Scripture: Mark 16:14-20
1. Unbelievable Message (v. 14)
The unbelievable message is that God, the creator, came to earth as Jesus, the Son of God, lived a perfect, sinless life, called people to repent of their sins, died on the cross paying the price for our sins, and then came back to life conquering the hold of sin and death. Forgiveness of sins, a right relationship with God, and eternal life are free gifts from God for anyone who believes in Jesus.
2. An Unlimited Mandate (vv. 15–18)
Jesus gave his disciples an official order or command. And it was something really really important.
Jesus told his disciples to Go and proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation. This good news was not limited to the Jewish people alone. Even though they were God’s chosen people – God was offering salvation to everyone – the whole created world. All the way back in Genesis 12 when God called Abram to Go to a new promised land, in verse 3, God said through you and your family all the families of the earth will be blessed. That was the promise of the Messiah – Jesus.
v. 16 tells us that salvation is by faith or believing; it is not based on our works or good deeds. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. Faith justifies or makes people right with God and unbelief condemns people to eternal separation from God. Baptism is a symbol or outward showing of that faith – it is not what saves us or condemns us.
““For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Those who don’t believe in Jesus will have eternal life, but those who don’t believe will perish – that means eternity in hell – separated from God, from light, from love, from everything good and righteous.
Sharing the Good News, the Gospel, should be the most important thing for us. Go and tell everyone!
Except for the deadly poison, all of these other signs are recorded in the Book of Acts. There is a historical writing that mentioned Justus Barsabas drinking poison and not being harmed. He was the disciple not chosen to replace Judas in Acts 1:23.
Verse 20 gives us the key or the reason for these signs – it confirmed the message. They didn’t have a Bible like we do. They could tell people that they saw Jesus do miracles, they saw him die, and they saw him alive again. But just like the prophets in the OT, their message was confirmed or proved by these miraculous signs.
Paul referred to these miracles as the “signs of an authentic apostle”
“The signs of a true apostle were performed among you with utmost patience, with signs and wonders and mighty works.”
After Acts, as you continue to read the New Testament, miracles appear less and less while living out a life that glorifies God became more important and the focus of the Scripture.
Our church statement of faith says “that the sign gifts were concluded with the completion of the canon of Scripture.”
Now that we have the complete Bible, there are no more apostles and there are no new messages from God. The Bible is how God speaks to us.
3. An Unchanging Ministry (vv. 19–20)
V. 19 Jesus went up to heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.
His ascension showed that his earthly ministry was completed just like David wrote in
“The Lord says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.””
Being seated at the right hand of a king was a place of honor and authority. Jesus the Son of God is in that place in heaven.
Jesus is now in heaven as our High Priest and Advocate. Christ is literally praying on our behalf (Heb. 7–10; 1 John 2:1–3).
Our unchanging ministry is to share the Gospel with everyone around the whole world. God placed you and I here in Chautauqua county, in New York, in the United States in North America. Our command is to share the Gospel right here. And some of us may even be called to another state or another country to live and share the Gospel. I hope you are willing to go when God calls you. And Jesus promised to work with us and give us the power to do things we can’t do alone.
In Genesis, God called Abram to Go to the Promised Land and become my people. In Isaiah, God said, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? And Isaiah answered “Here I am! Send Me.” And God said “Go and tell the people about me.”
Will you pray that today? Here I am God. Send me anywhere! God may want you to stay right where you are, but we should be willing to do whatever He calls us to do.
Ask God to give you boldness so you are not afraid to share your faith. It’s the best news in the world – don’t keep it to yourself.
Maybe you’ve never believed the Good News. If so, today, you need to pray and admit you are a sinner and you need a Savior. Ask God to forgive your sins and ask Jesus to save you. If you are ready to do that come talk to me.
If you have believed, have you been baptized to let everyone know about it? We are getting ready in two weeks. You can join us that day.
You are invited to come up to one of the front rows during the last song or after the service to pray or to talk to a deacon. If you need to make one of these decisions come pray and talk to God. Bring someone with you or we will pray with you.
We have an unbelievable message of Good News. We have an unlimited mandate or command from Jesus and we have an unchanging ministry with Jesus helping us. Lets Go!