Friday 5th April
“And then He told them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone. Anyone who believes and is baptised will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. These miraculous signs will accompany those who believe: they will cast out demons in My Name, and they will speak in new languages. They will be able to handle snakes with safety, and if they drink anything poisonous it will not hurt them. They will be able to place their hands on the sick, and they will be healed.”
Mark in his sixteenth chapter, gives us his record of what happened after Jesus rose from the dead and before He ascended into heaven. Jesus leaves His disciples with a commissioning statement, to go into the world and preach the good news to everyone. There are two actions that they must adhere to. Going and Preaching; and that they did. Verse 20 gives us, along with the book of Acts, the clear evidence that in fact they did go out into the world, preach the good news and God through them, confirmed their words with “many miraculous signs”. I often wonder that if the disciples stayed as they were and went back to their lives as fishermen or tax collectors, what would the church look like today? Whatever the answer is to that question, what we do know is that they obeyed Jesus’ words and preached the good news.
So what is the good news? The good news is simply that God sent His Son Jesus, to give His life as a ransom for many, to pay the price for mankind’s rebellion to God and to restore their relationship with the Father, through the forgiveness of sins and belief in Him. I am firm believer that the way we live our lives is as much of a testimony as our words in preaching the good news. However our actions as loud as they speak must always be coupled with the good news in words. After all this is what Jesus commissioned the disciples with and this commission stands for us today.
Yet why is preaching so important and necessary? Because it gives the hearer a chance to respond to the good news. Jesus says that if they believe and are baptised then they will be saved. Consequentially anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. How can someone have a choice to believe or not believe, if first the subject of belief has not been heard? It is like a court case whereby the judge without hearing the accusations of the prosecutors, immediately passes a guilty sentence to the person being tried. Obviously that would not be fair. It would be even foolishness. First a verbal accusation, accompanied with evidence must be presented to the judge in order to for him to make a decision on whether the person standing trial is guilty or innocent. The same is with those who hear the good news of Jesus Christ. To them that believe, they shall be saved. To them who hear, do not believe or reject the good news, they in turn shall be condemned. In order for the world to make that decision, they must first hear the good news (that’s our role)!
Speak out and be bold to testify the good news of Jesus Christ, not only in action but also in word!!