Jump Start # 2472
Mark 16:15 “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to all creation.”
I’ve been reading a book about the career journey of Robert Iger, CEO of Disney. Driven, calculated and risk taking, his career steps took him higher and higher up the corporate ladder and along the way he learned how to lead effectively. This is why I am reading this book. I want to look into the minds and hearts of leaders and learn from them.
There is a simple statement in one of the early chapters, “No one wants to follow a pessimist.” Gloom and doom won’t bring positive results. This is true in the corporate world, just as it is true in the church, and also, in the home. And, our verse today brings that to mind.
The word “Gospel” means, “Good News.” Go into all the world with GOOD NEWS. Now, one has to understand what is behind this and what comes before this. The Scriptures teach that we have all sinned. The Scriptures teach that we cannot save ourselves. The Scriptures teach that we are Hell bound. We are in trouble and there’s nothing we can do about it. That’s the backdrop to our verse. Jesus came. He paid the price for our salvation. He redeemed up, saved us, and reconciled us to God. There is hope, because of Jesus.
Rather than going into all the world with the message, “You are not going to make it, “ God declared, “GOOD NEWS.” Actually, it’s the best news. Things can change, because of Jesus. Heaven is possible because of Jesus.
And, just what was “good” about this good news?
First, God, through the blood of Jesus, was doing what we could not do. He was forgiving us and saving us. We can’t do that on our own. We can’t be good enough. What’s been done has been done and that’s the problem. What do you do about sin? It doesn’t go away after time. It doesn’t just all balance out in the end. It doesn’t work that way. Sin must be removed. The expressions, “remission of sins,” and, “wash away your sins,” were words that the world had never heard before. Sins can be removed. This was great news.
Second, God’s good news was extended to every person on the planet. It wasn’t just for the best. It wasn’t for those who could afford it. Every continent…every nation…every city…every street…every house…every person in that house. From kings to peasants. From the famous to the unknown, the saving message of God was available to all. Not everyone can go to college. It’s not for everyone. Not everyone can afford a house. Not everyone can travel. Not everyone makes the honor roll. Not everyone plays varsity. However, God’s news, the good news, is for everyone. It is not just available to everyone, but it’s the one thing that everyone needs. Not everyone needs medicine. Not everyone needs a vacation. But everyone needs the Gospel. Even to the person who has everything and he believes there is nothing that he needs, he still needs God’s good news.
Third, God’s message is the same for everyone. There is not an African message and then an American message. The message of the first century is the message of the twenty-first century. What Lydia was told down by the river, what the Ethiopian was told on that deserted road, what Peter told the Pentecost audience, what Paul told the Ephesians, is the same message that you and I hear. It doesn’t change with time. What saved people then is what saves people today. Few things remain the same through the years. Publications stop. Stores close. Roads are changed. Nothing seems to stay the same, except God’s message. It’s the same. It still works.
Fourth, this good news is what needs to be preached and promoted by preachers and churches. The Good News must be taught. So many places have forgotten their mission. It’s not providing drinking water to third world countries. It’s not providing a safe haven for kids to play. It’s not about getting your finances in order. It’s the saving message of Jesus Christ. God did not tell the apostles to go into all the world and clean up politics. He didn’t tell them to go and protest against unfairness. The church wasn’t a voice for the abused and the homeless. It was the sounding board for Good News. The saving message of Jesus Christ is what we are about. And, that message is the theme of the Bible. Therefore, what the church is about, is the Bible. Churches today, do everything and anything but teach the Bible. Many leaders in these churches do not even understand the message themselves. Back to the book we must go. Drop all the psychology, mental awareness programs and teach the good news of Jesus Christ.
Finally, this message must be heard. It won’t save anyone locked away in a box. The Lord told the apostles to go. Get out there and tell others. They walked. They road in chariots. They sailed the ocean blue. They preached. They wrote. They taught others how to teach. And, today, we use every available tool we have to get this message out. Facebook. Twitter. Email. One on One. Face to face. Pulpits. Classrooms. Print. Video. Get the message to the people. There is good news. God hasn’t given up on us. God is giving us another chance. God is showing us how to do things right this time.
No one wants to follow a pessimist. One must wonder if we are making the good news bad. Let’s put some sunshine back into our messages, our faces and our worship. Good news has come from Heaven. Be thankful for that!