Today’s Reading: Mark 14, 15, 16, Proverbs 5
Mark 16:20 – And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the Word with signs following. Amen.
The context of this last verse in the book of Mark is Jesus commissioning His disciples. This commission is to every subsequent disciple of Jesus – including you and me. He sent them and has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel to every creature. Making sure the gospel is heard by every individual in all the world is our assignment. No one is to be left out.
He tells us the reward for those who believe the gospel and act on their faith in Christ through baptism is heaven. The consequence of refusing to accept Christ when people hear is eternity in hell. These eternal facts are intended to be a strong motivation for His disciples to follow through on their assignment.
Next Jesus tells us signs will follow those disciples who get involved fulfilling His assignment to them. The specific signs He declared would follow us are:
• Authority to cast out demons in oppressed people
• Receive a new spiritual language to enhance your prayer life and build you up spiritually
• Total dominion over demonic powers that assault you
• Ability to walk in divine health
• Empowered to minister healing to the sick
Once He finished delegating these things to His disciples He was taken up to heaven. This was an obvious picture to each of them the responsibility to carry out Jesus’ mission was now resting squarely upon them. Jesus was no longer here. It was up to them to finish the job He started.
Verse 20 says they went out and preached everywhere. They got after it. The rest of this verse says the Lord worked with them confirming the Word they preached with signs following. Many people in the church today are praying for supernatural signs. I have observed a large number of Christians over the years following after ministries who have signs and demonstrations of the Spirit manifest frequently in their ministry.
But this is not the order God set forth in this passage of His Word. We are not supposed to be following after signs. Signs are to be following us as we preach His Word and are busy fulfilling His mission. The question is have you accepted your assignment? Are you willing to become engaged fulfilling His mission? He is no longer here. He has ascended to heaven and delegated His ministry to us.
Every creature in all the world must be told the good news of the gospel. The supernatural signs He promised will follow those who are carrying out His mission and preaching His Word. My question and challenge to you is this: Are you following signs or are signs following you? Think about it.