Summary: Mark's version of the Great Commission tells us that the Good News will be accompanied by sign's. God's Power is being displayed in power in the world today.
July 24, 2011
Text: Mark 16:15-18
Subject: The Great Commission
Title: What Real Faith Can Do – The Great Commission Part 3
Before the age of the GPS, whenever we would take a vacation we always had to rely on the Rand McNally Road Atlas and highway signs to get us to where we wanted to go. As the time of our departure would draw near I would have studied the map to the point that I pretty much knew every highway number and every town that we would be passing through. It was something I enjoyed doing and it made the trip a lot easier because my potential navigators weren’t too good at map reading. I can’t say that I never got lost because I did, but I never got lost to the point where I couldn’t get where I needed to go. Many times when there was a problem it was because the road signs were either missing or just plain wron
A cop pulls over a carload of nuns.
Cop: "Sister, this is a 65 MPH highway -- why are you going so slow?"
Sister: "Sir, I saw a lot of signs that said 22, not 65."
Cop: "Oh sister, that's not the speed limit, that's the name of the highway you're on!
Sister: Oh! Silly me! Thanks for letting me know. I'll be more careful.
At this point the cop looks in the backseat where the other nuns are shaking and trembling.
Cop: Excuse me, Sister, what's wrong with your friends back there? They're shaking something terrible.
Sister: Oh, we just got off of highway 119.
Now, with a GPS all you need to do is type in your destination address and off you go. And anywhere you go you have as many as seven satellites tracking you. It is easy to put your trust in a GPS. But it is still a good idea to have some idea where you are going.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples He also gave them very good directions on how to carry it out. The real difficulty in navigating to the place where Jesus wants His church to be is to have the kind of faith that you need in the directions He has given to get you there.
Today as we go through Part 3 of the Great Commission series I want you to understand that it is your faith that will get you to where God wants you to be in building His church.
Lord, open my eyes to see and my ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the church…
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
I. THE COMMAND… In Part 1 of our series I told you about how the gospel of Mark was written with the Greek/Roman mindset in view. It is a gospel of action. When Matthew and Luke begin with the stories of the birth of Jesus Mark begins with, 1 The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. 2 It is written in Isaiah the prophet: “I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way” 3 “a voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” So it is appropriate that Mark ends his gospel the same way that he began it. 15 He said to them, “Go into all the world… The consistent theme for evangelism in all of the gospels has this one thing in common. GO! Jesus never intended for his followers to go hide in an upper room and have a prayer meeting till He comes back at the Rapture. If that were the case then the church would only have 120 people to go at the Rapture. But the message is “GO!” Now, since this is Mark’s gospel – the gospel of action – the command is to go into all the world. At this time in history world travel was as easy as it would ever be. I’m not talking about the time of travel, but I am talking about the ease with which one could travel from one country to another. The Romans had built major roads as they established trade routes. So Jesus’ command in Mark naturally would be to take this gospel everywhere that you are allowed to go. Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. I want you to understand this. Going into the whole world was not a Jewish idea. They would never have thought of doing that. They wanted to keep their salvation to themselves for fear that it would become unclean by allowing Gentiles to partake of it. They would have wanted to keep it right there at home among their own people. The Romans wouldn’t have been much different. Their mindset would have been that each person was on their own. It was up to them to decide for themselves what they would believe in a religious sense. But Jesus command is so radical that He says to Go and preach to every creature. That word “creature” in the Greek means, “everything that has been made”. What does that mean. Am I supposed to go out and preach the gospel to Bud Bremmer’s cows? No, we are only going to share the gospel with the part of God’s creation that can be saved – those who have been created in His image. And in the process you are bringing the good news to all creation. Romans 8:18-20, 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God. That is what the good news does. And this gospel of action says to go into all the world and preach the good news…