Who Is To Teach?

by Gene Taylor

Christian, what is your attitude toward teaching others? Do you think it is the job of only a certain few -- the preacher or, perhaps, the elders? Or do you think you have a responsibility to convey the gospel to those who are lost?

The instructions Jesus gave His disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 emphasize that it is the duty of every child of God to be involved in the task of presenting the gospel to the world. Yet, many Christians never teach others. Do they not see the need to reach those who are dead in sin? Do they really feel no action is needed on their part?

Jesus, in John 4:35, spoke of the fields that "are already white for harvest." He was speaking of people in the world who need to be brought to the Father by the gospel. The people of the world still need to be gathered into the kingdom of God. That " field" is still ready to be harvested and now it is larger than ever. Therefore, many workers should be busy in it.

Jesus, on another occasion, said, "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work" (John 9:4). Though He was speaking of His time on earth, the principle can apply to us. While we are living is the time to work. Rest will come in the place of eternal rest (Rev. 14:13). We must use our time wisely (Eph. 5:16). We must be zealous to accomplish those good works for which we have been created in Christ (Eph. 2:10; Titus 2:14). If we are going to be like the New Testament church, we will be seeking and teaching the lost.

Study the first century church and its marvelous growth as seen in the New Testament. Why was its growth so dramatic? Acts 8:4 states a most significant reason for the astounding numerical growth. Scattered abroad by persecution, the disciples " went everywhere preaching the word." Though separated from the apostles, they diligently sought out those " good and honest hearts" who would listen to the message of truth. So great was their dedication, so effective was their teaching the apostle Paul was able to say in Colossians 1:23 that the gospel had been preached to all creation. In just a span of about 34 years, the Christians had saturated the world with the teaching of the gospel. They accomplished that great task because every one of them recognized his responsibility to Christ and worked at fulfilling it.

Just as inequity of ability exists today, I am sure their talents were not equal. Yet, that did not seem to hinder them. Neither should it hinder anyone today. Even the least knowledgeable and most timid disciple can teach someone. If he can only relate what he did to be saved, that would be enough to tell others. In addition, various helps are available such as Bible tracts, bulletins, video tapes, etc., which can help make an adequate teacher out of everyone.

Every child of God should utilize and enlarge the abilities he possesses. Each should be seeking to improve his knowledge of the word of God and improve himself as a teacher by diligently studying the Bible, our guidebook to heaven (2 Tim. 2:15). He must remember at all times that Christ is his source of strength (Phil. 4:13). Then, with prayer for help and strength from above, he can effectively teach the saving gospel of Christ to those who need it.