“Before ascending to heaven, Christ gave His disciples their commission. He told them that they were to be the executors of the will in which He bequeathed to the world the treasures of eternal life.” -Ellen White, Acts of the Apostles p. 27
In chapter three of Acts of the Apostles, Ellen White has just given me a new way of understanding our commission: “to be the executors of the will in which He bequeathed to the world the treasures of eternal life.” Suddenly, the whole task seems quite a bit simpler. An executor doesn’t own the inheritance, or decide who gets it, or have any say in what the inheritance actually is. The primary thing an executor is responsible for is seeing that everyone identified in the will is notified and receives their portion of the deceased’s estate.
I’m excited about this because, first of all, it’s just good news. The core of the message Christ wanted us to give is that everyone has an inheritance in Christ. He came so that everybody could live eternally. That’s what he wanted to leave with the world. And that’s the main thing we’ve got to tell people. Jesus wants you to live forever. Probably, the times Christians are accused of hate come from the times we have not given that message a central place in our preaching.
Second, the role Jesus gave us has the potential to be a lot of fun. The executor of a will is responsible for contacting all of the heirs and letting them know what they have coming. I’ve never done this, and certainly the joy of it has to be dampened by the fact that the person being contacted was probably very close, in some way, to the deceased. So I have some other examples: in Cambodia, people don’t use the postal system much–it’s not very accessible. So when anyone has a wedding, they and their friends have to hand deliver every invitation. Or, as I discovered on my recent trip home, everyone has something to send to, or has something they want to get from , the US. So they send it by person. And sure, maybe tracking people down every time there’s a wedding or every time you go to the US doesn’t make your life easier, but it is awesome to be the person giving the gift or the invitation. You paid nothing for the gift yourself, but you get all the joy and good feelings of being the one that gives it and seeing the expression on the face of the recipient. And that’s what we get to do. We get to let people know that they can have eternal life if they want it.