them to hear and He wants us to tell! The gospel truly is for all!

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ