Mark 16:15-16

“Go into all the world. Proclaim the Good News to all creation. Those who believe and are baptised will be saved, but those who do not believe will be condemned.”

These are words of Jesus which may be familiar. And yet despite their familiarity, there are three things of which we should take particular note.

The first is that the Christian faith is active and not passive. “Go into all the world . . .”

Jesus didn’t tell his disciples to stay at home, in comfort, where it would be safe. He didn’t say that it was alright to keep the pews warm but otherwise not to get involved. No! Jesus said that as individuals, and as a church, we need to be active. We need to make sure that our faith goes beyond ourselves, into our homes, our towns, and even beyond our own country.

And if that sounds like a big task, then it is. And ever believer should consider carefully how they—as individuals and as members of God’s church—can carry that out.

The second thing to note is that our calling is specific not general. “Proclaim the Good News to all Creation ….”

Now again, Jesus didn’t say to go into the world and do whatever you like. He didn’t say go out and care for others but don’t mention my name. No! Jesus said to go out, and when we meet people, we are to tell them about God, about Jesus, about what Jesus did, and what it all means.

And if that sounds scary—particularly from the point of view of exposing ourselves, making ourselves vulnerable to others—then it is. Nevertheless every Christian (without exception) has a role to play in the spreading of the gospel, and we need to be willing to respond to the opportunities that God gives us.

And the third thing to note is that what Jesus asks has purpose. “Those who believe and are baptised will be saved, but those who do not believe will be condemned.”

Now Jesus didn’t say if you tell nice stories about me, and people remember them at particular times of the year, everything will be OK. He didn’t say if people remember me as being meek and mild that will be enough. No! What he said was that the task he was giving us is essential, because other people’s spiritual wellbeing depends on it.

Yes, people are free to choose—they can choose life, or they can choose death. That is their prerogative. But the reason he wants us to be involved, is because he wants every single person to have the opportunity to say “yes” to a relationship with him.

And that means that we need, at all times, to portray God and the gospel. And we need to portray it not just with our words, but with our thinking, in the things that we do, and in the way we conduct ourselves.

And if we do that to the best of our ability, only then will we have honoured God and used the opportunities that he has given us. Because Jesus’s command was not for a specific event, nor was it only for a limited time. It was forever—for as long as this world continues. And that means it demands a lifestyle change—a change which should be reflected in our attitudes and behaviour every day.

Posted: 10th December 2020
© 2020, Brian A Curtis