God says to us, “Go and make disciples of all nations.” According to this word, we’ve been trying to make disciples, considering this mission more important than any other work.
However, all are not qualified for making disciples. Now, let’s have a time to reflect upon ourselves and check whether or not we are eligible for the gospel preachers, by studying the qualifications for preachers whom God is pleased to send.
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mt 28:16-20
Everything a teacher has-his believing, loving and obeying God-is to be delivered to his disciples. So the teachers who make disciples should be armed with what is worthy of preacher. For the teachers who have a noble spirit and firm faith can make worthy disciples. If not, we will show them an example that is not good and lead them into our sinful ways.
So we should teach them to obey what God has commanded us. We are learning God’s cultures and spiritual customs. Let us learn more, so that we can be wholly competent to preach what we’ve learned to all nations, as the gospel preachers with whom God is pleased. Now, let’s find out what are the qualifications of the preachers.
First, evangelists should be filled with the Holy Spirit.
“But you will receive the power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Ac 1:8
Gospel work is not accomplished by men’s plan, knowledge and wisdom, but by God’s; so the preachers should do just as the Holy Spirit guides. When we are always pleased to do God’s will in our hearts, we are qualified to be the gospel preachers worthy in God’s eyes.
Through all ages, God has chosen the people, who obey His will with faith rather than their own thought with stubbornness, and has used them as His prophets and instruments to preach His word. We can understand this fact through the histories in the Old and New Testa-ments.
As the gospel preachers, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit and obey God’s will, considering it important to do as God says. Then we can produce good fruits pleasing to God.
Second, evangelists should have confidence in their salvation.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. … we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 Jn 5:11-15
We should proclaim that we have a firm belief in our salvation by believing the name of our God, the Savior of the Holy Spirit’s age, and we should show proof of our conviction by preaching. If we do not depend on our own thought and wisdom, but on God’s, we can do everything.
We are confident of our salvation, because we follow the Spirit and the Bride. We should empower our disciples to have the same confidence as ours. When we know God and realize that God’s word of truth opens our eyes to see the spiritual world, and when we are deeply impressed by that, we can convey it to our disciples. By sharing gracious moments that we have experienced with fervent faith, we can lead even those without confidence in their salvation to believe in God firmly and ask for His blessing.
Third, evangelists should have this attitude of mind, ‘If we do not preach, we cannot endure.’
So the word of the LORD has brought me insult and reproach all day long. But if I say, “I will not mention him or speak any more in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot. Jer 20:7-9
When we have such a burning heart, we are worthy to be the gospel preachers. If we preach the gospel reluctantly, being induced, we will not be the preachers with whom God is pleased. Whether we are persuaded to preach or not, we are to proclaim the gospel with this mind-‘I can’t keep silent’-and with strong confidence in our salvation God has promised. Then we can be preachers competent to go and make disciples.
The Bible prophesies that there will be famines and earthquakes in various places, and that nation will arise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and that there will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. These prophecies are being fulfilled in these last days. Now, the way to save the people doomed to die is preaching God’s word of life to them. We must preach the gospel with a burning heart and a strong resolution.
If we preach lukewarmly, they will receive it halfheartedly. In doing a work of God, though it may be a little thing, we must have a great passion for His work. This zeal and eagerness are required to preach the gospel, through which we can save one soul. Such a burning heart enables us to boldly proclaim God’s word even to those who are unwilling to hear it.
But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves wheth-er it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” Ac 4:16-20
The apostles proclaimed boldly before the false religious leaders of this world. God has chosen us and let us see and hear and feel what is God’s word. It’s because God wants us to preach what we’ve seen.
In Mt 28, God told us to just go, without mentioning a certain place. We should go anywhere and proclaim what we have seen and heard with burning heart, that God’s glory may be revealed and we can bear spiritual fruit obeying God’s teaching.
Fourth, evangelists should not be ashamed of the gospel.
I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. Ro 1:16
God’s preachers should not be ashamed of the gospel but boldly preach the gospel with strong faith, feeling sorry for those who do not receive it.
When we preach the gospel, we may be slandered, mocked and persecuted by the people who do not know the truth. However, whether they like or not, we are to preach just as God has commanded us.
The gospel is so powerful that it has the authority to bring us to salvation and to the eternal kingdom of heaven. So we must boldly and proudly proclaim the gospel, depending on God’s wisdom and power, feeling no shame in preaching it under any circumstances.
Fifth, evangelists should be armed with God’s word.
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. “… but the word of the Lord stands forever.” And this is the word that was preached to you. 1 Pe 1:23-25
The gospel work of God does not depend on men’s number-many or few. Those who have God’s word alive in their hearts are worthy to be the gospel preachers.
When we are filled and armed with God’s unchangeable and eternal word of life, we can be the wise preachers who can give the spiritual food to people at the proper time, and we can also make disciples with the word that we have and lead them to obey God’s will.
Finally, evangelists should make the fire of the Holy Spirit burn in their hearts by praying.
“Do not be afraid,” Samuel replied. … “For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own. As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right. …” 1 Sa 12:20-25
Samuel, appointed as a faithful priest obeying God’s will, didn’t sin against God by failing to pray to Him.
If our hearts are not burning within us, we cannot make others burn. We should not wait for others to ignite us, but have wisdom to kindle the fire of faith within ourselves. When we keep our faith in God and pray continually, the torch of truth will burn up and we will be able to make disciples of all nations.
However, there is an important thing we must not forget. The purpose of God’s coming into this earth is to save sinners, not the righteous. So Jesus compares Himself to a doctor in the Bible.
On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mt 9:12-13
We are suffering from a mortal disease called ‘sin.’ To cure us of the fatal disease, Christ came to this earth, with the remedies-love, sacrifice and devotion. With His sacrificial love, He became a sin offering in our stead.
If we realize the great love of Christ, we should come near the souls with mortal disease and save them with Christ’s remedies-love, sacrifice and devotion.
For more understanding, let me tell you a story. It’s a story of Heo Joon, a famous Korean doctor in the Chosun dynasty. It was after he realized medicine was a benevolent art that he became a famous doctor.
This happened when Heo Joon was a doctor in his village. One day, a woman ran to him breathlessly and asked him to prepare any medicine because her mother was going to die. He was at a loss, because he didn’t know the identity of the disease and he could not compound a medicine in a wrong way, as a doctor responsible for the patient’s life.
At the moment, suddenly a voice was heard, “Three packages of Kwakhyangjungkisan.” In surprise he turned his face and looked, and there an old man in rags was standing; he said again, “Three packages of Kwakhyangjungkisan.” As the old man said, Heo Joon prepared three packages of Kwakhyangjungkisan. The patient took the medicine and it saved her life.
Later, a mother-in-law visited him. She urgently begged him to prepare a medicine for her daughter-in-law who was suffering from terrible stomach pain. Then he heard the voice of the old man again, “Three packages of Kwakhyangjungkisan.” Thinking the old man was extraordinary, Heo Joon prepared three packages of Kwakhyangjung-kisan for her. The patient who took the medicine was also cured of her disease and expressed her thanks to him.
Several days later, another patient with a different disease visited Heo Joon, saying his life was in peril. Infallibly, then the old man appeared and said the same thing, “Three packages of Kwakhyang-jungkisan.” Heo Joon prepared them just as the old man said. Those who experienced the wonder of the medicine came to Heo Joon and paid their respects to him.
Then Heo Joon wondered: ‘Why were the patients cured of their different diseases with the same medicine?’ He visited the old man and asked him the reason. Then the old man said, “Do you think it is a medicine that cures a patient of his disease? If you think that, you still lack prudence. A man of prudence cures the patient of his disease with the energy of love. I know you are sincere in medical practice. That’s why I am telling you this.”
Then Heo Joon realized: ‘The energy emitted out of a doctor gives an inspiration to a patient and the inspiration gives the patient a faith that he will be cured; he who takes care of the patient should prepare a medicine wholeheartedly and administer the medicine to the patient on time, and then the patient can be surely cured of his disease.’
Such a lesson from the old man opened his eye for medical practice and made him a world-famous doctor of benevolent medical art. This story of Heo Joon gives us an important lesson. We should check to see if we have failed to understand God’s powerful energy of love in preaching the gospel, like Heo Joon once failed to recognize an invisible energy beyond a medicine.
God is love (1 Jn 4:8): Love is the fulfillment of the law (Ro 13:10): A new command I give you: Love one another (Jn 13:34). God has sacrificed Himself with great love for us; He has cured men, the patients, of their spiritual mortal disease and saved them.
We are given power to carry out a mission to cure the spiritual disease of mankind, following our God who is the Doctor of our souls. When a doctor has earnest love and devotion for a patient, the patient trusts in the doctor and his disease can be cured. Such love and devotion are required in preaching the gospel. Love can be defined as sacrifice and devotion.
All the laws of God are given through His great love, sacrifice and devotion for us; it is a medical art which can be practiced by the most benevolent doctor. Everyone has his own gift from God for gospel preaching. We have received God’s love. According to our various gifts of the Holy Spirit, we should do our best to proclaim the great power of the water of life, which flows from the temple of Jerusalem.
The man brought me back to the entrance of the temple, and I saw water coming out from under the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced east). The water was coming down from under the south side of the temple, south of the altar. He then brought me out through the north gate and led me around the outside to the outer gate facing east, and the water was flowing from the south side. As the man went eastward with a measuring line in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and then led me through water that was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand cubits and led me through water that was knee-deep. He measured off another thousand and led me through water that was up to the waist. He measured off another thousand, but now it was a river that I could not cross, because the water had risen and was deep enough to swim in-a river that no one could cross. … When it empties into the Sea, the water there becomes fresh. Swarms of living creatures will live wherever the river flows. There will be large numbers of fish, because this water flows there and makes the salt water fresh; so where the river flows everything will live. Eze 47:1-12
If the water stays only in the temple, it cannot display its true worth. When the water flows and permeates all men, it can revive their spirits. As qualified prophets and preachers of the gospel, let’s go to the ends of the earth and make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything God has commanded us.