Bobby D. Gayton
“For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ: Not boasting of things without our measure, that is, of other men’s labours; but having hope, when your faith is increased, that we shall be enlarged by you according to our rule abundantly, To preach the gospel in the regions [υπερεκεινα – the parts beyond] you, and not to boast in another man’s line of things made ready to our hand.”
2 Corinthians 10:14-16
Paul gives the Christians at Corinth a look at the inside of his heart. He wants them to know what motivates him to keep pressing on to his goal – Philippians 3:14. He wants to go where no else has been. He longs to preach the Gospel of Christ in the regions or the parts beyond Corinth. “For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of my ways which be in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church” – 1 Corinthians 4:17. This verse tells us that Paul preached the same thing everywhere he went – no different plan of salvation, nor worship, no organization of the church.
Why did Paul want to go to the regions or the parts beyond? Paul was convinced of the lost condition of all people. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one….For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:10-23. Paul placed “no-limits” on his responsibility for spreading the Gospel of Christ. He felt the responsibility to reach lost souls everywhere – Romans 1:14-16. Listen to Paul’s questions! “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:13-15. His driving desire was to reach the unreached. What is the driving desire in MY (YOUR) life?
What did Paul want to tell those in the regions or the parts beyond? He longed to tell them of God’s love for sinners. “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” – Romans 5:8. What a message! God’s love moves one from selfishness to a relationship with God. God’s love extends His grace to guilty people deserving of hell. Paul longed to give the lost people the Gospel of Christ. “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. Christ died for our sins “according to the Scriptures.” Christ was buried “according to the Scriptures.” Christ rose again “according to the Scriptures.” This very message is authenticated by the Word of God. We need to be like Paul and have a motivating passion for telling the Gospel of Christ to sinners.
Where do the regions beyond or parts beyond begin? The regions beyond or parts beyond begin just beyond our present location. They begin just beyond our front door – also beyond the church door. They begin just beyond our last Bible Study with a lost person. Paul wanted to go beyond any place he had ever gone before. How far into MY (YOUR) mission field have I (YOU) ventured? How far am I (YOU) willing to go?
Are we willing to break out of our comfort zone? Are we willing to have God increase our mission field? Are we willing to go to the regions beyond? Paul wrote, “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” – 2 Timothy 2:2. Luke wrote, “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house” – Acts 20:20. This is the proper vision for the church as a whole and Christians as individuals.
Only the saved will be in heaven. Examples of those who were saved in the New Testament: Acts 2:14-42; 8:5-13; 8:30-39; 9:17-18, 22:6-16, 26:12-18; 10:34-48; 16:13-15; 16:25-34; 18:8; 19:1-7. One must hear, believe, repent, confess and be immersed according to these examples!