James Smith, 1861
"Jesus went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God." Luke 8:1
Missionary work is honorable work, whether carried on at home, or in the foreign field; and every believer ought to be a Missionary. Each one should endeavor to spread the gospel, and make known the glorious person, finished work, and free salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ. If we know Christ, we should make known Christ, and should warn, exhort, and invite sinners to come to him. Jesus himself was a home missionary, and taught his disciples to be so too, as we read, "Jesus went throughout every city and village, preaching and showing the glad tidings of the kingdom of God: and the twelve were with him."
or good news from God. The good news of a very gracious design — that
God was about to set up a kingdom — a kingdom, in which . . .
WHAT did the Savior proclaim?
The seat of this kingdom was to be the world . . .
where Satan had triumphed,
where man was ruined,
where his Son would be crucified, and
where himself had been fearfully dishonored.
The nature of this kingdom was to be spiritual, so that without a new birth — no one could discern it, or be qualified to enter it. Its principles, its subjects, and its ordinances, were to be all spiritual.
Its privileges were numerous, great, and glorious:
God was to be always present, as the source of its honor, safety, and success;
God was to be propitious, the God of peace, love, and mercy;
God was to provide, to provide for every subject, for every need, and for evermore.
The design of it was to witness for God, to make known God, and to bring souls to God. So that every subject was to witness personally to God's character and conduct — to make known the riches of his grace, the tenderness of his mercy, and the fullness and freeness of his salvation — to endeavor personally and continually to bring poor rebellious sinners to submit to his will, embrace his invitations, and seek reconciliation with him.
In this kingdom . . .
Jehovah reigns and rules in grace,
the Bible and the Bible alone, is the statute book,
and glory will be its consummation.
The kingdom which is now purely spiritual, and therefore greatly concealed, will one day become visible; that which is now limited, will become universal, and what is begun on earth, will be completed and crowned in Heaven.
"He went throughout every city and village."
WHERE did the Savior publish the Good News?
All NEED the gospel, for all are unhappy — and only the gospel can give real joy. It is glad tidings of great joy. All need it, for all are in danger — and the gospel alone reveals the way of escape, the glorious refuge, and the stronghold of safety. Nothing will meet man's dreadful state, or suit man's hopeless condition — but the gospel, the pure gospel — which proclaims peace, publishes salvation, offers pardon, and beseeches sinners to be reconciled to God.
As all need the gospel, so all are WELCOME to the gospel and are welcomed by the gospel to come to the King of grace, enter into the kingdom of grace, and enjoy all the blessings of grace — without qualification and without hindrance.
All must HEAR the gospel, for it is sent to every creature, it is intended for every nation under Heaven, and Jesus has said, "This gospel of the kingdom must be preached to all nations for a witness, and then shall the end come." To every part of the world therefore it should be sent, in every city, town, and villiage, it should be proclaimed; and to every man, woman, and child it should be addressed. Nor are we rightly employed, nor do we act in character, if we are not daily found in some way or other, with the tongue or the pen, by ourselves or others, "Preaching and showing the good news of the kingdom of God."
What Jesus once did personally, he now does by his servants — his subjects — his children. He still preaches by them, and shows the glad tidings of the kingdom of God. His servants, like himself, are generally poor and dependent on others to minister unto them. They go forth because he sends them, they publish the good news because he commands them, and they look to his people for supplies, because he bids them.
The little flocks in many of our towns and villages are unable to sustain the Lord's servants as they ought to be, and therefore those who are entrusted with property in other places should help them. What is given to the Lord's servants, to enable them to go forth, and preach the glad tidings of the kingdom of God — is given to Jesus — he will register it, he will manifest his approval of it, he will in the end publish it, and he will reward it.
Reader, are you in the kingdom of God? Are you one of the avowed subjects of the King of kings? Do you enjoy the privileges of his kingdom? Do you observe and obey the laws of the kingdom? Do you publish the good news of the kingdom? Do you endeavor to bring others to enter the kingdom? Do you by all means, and in every way, strive to carry out the will of God, obey the command of Jesus, and extend the boundaries of this kingdom? In a word — are you a loyal, obedient, active loving, subject of the King of Saints?