The Pharisee Saul.
He was, initially, a pretty rough dude by any standard. Before his salvation, he actively hunted down Christians – he was in the business of persecution. That was, though, before God (quite literally) blinded Saul in a burst of light. The life-changing exchange is recorded in the passage of Acts 9:
“He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”” – Acts 9: 4-6 (NIV)
You might know the Pharisee Saul better by his other name: the apostle Paul.
For the majority of us (unless you looked into the solar eclipse without the scientifically-approved glasses), I feel like I can safely say we weren’t blinded by a light/the light. But just because we didn’t come to believe in salvation in a miraculous or crazy way, though, doesn’t mean that God has no plan for us as His children. The evidence for that suggestion is in fact super solid.
In the book of Acts, once again, Paul records this back and forth between Jesus and his disciples before Jesus ascended into the sky:
“Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive 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.”After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.” – Acts 1:6-9 (NIV)
Jesus’ final exchange in verse 8 is sometimes called the Great Commission: His final words before disappearing among the clouds.
So, by the Great Commission, we’ve all been called as Christians to spread the Gospel to all ends of the earth. Which is a sweet deal, to say the least.
What, though, does the Great Commission mean for Christians in ministry, who are working less traditional or more behind–the–scenes jobs, i.e. someone buying supplies for a missionary? Are they of less spiritual value because their ministry falls under the category of assisting rather than serving on the front lines?
An extremely clear answer is found in the book of 1 Corinthians (also written by the apostle Paul):
“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.” – 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6 (NIV)
If all gifts and services for God are distributed by the same God, then they all glorify God. And if we’ve all been told as Christians to go forth into the world and spread the Gospel, then every Christian can, using their spiritual gifts given to them by God, spread the Gospel throughout the world.
In response to the title:
“…and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” – Acts 1:8 (NIV)
We all are.