Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
HUDSON TAYLOR (1832-1905): The “Great Commission” is not an option to be considered, but a command to be obeyed.
ADAM CLARKE (1760-1832): The actual constitution, establishment, and maintenance of this kingdom belong to the Lord; yet He will use human means in the whole administration of His government. His Word must be distributed, and that Word must be preached. Hence, under God, bibles and missionaries are the grand means to be employed in things concerning His kingdom. Bibles must be printed, sent out, and dispersed; missionaries, called of God to the work, and filled with the Divine Spirit, must be equipped, sent out, and maintained; therefore expenses must necessarily be incurred. Here the people now of the kingdom must be helpers. It is the duty, therefore, of every soul professing Christianity to lend a helping hand to send forth the Bible; and wherever the Bible is sent, to send a missionary, full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, to enforce its truths.
WILLIAM S. PLUMER (1802-1880): Yet we may not omit mentioning a frequent, and often involuntary, drawing of the mind to the great subject of missions, the awakening of a lively interest in their success, the granting of the spirit of special prayer for their increase and prosperity.
ROBERT MOFFAT (1795-1883): My thoughts became entirely occupied with the inquiry how I could serve the missionary cause. No missionary society would receive me. I had never been to college or to an academy. I, however, began to devise plans. I had been for a short time a sailor, and I resolved to go to sea again and get landed on some island or foreign shore, where I might teach poor heathen to know the Saviour.
GEORGE WHITEFIELD (1714-1770): It is very remarkable, that in the book of life, we find some almost of all kinds of occupations, who notwithstanding served God in their respective generations, and shone as so many lights in the world.
WILLIAM S. PLUMER: It is certainly true that farmers, printers, mechanics of many kinds, teachers, male and female, and physicians are required to perfect the organization, and especially to the enlargement of missionary enterprise.
MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): Paul, having in his youth learned to make tents, did not by disuse lose the art. Though he was entitled to a maintenance from the churches he had planted, and from the people to whom he preached, yet he worked at his calling to get bread, Acts 18:3.
D. L. MOODY (1837-1899): I should advise every man to engage in Christian work, but not to give up all other occupations and live by the pulpit. All are called to be disciples and witnesses, but there needs to be a special call to be an apostle.
ADAM CLARKE: In a thousand instances an apostolic preacher, who goes to the wilderness to seek the lost sheep, will be exposed to hunger and cold, and other inconveniences; he must therefore resign himself to God, depending on his providence for the necessaries of life. If God have sent him, He is bound to support him, and will do it: anxiety therefore, in him, is a double crime, as it insinuates a bad opinion of the Master who has employed him. Every missionary should make himself master of this subject.
AMY CARMICHAEL (1867-1951): The great lesson we can’t learn too well is that of adaptability—the faculty of fitting oneself quite happily into one’s circumstances, be they ever so uncomfortable and changeable…I would advise missionary candidates to practise balancing themselves on pinpoints—it will come in useful!
ROWLAND HILL (1744-1833): We want men of good plain sense in their heads and plenty of grace in their hearts―men who can make a good wheelbarrow and talk to the inquisitive heathen about the love of Christ, all the time they are knocking it together.
D. L. MOODY: Men who can think on their heels.
MARTYN LLOYD-JONES (1899-1981): Our business is to preach the gospel and to bring this message of salvation to all.
C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892): Our missionary societies need continually to be reminded of this; they get so busy with translations, so diligently employed with the different operations of civilization, with the founding of stores, with the encouragement of commerce among a people, that they seem to neglect—at least in some degree—that which is the great and master weapon of the minister, the foolishness of preaching by which it pleases God to save them that believe.
WILLIAM CAREY (1761-1834): Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing?
C. H. SPURGEON: There is not enough preaching by ministers and missionaries. They sit down interpreting, establishing schools, and doing this, that, and the other. We have nothing to find fault with in this; but that is not the labour to which they should devote themselves; their office is preaching, and if they preached more, they might hope for more success…Moffat preached wherever he went, and his labours were owned. Now we have our churches, our printing presses, about which a great deal of money is spent. This is doing good, but it is not doing the good. We are not using the means which God has ordained, and we cannot therefore expect to prosper.
JOHN BERRIDGE (1716-1793): I preach only at two times—in season and out of season, 2 Timothy 4:2. Such are my orders, and my Master has also said, “preach the gospel to every creature.”
MARTIN LUTHER (1483-1546): The first thing to be gained from people is their heart, and for this it is necessary to preach the gospel.
C. H. SPURGEON: When the Moravian missionaries first went to Greenland, they tried to tell the Greenlanders about the existence of a God, and they spent some months in such preliminary subjects before they came to the gospel; but they never gained the attention of the people. Discourses upon such necessary subjects as the Godhead, and the immortality of the soul, and the like, were flavourless to the Greenlanders. It happened one day that one of the missionaries, translating the gospel according to John, read out these words: God so loved the world, that he gave his Only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. “What is that?” said the Greenlanders. “What is that? We never heard the like of that. Why have you not told us that before?” Nothing had been done till the missionaries came to the gospel itself. Then they reached the Greenlander’s heart—awakened his dormant intellect, and led him to Jesus.
HUDSON TAYLOR (1832-1905): Not by discussions nor by argument, but by lifting up Christ shall we draw men unto Him.
ROBERT MURRAY M’CHEYNE (1813-1843): This was the grand work of Paul and all the apostles; for this was our Lord’s command: “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel.” Oh, brethren, this is our great work!
WILLIAM CAREY: My business is preaching the gospel, and I cobble shoes to pay expenses.