V


The Great Commission

Let those who are spiritually dead attend to their earthly concerns; but you go and proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God to the waiting world.

There is a great harvest before you, but sadly, the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest that he will send more laborers to gather in his harvest. No one who puts his hand to the plough and then looks back is suitable for the kingdom of God .

If you believe in me, you will do the same works that I do. Even greater works will you accomplish, for I must return to my Father in Heaven. If you wish to serve me, follow me; and where I am, there you, my servant, will be as well, honored by my Father.

Go announce to the world: "The kingdom of heaven has come to dwell among you."

Heal the sick, restore the lepers to health , raise the dead, and cast out devils! Remember what I have told you: "Freely you have received. Freely give!"

If you are not for me, you are against me; and they that do not gather with me, scatter.

Whenever you are invited into a house,offer first a blessing, and say: "Peace be to this house." If those in the house are for peace, your blessing will be accepted, and they will be benefited. If not, the benefits of your blessing will return to you.

Do not hesitate to accept hospitality, yet remain purposeful. Resist aimless wandering. Enjoy whatever food and drink is offered you, for the person who labors is worthy of just wages.

Those who accept you accept me also, and they that accept me welcome also the Father who has sent me.

Be warned: there will be those who will attempt to silence your witness of me. You will be summoned to court and dealt with unfairly, and imprisoned on behalf of me. Because of my words, you will be asked to testify before those who do not believe, before rulers, governors, and kings.

If you are accused and brought to court, do not fear at your lack of words. They will be given to you in that instant. You need not rely on your words alone, for the breath of God will speak through you. Remember that in the earthly kingdom, no servant is greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you, punishing you for my cause, not realizing who it was that sent me into the world. If, however, they accept and follow my message, they will accept and follow yours as well.

If I had not come with the message of truth, the inhabitants of the world would not have been aware of their failings and wrong behavior. No longer can they hide behind their former ignorance of the truth. If I had not performed miracles among them, they would not have known that the kingdom had come to dwell among them. Now, those who have rejected the truth have also been witness to the miracles, and hate both me and my Father. This is come to pass, that the prophecy might be fulfilled: "They have hated me without cause."

Truly, it is a fire that I have come to bring upon the earth. How I long to see it ablaze! Did you imagine that I had come to bring peace and tranquility? No, I tell you, I have come to spread division! From now on, there will be five in one house, divided as to what they should believe, three against two, and two against three. When you are confronted by the world's hatred, remember how it hated me before your time. And when they persecute you in one place, move on to the next. You will not have reached all the peoples of the world before the Messiah returns. If a city refuses to accept you or heed your message, shake the dust of that city from your feet as you depart. In the final day of judgment, it will have been better to be from the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than from such a place.

Whoever hears the words that you speak hears me; and those that despise you, because of your words, despise me. In rejecting me, they reject the Father who sent me. So, endure the criticism of skeptics and nonbelievers for my sake. Stand firm, and in so doing, you will be blessed.

These words I have spoken to you, that in me, and in your obedience to them, you might find peace. In the world you will experience pain and trouble, but rejoice, for I have overcome the world.



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