In Mark 16:15, we have that brief part of Jesus’ ministry right before His ascension. Mark has a slightly different take on what we know as “the great commission.” He doesn’t contradict the other writers, it’s just a different perspective.
The disciples had already walked 24/7 with Jesus for three-and-one-half years, yet they still struggled with their faith. Christ was very clear in His instruction that we are to spread the gospel throughout the world (to every creature). Indeed, we are called, as the church, to reach the world with the gospel. After all, someone once shared the gospel with us.
1. If we don’t “go,” they won’t know. Our mouth should be His mouth. Granted, God could spread His own message to a lost and dying world Himself without our help, but He chooses to use us for this endeavor. We will be judged for how well we acted upon God’s commands. If we don’t go, we are being Biblically disobedient. We are not to be ashamed of the gospel, for this is how God chooses to reveal Himself.
2. You have a personal responsibility to obey. The gospel writer here quotes Christ as saying, “You go.” It is personalized, addressed to each of us individually. And we are to go into all the world. In Revelation, God declares that he will ensure that everyone in all the world will have a chance to hear the gospel.
3. Our message is a global vision. The gospel is much larger than the United States. We can be humanitarian all we want to and the world will still go to hell. We must reach the world with the gospel. When we reach the judgement, we will be able to see the fruits of what we have done here on earth.
Christ instructed us to preach the gospel, not our manmade traditions, not our denomination. We serve a risen Savior, and it is the gospel that genuinely changes lives and saves people. There are more ways and opportunities to preach the gospel today than ever before and so there is no excuse for not doing it.
4. The power is in the message, not the method. In Mark 16:15, He tells us what is supposed to be done, who is supposed to do it, why it is to be done, and when it should be done. But He didn’t tell us how to do it. That’s because every generation must understand for itself the best way to spread the gospel. People preach the gospel in various ways.