Jump Start # 3478
Mark 16:15 “And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.’”
Have you noticed that the flavor of the month in the TV markets are stations that add a + programing for additional cost? There is Disney +. ESPN +. MGM +. Discovery +. Peacock +. Paramount +. Apple TV +, BET +. AMC +. Now, if you don’t sign up and pay the additional monthly costs, you don’t get the +. The + is for a select group of people who pay the monthly fee. They get shows that others do not. It’s an exclusive club.
Our verse today, commonly called the ‘Great Commission,’ shows us that God intended the Gospel to be available to all people. All people—that means every continent on the planet. That means every nation on every continent. That means every city in every nation on every continent. That means every street, in every city, in every nation, on every continent. That means every house, on every street, in every city, in every nation, on every continent. That means every person in every house, on every street, in every city, in every nation, on every continent on this planet.
Can you imagine if there was a “Church +”, or worse, a “Gospel +”? For a small monthly fee, more details, information, blessings, promises and benefits are offered to the + members. If you didn’t sign up for the + program, then you would be left out of these special benefits.
God doesn’t work that way. The hope, promises and salvation found in Christ are available to everyone. Now consider some thoughts about this:
First, the Bible applies to everyone. Whosoever, surely meanth me, is an old hymn that reminds us of this. In Matthew 5:22, our Lord said, “But I say to you that everyone who is anger with his brother shall be guilty before the court…” Who is the “everyone?” It’s everyone! Multiple times, running through the sermon on the Mount, Jesus used the expression, “Everyone.”
Some have the idea that the Bible only applies to a person if he is going to be religious. But if a person decides not to be that way, then the Bible doesn’t apply to them. If you’re going to church, it is thought, you have to go by the rules. If you don’t, then you don’t.
The everyone and whosoever expressions teach us that whether a person ever opens a Bible or not, these things apply to him. If ignorance was an open gate that allowed a person to live apart from the Bible, we would be doing that person a disservice by teaching him the Gospel. Let him remain in the dark. Don’t teach him, he can remain outside the commands of the Bible. This may be wishful thinking for some, it doesn’t fit in with the “everyone” concept.
Second, the blessings of God are given freely and equally to all. There is not a special tier for the elite. In the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, those who worked only one hour were paid the same amount as those who had worked all day. Those who were hired first, were the apostles. They worked in extreme conditions. They started congregations where there were none. Yet, those who came in at the last hour were made equal to the first group. You and I will receive the same blessings as the apostles.
Third, our fellowship with each other makes us equal. The Galatians were told that all were one in Christ. That included opposites such as master and slave, Jew and Gentile, male and female. Now, we may have different functions and roles in a congregation, but that does not put us in a special circle that is not available to others. The shepherds who are watching over the flock, are also sheep themselves. No one should ever say “I’m just an ordinary member. I don’t count.” No one is just an ordinary member. We are the body of Christ. We have been purchased by God. The blood of His Son has cleansed us. We are a child of the King. We are Heaven bound. We are part of something big, eternal and powerful.
Church +, I don’t think so. Thanks be to God, that includes us, uses us, and forgives us.