Should we preach the Gospel from door to door? This is one of our constant questions.
Jesus Christ has solemnly commanded His true ministers to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom in all the world as a witness to all nations before the end of this present age (Matt. 24:14). He also said that the Gospel must be published among all nations (Mark 13:10).
In fulfilling this divine commission, should we go from house to house distributing literature and talking with people in an effort to convert them? Are we following the example of the early New Testament Church if we go from house to house preaching the Gospel?
There is a passage of Scripture in Acts 20:20 which might seem to support this belief IF only one verse is read and taken out of its proper setting. One might assume that the Apostle Paul went from house to house in order to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to the unconverted. But when we read the entire paragraph beginning with the 17th verse, we can understand the intended meaning. The Apostle Paul "... sent to Ephesus, and called the ELDERS of the church..." and said to them, "I...have taught YOU publicly, and from house to house" (Acts 20:17-20). Paul was teaching the leaders of the church in their own homes. He was NOT teaching the UNconverted from door to door!
Here is another misunderstood scripture: "And they (the twelve apostles and other disciples), continuing daily with one-accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness..." (Acts 2:46). Notice that these people were all in harmony. They continued daily with "one accord." They were all of the same belief.
Many had congregated at Jerusalem from many nations in order to attend one of God's annual Festivals, Pentecost. Because they had traveled a long distance and because they had no home in Jerusalem, the brethren who lived there invited them to come to their homes and eat. (The eating of a common meal is referred to as "breaking bread" in the King James Version. For proof, read Mr. Armstrong's booklet on the Lord's Supper.) The converted brethren ate in the homes of other converted brethren — not in the homes of the unconverted. They did not go to the house of the unconverted to preach to them, rather they preached the Gospel to them in the synagogues and in the temple. They followed the direct command of Jesus Christ to the seventy disciples he had previously sent to preach the Gospel. He said: "... Go NOT from house to house" (Luke 10:7).
The Apostle Paul had his own hired house at Rome where he "received all that CAME UNTO HIM, preaching the kingdom of God" which Jesus had commanded His true servants to preach (Acts 28:30). Paul did NOT go from house to house preaching to sinners and unconverted people. He preached to them in the synagogue. After some became converted leaders of God's true Church, then the Apostle Paul visited and taught them in their homes.
Today the Gospel is being preached to the entire nation by radio. Anyone is at liberty to listen or to close his ears and reject it — merely by turning the dial of his radio. The Gospel is also being published. It is being sent free of charge to all who request it. And, also, as in the example given in the New Testament, we go into the homes of converted brethren who request that we do so in order to counsel with and baptize them. But we do not go, uninvited, into the homes of unconverted people in order to teach them. We should never attempt to force God's truth on anyone. In Matthew 7:6, Christ showed that the truth is too precious for that.
This is the example of Jesus Christ, the twelve apostles, and the Apostle Paul. Let us follow it.