MARK 16:14-18 NKJ
14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
Jesus was not too happy that His guys, now the eleven, had not believed the eyewitnesses to His resurrection.
Namely, Mary Magdalene, who had seen Jesus and went to tell the eleven. But they did not believe, and Jesus rebuked them for being unbelieving and hard-hearted.
Then He comes to the main reason for His appearance to the disciples. He spells out what they are to do from this point on. Bible scholars have labeled this the great commission. It was then and is still today the mission of The Church, His body.
Go into all the world and preach the gospel. The good news. Those who believe will be saved; those who do not are not saved.
With this commission comes signs that will follow believers. Authority over demonic forces, speaking with new tongues, deliverance from deadly things. And laying hands on the sick that they may recover.
It's a mission with purpose and a mission with power.
Regardless of the many different directions The Church has gone over the years, the mission has not changed.
The mission is still viable and active, and in play. We can become so focused on America that we look past Jesus' instructions to go into all the world. My pastor, John Osteen, had a real heart for world missions. He would often say that no one deserves to hear the gospel twice until everyone has had the chance to hear it once. Today world missions seem to have gone out of vogue. Yet Jesus' mission has not changed, and His love for the world has not dimmed. We must stay on mission.
Yes, there are signs that will follow us, but we don't follow signs. We use signs to point to God and His supernatural power to make a difference in the lives of regular people.
In 2022, as a church, let's do our part in an even greater way to partner and support and go into all the world and preach the gospel.
Father, I accept Jesus' mission to go into all the world. Help me become more effective at going into my world also.