Yes they appear to have. Jesus’ great commission:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. … (19) So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. (20) And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs.
Paul said in Colossians 1:23:
if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
This would seem to indicate that those who heard Jesus did preach to the ends of the earth. Also Romans 15:19-20:
by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God–so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; (20) and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation,
And Romans 16:25-26:
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages (26) but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith–
And Colossians 1:5-6:
because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, (6) which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing–as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth,
When trying to understand Scripture, it is vital to look at the context. The following examples demonstrate the importance of interpreting according to context:
- Luke 2:1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.
- “All the world” in Luke 2, refers to the Roman empire.
- Matthew 3:5-6 Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, (6) and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
- “all Judea” would be many from Judea.
- Matthew 12:42 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
- “she came from the ends of the earth” – in the context, this phrase means she came from quite a distance. Some think Sheba was in southern Arabia.
Jesus great commission is relevant for every generation.
Can you tell me who heard the Great Commission, and provide evidence of what places in the then known world these particular people preached in?