Only the Father calls
I sometimes walk to work wearing a suit and carrying my backpack. When I do, I walk as quickly as possible, hoping to be seen as little as possible. Not because it is scary or dangerous in my neighborhood, but on the contrary, it is so safe in my neighborhood that sometimes other people (traditional Christians) dressed in the same manner tend to walk there as well, even knocking on doors and handing out religious pamphlets to complete strangers. While they are generally nice people, I just don’t want to be mistaken as one of them.
It may seem strange to us that they go from house to house preaching, but did you know that people who do that actually base that practice on a scripture? That scripture is Acts 20:20 and it reads “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house.”
Does the Acts 20:20 prove that we should preach from house to house in our neighborhood?
In studying any scripture, it is best to first get the context. In this case, we have a situation where the Apostle Paul was talking to the elders of the Ephesian Church (verse 17). It was with these elders, who were already members of the Church, that Paul went from house to house visiting. So from the context we see that Paul was not saying he went from house to house trying to convert uninterested people of the world as the Jehovah’s Witnesses do, but he went to visit those whom God was already working with.
From other instances in Paul’s ministry, we see that when he reached a new city, it was his custom to go to a public place to preach the gospel, be it a synagogue or another type of gathering place (Acts 14:1; 17:1-2, 10, 22).
Furthermore, in Luke 10:7, Christ dogmatically instructs his disciples, “go not from house to house,” when preaching the gospel in general.
Also, the spirit of going from house to house is not condoned anywhere in scripture. In Matthew 7:6, Christ highlights the principle of not “casting your pearls before swine.” God’s truth is precious and He doesn’t want it carelessly given to those who will treat it with contempt.
All of our religious dealings with people in the world need to be grounded in the fact that “only the Father calls” (John 6:44). There is nothing we can do to convert anybody, be it your next door neighbor, a friend at school or the cashier at the grocery store. It is God’s prerogative to do the calling. Trying to cram religion down the throat of someone whose mind has not been opened by God will only make them angry and negative toward the truth.
It is our job to support the work of witnessing to the people of this world (Matthew 24:14). Then, once they respond and request a visit, a minister of God will go knock on their door and visit with them in their home.