In Mark 16:12-20, Jesus gives the Great Commission, and it talks about not just listening to God’s Word but acting on them.
‘Mark 16:20 is a very fascinating scripture. This is because it talks about action, it talks about work, it talks about doing something. And the disciples went out. The words look like very ordinary ones; went out. But the Lord was with them and accompanied them with signs and wonders,’ Elder Dorai Manikam shared in FGA KL’s Sunday Worship Service on the 24th of August.
‘Now, we know that if we want to do anything, you have to prepare for it, focus on it, and just do it. And you see here, that the disciples were men of action. When Jesus said go out into all the world, they went. When Jesus said preach the Gospel to all men, they preached. When Jesus said believe that you’ll do miracles, they believed. When Jesus said to do all three and integrate them as a whole, they did’.
The disciples were men of action. This is important to keep in mind because it is by our actions that people will see whether we’re disciples of Christ or not. Elder Dorai imparted, ‘‘Talking about it will not do, only our actions will carry us through’. In Proverbs 20:11, the Bible says even small children are known by their actions. The Lord has told us that if we believe Him and work in His name, He will work with us’.
He shared the story of William Carey. ‘When William Carey wanted to go and preach the Gospels to the world, a senior statesman told him, “Sit down, young man. If God wanted to take His Word to the whole world, He can do it without you and me.” Sounds very profound but very wrong. But William Carey persisted.
‘He reasoned, “If the British East India Company could form a structure and go out and brave seas and storms and jungles for glory and gold, how much more should we not come out with means and structures to take the Gospels of Jesus Christ to the ends of the world. We must expect great things and attempt great things for God”.
‘That’s what he wrote, and out of that came the British Missionary Society, and the London Missionary Society was formed, and missionaries started to be sent out to Malaya and Taiping. The ones they reached started sharing the Good News, and the rest is history. If it’s not for one man, you and I wouldn’t be sitting here in this church today.’
‘The secular world also has a quadrant, outlined by expectations and the attempts to do great things. Christians have a Great Commission because we have a Great Gospel. And that Gospel derives its meaning from the person and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We cannot separate the Gospel from Jesus Christ; we have a Great Commission because we have a Great Gospel. And we have a Great Gospel because we have a Great Saviour.
‘Jesus said in Mark 16:17, that signs would accompany those who go out and believe and do things in His name. In His name, we will cast out demons. In His name, we will speak in tongues. In His name, we will lay hands on the sick and they will recover’.
And what follows are not mere words. There was a great missionary movement (Mark 16:20). Out of that missionary movement, there was a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit seen in the Book of Acts. That great outpouring of the Holy Spirit changed the world.
Elder Dorai exhorted that we must take up the Antioch Church Mission. The Antioch church was defined by its missionary outreach. Paul’s missionary journeys first started from there.
‘Today, God wants to take the church to a level that it has never experienced before. It is the work of the Holy Spirit, and when the Spirit begins to blow, all we need to do is to put up our sails and God will carry us through. But sometimes, as Christians, we hear people preach at us and question why we don’t go out into the Great Commission. And many people go out unprepared and in condemnation.’
Jesus’ discipleship pattern was different. During the time the disciples were with him, Jesus was already preparing them for the Great Commission. The disciples traveled with Jesus, they saw the power of Christ with their own eyes, and Jesus taught them how to pray and minister when He was there with them.
When it was time for Jesus to rise up to Heaven and give the disciples the Great Commission, they were prepared. Elder Dorai shared that this was the discipleship pattern and principle the Church should pick up. The first step needs to be preparation, followed by the right priority, and then comes the power of God.
In his sharing, Elder Dorai related many detailed testimonies and impactful stories, too extensive and many to list here, of how lives were changed simply because there were people who were obedient and faithful enough to not just listen to God’s Word, but also act on them.
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Note: This article is written from the perspective and interpretation of the writer, to condense and accentuate the message of the speaker for a more general readership and in a style more suited for online reading.