But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth. Acts 1:8 (ESV)
Just before He returned to heaven, Jesus explained to His disciples what they were to do after His departure. What he said to them, He also says to us: “… you will receive power…” Every believer is commissioned, commanded and compelled to share the gospel with a lost world. “You” refers to the faithful men and women who live ordinary lives in the world, attending school, making a living, raising families, participating in the daily life of our community.
“…be My witnesses…” The word “witness” translates the Greek word martus. It has a legal meaning: ‘to affirm that one has seen or heard or experienced something’. A witness in a trial is called upon to tell what they have seen and what they know to be true. He or she is ‘one who furnishes evidence.’ A witness is someone who can say. “I know this is true.” A witness is called on to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He is the only hope the world has for salvation. He said that we are witnesses “unto Me” or “My witnesses”. Martus also gives us the English word ‘martyr’, the same word used of Stephen when he was stoned, the ultimate sacrifice for the spreading of the good news.
“Unto the uttermost part of the earth”. The Greek word for “uttermost” refers to the extremities of the earth. It means that we must take the gospel to every nook and cranny of the globe. There are still many people groups without any Christian witness. Most of us will never go to “the uttermost part of the earth” but we can pray and support those who do. From our knees we can impact distant lands and enter closed nations.
(Let us) tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples. For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised. 1 Chronicles 16:24-25 (NASB)