Today we will discuss what Jesus said about the great commission in Mark, chapter 16. Then, we will look at these teachings in detail and see if His followers in the church are accomplishing what Jesus said to do, when we witness the truths of the gospel. Jesus said, “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:15-18) So as members of Christ’s body and His church, we are to all be witnesses for Jesus, no matter where we are in the world. We understand the gospel message of the cross and resurrection and it brings us joy when we share it with others. For every person that believes in Jesus, we also invite them to be baptized. Jesus said that every person who believes and is baptized are saved, so we share that message with people also. It is important to note that people who will not believe the message of the gospel will be damned, as the Lord said. Only if these people will one day repent, believe in Jesus, and are baptized, then they will be saved. People that go forth in God’s harvest are able to cast out demons, speak in new tongues, and are unharmed by serpents and things they drink and eat. The people we pray over are also healed in the name of Jesus.
Everything that was just discussed is part 1 of the great commission. We will go into more detail in Matthew, chapter 28, in another message. Now, after reading what Jesus said, do you feel like we are doing what the Lord says? Well, the answer is “YES” with some churches, but “NO” for the majority of others. So many people who share their faith tell others to believe in Jesus and the gospel and leave it at that. There is no discussion about baptism later on. This is really sad, since Jesus clearly said, “he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” (Mark 16:16) The very fact that believing in Jesus and being baptized is unto salvation is vital in our discussions with people who believe. So why would so-called Christians leave baptism out? The answer is clear, but not everybody wants to hear this. Most pastors of church’s now teach that we are saved by faith alone and that works are not important. This comes from Ephesians 2:8,9. However, people that keep to this teaching, disregard Ephesians 2:10 and many other verses in the New Testament that speak to the fact that with faith, good works will also come forth from our lives. And one of the greatest works of all is baptism. Without this one act of obedience, Jesus said we will not be saved. Therefore, as you are out talking with people, remember what Jesus said and encourage every person who believes in Jesus to also be baptized. Then, and only then, will you be doing what Jesus said in the great commission. I know of good churches that do this and praise God that they are still here today.
Let us pray:
Oh Lord, I pray that every believer will desire to become Your witnesses. That people will realize that believing in and following You is more than knowing the truth, but also telling others about You. Surely, we have the cure to eternal destruction and hell in Your gospel message of the cross and resurrection, so why would people be quiet about this matter? All I know, God, is that we have some genuine Christians out there, but also others who are living with a dead faith. And how fruitful can a person be in Your kingdom who is not willing to open their mouths and share the gospel message with others? The answer is that they cannot do any good thing for You if they are keeping the truth to themselves. Therefore, Lord, awaken people to know You for themselves. May they truly believe in You and be baptized. Then, will they put on Christ and no longer walk the path of destruction. We need Your direction in this life, or else we will easily fall victim to sin and death. And only by Your blood, that was shed for us on the cross, can we be resurrected unto new life. Surely, the day that I came out of the waters of baptism is when the Holy Spirit filled me and now I only wanted to tell others about You, Jesus. All the selfishness in my heart went away and I became more and more selfless. Lord, the best thing I can do is serve, help, and witness Your truths with people of this world. It is my prayer that people will call upon Your Name and believe. That they will then turn from their sins, and be baptized. There is a cleansing awaiting them, that only You can provide. Salvation is real and it comes through You, Jesus. I love You, Lord. I give You praise and honor. Amen.