Proceed and Proclaim

“Do not go in the way of the Gentiles,” Jesus instructs the 12 as He sends them out, “and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (NASB)
What Jesus says as He sends them out is “Go, preach” or “Proceed and proclaim.”
Jesus informs us in Matthew 5:13-16 that we are the salt of the earth and light of the world. Our salt must not be left untasted and our light must not be hidden. We must proceed into the lost world.
As we proceed, we are to proclaim. In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Paul solemnly charges Timothy to fulfill his ministry as an evangelist. He is to proclaim in season and out of season. Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:11 that we persuade men because we know the fear of the Lord. He adds in verse 20 that, as ambassadors for Christ, we entreat others to be reconciled to God.
Paul presents his evangelism philosophy in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
“For though I am free from all men,” he says, “I have made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. And to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law, though not being myself under the Law, that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it.”
As we proceed and proclaim, we are to express that the kingdom is at hand. This does not mean that Judgment Day is coming soon. It means that the church is within reach. It is as close as the Gospel message.
“But what does it say?” Paul asks in Romans 10:8. “’The word in near you, in your mouth and in your heart’–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,”
When Jesus sends 70 disciples out in Luke 10:1-11, He instructs them to tell those who listen, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” He instructs them to tell those who do not listen, “The kingdom of God has come near.” The message is the same. The kingdom is at hand.
2 Corinthians 6:1-3 states that now is the acceptable time. Now is the day of salvation. The kingdom is at hand.
Jesus gives us the Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 and Mark 16:15,16. He instructs us to go into all the world and preach the Gospel. We must proceed and proclaim.
“Lord, are there just a few who are being saved?” someone asks Jesus in Luke 13:23.
Strive to enter by the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able,” Jesus replies in verses 24-28. “Once the head of the house gets up and shuts the door, and you begin to stand outside and knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open up to us!’ then He will answer and say to you, ‘I do not know where you are from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in Your presence, and You taught in our streets’; and He will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you are from; depart from me, all you evildoers.’ There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth there when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves being cast out.”
We must proceed and proclaim. We must teach the people where they are. That is our responsibility. What they do with it is their decision.

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