Acts 1:6-7 (NIV)
6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, �Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?� 7 He said to them: �It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 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.�
In these two verses there is a lot of information to discern. The Disciples have gathered to see Jesus before His return to heaven. They have concerns about the kingdom of Israel over what is to happen as they perceived. So Jesus corrects them�letting them know it is not their place to know or be concerned. Then He tells them the Holy Spirit will come upon them and they will be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria and to all ends of the earth. It is then they would present the Good News of the gospel as Jesus had previously commanded.
For the first time since researchers began tracking the religious identity of Americans, fewer than half said they were Protestants, a steep decline from 40 years ago when Protestant churches claimed the loyalty of more than two-thirds of the population. [Source New York Times Online, Oct 9, 2012]
Years ago Jesus told His disciples to go first to Jerusalem, which was home for them. Next they were to go to Judea, which were those who were close to them. Next they were to travel to Samaria to those who were different and distant from them. And finally any place they had not covered they were to go and be witnesses for Jesus.
It seems from the statistics just published, we as Christians, have failed to reach out to those near us and to those who are different from us. A younger generation has fallen into a group of having no religion, which has created the diminished number of Protestants.
Matthew 28:19-20 contains what has come to be called the Great Commission: �Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.� Jesus gave this command to the apostles shortly before He ascended into heaven, and it essentially outlines what Jesus expected the apostles, and those who followed them, to do in His absence.
In the original Greek, the only specific command in Matthew 28:19-20 is �make disciples.� The Great Commission instructs us to make disciples while we are going throughout the world and while we are going about our daily activities.
Each of us who have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior are to share the message of salvation that comes through Jesus Christ with others. We are to do so as we go about our daily lives. We are to live out what Christ has taught us so that we may also teach others by our lives. Have you let others knows about your love for The Lord? If not maybe it�s time to do so.