Why Should We Go?

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:19–20

One of the things we preach at Leesburg Christian Church is that we need to follow the teaching of the Great Commission. We need to make disciples. That starts with a very churchy word….evangelism. The word “evangelism” according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is defined as, “the winning or revival of personal commitments to Christ”.  The first known use of the word was in 1617 in the writing of Richard Broughton. In a translation of “Liturgy St. Mark in New Man. Old Christian Catholick Medit. & Praiers”, Broughton wrote, “Let thy mercies soon lay hold on us, for thou art our Evangelism or message of good Savior, & keeper of our souls.” Today, we see evangelism happening through preaching, teaching, and communicating the Gospel with others who have not taken Christ as their savior. The last recorded sentence Jesus said in the Bible is from Acts 1:8.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8

It’s obvious that Jesus wanted us to tell the world about Him and His Father, but what does that look like for us today? I would dare say if we took Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8 to heart, we would get a very clear picture of what God has called us to do.

Let’s start with the first two words of the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19. Jesus says, “Go therefore”. The Greek word for “go” here is poreuthentes, which is a participle. A participle is a word formed from a verb and used as an adjective or a noun. They can also be used to make compound verb forms. That’s what’s going on here. “Go” can actually be translated, “As you go” or “As you are going”. This makes a HUGE difference in how we read those first two words. To simply say, “Go” implies that you must leave where you are to tell others of Christ and make disciples. “As you go” implies that, not matter where you are or what you are doing, you are to tell people about Jesus and make disciples.

If you are at work, tell people about Jesus. If you’re at home with your children and your spouse, tell them about Jesus. If you are at a ball game, tell the people you come in contact with about Jesus. While some of you are thinking that this actually makes the Great Commission more daunting, I would say it makes it much more free. You don’t have to go to Africa or somewhere in Central America to tell people about Jesus and make disciples. You can do it wherever you are. There is more to it, though.

In Acts 1:8, Jesus tells his disciples, “you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”  Jesus, very specifically, names 3 places BEFORE saying the end of the earth. One thing you can always count on in the Bible is that Jesus never says anything flippantly or by accident. To understand how we should evangelize, or tell others about Christ, let’s look at each of the places he names.

Jesus starts with the town where the disciples were at the time. Jerusalem was their home base, and it was where Christ would last minister before His crucifixion. This would be the starting point for the Church and where the disciples would begin the process of sharing the Gospel. For us, this means we are to start where we live; our next door neighbors, our coworkers, our friends. This is where our focus needs to be first. This is also how we build up the local church. Leesburg reaches people from around five counties, but the greatest concentration of people in our church are from the two towns closest to us, Cynthiana and Georgetown. This is where our focus needs to be first. We need to reach the places closest to us. We need to be in the community and we need to make it a priority first, but we don’t just stop there.

Jerusalem is right in the middle of Judea. While we first need to reach our hometown, next is the larger area around it. For us, that would be Harrison and Scott Counties and the rest of the state of Kentucky. Where are the places we can serve outside of our local community? One of the great ministries we have here at Leesburg is our Big Creek Mission in Eastern Ky, where we serve an area that has been dealt a rough hand and is in deep poverty and in desperate need of the Gospel. Where else could we serve in our state where we could make a difference? It doesn’t just stop there, though.

Samaria was a central highland region of Israel that was considered off-limits to the first-century Jews. Many wouldn’t even walk through Samaria, and instead, they’d walk multiple miles more to make the trek around the border rather than step foot in that place. Most Jews felt that the Samaritans were pagans and refused to even speak with them. It’s the reason why Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan was so controversial at the time. It’s also why the story of the Woman at the Well would’ve been given the side eye. Yet Jesus tells us to go to Samaria. In other words, go to the places where others won’t. We are to go where most would simply be uncomfortable. This doesn’t necessarily mean going a far distance. There are local rehab centers, food banks, and homeless shelters where we can be the light of the Gospel to others. We can also be a light to those who are forgotten; those with special needs, orphans, and widows. Even with all of this, Christ doesn’t stop there.

This is where we step into the arena of world missions. According to the organization Project 42, in 2021 there were still over 1800 language groups on earth that still haven’t heard the Gospel. That equates to 171 million people who do not have a single verse of the Bible in their language. This also doesn’t include many people groups who are illiterate and can’t read it even if it’s in their language. There is a need around the globe for Christ. While we can see the need in countries where the Gospel still hasn’t been heard, there are also many post-Christian countries where the Gospel is completely suppressed and pushed away. There are others where it is illegal for someone to leave their faith and come to Christ. In many countries, it can be punishable by death. This is why there are so many missionaries out there right now desperately trying to get the Word of God into the hands of as many people as they can, even willing to risk their very lives to make this happen.

How can we make disciples as we go about our lives in our hometowns, in our states, to the place no one wants to go, and to the rest of the world? This is how the Gospel puts on skin and bones and lives through us and into others. So why should we go? Because this dark world is in desperate need of light. So let’s be that light.


Emily McCauley - March 18th, 2024 at 10:18pm

Now this is AMAZING 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻

If we just put our phones down and look at who is in front of us, we will see the harvest is plentiful. Everywhere we are, there are people desperate for someone to point them to Jesus.

- March 19th, 2024 at 10:48pm

And most times, they're actually curious about it, but we're too afraid to say something.