The Exercise and Practice of the God-ordained Wayby Witness Lee
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
Printed Copy: Available Online from Living Stream Ministry
In our hymnal there is a precious hymn that says,
“Must I go, and empty-handed?”
Must I meet my Savior so?
Not one soul with which to greet Him:
Must I empty-handed go?
The story behind the writing of this hymn is very touching. A number of years ago a certain saint was dying and was full of regret for not having brought anyone to the Lord. A servant of the Lord told this saint that he would write a hymn that would help others in the coming years to rise up to take the time while they are still living to save sinners. The matter of saving sinners is something that all of us need to seriously consider. If we were to go to meet the Lord this very day, what would our condition be related to this matter?
Within the past four and a half years the Lord has led me to raise up this matter of gospel preaching. I did not have any intention to raise up a doctrine or concept. My burden, which I believe was of the Lord, came from my realization that most Christians today, including us, do not have the real and sincere burden to save sinners. Some may have such a desire, but they do not have the proper way to carry out their burden. Therefore, the result has been poor.
I began to study the Word to see the way that God ordained related to gospel preaching. From such a study we have now seen that the way that is ordained by God is for the believers to go to people. In the New Testament the word go is a big word. Another big word is the word come. I gave one or two crucial messages concerning these two words while I was in Shanghai more than forty years ago. I said that in the New Testament there are two words that are crucial. The Lord said, “Come to Me” (Matt. 11:28; John 6:37; 7:37). Then after we come to the Lord, He tells us to “go” (Matt. 28:19). He desires us to come to Him and then go to others. After the word come is the word go.
Actually, the preaching of the good news is the very propagation of Christ Himself in His person and in His wonderful redemptive work. As long as we preach Him through the power of the Holy Spirit, such propagation should not be opposed or criticized. If there had been no opposition within these past three years, by now many thousands of sinners would have been brought to the Lord, and there would have been a very high revival among us. Instead, this matter of visiting sinners to preach the gospel to them has become a subject over which some would debate. What a shame this is!
In the New Testament the primary matter is to come to the Lord and to come to Him continually. We need to come to Him. Then after coming to Him to touch Him, He will tell us to go. The more we come to Him, the more He will trouble us to go. It may be that He will trouble us to go to another country or to go to our parents. My experience is that, almost without exception, whenever I come to the Lord, He always charges me to go.
He charges us to go with Himself. We must go to our relatives and to everyone with Christ. God’s kingdom is spread by our going and by our preaching. This is God’s ordained New Testament principle, but without our willingness to go, His principle cannot be carried out.
He has never charged His angels to do this, because the preaching of the gospel is fully based upon the principle of incarnation. God lives with man, and man works with God. Without the mingling of God with man, without the incarnation of the divine person with the human person, God cannot accomplish His purpose. In Acts 10 an angel went to Cornelius and told him to send men to Joppa to get Peter (vv. 3-6). This was done so that Peter could come to Cornelius in order to preach the gospel to him. As a young person reading this portion, I asked myself, “Why would the angel not preach to Cornelius?” Later, I saw the principle that we are saved by men, not by angels. As men, we should not only go and preach the gospel but also pray for the ones to whom we would preach. Without our going, our preaching, and our praying, men cannot be saved.
We do not need to pray to see if it is the Lord’s will for us to preach the gospel. If we are considering marriage, then we should pray very much. However, related to preaching the gospel, the Lord simply says for us to go and disciple the nations (Matt. 28:19). Paul says that we should preach the gospel “in season and out of season” (2 Tim. 4:2). This means that we need to preach the gospel whether the opportunity is convenient or inconvenient and whether we are welcome or unwelcome. Whether the time is in season or out of season, we have to preach the word. The Lord said, “Go out into the roads and hedges and compel them” (Luke 14:23). We have to go to gain the people for the Lord.
Once we go to preach the gospel, we will be revived, and we will see the church in our locality revived. The devil is the one opposing the preaching of the gospel. If he can stop us from preaching the good news for another five years, the issue will be death. This is his goal. Within the last few years the saints in Taipei have become convinced that they need to preach the gospel. They are all of the same mind to go to preach the gospel. Because of this their attendance at the Lord’s table, which was three thousand five years ago, has now become five thousand.
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