Ellen G. White Writings

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Unlikely Leaders, Page 12

The Good News to Go Everywhere

After the death of Christ the disciples were almost overcome by discouragement. The sun of their hope had set, and night settled down on their hearts. Lonely and sick at heart, they remembered Christ’s words, “If they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?” (Luke 23:31).

Several times Jesus had tried to open the future to His disciples, but they had not wanted to think about what He said. This left them completely hopeless when He died. Their faith did not penetrate the shadow Satan threw across their horizon. If they had believed the Savior’s words that He was to rise on the third day, how much sorrow they might have avoided!

Crushed by depression and despair, the disciples met together in the upper room and locked the doors, fearing that what happened to their beloved Teacher might also happen to them. After His resurrection, the Savior appeared to them there.

For forty days Christ remained on earth, preparing the disciples for the work ahead of them. He spoke of the prophecies of His rejection by the Jews and His death, showing that every detail had been fulfilled. “And He opened their understanding,” we read, “that they might comprehend the Scriptures.” And He added, “You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:45, 48).

As the disciples heard their Master explaining the Scriptures in the light of all that had happened, their faith in Him was fully established. They reached the place where they could say, “I know whom I have believed” (2 Timothy 1:12). The events of Christ’s life, death, and resurrection, the prophecies pointing to these events, the plan of salvation, and the power of Jesus to forgive sins—they had been witnesses to all these things, and they were to make them known to the world.

Before ascending to heaven, Christ told His disciples that they were to be the executors of the will in which He left to the world the treasures of eternal life. Although priests and rulers have rejected Me, He said, they will still have another opportunity to accept the Son of God. To you, My disciples, I commit this message of mercy, to be given to Israel first, and then to all nations. All who believe are to be gathered into one church.

The gospel commission is the great missionary blueprint of Christ’s

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