World English Bible translation
16:14Afterward he was revealed to the eleven themselves as they sat at the table, and he rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they didn't believe those who had seen him after he had risen. 16:15 He said to them, "Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to the whole creation. 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who disbelieves will be condemned. 16:17 These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new languages; 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it will in no way hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."
16:19So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. 16:20 They went out, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word by the signs that followed. Amen.
Today's Scripture contains Mark's equivalent to the Great Commission found in Matthew. Jesus had revealed His resurrection to several people and they had told the eleven that Jesus was risen, but apparently the eleven had not believed. As they were eating, Jesus came to them. He rebuked them for their unbelief and then He told them what they must do. Here are the instructions that Mark says that the Risen Christ gave to those eleven disciples.
He told them that they must go into the entire world and preach the gospel. The Word must go out to all mankind. Whoever believes the gospel that they bring and is baptized will be saved. Whoever does not believe will be condemned. They will be condemned because they already live in sin. Faith is the only way to escape the condemnation that we live with. If we do not have faith, we will surely die in our sins. Because Christ is risen, God offers us a chance to be saved by believing in the good news about His life, death and resurrection. And this salvation is available to everyone who will believe.
Mark also gives some of the signs that will accompany those who believe. This list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it meant to be a test of salvation. It does not mean that everyone who is saved will be able to heal the sick and drink poison. What Christ is saying though is that there will be signs when the Spirit of God is active in people's lives. God changes people. He affects your life dramatically. When God is at work in a group of people, you can tell. Miraculous things will take place and people's lives will be affected.
Mark writes that after Jesus had delivered this rebuke and instruction to the eleven, He was "received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God." He was glorified and given a position of honor and power. From there Christ leads the church, which is His body. He told the eleven to go out and give the good news to everyone and He tells us to do the same. We deliver the good news of the gospel through the story of our lives. We preach through our words and our deeds. People can see whether God is at work in our lives. They will see it in through the changes God makes in us.
The eleven went out just as Jesus told them to do. The church spread and the good news went out into all the world. You and I are the results of their obedience. We have heard the Word because they were first willing to speak it. Who will hear the Word through you? Who will see the sermon of your life today? You are part of the Body of Christ. Go and preach the Word!
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