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Featured Mark's Great Commission

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by John of Japan, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    It's finals time for our 9 week block. My tests are made up, I'm here early this morning, so why not a new thread that will hopefully have a strong enough start that many will participate.

    How do we best obey Mark's GC? In other words, how do we get the Gospel to "every creature"? Is it even possible? Or is it one of those impossible commands we are to strive to do until we die, never quite making it? (For example, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect.")

    In this process, remember that there is more to Mark's GC than just getting the Gospel to every person on earth. So, here is the GC with relevant immediate context: who it was to, what spiritual condition were they in, what was to happen, how they did it.

    14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
    15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
    16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
    17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
    18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
    19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
    20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
     
  2. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    I believe the best way to fulfill the Great Commission is to be part of a church and work with that church along with doing what we can within our own community. In being a part of my church, we are able to bring the gospel to our area around the church building but beyond that, each person has their own circle of influence as well to bring the gospel. Then we also have been able to train up and send those who have a calling to missions and we can support them financially, spiritually and emotionally to further our influence to preach to all nations. As we individually and as a church do this more and more, we can have a greater reach and if we were able to make small circles around ourselves on a globe to show our influence to those around us, ideally we would see circles covering the face of the earth!

    Verse 20 tells us that they went forth and the Lord was working with them, confirming the word with signs. We will see changes when the Great Commission is carried out. It may not be immediate and but lives change in the face of Christ. Even when we don't have converts right away, we can know God is working in our hearts and we can see changes in those around us.
     
  3. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    While it is true that mankind has abused our scientific advances, thanks to the Industrial Revolution - electronics and radio communications have broadcast the gospel encompassing all the nations of the earth instantaneously.

    Thanks to the invention of the printing press and advancements of electronic telecommunications the word of God is available to most nations of the earth (legally or otherwise).

    Thanks to the advancement of aerodynamic transportation missionaries can encompass the globe in a day or two.

    While man prides and glorifies himself for these accomplishments IMO it is due to God's permissive will - to spread the gospel over the entire earth before the return of Jesus Christ.

    Luke 10:2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest.

    Let it be so Lord that your "house may be full".

    HankD
     
  4. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member
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    Not only possible but a done deal before the NT was even completed:

    14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a testimony unto all the nations; and then shall the end come.
    34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all these things be accomplished. Mt 24

    So belief cometh of hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, Did they not hear? Yea, verily, Their sound went out into all the earth, And their words unto the ends of the world. Ro 10:17-18

    5 because of the hope which is laid up for you in the heavens, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel,
    6 which is come unto you; even as it is also in all the world bearing fruit and increasing, as it doth in you also, since the day ye heard and knew the grace of God in truth;
    23 if so be that ye continue in the faith, grounded and stedfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel which ye heard, which was preached in all creation under heaven; whereof I Paul was made a minister. Col 1:23

    25 Now to him that is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal,
    26 but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, is made known unto all the nations unto obedience of faith: Ro 16
     
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  5. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Excellent post. Thank you.

    So according to this you believe that the fulfillment of Mark's GC is possible, ideally speaking, but it must happen through the local church in its local evangelism program and its missions outreach, correct?

    Please elaborate. What changes might occur in the lives of believers when no one is saved right away?
     
  6. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    So, does technology make it possible to get the Gospel to every creature on earth? How would this occur?

    I would like to point out here that in the 3rd world countries (actually all countries) I have been in, everyone, no matter how poor the country is, has a cell phone.
     
  7. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    I don't think that this is the only way for this to happen but I think the church is the primary mode of transmission. :)

    I have seen in people a softening, a change in some thinking or even sometimes a harsher response - a real push back to the gospel showing that there is something happening in their hearts. I've been reading about missionaries and how many of them didn't have any converts in the first many years of being in a location but in reading their stories, I see that people loved them, listened to them and sometimes YEARS later, came to faith in Christ. :)
     
  8. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    I can tell you one way. Let's just say that there is a film that communicates the gospel really well. By making the movie in different languages and bringing a generator, screen and projector along with sound equipment, people are hearing and seeing the gospel message for the first time ever. These are people who don't even have a written language but only a spoken language. We have seen churches birthed from this ministry in countries where the gospel has not been before. :)
     
  9. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    IMO, The industrial Revolution is not yet over. We are in the information technology phase.
    Much more is yet to come. Do you know John that you can now Skype any of your supporters on your smart-phone?

    How would it be possible for every creature to hear?

    A one-world government that at the first tolerates the gospel, after which the believers (having been identified) will then be persecuted in the name of "God" (Inquisition II) .

    Maybe.

    HankD
     
  10. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Excellent point. The "Jesus Film" on Luke's Gospel has been used this way. Maybe that's what you were thinking of.

    Cell phones are everywhere nowadays, but they are mostly flip phones in developing nations. Perhaps the day is coming soon when everyone has a smart phone and can watch evangelistic movies on them.
     
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  11. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Didn't know that. However, that does not yet reach every creature. Now, when everyone gets a smart phone.... Having said that, a new trend is audio Bible translations. Even in 3rd world countries, everyone can have audio files on their phones and hear the Gospel that way.
    How would it be possible for every creature to hear?
    Intriguing.
     
  12. annsni

    annsni Administrator
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    Yep - Just spoke to one of the missionaries who do this the other day. :D
     
  13. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Two points to ponder.

    (1) "He that believeth and is baptized" presupposes that if the Gospel is preached plainly in its power, people will be saved. Rom. 1:16 supports this.

    (2) Locally, I submit that "every creature" can best be reached by a door to door effort: tracts, door hangers, door knocking, etc. This is time-consuming and difficult, but it reaches every creature except the homeless, who you must reach another way.
     
  14. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Admittedly the time frame reference may be tricky but the antichrist reportedly by some will be a man of peace, tolerant at the first. Of course he would want to be a "Big Brother (1984)" so that people see him in person over their government issued smart-phone. This issuance of course in preparation and in advance of his appearing/revealing.

    HankD
     
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  15. HankD

    HankD Well-Known Member
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    Another mystifying passage of scripture:

    Matthew 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

    What is this sign " sign of the Son of man in heaven" which will leave no doubt as to what is happening?

    Apparently there are no "doubting Thomases" as all the tribes of the earth will mourn.
    Had the gospel of the kingdom gone out to every creature in a miraculous way previous to this "sign"?

    Matthew 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    I Notice that in Matthew 24:30 and in the Revelation:
    Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

    there are no doubters as to what is happening, however no one is happy either.
    The happy ones presumably have been removed.

    So how inclusive is Mark's GC and out to what time line extension might it be?
    It seems only to apply to the times of the gentiles of which we are part.

    HankD
     
  16. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    This is a first century command in its origin rather than a 20th century command with regard to its origin. My point is that we can't read back 20th century technology into the first century to determine how it is to work. Of course, if your intent is from a 21st century perspective then of course such technology can be used. Paul claimed that it had been accomplished in the first century without such technology. Of course he most likely was speaking of the Roman World as it does not seem they were aware of the America's or Northern Europe and most of Asia.

    Second, it seems Matthew's account takes place in Galilee on a certain mountain (Mt. 28:7-15) while Luke's account in Acts 1:8 seems to take place on the mount of Olivet outside of Jerusalem. It seems that Mark's account occurred in a house inside Jerusalem before they went to Galilee (Mk. 16:14). When all the accounts are considered, it seems that this commission was given to the whole pre-Pentecost church that assembled in Acts 1:15-26 to install a new church officer in the vacated office of Judas.

    Third, the very nature of the commission I believe restricts it to the church as it involves far much more than mere evangelization. Every Christian is a witness but this commission cannot possibly be given to indivdual Christians or Christendom as a whole because the distinction between "ye" and "them" in Matthew 28:19-20 is utterly abolished by such an application and there are many more contextual based reasons that is utterly impossible.

    The New Testament churches sent missionaries and supported missionaries to do its outreach to the world. As far as I know that has been the only consistent method for the first 1900 years.
     
  17. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    More than that! It presupposes every believer will be baptized as well and that is precisely what we see in the New Testament consistently. When we stop short of baptism we stop short of obeying the commission and if we stop short of incoporating them into a NT. congregation we also stop short of obeying the Great Commission (Mt. 28:20; Acts 2:40-41).

    I think much theological and practical damage to the Christian life has been done by merely restricting the Great Commission to mere evangelization.
     
    #17 The Biblicist, Nov 29, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2016
  18. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    The origin is pretty obvious. But no one is reading back 20th (or 21st) century technology into Mark's GC. The technology is the means to accomplish the GC already given. Any suggestion that modern means should not be used to obey the GC has then even abolished the means to get to the mission field by airplanes or even 19th century steamships or ocean-going sailing ships. I suppose I would then have to have made sure I traveled across the Pacific to Japan in a 1st century Mediterranean sailboat (and no doubt perished on the way). :Sick

    But Christ ascended earlier in Acts 1. I suppose you don't mean that it was actually given to them while they were assembled to install Matthias.
    I agree with this as far as it goes. I'm not quite sure what you mean by a distinction between us and them being abolished. For the record, I have not suggested that the GC was given to individuals rather than the local church. But certainly disciples within the local church must also obey. (See John's GC where the target audience was simply "the disciples.")
    For a church to send a missionary is of course 100% Biblical. But I don't look at that as a method but an obedient strategy, directly responsive to the Great Commission. However, over the centuries those missionaries have all used various means to get the Gospel out according to the technology of the day. Men like Adoniram Judson and William Carey wrote tracts and translated the Scriptures, printing them on presses carefully taken from the homeland to the mission field. That was the technology of the day. It was quite a step up from the handwritten Scriptures translated by Missionary Ulfilas in the 4th century. Old Ulfilas would have been delighted to have a printing press!
     
  19. John of Japan

    John of Japan Well-Known Member
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    Agreed.
    Agreed. However, "mere evangelization" can do some good, as witness Paul's statement in
    Phil. 1:18, "What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."
     
  20. The Biblicist

    The Biblicist Well-Known Member
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    Of course, I was not discounting salvation but salvation occurs in an instant of time, while the entire remainder of their life is about serving God acceptably.
     
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