Why Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Preach From House to House?
▪ In the Bible, we find this command of Jesus to his followers: “Go therefore and make disciples of people of all the nations, teaching them.” (Matthew 28:19, 20) Does this apply to all Christians? Jesus’ earliest disciples understood that it does. For example, the apostle Peter stated: “He [Jesus] ordered us to preach to the people and to give a thorough witness.” (Acts 10:42)
And the apostle Paul wrote: “Necessity is laid upon me. Really, woe is me if I did not declare the good news!”—1 Corinthians 9:16.
Not only Paul and Peter but also first-century Christians in general acted on Jesus’ command. They made preaching the hallmark of their activity. (Acts 5:28-32) “We strictly ordered you not to keep teaching on the basis of this name, and yet look! you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you are determined to bring the blood of this man upon us.” In answer Peter and the other apostles said: “We must obey God as ruler rather than men. The God of our forefathers raised up Jesus, whom you killed, hanging him on a stake. God exalted this one as Chief Agent and Savior to his right hand, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses of these matters, and so is the holy spirit, which God has given to those obeying him as ruler.”
(Acts 5:41, 42) So they went out from before the San′he·drin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy to be dishonored in behalf of his name. And every day in the temple and from house to house they continued without letup teaching and declaring the good news about the Christ, Jesus.
Jehovah’s Witnesses today endeavor to do so as well. They preach the same message as Jesus did, namely, “the kingdom of the heavens.”—Matthew 10:7.
Jesus indicated that it should be preached to all people everywhere. He told his disciples: “You will be witnesses of me to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) He even foretold that before the end of this system arrives, “this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the inhabited earth for a witness.” (Matthew 24:14) Accordingly, first-century Christians strove to speak with all people, not just personal acquaintances or individuals without a religion. (Colossians 1:23; 1 Timothy 2:3, 4) Likewise, Jehovah’s Witnesses today try to reach everyone.
Jesus, who knew how to reach as many as possible, sent his disciples to cities, villages, and homes of the people. (Matthew 10:7, 11, 12) After Jesus’ death and resurrection, his disciples continued to preach “from house to house.” (Acts 5:42) As Jesus did, they too preached in informal settings and in public places. (John 4:7-26; 18:20; Acts 17:17) Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses use those same methods to preach to all people.
Jesus indicated that not everyone would listen. (Matthew 10:14; 24:37-39) Jesus instructed his disciples to persevere as long as there is hope of finding some who will respond to the good news about God’s Kingdom. (Matthew 10:23; 1 Timothy 4:16) By searching out such ones from house to house, Jehovah’s Witnesses show love for God and for their neighbors, whose lives depend on hearing and responding to the Kingdom message.—Matthew 22:37-39; 2 Thessalonians 1:8.
The apostle Paul referred to the ministry as a “holy work.” (Romans 15:15, 16) However, I have written to you more outspokenly on some points, so as to give you another reminder, because of the undeserved kindness given to me from God for me to be a public servant of Christ Jesus to the nations. I am engaging in the holy work of the good news of God, so that these nations might be an acceptable offering, sanctified with holy spirit.
Engaging in it makes us “fellow workers” with “the Holy One,” Jehovah, and contributes to the sanctification of his name. (1 Cor. 3:9; 1 Pet. 1:15) Jehovah views our preaching as “a sacrifice of praise,” so the ministry is a vital aspect of our worship.—Heb. 13:15.
Preaching the good news is a great honor that relatively few enjoy. The angels would gladly care for such an assignment and would no doubt do it extremely well. (1 Pet. 1:12) However, Jehovah has chosen us imperfect humans, “earthen vessels,” for this awesome privilege!—2 Cor. 4:7.
Because we truly treasure our privilege, we view the ministry as one of “the more important things” in our life. (Phil. 1:10) Therefore, we schedule time each week to share in it. A musician who treasures his privilege to play in a world-renowned orchestra would prepare for each performance and work at developing his skill. Similarly, we prepare before going in the ministry so that we can ‘handle the word of truth aright,’ and we work at improving our “art of teaching.”—2 Tim. 2:15; 4:2.
We Remember that there are still many in our territory who appreciate our visits. However, it is not the approval of humans that we seek. Far more important is how Jehovah feels, and he highly values our diligent efforts.—Isa. 52:7.