The evangelistic tenacity that characterized the early Christians is one of the most impressive characteristics that scripture reveals about them. They were persistent in doctrine (Acts 2:42), focused on their goal (Acts 2:46), and bold in the face of adversity (Acts 4:13). They were serious about soul winning and gave every effort to do it effectively and thoroughly. In the beginning chapters of Acts, Peter and John take a leading role. They had preached on Solomon’s porch, been arrested, and warned not to do it anymore, then discharged and immediately continued their work (Acts 3-5). After their second arrest in Acts 5:18 they were released by the angel of the Lord (Acts 5:19) and given this charge: “Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life” (Acts 5:20). This passage serves as a succinct but serious outline for their evangelistic efforts, and ours as well. It reveals their mission, their method, and their message.
Their mission was simple—Go! Jesus had told them to “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). The thesis statement of the book of Acts is chapter 1:8. There, Jesus instructed the apostles, “…and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” God’s intention for the church is that “all nations shall flow unto it” (Isa. 2:2). “The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men” (Titus 2:11), and “God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). The message of salvation is so important that God wants us to go everywhere and preach it to everyone. Today we are blessed to live in a time that provides us many avenues to accomplish his task. The gospel can be transmitted instantly around the world through the Internet. In only a matter of hours, we can travel from one state or country to another. God has told us to go and He has given us more than adequate means to do it.